Guild of Oregon Woodworkers

7634 SW 34th Avenue Portland, OR 97219
David Miller
Business Name: David Allen Miller
Location: Lake Oswego, OR 97035
Phone: 503-314-2846 

David is a relative newcomer to the professional ranks of custom furniture makers in the Portland area. A retired Electrical Engineer, David began his second career designing and building custom furnishings. Although he still does occasionally design and build custom cabinets, his main focus is designing and crafting functional art pieces using wood as the primary media.

I don t really like a lot of straight lines, conventional joinery, or rigorous rules of design or fabrication. If I just let myself go, designs tend to follow really exciting paths! This becomes obvious when you look at some of his more recent pieces based on free form laminating; Hobbit Hutch, and most recently a chair called Loose Screw he designed and fabricated for an auction to aid Portland s Community Warehouse.

I m most comfortable in the world of a one-man shop environment. I spent a long time managing and have never found it nearly as much fun as building! On bigger jobs the opportunity to glean some knowledge or build on ideas from other pros sort of offsets the downside of the management role. Like most woodworkers, his preference is working on a piece to it s completion. There is such a sense of satisfaction when the project is finished, and you truly like the results! The down-side is letting the finished piece go sometimes.

A lot of his current work takes designs from common everyday bits of hardware. I designed a wall shelf that looks like a picture hanger with a screw holding it up to the wall. It was the screw head that really set it off as an obvious strain of whimsy. I ve used the screw head, and hand cut screw threads on several pieces since. It s sort of become a trademark style for me. But it s really the use of everyday shapes I m working on. They can evoke some vivid memories and bring a bit of a smile now and then.

David designs, builds, and finishes more modern pieces of furniture, as well as functional art pieces. For more information or to consult on a particular project, please feel free to call or email him. 

Screwed Up

Made from American Cherry, Maple, Birch, Purpleheart, and African Walnut, it s finished with several hand rubbed coats of boiled linseed oil, Polyurethane, and Tung oil. Generally not even seen, hand cut screw threads on the shaft of the screw itself are a mark of the attention to detail for this piece.

Each Screwed Up piece is numbered, signed and dated by the artist.

Hobbit Hutch

The Hobbit Hutch was the first free form lamination project I tried. Influenced by the Lord of the Ring trilogy, the design form is more organic with a low sweeping profile.

Fabricated with Black Walnut, Birch, and clear vertical grain Fir. The main body is formed by laminating dozens of individual Walnut slats, each shaped to create the gentle curving shape. The back has a natural void centered in body accenting the overall feel of the piece.

The legs are attached using removable pegs so the entire piece can be more easily packed and moved.

The Hobbit Hutch is finished with multiple light coats of Polyurethane, with a final sanding at 1200 grit.

It currently retains residence with the Artist who, so far, has failed to part with it.

Loose Screw

Loose Screw is another example of lamination to create free-form structures.

The chair seat has a total of 57 individual Cherry wood slats, shaped and laminated together into the gently curving form expected from a comfortable chair.

The seat is supported on two supporting rails made from American Black Walnut. Pegs hold the seat in place on the rail structure.

The base is designed to resemble a galvanized pipe floor flange with a bit of pipe screwed into it. The rail structure is mounted to that with a rotating member. The seat swivels 360 degrees.

Careful examination of the base discloses 4 oversized wood screws which would hold the flange to the floor. In this case, one of the screws is loose .

Note: Loose screw was donated to the Portland Community Warehouse organization for an auction to raise money for their operations.

Custom Kitchen example

The examples shown were completed for a client in Oregon who had trouble getting anyone to make the trip to their home.

They wanted pull out pantry storage, large full extension drawers for large pots and pans, and door that would open like a curtain to allow access to all the upper shelves at one time. A bit of a challenge that turned out better than what they had hoped.

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