Creating furniture is a process. Building a custom built bookshelf is an even longer process.
When using raw materials like logs and steel, the creation time is a long one, but well worth the wait.
This custom built bookshelf started out as a White Fir tree in Truckee, California. The tree was old and dying, and it was a couple years back when the long California drought had taken its toll on the 44″ diameter behemoth. HallTree from Truckee, CA helped us in taking the tree down. A local climber and a good friend if mine, Scott Williamson left the tree in big sections for me. If you don’t know Scott, you should- this rad guy has hiked the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) over 20 times!
Upon arriving I met the owner of the property, a fellow artist, Chris Crossen, who works in watercolors. It turns out he does some designs for Jones Snowboards, since Jermey Jones happens to be his neighbor (Truckee is small community).
Moving logs isn’t easy, its about as hard as it looks and things can go wrong very quickly. We couldn’t skid these logs due to their massive size and weight. However, if you can get something to roll, you can move almost anything, think pyramids. We used three landscaping posts and a winch with a pully to move these onto my trailer.
Once back at home I winched the logs off the trailer, and they sat in my yard all winter. In the spring I was ready to mill, but I still had to move them onto the mill. My yard is basically a hill so moving can be a bit tricky. I found this out the hard way when I was using a peavey (an old world logging tool used to move logs) to separate two logs, the logs slipped onto my foot, and I pinched my shin between them (remember how I said things can go wrong quickly?). A couple weeks of hobbling and a trip to urgent care to fight off a nasty infection – I was good as new. I milled all the logs into big beautiful slabs. White and buttery with gorgeous grain and tones created from the tree dying. These slabs were a challenge to move but I got them stacked and stickered so they could dry.
2 Years Later – The Custom Built Bookshelf
I built a couple tables out of these slabs, one went to Tahoe Donner, another to Serene Lakes, and our friend, Chris, had a bench commissioned for where the tree once grew. I had a lot of off-cuts from those projects and that’s how the custom built bookshelf started to take shape.
I ran the remnants of the live edge slabs through the planner, followed by the jointer, then sanded and sanded and sanded and sanded some more. A couple coats of clear and some more sanding and the shelves were done. On to the metal work. Cutting, grinding, welding, and lots more grinding. After, we added patina and a clear coat. Finally the custom built bookshelf was done. I still have a lot more slabs from this tree, and would love to build you or yours an amazing piece for your home or business.