My long-time client and patron Steve G ask me to make him a Tansu. This came about during a discussion in his kitchen. I told him I always wanted to build a Tansu style kitchen for someone.
A few weeks later, I heard from him. He is a really good artist. Super creative guy. The paintings in my previous blog posts are his ( I made the frames).
He sent me some drawings and I agreed I would build it down the road as I had several Shoji jobs already lined up.
I contacted him in October and by November, I had collected the deposit and ordered up all the Cherry I needed. The body of the Tansu is 5/4 Qtr Superior Grade Eastern Cherry.


It was ripped to random (3-5″ wide strips) mixed up and then glued back together again into 15″ x 8′ planks. These were then planed down to 1″ and sanded flat on the dimensional sander to 120 grit. This alone was over $2000.
No sooner than I started cutting up the planks; I was given 30 days notice from my long-time (8.5 yrs) landlord. They were going to make my shop space into offices and I was to get out. They would not budge on my moving out date.

Anyway I had 2 months of work to do in 30 days and I somehow managed to get it done and delivered to my finisher on my move out day.

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My client; Steve loves it, it’s just what he ask for (remember, he designed it).

To recap, this is Eastern Cherry framework and Local Alder for the drawer faces and drawers. These woods are very similar but different collors. The Cherry will get very dark, while the Alder stays a mellow tan. Makes for a beautiful contrast…

It’s 11″ deep, and is about 8′ x 8′. 100lb full extension dwr slides and Japanese tansu hardware from a Berkley CA company called Eastern Classics..

The paper-like insert in the shoji is the standard Warlon acrylic I always use in an off-white shade.

It took me another week to actually move out.


I moved to the only place I could find in a short timespan… the back half of a motorcycle repair shop in St Johns neighborhood. I like the folks I share it with. It needs a lot of work to get it right. When some jobs started coming around, I hustled to rearrange the space to work in. Instead of a “workshop”, I now call it “my studio” to try and give a cold windowless concrete tilt-up some class. More on that later.