Cascades Studios

Woodworking by Gary

  • Walnut Frame step by step with photos

    Walnut Frame step by step with photos

    Wednesday morning start 9am I was asked to make 2 frames for some very respectable martial artist, I was given the certificate dimensions and the rest was left to me. Here is my design. (SketchUP for iPad) I milled this walnut a few weeks back, while in my shop in Tappahannock. Back home in my…

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  • Washer Dryer Platform

    Washer Dryer Platform

    My neighbor asked me to install a shelf above her washer dryer unit. I stopped by to measure noticed how low her units where, and I suggested to raise the units up and add storage below. She like the idea a lot. I headed to my big shop ran some plywood through the table saw,…

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  • Modern Walnut Oak Desk

    Modern Walnut Oak Desk

    From Design to reality. The design included things in woodworking that I had never done. A breadboard top and using a pattern router bit to make identical pieces from a plywood template. I enjoyed this build immensely

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  • The Octagon

    The Octagon

    Did you know? I’m a big fan of martial arts. I run Potomac Kempo Martial Arts, in Kingstowne VA. Often I’m asked to make furniture or simple items for my students or training partners. Meet Sensei Geof, a great friend, and training partner. We often say were friends just because we hit each other on…

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  • Wood Chest from reclaimed lumber

    Wood Chest from reclaimed lumber

    Glen has this old barn up in Maryland where he has this stock pile of old lumber, its weathered and heavy. Using simple construction methods I made a wooden chest. It now lives on out front porch. Old things are better than new things, because they’ve got stories in them, Ethan.

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  • Built in Cabinets

    Built in Cabinets

    From design to finish, this was a 2 year project. I guess it’s good that this is a hobby for me and my neighbors who asked me to make these cabinets are good friends. Why did it take so long? After I got the cabinets with 4 doors installed with everything fully functional, we took…

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  • Broken Bat Display Case

    Broken Bat Display Case

    As you may or may “knot”know, woodworking is my hobby. My love and my actual full time job however is running a karate dojo in Kingstowne. Potomac Kempo martial arts has 5 locations (Kingstowne, Huntington, National Landing, Fairlington, and Old Town. After Renshi Cassie broke a bat with a kick, her husband asked me to…

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  • Poplar Wine Rack

    Poplar Wine Rack

    This build, which was for a friend and a fellow Kempo student, was the first time I made something where nothing went wrong. Typically I have a mis cut, a major chip out, a design flaw, or some other random thing that makes me go duh. Not today, I carefully planned and took my time…

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  • Sapele Platter

    Sapele Platter

    Check out this video, showing off my router sled, which doubles as a circle jig.

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  • Live Edge Waterfall Coffee Table

    Live Edge Waterfall Coffee Table

    It was the first weekend in October, the air was crisp and I was in a good mood. I had woken up early to walk Rooster, my spunky Golden Retriever, around my in-laws property. Since this was my birthday weekend I made a decision not to work on any unfinished projects but instead, spend time…

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  • Guitar Amp

    Guitar Amp

    Here sound quality was more important than looks, but hopefully we delivered both. My job was to make the box, then Chris – would dress it out with Tolex, grill cloth, add 2, 12 inch speakers, and all the electronics. He’ll also plug in one of his guitars, turn it on, turn it up, and…

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  • Metal Bowtie in Walnut?

    Metal Bowtie in Walnut?

    One evening a friend of mine and I where out eating dinner, and he mentioned wanting a coffee table made from a live edge slab, additionally he wanted colorful resin accents. Essentially, a ”river table” River tables are all the rage these days, they can be beautiful, elegant or rather tacky. For this reason some…

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  • Wood slab flattening

    Wood slab flattening

    Working with large slabs, requires a different method to get the wood flat. Typically I work with thinner wood that fits on my jointer or through my planner. Things change when it comes to live edge slabs, especially when the project calls for live edges on both sides. This slab I’m working with, while not…

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  • The Hall Closet – rethought

    The Hall Closet – rethought

    Our upstairs hall closet, was a nightmare, the door stuck, had probably 5 to 10 coats of paint on it and once you had the door open one could only access the items that happened to be in the front section. Every few years we’d empty it out to discover riches of long forgotten junk…

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  • The Rubio

    The Rubio

    The squeaky wheel gets the oil. A Wednesday evening at the dojo, a friend of mine, Steve Rubio, handed me two sheets of graph paper, it was a table that he’d like me to build. The dojo was quite busy so I placed them on my desk, and we both got busy teaching. (Steve -Sensei,…

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  • A Magic Desk?

    A Magic Desk?

    Hi, I’m Gary I live in Jefferson Manor with my wife Kristi. We have been “manorites” for 9 years and we love our neighborhood. The reasons are both easy and difficult to write about, and I would rather not sound cliché, so I’ll allow you to plug in all of those adjectives and positive phrases…

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  • Earthy Modern Bath Vanity

    Earthy Modern Bath Vanity

    Ah, the bathroom vanity. Ever stroll down the plumbing aisle of your big box hardware store then see 20 to 30 of basically the same vanities, all made from particle board? A vast majority of my latest builds have been custom bathroom furniture (sink vanity’s). The NOVA area is full of small bathrooms and everyone…

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  • Dining Banquette

    Dining Banquette

    I got a call from Jennifer, owner of Haven Home Solutions. She had been asked by my friends Erin and Andy to give their home a new upbeat look. They needed a custom bench, to use as a dining room seating, storage, and a safety barrier over a 2 foot drop. She shared her drawing…

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  • Custom Barn Wood Mantle

    Custom Barn Wood Mantle

    Erin and Andy, who are good friends of mine were looking for a new look. They were working with Jennifer of Haven Home Solutions who recommended a new mantle. Erin, reached out and I was happy to help. Now to be clear, I did not install the mantle, I left that detail to their trusted…

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  • Ambrosia Maple End Table

    Ambrosia Maple End Table

    While in the process of making this end table I was actually seeing ambrosia maple every time I closed my eyes. The patterns, the light and dark stripes, and even the little beetle holes in the wood. They just came alive when I closed my eyes. Yes, you read that correctly beetle holes… some maple…

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  • Sapele Dining Room Table

    Sapele Dining Room Table

    Ever since I started dabbling in woodworking it was a dream of mine, much prompted by my wife – mind you, to make a statement piece, a dining room table. I started a few years back with cutting boards, then benches, picture frames, coffee tables, vanities and tons of lil speciality items along the way.…

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  • Picture Frame with Stand

    Picture Frame with Stand

    Not everything works out as you initially envisioned it, knowing when to abandon an idea and go with something else, doesn’t mean failure. Dena, a dear friend, asked me to make a picture frame as a gift. She didn’t describe how she wanted the frame to look, the woods to use, or anything about the…

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  • 2 Custom Vanities

    2 Custom Vanities

    Kristi and I had an addition added on to our home, our contractor, Chris of Graves Design and Remodeling was awesome and we are very happy with our new sunroom/ conservatory :). Chris took note of some of my woodworking and when he needed a rush job for 2 custom vanities, he gave me a…

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  • A Plant Wheelbarrow

    A Plant Wheelbarrow

    Made of Sapelle and Maple, this was more of a fact learning mission to see how workable the wood that I’ll be using for our dining room table is.

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  • Custom Cabinets with Shelves

    Custom Cabinets with Shelves

    A friend (Ali) reached out to me with a few drawings, the goal? To make better use of the space beside her fireplace. We exchanged ideas, me sending her an ideas from Sketchup and she would send back another drawing, and soon enough we settled on a plan and started the build. I worked on…

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  • Console Table

    Console Table

    Judy needed a table to hold her television, and all the electronics that go with it. She sent me a drawing of what she was looking for along with the dimensions. Going over the plans with her, she asked if I could make the top and base contrast each other for a two toned look,…

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  • Repairing Antique Child’s Rocking Chair

    Repairing Antique Child’s Rocking Chair

    When a young adult sits in a rocking chair that was made for a child, then add that it was probably built, generations ago, bad things can happen. We have all been there, things break, however some things have sentimental value. These items are not discarded. They are repaired to be loved, treasured, and rocked…

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  • Wall Art, reclaimed wood with resin

    Wall Art, reclaimed wood with resin

    Often I’m asked to make something, be it as small as a baseball holder to as large as a built in cabinet, I try to make everyone happy. I made this for me. Now this piece is hanging in a dear friends office and that makes me very happy.

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  • Mardi Gras Picture Frame

    Mardi Gras Picture Frame

    A wonderful Christmas from Kristi’s sister, gave me an opportunity to make a frame with some amazing hardwoods. What was the present? A limited edition print by Terrance Osborne, thanks Jenny! As soon as I opened it I started thinking of how I would make the frame and then of wood types to use. Purple…

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  • Shou Sugi Ban Plant Stand

    Shou Sugi Ban Plant Stand

    My favorite projects are when clients give me free will to create. My goal in these circumstances is create a unique piece that meets their needs is functional and perhaps, be a conversation starter (in a good way). This post is all about a simple plant stand, that I hope will stand out. Johnny; who…

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  • Entryway Bench

    Entryway Bench

    A bench to sit on and leave your shoes behind. Made of pine this simple design is perfect for small entryways the long flowing lines is attractive to the eye and very stable. It can be easily modified to any size, plus it looks great sitting just underneath one of my coat racks 🙂

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  • Ethan Allen Chair Rebuild

    Ethan Allen Chair Rebuild

    I recently got a text from a neighbor (Ashley) saying: “No rush, were not entertaining any time soon but we would love to have our dining room chair repaired.” To which I replied, “How broken is it…?” It was really broken with a vital section missing. I figured I could not make it any worse.…

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  • Coat Rack with Swiveling Arms

    Coat Rack with Swiveling Arms

    One of my most popular builds! This coat or hat rack features arms that fold up when not in use, it’s pretty neat and gets a lot of comments when people first use it. I made my first one more out of necessity, I run a dojo and my students needed a place to hang…

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  • Lawn Mower Caddy

    Lawn Mower Caddy

    A few years back after nearly falling through the floor of my shed I decided to build a new space and to make it big enough to also double as a woodworking shop. Not thinking that I would ever do a lot of woodworking I decided on the shop size, and made it big enough…

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  • Kristi’s End Tables

    Kristi’s End Tables

    My wife, who has been home now for almost a year, started a simple conversation with her friend Jennifer who is an interior designer with Haven Home Solutions. Which lead to overhauling our living room and plenty of honey do projects for me. Now mind you, I completely enjoyed each and every one of these…

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  • Cutting Boards

    Cutting Boards

    Kristi and I enjoy having people over, and as you know everything revolves around the kitchen, and the kitchen is centered around the cutting board. I use many hardwoods in my cutting boards, from maple, walnut, ash, red oak, white oak, maghony, purple heart, cherry and padauk. I love combining these woods with their natural…

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  • Picnic Table

    Picnic Table

    I love the outdoors and I grew up eating burnt hot-dogs and burgers with family and friends, all centered around a picnic table. A friend of mine wanted a solid picnic table so I set to it, it made for a fun weekend build.

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  • Twin Auburn Diploma Frames

    Twin Auburn Diploma Frames

    When a couple trust you to make frames for their college diplomas, you actually do measure everything twice! I started with mahogany and maple and ended with 2 identical frames. I met Melissa and Joe at one of our Jefferson Manor neighborhood events where I told them about my small woodworking shop. They reached out…

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  • Family Planner

    Family Planner

    I made this magnetic / cork board for a close friend, as a surprise father’s day present. I started the build before the metal section had arrived, trusting the measurements from the web site, so obviously when it arrived it was 1/8 of an inch wider than expected. I’m not a metal shop so I…

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  • Ambrosia Maple Coffee Table

    Ambrosia Maple Coffee Table

    I was at Colonial Hardwoods picking up some rough lumber for another project and ran across some ambrosia maple. I took a quick photo, texted it to Kristi and to my sister, they both replied back quite quickly. Kristi with “Yes! I see my new desk” and Sheerie with “Hey can you make me a…

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  • Marble Display Case x6

    Marble Display Case x6

    A major project for me was to make 6 wooden briefcases and it was my first job for a commercial client. Rugo Stone, reached out to me and needed a way to display and transport marble samples. The case needed to be strong, durable and visually appealing. I chose white oak, which has a beautiful…

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  • Cedar Entry Shelf

    Cedar Entry Shelf

    I built this for a friend who wanted to get his family’s shoes under control. He gave me the needed dimensions and that he needed it to set flush to the wall with a notch for the floor molding. I considered the space and the activities of the family (they hike, cycle and spend quality…

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  • Custom Vanity

    Custom Vanity

    I was contacted by someone from our neighborhood who found me from the Jefferson Manor Facebook page. She needed a custom vanity made and she needed it on a deadline. If you have been in our home or any in our neighborhood (some 500 homes) you will soon realize that they all have the same…

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  • Walnut Monitor Riser

    Walnut Monitor Riser

    I was approached by Nick to make his home work environment both ergonomically better and aesthetically pleasing. Knowing that his wife is a professional interior designer I obviously wanted to bring my “A” game. Nick gave me very precise measurements and he wanted walnut. I love working with walnut and I had a nice figured…

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  • Smores Caddy

    Smores Caddy

    When someone approaches a woodworker, and says I need a place for a small fire, some chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallows, and I want you to use excotic hardwoods. The woodworker has just made a new friend. I used Zebra wood, maple and walnut to create this unique Smores Caddy. If you would also like…

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  • Picture Frame for wall mounted TV

    Picture Frame for wall mounted TV

    We recently moved the TV to a new location, we also recently did a full living room remodel (more on that later). Wanting to get the television as tight to the wall as possible, we upgraded the wall mount to the thinnest one we could find. The new location is near a passthrough to the…

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  • Ikea hack-Cherry and Walnut top

    Ikea hack-Cherry and Walnut top

    For simple storage ideas it’s hard not to look at Ikea. It’s also is difficult for me to stomach plastic furniture. Here I used cherry with walnut to create an aesthetically pleasing “shell” around a much needed foyer storage solution.

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  • Executive Desk

    Executive Desk

    Designing this desk with the client (Rebecca) was easy. She knew the size and wood type, the rest was up to me. I had fun “interviewing” her and finding out what would and would not work. Discovering that there was a cat, who loves to nap near her while she was working, gave me the…

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  • Walnut Waterfall Table

    Walnut Waterfall Table

    How this table came to be? I received a chat message from someone who had met Kristi and I during one of our neighborhoods home and garden tours. I often open up my woodworking shop to show people around (I love showing off my woodworking shop) Anyway; a lil over a year after our meeting,…

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