How I Like To Work

The purpose of this document is to introduce new clients to the ways I like to work. Nothing is set in stone, this is just a framework from which we can begin to understand the process and anticipate what is to come.

When I begin a new commission, I like to meet with the client to discuss the project. At this meeting I am gathering the clues and inferences that will lead to ideas and possibilities. Sketches and pictures you have collected can be helpful. We can look at wood samples and pictures of details from other projects. We can discuss your hopes and dreams.

Dimensions are important. If we are designing a display cabinet for an object, I will take careful measurements of the object. I may sketch and take pictures for reference. For a dining set, the room size is important, as is the number of diners to be accommodated. While the finished piece is designed and fabricated by myself, I like to think of a commission as a collaboration, which reflects the unique character of the client.

At the end of this meeting, if we are to proceed, I will ask for a design fee. This fee is usually between two and five hundred dollars, depending on the complexity of the project. This will be applied to the cost of the final piece.

After our meeting, I will make an initial drawing and sometimes a scale model of my proposal. I find scale models helpful when a drawing can’t get across what a small detail will look like or if the three dimensional shape of a piece is hard to translate from a simple drawing. We may refine our ideas with a few drawings.

On larger or more complex pieces, I may build a full size mockup of the project. This gives me a chance to work with the proportions of a piece and how different elements relate to each other. In the case of a chair for instance, a mockup can tell us if a chair that looks good as a drawing also fulfills it’s most important function, comfort. A mockup can also give us an idea of what a finished piece will look like in your home.

After we have finalized the design and picked a suitable wood and finish, I will give you a bid for the cost of the project. This may include the cost of crating, shipping/ delivery, and any special installation that may be required. I usually request that a deposit of 50% be paid to begin construction.

As I am building a Piece of furniture, my goal is to stay open to the possibilities that present themselves as I am working. When choosing wood for a piece, the tone of the wood may call for a doorframe to be lighter in weight. The grain pattern may want a different curve. Not a radical change, just a response to the material.

I encourage my clients to take the opportunity to visit the shop during construction, if possible. I enjoy showing the process, joinery and other details that may be unseen in the finished piece.

At the time of delivery I ask to be paid for the balance of the project, unless prior arrangements have been made. I am happy to work out a payment plan on larger projects.

I serve those who desire the refinement and attention to detail not available in production furniture, but realized by the hand of an artist.

Thank you for choosing me to be your woodworker,
Jay T. Scott