Reclaimed Douglas fir Hall Tree


I built this hall tree for a customer who was looking for an entry piece for their turn of the century craftsman home. With custom milled T&G bead board and mortise and tenon construction the end product was a unique heirloom quality craftsman piece. The frame work was milled from reclaimed timbers from an old mill building in Tacoma. The bead board was milled from old window casings. The tacoma timbers yielded tight vertical grain stock for the frames. The window casings were flat sawn and fine grain which made for some very interesting "flamed" paneling. The customer specified a dark mahogany finish which was accomplished with many coats of a custom tinted shellac glaze and a few coats of wiping varnish for protection.

The 2"x 16" reclaimed fir timbers were $2.50 a board-foot from a local salvage shop.

The window frames were free. It took about half a day to break them down and mill them up into some rough stock.

I modeled the entire piece in SketchUp including joinery and true textures which I made from photographs of shellacked fir. 

I added through tenons to strengthen the bench and seat back interface.

After a dry fit it was time start milling the paneling. I decided to mill my own T&G paneling so that I could have complete control over the dimensions and quality of material.

The paneling took about a day to re-saw and mill. I cut the tongue and groove on the table saw with a modified stacked dado head cutter and the bead at the router table with several passes across a beading bit.


The material for the seat, upper panel and shelf came from a 12' long 1"x 16"  Douglas fir plank that was originally a mantel in the client's house.

After the final fitting and glue up it was time to start applying the glaze. I tinted de-waxed shellac and applied 12 to 15 coats with an HVLP spray system. After I was satisfied with the color I wiped on a thinned varnish for protection. The pictures get a little fuzzy here (the camera lens got a few coats of shellac as well)