Goetsch-Winckler built in table. Modular design?

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dtc
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Post by dtc »

peterm brought up Mrs. Nancy Willey in this post.
I know a Turkish kilim collector/dealer in NYC who spent weekends and summered on Long Island. He lived in close proximity to Mrs. Willey, and he would have tea with her from time to time and the conversation about living in a home designed by Wright came up. She admitted that she enjoyed living in Wright's design at that time but was also very comfortable in her present Salt box house on Long Island. She remembered the Wright house as always being cold.

From living in a unique precursor of the usonian, some say the first... to living in literally a box, both were fine with Mrs. Willey.

jmixon
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Post by jmixon »

As far as finish is concerned, does anyone know how he finished most of his Usonian tables? The dining tables?

peterm
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Post by peterm »

Here is a previous thread which might help you:

http://www.savewright.org/wright_chat/v ... 64&start=0

It seems that Wright specified shellac followed by paste wax. For a dining tabletop to truly be protected, that doesn't strike me as being enough, unless you are extremely careful. At our Lamberson house, we had glass tops cut to the size of the top to protect the rather thin and extremely soft redwood veneer. It works well, but is not the prettiest solution... If you were to use solid wood tops, oil or shellac, followed by wax would probably be sufficient, especially because any damage could later be repaired by sanding. With veneered plywood, I would consider satin polyurethane, varnish, or shellac with multiple coats for the tops and edge banding, with shellac and wax for everything else.

jmixon
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Post by jmixon »

Shellac is something I have no experience with. I am interested though it looks, from what I've seen, to be very nice coloring and shine to it, and easy to apply. You have to buy it with a certain color however? Or is there just a colorless shellac that will simply respond to the cherry veneer? The veneer is really paper thin, so I am very worried about scratching it.

jmixon
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Post by jmixon »

How about an oil based poly? 3 coats?

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Sounds about right. Remember that your cherry looks quite pink when freshly sanded, and will turn brighter with a clear coat (you can test that look by spreading some volatile thinner on it). But sunlight darkens and yellows the color noticeably, over time -- which may be what you're aiming for as you look at the existing cherry counters elsewhere in the home. So, a clear finish will bring you to that color, in a year or so.

I'd start with satin finish. You should be able to alter the sheen with steel wool or Scotchbrite, if you're not happy with the patina. Make an experiment board of scrap cherry, and duplicate the steps as you finish your table.

SDR

jmixon
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Post by jmixon »

SDR wrote:The G/W millwork drawing published in "Affordable Dreams" shows a 2 x 3-foot "sectional table" with the note "six required." The tops and support are identical to those of the fixed table; the top is 7/8" plywood and the mitered edge is 1 3/4" high. I find no note about the connection hardware, if any.


Image


The photo linked above illustrates the issue encountered with tables to be pushed together and used as one: the irregularities found in many a floor mean that the tables don't align well with each other. Hardware to overcome this problem could be devised. The standard locking hardware for tables with leaves is similar to a sash lock, but with the advantage that it clamps the leaves together; pegs drilled into one side of each leaf mate with matching holes in the opposite edge. This visible device may not be considered acceptable in the case of these sectional tables with their finished edges.

SDR
SDR, do you have the high rest scan of this image? I can't read a lot of the dimensions, especially on the pedestals and uprights of each section of table, and the angle.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

No, that's about as good as it gets. The reproduction is neither large nor clear. As for the angle, you can copy that directly from the drawing -- without knowing initially what the numerical value is. Indeed, knowing the overall dimensions -- the small table is 2 x 3 feet in plan, and 27 3/4" high -- you can enlarge the drawing(s) and duplicate the proportions, to arrive at a very close reading of the design.

SDR

Audrey
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Post by Audrey »

Did you ever build the tables inspired by those at the Goetsch-Winckler?

Most of the time we use 3 of the 4 tables for dining. Yes, they are meant to simply be pushed next to each other, but in reality, if you're not careful and lean in at the wrong spot, you will find your dinner in your lap! The previous owner attached small C-clamps underneath the tables and we do the same.

As seen in original photos, we push the remaining table section against the brick wall adjacent to the kitchen.

For large parties we sometimes arrange the tables around the room. They remain fairly stable if pushed securely against a wall.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Thanks for that note, Audrey. Are your tables the original set built for the house ?

One thing to be said for three-legged tables is that they won't rock when resting on an uneven plane -- typically in an outdoor setting. But the three feet of the Goetsch-Winckler sectional tables are awfully close to each other, relative to the size and weight of the top. The C-clamps are the perfect solution, as they won't mar any visible part of the table and are quickly removed when necessary.

SDR

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Mr Mixon could improve the stability of his tables by elongating the central fin, to move its foot further from the other two. I think Mr Wright would not object to this minor and much-needed amendment to his design.

Image

SDR

Unbrook
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Built in Table

Post by Unbrook »

I have been rereading this thread and would like to make certain that I am understand what is being said. At GW are any of the tables actually built-in?
At Weltzheimer, the dining tables are all free standing. I have always understood that this was key to the use of the Great Room space. The tables could be used for dining or as an end table (Pope Leighey shows this). They could be used as one surface or separated for increased dining seating. They could be taken outside to the terrace for alfresco meals. Thus the one large room can serve many different purposes.

This is a key point in understand Wright. The room was not meant to be static,
but would be arranged per each use. Am I misunderstanding the intent?

SDR
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Post by SDR »

That is correct, with some caveats. Usonian furniture provisions vary from house to house. At Goetsch-Winckler, two tables are built in in the main space, one near the kitchen and one near the large windows. These are of identical dimension as to width (thirty-six inches) and are identically detailed. Free-standing additions to these tables, each twenty-four by thirty-six inches, with legs matching those of the built-in tables, are provided on the furniture drawing sheet, labeled "Sectional table" with the note that six are "required." These can be used independently, or they can be added to the built-in tables to increase their size.

Since the natural and normal dining-seat place is two feet wide (more or less), each of these loose tables was apparently intended to seat two additional diners.

Mr Wright intended these "sectional tables" to simply be pushed up against the each other, as required. In the architect's mind -- any and I suspect many architects' minds -- materials used in their constructions arrive at the building site straight, flat, and perfectly planar, just as they appear on the drawings. Poured floors are likewise perfectly flat. In that ideal world, objects of identical height will of course meet others of their kind without a problem; a smooth and unbroken plane will result. Would that this were so, in the real world !

SDR

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