October 2015 Northwestern Pennsylvania In October of this year I was invited to join my lumber supplier, Intermountain Wood Products, on a tour of four lumber mills in the northwest region of Pennsylvania. The mills, owned by Northwest Hardwoods (NH), Industrial Timber & Lumber (ITL), and Matson Lumber, supply much of the red oak, white […]
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I wanted a work table that looked like it was from the same family of furniture as the tables found in Apple retail stores: minimalistic, sturdy, modern, maple grained pieces that have become synonymous with Apple stores. They provide a place for customers to touch and use apple products, from laptops to iPods, and give the stores a modern and open feel. Browsing all the modern design furniture stores online was a disappointing exercise, nothing close to what I wanted seemed to be on the market. It became more and more obvious that I would either have to drop the idea of buying something similar or take the daunting bespoke furniture route. Taking the custom designed approach was even harder than I imagined and involved discussions with four different places, including the original manufacturer of the Apple tables, Fetzers, a 93 year old company also responsible for Bill Gates personal residence.
Erik Fetzer told me they were able to take an existing table, that Apple had taken out of service and refurbish it for me. It was tempting but I had specific dimensions in mind and Fetzers couldn’t accommodate all of my needs.
I turned to other craftsmen, local and from around the country, all of which had varying hang-ups about the project. One said the different temperatures throughout the year would stretch and contract a solid wood build, and couldn’t accommodate the work involved in using veneers of such a large size. Another said it would cost more than double what I was prepared to pay. So, after several frustrating months of searching , I finally came across Jared ‘s web site. From the start he seemed very enthusiastic about tackling the build. He quickly wrote up two options for my design and let me decide the best course of action, all the while teaching me about the different aspects of the process. Without talking to the guy once on the phone, I felt like the project was in the right hands; amazing when you consider I’ve never done anything like this before. Jared would keep me posted on developments throughout the construction, making sure I was involved as much as possible, even posting a blog about the construction of the table towards the end, a really unexpected bonus for me. Jared was very approachable, he never seemed to mind my questions and even accommodated numerous last minute changes to the design.
Before I knew it the table was ready to be crated up and shipped to me.
As a newcomer to custom designed furniture, I didn’t know what to expect when it came to dismantling the carefully constructed protective crate.
I was relieved to see that Jared had taken my vision and executed it flawlessly, leaving me with a piece of furniture I can cherish forever.
It’s only been a few days now since it arrived and I’m still in awe of it. If Apple made desks to accompany their computers, I’m positive they would look like this, which speaks volumes about Jared’s talents. I’m just a regular guy with a regular income, so my tiny abode doesn’t really do justice to the quality craftsmanship of the table Jared and his team constructed, but it’s a start and it encourages me to improve everything else in my living space. I wouldn’t hesitate in taking other ideas to Jared to make into reality; the whole experience was a pleasure that I’d recommend to anyone.
Hugo Reynolds – Memphis, TN – February 2010
Blog entries for the client’s PROJECT