From farmhouse to fine furniture
Lavarnway Designs is owned and operated by myself, Karen Lavarnway. I am a professional firefighter in Northern Virginia and carry with me the desire to serve the community as well as with every piece of furniture created. As a wife and mother I put the care and attention into everything I make as if it were for my own family.
At Lavarnway Designs I am proud of my wood creations and enjoy delighting people with the perfect piece of furniture to highlight any area of your home. From sprawling farmhouse tables to delicately intricate dressers, everything is tailored to your needs and style. The wood for your furniture is sourced locally. The fine cuts, sanding, staining and staging are all done locally and with an eye towards personal service. You will be involved at every stage and I could not be more happy about it.
Drawer fittings. They slide perfectly. I opted for no metal slides on this one. I’ll wax the sides and part of the bottom. Nothing else needed! Ever try this way? #waxonwaxoff
Imagine the tables you could make with this. Ever used a slab of this size? @localwoodva
Drawers galore. How do you tend to construct yours? #ilovedovetails
Full disclosure, I bought these feet already turned. With some stuff, you’re better off outsourcing. It was cheaper for me to buy these than it was to spend my time turning wood-something that is not my specialty. Have you ever done this? I don’t do it often, but when it comes to turning, I’m comfortable leaving it to the professionals. #dresserformydaughter
Do you hand cut your dove tails or use a router and jig? #dresserformydaughter
The seamless miter. How satisfying is that? #dresserformydaughter
No new projects for a few weeks while I enjoy family and a break. In the mean time I’m going to highlight a dresser I built for my daughter (seen in my post yesterday) in 2014. Here you can see where I’ve routed in the front of each drawer. Loving the simple design. What do you think?
Hope everyone has a #supersaturday. I’m at work for 48 hours then off for the holidays. What plans do you have? Anyone traveling anywhere exciting?
#tbt to one of my favorite builds to date. This gorgeous 10’ chestnut table was made with 8/4 thick boards. Don’t find those too often. I buy them all up whenever I do. Ever work with chestnut? Anything is large?
Even wood shavings can make for a pretty photo. Anyone know of a good use for these other than garbage? #useallthescraps
This awesome find may be my favorite Christmas gift ever for my kids! Who’s done something similar for theirs? #spoiled
Women being badass in the wood shop since the 1700’s. #getitgirl
Could you cut straight on the line with a handsaw to create your boards?
How’s that for a tool box? I think I need to build one for myself.
I’ve recently been posting about old tools. Check out these I found while in Williamsburg, VA. Have you ever been?
How often are you using antique or older tools? Do you know what they date back to?
I tend to use a drill to take out bulk. Lots of folks on here however have said they prefer to just chisel it all away. Which one are you?
This is how I’m holding the glass in, however, many folks have said they prefer a bead of silicone. What do you think?
Adding some glass to a door. Would you do it any different?
A little carve job on the CNC and one of my favorite work assignments to date. Here’s the patch from my full time job. #ladyfireman Are you hobbyist or full time woodworker?
Removing some bulk with a drill. What do you think? #useitorloseit
The beginnings of some perfectly straight edges. Would you do it the same way? #loveatfirststrike
Same mallet, different angle. I use a drill (and sometimes a dress press) to remove a bulk of the material, then clean it up with a chisel. Do you use the same process? Any other tricks to share? #tooltuesday
Do you have a certain kind of chisel that’s special to you? I love the set handed down from my dad. #tooltuesday. Also a special time getting to learn from him in the shop.
When are you opting to use a curved blade verses a straight. Let’s share some knowledge. I prefer to use a slightly curved blade when I want to take off more wood than a standard flat-edged plane can.
Ever have a need for a double biscuit? It’s hard to tell but this is some very thick walnut and I needed to level two boards with one another. They were too long and wide for just clamps to resolve the problem. What do you think?
Worked like a champ. Have you ever worked with walnut? Should a beautiful wood.
How often do you use an old Stanley plane?? #oldschooltools
Popped a loop. Have you ever had a wardrobe malfunction in the shop before?
These walnut boards are 3” thick. Will be gluing them up and using a few biscuits for alignment. I don’t want to loose the thickness by planing them down to correct for the slight warp. What do you think?
What do you see in my walnut knot? I see Popeye!!
When you buy a slab so big it takes multiple guys to help carry it. Thanks @localwoodva. #winning.
What’s the biggest slab you’ve ever worked with?
What’s the biggest slab you’ve ever bought? This guy was over 15’ from @localwoodva.
What a mess, but I needed a break. And check out these shop shoes. Do you wear one certain pair of shoes in your shop?
How do you hit those tiny crevices and angles when staining? I sometimes need to use a small paintbrush, especially with reclaimed wood that has cracks and holes all over. #nooksandcrannies
The handles to these doors are slightly tapered on the inside. I’m cutting in a small bevel to help with the install and ensure the handles sit flush. What do you think? Would you do it any different?
It’s Black Friday and I’m cleaning up the edges of this hole so the door handle sits flush. In my early twenties I would camp out in front of Best Buy, however, nowadays I wait around to find good deals online. Which do you prefer? When was the last time you stood in line for hours in twenty degrees? #memories
Taking some measurements to install four of these door handles. Love the recessed handles for the back of the doors. The low profile allows for plenty of space between the door and wall when it’s open. Have you worked with something like this? Do you always put a handle on both sides of your sliding barn doors?
Here’s the final photo of a project I did while assigned to Fire Station 24. This is a 8’ wide by 7.5’ tall board showcasing the personnel assigned to the fire house. Now obviously the photos aren’t on here yet however, if you scroll through my previous post, you’ll get a glimpse at a few of them. How do you think it turned out?
Sometimes you need a little help from your friends. This monster project I did in June 2017 was a heavy one. Luckily I have some fabulous coworkers who were willing to lend a hand. One even drove to the shop an hour from the fire house to help me deliver. Do you find you deliver stuff yourself or are your customers picking up? The further along I get with my business, the more I appreciate adding movers into the budget.
I’m out of the shop through the 19th so in the mean time I’m going highlight an older project I did while assigned to Fire Station 24. This will become a 8’ wide by 7.5’ tall board showcasing the personnel assigned to the fire house. Using the Miniwax that Home Depot no longer sells. I love this color. Do you have a color preference?
I’m out of the shop through the 19th so in the mean time I’m going highlight an older project I did while assigned to Fire Station 24. This will become a 8’ wide by 7.5’ tall board showcasing the personnel assigned to the fire house. So here I am staining this big sucker. I used Minwax but Home Depot no longer sells it. From now on I think I’ll be using General Finishes. What do you use for stain?
I’m out of the shop through the 19th so in the mean time I’m going highlight an older project I did while assigned to Fire Station 24. Gluing up the columns. What would you use to assemble these? Solely glue, biscuits, nails, or screws?
This thing was so big, it’s almost impossible to get a good photo of it while it’s laying down. I’m out of the shop through the 19th so in the mean time I’m going highlight an older project I did while assigned to Fire Station 24. This will become a 8’ wide by 7.5’ tall board showcasing the personnel assigned to the fire house. In this photo I’ve added the columns and bottom shelf. Flip through. What do you think of it so far?
Here’s the front door to the tiny goat house. Later I’ll post the other wall. Why do you think? Have you ever made a tiny house?
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