Tom McLaughlin Project Gallery
Master Craftsman Tom McLaughlin has been building custom furniture for three decades.
Tom McLaughlin Project Gallery
Master Craftsman Tom McLaughlin has been building custom furniture for three decades. His latest project, one of his Signature Side Chairs, is featured in issue 204 (May 2011) of WOOD Magazine. Browse through this gallery for a look at some of Tom's other great projects built through the years in his New Hampshire shop, McLaughlin Woods, where he also teaches woodworking classes to the public. You can learn more about Tom, his work, and his school at 603-783-9700 or online at mclaughlinwoods.com.
Upholstered Easy Chair, back view
Tom loves to see the response people have when they walk around to the back of this chair. The back is a web of arches and compound curves with the rare red and dark swirling figure of the amboyna burl the perfect contrast to the mahogany panels.
Upholstered Easy Chair, front view
Using compound curves and extraordinary materials, Tom aimed to create a stylish and contemporary alternative to the easy chairs of the 18th century, reflecting an Art Deco influence.
Honduran mahogany, Cuban mahogany veneer, amboyna burl, ebony lines, hard maple, poplar; 29" deep x 35 1/2" wide x 46" high.
Bold curves combined with decorative restraint, gave this traditional form its contemporary flair. The back legs are hinged using hand-cut knuckle joints to allow them to swing back and support the opened top.
Cuban mahogany veneer, Honduran mahogany, ebony, maple, wenge, poplar; 17 1/4" deep x 38" wide x 30" high (34 1/2" deep when open)
Pier Table in G Major
Tom likes to compare great 18th century furniture to classical music symphonies: "Architecture is like frozen music." This side table is strongly influenced by the Duncan Phyfe style.
Cuban mahogany veneer, Honduran crotch mahogany, ebony accents, cast brass feet; 17 3/4" deep x 37 3/4" wide x 29 1/2" high
Pier Table in G Major, carving detail
Jamaican master carver Clive Hamilton did all the carving for this table. This photo also captures the "on fire" iridescence of the crotch mahogany veneer on the top.
This writing desk was influenced by the design of the Easy Chair (slide #2). The exceptional Cuban mahogany veneer and amboyna burl create a dramatic effect on the sides and front.
Honduran mahogany, Cuban mahogany veneer, ebony lines, amboyna burl, white oak; 54" wide x 32" deep x 30" high
Rhapsody in Red Occasional Table
Inspired by the terraced gardens dug into the hilly countryside of Indonesia, this table's top takes on a life of its own, giving it an Art Deco feel. The ebonized table base is the same as that on the Pier Table in G Major (Slide #5).
Ebonized Honduran mahogany, Macassar ebony, amboyna burl, nickel-plated cast brass feet; 17 3/4" deep x 37 3/4" wide x 29 1/2" high
San Domingan Sunrise Sideboard
Tom says this sideboard is his favorite case piece that he's built. His aim was to minimize contrasting wood embellishments, common to 18th century versions, and use the material in a decorative way to dramatic effect. Not shown in this photo are the slide out shelves on each end that extend the serving area by another 30" in length overall.
Cuban and Honduran mahogany, poplar, maple, white oak, ebony; 22" deep x 61" wide x 38" high
Signature Side Chairs
These side chairs are a more complex extension, but similar in design, to the chair in the May 2011 issue of WOOD® magazine. The back rest is curved by laminating over a form to mimic a person's lower back. Vertically oriented ribbon mahogany veneer on the seat rails wraps over onto the top edge.
The spiral rope feature on the legs was carved and detailed by hand in a traditional manner. Crotch mahogany veneer was applied to the back splat, and the crest rail and seat rails are veneered with vertical ribbon mahogany, with ebony lines edging the bottom of the rails.
Solid Honduran mahogany, Cuban mahogany veneer, crotch mahogany veneer, ebony lines. 21" wide x 20" deep x 40" high
Walnut trestle table
This trestle style table was inspired by the refectory tables commonly found in monasteries. Beefy tusk tenons through the support legs, barely visible in the photo, provide a significant structural reinforcement to the center rail. The top is made from two 18"-wide boards. Tom and Clive Hamilton shared in the carving.
Solid walnut; 78" long x 34 1/2" wide x 29 3/4" high
Waugh tall clock
Tom custom-built this clock case to fit the 19th-century large Pinwheel clock movements (13 1/2" diameter face and pendulum). He turned the arch molding at the outboard faceplate on his lathe and then fit it to the case.
Honduran mahogany, Cuban mahogany veneer, poplar, white oak, vintage "wavy" glass
Weston center table
Tom's math background and interest in solving puzzles led him through this table design. The triangular vertical column's three concave panels are laminate-bent over a curved form, and then cut at the angles to join together and seat flat on the base platform.
Figured crotch makore, figured crotch yellow birch, figured crotch walnut, Cuban and Honduran mahogany, ebony; 38" diameter x 28" high