These surprised us. We were stunned at the beauty of what came out of these crossties.
The gum (top pic) has a flame like appearance. The hickory (two middle pics) has its well-known dark and light striations and an interesting bit of bark seam. The hackberry (bottom pic) has thin dark thin lines coursing through it.
Once we get these down to a finished product, the colors and graining are going to be something truly amazing to behold.
Hmmmm. Now what shall we make from these? Let me know if you have a suggestion.
Thanks to Callie Engstrom with FME for the photo of our Wrong Side of the Tracks Conference Table installed in its new home. It’s not easy to see all of the detail on the table (detail shots here as well as an assembly video), but it just goes to show how well our work can fit in virtually any setting.
Callie and Eric Ibsen at FME along with Janet Rogers from Stacy & Witbeck were part of the team that designed and built the new world headquarters right on SF Bay for the light rail engineering firm Stacy & Witbeck.
We were thrilled to be included in their plans and see the project happen. This is just one of a total of three pieces that they installed - 2 conference tables and our signature Sleepers Coffee Table for the lobby.
Boxing It Up
Things have been going well for us in many regards at Rail Yard Studios.
We’ve gotten better and more efficient by planning and adding some process to the mix – that’s just part of what Rob Humphreys’ experience has brought to the table. He focuses on creating bottlenecks in our process and then figuring out how to eliminate them. That’s led us to add new equipment to the shop among other things.
Here’s a prime example that made our lives easier and made things better for our clients as well:
We had been custom-making each crate as we shipped out. That worked just fine while we were learning and getting up to speed. But as we got more proficient at our design and building process, that became our biggest bottleneck. It was slowing us down getting product out the door to our very patient clients.
So we surveyed our product line. We were able to take our main designs and place them into 4 groups and thus 4 primary crate sizes. So now, 90% of our product will fit into 1 of 4 crate sizes. Trust me, it sure beats building a built from scratch crate each time.
Custom orders still are subject to the one-off crates, but they often times will fit into 1-2 of our standard crate sizes (yeah, like we planned it that way). Suffice to say, it is a huge improvement from where we were.
And just to make it a bit sweeter, we managed to get our branding on the new crates with all the time we saved!
Ambient Fall Lighting
The ambient lighting in the early evening this time of year produces some amazing photos with no help from filters or any retouching.
LOVE the shadows on the rough cut timbers. And also LOVE that the shop has been cleaned up. Ready for us to get some work done in the AM.
Nice work Zach!
Ears. Ears. And more ears.
If memory serves correctly, it was Pop who first named these pieces “ears” – slices of rail that are just thick enough to hold a bunch of different things.
These are a key component in our wine racks, coat racks, bike racks and in our upcoming gun racks and guitar racks.
Looks like we are going to be busy – very busy.
Sunset on the Rail Yard Studios Shop
Simply loved the way the lighting was coming into the studio at the end of the day and snapped these few shots.
No filter - just a simple iPhone picture - really.
Yes, we left the shop less than entirely clean, but the next day it was cleaned up - thanks to Zach!
A handful of mainline crossties met the woodmizer today. They went from 7” x 9” timbers to 1-1/4” thick boards.
The results were ASTOUNDING!
Hickory almost always impresses us with its beauty.
But we were not prepared for the amazing grain in the gum, sycamore, soft maple and even the hackberry. The photos do not do them justice. Some of these look like they are simply on fire.
Heavily Distressed Double Track Credenza
Pop used to see the timbers like these and say, “We can’t do anything with that.”
But now we take even the most severe imperfections and turn them into something amazing.
This one works great as an entry hall table, a tv console or many other ways you might like to use it.
We Get by with a Little Help from Our Friends
Jim Frazier came by to help us get some of the equipment up and running in the shop. He’s the kind of guy that knows soooo much about this equipment. He had one piece of machinery that had been left outside for the better part of a decade – he broke it down, threw an old Navy surplus motor on it and rebuilt it.
We are deeply appreciative to him. Here are a few shots of Jim at the Meber bandsaw. It’s an Italian machine we bought from a cabinet-maker who was closing up shop. It takes a minute to come up to speed, but once it gets its momentum up, it is a hoss of a machine. And much like a train, it takes a looooong time to wind down.
How We Ship Things
We get quite a few questions that start out something like “How in the world do you move that?”
Great question. Now you can see the answer.
All of our pieces are built to easily assemble and disassemble for shipping, moving and storage. This shows one of our most popular pieces, the Sleepers coffee table, both crated for shipping and set up for showing.