Monthly Archives: October 2013

Limbert No. 346 Magazine Stand–Variations

A take on Limbert's No. 346 magazine stand in pine. Finished in black milk paint.

A take on Limbert’s No. 346 magazine stand in pine. Finished in black milk paint.

I recently finished a simplified version of Limbert’s No. 346 Magazine stand (read more here) and have been thinking about variations on the design. This take is itself a variation, simplified to take advantage of dimensional stock and pocket-hole construction, but there’s more opportunity for increasing the stand’s utility.

It’s an attractive design, but the trapezoidal shape means you lose some storage at the ends of the shelves and the shelves become shallower towards the top. These limitations are the main reason I opted for a rectilinear design when building shelves for my office. Too, the short vertical spacing between the last few shelves means you won’t be putting any tall books on them. As it is though, it makes an attractive display stand or a fine shelf if you don’t own many books. If I were to build it again, I think I’d use the original depth to keep the extra width on the upper shelves. I’d also think about eliminating one of the shelves to allow for more spacing between them, a decision that entails altering the position of the cutouts in the sides. Continue reading


The patio on final walkthrough.

The patio on final walkthrough in March of 2007.

We’ve been thinking about a new patio for years. The original featured multiple coats of peeling paint over cracked concrete. Topping the patio was a functional if ugly covered porch. Working on other projects, we continued to give the patio some thought, especially when nice weather pulled us outside. But it stayed low on the list. Until this summer.

Patio Bolt


A J bolt pierces a brick at the edge of the new patio.

God or the devil may or may not be in the details, but there is definite satisfaction. We recently had our old patio replaced. As our first major project we hired out, it was a little odd to not be doing it ourselves. I did, though, manage to leave a little work for myself. Part of the patio plan includes a new covered porch, which required new footings for a couple of posts. The crew from Father Nature Landscapes dug the holes and placed a couple of Sonotubes, then bricked around them. The rest was up to me. Continue reading

Mackintosh at the Met

Mackintosh Washstand

A washstand designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

While the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s holdings also include some textiles and a painting by Mackintosh, the main attraction for those interested in his furniture is this washstand. For those who might have encountered Kevin Rodel’s interpretation of the piece, the original is more subdued, lacking some of the flourishes of Rodel’s work. The case itself is overshadowed by the art glass and ceramic tile, the dark oak a backdrop for deep blues and greens. Look past the the glass and tile, and you’ll find subtle touches, like the cutouts forming the drawer handles and the grid shelf below the counter echoing in wood the glass and ceramic rectangles and squares of the backsplash and and counter.

Like the dry sink, the washstand has been supplanted by indoor plumbing–who needs a washstand when they have a private bath?–but I can’t help but think about repurposing this design to fit contemporary needs. Rodel reimagined it as a serving table, but it would also work as a sink base with little modification, either with the plumbing exposed below the open counter, or with cabinets enclosing the base.