The BIG Door and Other LPO Happenings

The big door is gone. And none too soon!  It was outside, all wrapped up, when we had roaring winds and it is rather unbelievable that it wasn’t knocked over. When last we saw the door, in the ­­­­­­“What’s New” entry, it was a mere (though ginormous) surround, unfinished, in the wood shop. Now, here it is, complete with door, in all its glory.  How’s that for a front entry?

I would guess it is at least 12’ tall. It has really cool cast hardware, and custom dimpled clavos on the door and the hardware.

Here it is being crated:

(you never think of the fact that you have to transport these things). The door is wrapped with sheets of styrofoam to protect the finish during shipping, then encased in a crate, which is then wrapped against the weather. Here you can see how it is bolted onto the truck bed:

And up at the beginning of this posting, you can see it wrapped and ready to go! I think it went to Wyoming, so, unfortunately, I won’t be taking any installation pics of it any time soon.

In the same entry, I posted a picture of a cabinet that turns out to be a kitchen island. I think the evolution of a piece is so interesting. In the picture above we see the final finish, with bits of blue added, and the nice heavy countertop. Although I personally like a kitchen island with overhang for seating (people always say they feel as though they are watching a cooking show, sitting at my kitchen island), it’s nice that the front of the island is not obscured by bar stools.

The back is my favorite though, with the hardware and the detailing on the drawers.

This picture a bit blurry, and only the island has a countertop, but here you can see the island in context with the other kitchen cabinets.

Aside from the island, this is my favorite cabinet from this group of kitchen cabinets. It is a pantry cabinet. I like the heavy screen at the top and the swirl of the first antique carved panel.

Also in the “What’s New” entry, I mentioned that I had not seen any activity at the hawks’ nest in the giant crane, but I just must not have been looking at the right times. I heard the babies before I saw them. I was out in the yard on Monday and I heard this thin kind of cross between squawking and cawing. Mom was up there with the two chicks, and I watched them for a little while.

Then the dad came home:

You can see below that his mouth is open. He was not happy that I was there and he kept screeching at me or about me.

Whichever it was, the mom and the babies hunkered down and were no longer in view. On Thursday, a grey, overcast day, one of the chicks was really moving around. Kind of scary, since they are probably at least 50 feet off the ground.


Things are always being moved around in the raw material yard, as pieces are pulled to be incorporated into doors and cabinetry, or items are gathered for clients to choose elements they like. You never know what you are going to find out there, and Monday was no different.

I have no idea the reason for this gathering of table, bench and chairs, but it amused me. And it was a really good cloud day:

Sometimes I finally see things that have been there for a while. On Thursday I noticed this piece of Nuristani carving, mounted high at the top of a post. It looks like one of the big business signs on Cerrillos Road – advertising the raw material yard, I suppose.

The wood shop is the same, in that you never know what you are going to find, although there is more method to the madness there. I like to go in when the guys are at lunch, or after they have left for the day, partly because there is less sawdust in the air to interfere with pictures, but also because it is a little mysterious, like time has stopped. It is very quiet (normally it is quite loud – often from the distance of the front offices sounding like an angry hoard of bees) and pieces are on display in their unfinished state. Some are further along than others and it is obvious what they will become – a door, a kitchen or bath cabinet, etc. Others are at the beginning and I make a mental note to come back another time to see what they will become.

This piece is kind of in between – it is obvious it will be a door (interior? exterior?) or a gate, but its final form is not clear – we will have to come back to see where it is going.

When it was in the woodshop, I hurried passed the front entry shown above at a rough stage – after the antique material had been inlayed, but not refined – and made a mental note to come back to photograph it. The day got away from me and I forgot, and the next time I saw it, it had been refined and some of the finish applied. The transformation was dramatic, and I was really sorry that I had missed the opportunity to document the progress, particularly since it was a good illustration for a point made earlier in the “What’s New” entry, that antique wood takes the finish differently than newer wood. But, even though I missed the earlier shots and the door is almost finished, it deserves to be featured, since it is such a lovely door.

It incorporates intricate floral carving from an antique surround and a carved panel in the lower half. The kick plate is adorned with clavos that are nicely balanced with two clavos on either side of the arch at the top of the door (you will probably have to click on the full door photo to see the clavos details). The grillwork has curls, but they not so elaborate as to distract from the carved inlay. The finish is going through some revision, and if the difference is significant, I will post a pic of the finished product.


With the missed opportunity of that door in mind, I took this picture of a door in progress. If you click on the picture, you can see the detail of the different finishes on the antique material and the reclaimed Douglas fir. I will post pictures as the door progresses and you will be able to see the skill with which our finishers are able to blend and match patinas of these different woods of different ages. They really are amazing at what they do!

Here we have another dramatic front entry nearing completion. Soon to come will be glass and hardware, and possibly some grillwork.

It features some really nice antique material – carved columns, carved panels, fragments from elaborate door surrounds…a lot of history going on there…


This exterior door is Margie, Scott’s assistant’s favorite door. It is a very tall door, at least 10 or 12 feet, with substantial custom forged iron strapping at the edges. The peep is covered with beautiful antique iron work of a circular pattern.

The distinctive hand cast hardware complements the door. I love the details of the keyhole flap.


Speaking of hardware, I keep passing a door in the shipping area and I am always drawn to the handle. The door incorporates an antique Mexican door made of mesquite wood.

I don’t think the handle is antique, but it goes really well with the antique keyplate and other adornments on the door and it is just so solid! It has a slightly rough texture and is beefy. It is deceptively simple, working well with the solid mesquite of the door.

This is a cool door, set to become even cooler. The antique arched door is set into a square panel, and it is soon to be decked out with custom finished clavos.

Here they are, all lined up, drying in the first stage of finishing, a gold undercoat. Next they will get a distressed black finish, like the one on the right, shown below, and then be sealed.

I can’t wait to see how the doors looks when the clavos are installed. I will post a pic.

I will leave you with a picture I took while waiting for the hawks to do something. I like the horizontal line the Rail Runner tracks impose on the landscape.



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