Throwback Thursday

80's Ent Ctr

I remember back in the early nineties working with GregGloor on an Arts and Crafts style entertainment center for a customer named Dr.King in Potomac, Maryland. It was interesting because it was an exact match to a very nice original armoire from the Arts and Crafts Movement.

The reason I can remember this piece with such clarity after more than 20 years is because of what no one else knows except me and Greg. An error was discovered after the unit was assembled. The opening was too small. Now, it did have a large (4 inch) wide face frame. For eight hours I used a hand saw to cut the face of the cabinet down to increase the opening. My arms took on a Popeye quality! This became a terrible but memorable and successful day in my otherwise repetitive woodworking career.

The most amazing thing about Dr. King’s piece was that it was huge – I’m talking 5 feet wide, 8 feet tall, and 2 ½ feet deep . It took four of us to carry it into the house. It was designed to hold a 52” diagonal projection TV that was actually mounted on a TV swivel. We had to bolt the cabinet to the wall to keep it from tipping over when the TV was pulled out.

We participated in a home show shortly after we made Dr.King’s piece. Greg, with a little help from me, made this colorful unit. There are 7 or 8 different woods in the piece, creating an eye-catching effect. This unit was designed to hold, well, just about everything. This throw back is to all the old monster sized entertainment centers of the 70’s , 80’s and 90’s that have since been repurposed into pantries, armoires, and shelving units.

I am reminded of this entertainment center often as I design new furniture pieces for customers. I use it as a reminder that I never will design furniture around specific technology if possible. Printers are the worst! Never design a cabinet around a printer. In two years it will surely be in the recycle bin, and something a third the size will be in its place. It is difficult and not always possible in this world of technology, moving at warp speed, to know what is on the horizon. Sometimes the luddite in me tells me to just go lay down….

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