Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Texas Tuesday: Handmade Tables

While traveling through Hopkins County, one happens upon all kinds of unique individuals, each with their own talent and abilities. One such individual is Lynn Blevins, a native of Ontario, California, who now resides near Lake Fork. By day, Lynn is a carpenter and landscape designer, but his first love is crafting wood. Lynn learned his craft at the feet of his grandfather. "My grandfather was a dry-wall contractor in California, but at night, when he'd come home I'd follow him to his shop and watch every move he made," denoted Blevins. "He taught me how to take the roughest of lumber and wood products and craft them into a work of art. I've done this from the time I was 5 or 6 years old!"

Currently, Blevins is crafting tables using both oak and mahogany wood that originally was used as boxcar flooring. Much of the wood was installed in the train boxcars 50 to 60 years ago, and according to the texture, Blevins states that it was virgin hardwood of the best quality. He takes the strips of wood that are "doweled" together with aluminum dowels and separates each piece, before he begins crafting his designs.

Hours of time is spent making a design for a table, according to Blevins. "I work with the design in my head for a few days until I get it to perfection," states Blevins. "And, if you were to ask me what the next design I was going to do, I couldn't tell you. I have to see the wood and figure what will highlight the texture and quality of the grain. Then, I can tell you what the design that will best utilize the wood will be."

After working with the design and assessing the wood, Blevins begins the process of cutting each individual piece to fit the design. Then, it is hours upon hours of sanding the the wood to obtain a table-top smoothness, before the final product is ready for assembly. Blevins mixes his own wood filler, using sawdust from the original wood to make a perfect match.

"With the proper design and the proper amount of preparation, any wood can be made into an object of beauty," affirms Blevins. "However, both the oak and mahogany have qualities of beauty that are unsurpassed in woodworking. And, when you can blend the two, you have a truly beautiful piece of furniture."

Blevins' tables are sold in specialty shops and antique malls, as well as by custom order. Prices are determined by the size of the table and the number of hours that must be spent to complete the project. Small coffee tables begin at $50.00 and increase in price with the more intricate designs. Dining tables begin at $800.00 and increase when larger pieces are made and with the more detail that is included in the design.

"I would rather visit with the individual customer and assess their particular taste, then use my abilities to design a table to fit their unique desires," affirms Blevins. "That way, they are happy and have a piece of art that they can enjoy for generations."

Blevins seals all of his tables with a marine varnish that is used on ships, thus making it durable and extremely stain resistant.

For custom orders of a beautiful table, Blevins can be reached at (903)383-2705, for an appointment.

by Bobby McDonald
Reprint from original article located here.


Hammer said...

Thore are cheap prices for some really nice looking furniture. I love woodworking but I'm mostly good at restoring old stuff.

Loving Annie said...

Good woodworking is really an art.
Happy Tuesday NoMas !

kittenpower said...

My best friends husband is a woodworker by night too!

I love handcrafted...

BBC said...

I make one of a kind wooden toothpick cups on my metal lathe when I feel like it.

Each piece of wood that I use has a special meaning, but maybe only to me.

I just give them to people that I want to have them. It's my way of showing them that they are special to me.

L>T said...

Beautiful tables. I really admire anyone that can do that.

Dick said...

I build quite a bit of my own furniture. I'd like to check out his stuff for recipes.

NoMas said...

Hammer: His prices are reasonable.

Anne & Tart: I wish to have the talent, but alas....

Kittenpower: Lucky friend. Bet her husband makes and repairs lots of things around the house.

BCC: Neat. A southerner always needs a toothpick. I bet your holders are pretty - in adition to being special. How nice.

Dick: Well, I swanie! Who'd have thunk it - you should show off some of your work one day.

NoMas said...

Hammer: I think restoration may be harder than actually building something from wood. There have been a few strip and stain/oil projects in my past so I know it is a chore yet rewarding

kittenpower said...

Actually NoMas, they recently purchased a house in the country and are restoring it to it's original glory. His skills are coming in handy; they're doing just a/b all of the work by themselves!