Timothy M. Shead

Custom Design Woodworking

The Process

Design

Perhaps there’s a corner in your house where nothing fits. You need a cabinet to highlight a family heirloom. You’re looking for a one-of-a-kind gift for your special someone. Or you’re simply tired of spending money on flimsy furniture that doesn’t last.

Whether you know exactly what your project should look like or only have a vague idea of what you want, I can help. I will work with you to design your perfect custom project, then construct and finish it using the best quality materials, construction, and craftsmanship.

Depending on the project, nonrefundable design fees may apply. Once your design is finalized, work can begin with a 50% deposit. The remaining 50% will be due once your project is ready for delivery.

Materials

Ever wonder why modern furniture can’t survive more than a move-or-two? It’s the material. Solid wood is stronger and lighter than any of the materials in mass-produced furniture. Better looking, too.

Nails and threaded fasteners gradually work loose over time, leaving irreparable damage. Solid wood construction — mortise & tenon joints, dovetails — is stronger, aesthetically more pleasing, and can last multiple lifetimes.

All of my furniture uses solid wood construction throughout. I work with a variety of local New Mexico wood, the full range of domestic United States species, and foreign exotics, all sustainably grown and harvested.

Furniture that looks better, lasts longer, and created from a renewable resource? That’s real sustainability.

Construction

The majority of my work is created using traditional techniques and hand-powered tools. But I don’t work this way for the romance or to relive the past.

Rather, I find that these highly-evolved forms are more efficient for custom, one-of-a-kind projects, and bring a satisfying, human touch to my work: curves are more fluid, subtle imperfections give each project life, and every piece is unique.

Finish

I prefer to keep dangerous chemicals out of my life and yours … and I choose my finishes accordingly.

For example, one of my favorite wood finishes is shellac, a natural material made from the resinous secretions of lac insects living in forests in Southeast Asia. Shellac is a remarkably versatile finish, and completely nontoxic, even when ingested — in fact, it’s also used as the coating on medicine capsules.

I mix my own shellac, dissolving the raw flakes in 190-proof Everclear. Old-timers probably wouldn’t like to see good booze used in this way, but it makes for great peace-of-mind to know that my work is “food-grade”!