INSPIRATIONS? A few of my recent projects

Hello, I finally got around to posting some pictures of recent projects online, so I thought I'd shamelessly show them off here - maybe you'll be inspired, or maybe you'll just feel better about your own woodworking. Whatever. I often enjoy looking at other woodworkers' projects, so here are some of mine, followed by some descriptions: http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/andynewhouse/my_photos
Step stool: First project, started because I had a couple tools, and I knew I could make a better stepstool than the wobbly little piece of imported junk my wife had just bought. Baltic birch ply with reclaimed wormy American Chestnut steps. This was completed a few years ago, and really gave me the woodworking bug. There are several things on this project I would now consider incorrect (i.e. screwing into ply end grain shouldn't have much strength) but it has held together very well and still feels solid.
Spice rack: another early project, designed by me just after I got my first router - so the edges are well-rounded-over, the shelves fit into dados, and the front slats are dovetailed into the sides. Red oak from the borg, with oak ply back I found on the street on trash day.
X-bookshelf: This comes apart easily and collapses almost completely flat - it's all held upright by the cleats on the top and bottom. 2 laminated layers of 1/4" red oak ply.
Alex's toy: First birthday present for the son of some close friends. I intended it to be just a stacking toy with different shapes and different colors, but it turned out looking like a boat, so that's what they call it. Maple base, with white oak, cherry, walnut, red oak, and maple stacking shapes on walnut pegs. Finished with shellac and all-natural paste wax to be completely non-toxic and fine to eat, if the kid so chooses.
Bed: Biggest project to date. Took about 9 months. Based on the classic mission bed plan found on several plans websites. White oak, finished with mixture of danish oil and a little mission oak stain. LOML helped a great deal with finishing.
Landscapes/horizons: walnut and butternut, reversible, with maple "moon" on one side and cherry "sun" on the other. Finished with tung oil. Fairly quick and easy Christmas presents. I didn't bother with true complimentary curves and router templates, I just overlapped the boards and bandsawed the curves. The offset of the kerf wasn't a problem for these relatively shallow curves.
Rocking chair: wedding present for my sister. This was loosely based on a basic mission rocker plan, but I modified it quite a bit according to pictures I liked of real antiques, and had a lot of fun choosing and working all the different wood species. Also my first attempt at upholstery. Legs and rockers are red oak, curved back stretchers are cherry, slats are curly maple, arms are walnut, and lower stretchers include sassafras, white oak, cherry, walnut, and butternut. The compound angles were a challenge, and some of the tenons don't fit as tightly as I'd like, but it was a very fun and rewarding project. The double-wedged through tenon on the arm was a fun little touch that I didn't plan on when I started, but I'm happy with how it came out.
There - hope this was interesting, informative, and maybe even inspirational. Andy
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Andy - you put out some nice work there. I think I like the chair the best, as I like the simple, functional design. I personally think borrowing from the designs of others is just fine, and I can see a couple there that you have melded nicely.
Be honest... how long did it take to upholster the seat? Did you buy real leather or is it "city cow" (naugahide)?
Robert
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Thanks very much - that's my favorite so far too. It was hard to give it away.

Neither - I cheated and skipped the authenticity in favor of a cheaper and easier modern solution. The seat is just upholstery fabric from JoAnn's, over 2 layers of padding: 1" of open-cell foam, then a 2" layer of "nu-foam" or something like that - non-woven, fibrous mat stuff - kind of like the synthetic steel wool, just softer and obviously not abrasive. I put the padding over the plywood cutout, pulled the fabric over that, turned the sandwich upside down, and stapled the fabric to the bottom of the seat. It's not too bad for my first attempt, but I suspect I'll have to redo it at some point, as I don't think I stretched the fabric tight enough. We'll see. Thanks again, Andy
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... very nice.
So what are you building *next* weekend?
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The landscapes are nice. I think you should incorporate them into a functional piece. Maybe a box lid, a cutting board, or a cheese tray....
Cheers, Jeff
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I think your projects look really cool. I liked the bed and the chair. I think the bookshelf would do itself a lot more justice, if it were off the ground. That way you would avoid some of those 'wasted' spaces at the bottom.
Is there some kind of inlay work in your detail of the chair (the cross)?? Someday I'll muster what it takes to show some of my projects.
Regards, Rajeev
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I like the stacking toy. My sister just had a kid and I was thinking of making something like this for her. Good inspiration. I am also making some stepstools right now, but they may not be photogenic enough to post.
Keep up the good work!
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Andy wrote:

Hi Andy,
Beautiful work. I'd say inspiration for sure.
Tanus
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Great looking projects!

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