One-of-a-kind Boxes

In the early 1980s Tom was commissioned to build a pair of historically accurate dollhouses for a couple very involved with historic preservation.

That project, and his own personal interest in early American architecture, led him to create a series of boxes based on barns and utility buildings. Apple-orchard sheds and covered bridges became jewelry boxes. Boathouses and horse barns became blanket chests, liquor cabinets, and desks.

Each piece in this architectural furniture series is built in the shape of the building and painted to look like the real thing. Some way or another each piece tells a little story: it could be the scene inside the building, peering through the building onto the surrounding landscape, or a feature of the base supporting the piece that gives a snapshot of country life.

Traditional joinery techniques such as hand-cut dovetails and mortise and tenon joints are used to construct these boxes. Handmade hardware is used where appropriate. Whether it’s a horse barn, a junkyard shed, or a country store, these pieces are all high-quality functional pieces of furniture, although as the series evolves each new piece becomes more a work of art.

Commissions welcome.

Other Custom Furniture

North Fork Woodworks offers custom furniture for inside your home. Whether it’s building a circular stair, figuring out a Charles Rennie Mackintosh chair, or how to make hand-cut dovetails look like miniature logs, Tom Dahlke loves the challenge of tough design problems.