Craftsman: Kevin Brunner
Growing up in a home surrounded by early Canadian Pine Furniture has allowed Kevin to appreciate and admire furniture that was built by hand and made to last in both strength and design. It is these early pieces of Canadiana that have inspired his passion to build simplistic and clean designed furniture, using unique reclaimed century old lumber along with those proven traditional hand methods.
Kevin's pursuit of woodworking began as a child with the carving of wooden horses and ducks. In his twenties it progressed to restoring antique furniture and then eventually building his own Kitchen Table using wood salvaged from the attic of his sister’s 150 year old stone farm house. It was this first table that set him on the path of creating new pieces of furniture, knowing that one day these custom made pieces will become admired antiques themselves. Kevin has since graduated from the craftsmanship program at Rosewood Studio, one of North America’s premier woodworking schools. This has helped him further hone his skills in the art of fine woodworking and antique restoration and repair.
You can fulfill your dreams of owning an unique piece of furniture made from century old lumber by bringing your ideas to Kevin. The reclaimed antique lumber used to build the furniture comes old barns and houses that are being demolished. The antique lumber came from the slow growing old growth forests of Upper Canada and is unsurpassed in its strength, size, and quality. This old growth wood is very tight grained with few knots and has been able to dry and age for well over a hundred years. It has developed unique wear marks, character and patina of golden honey, dark reds and browns that cannot be found in todays lumberyards.
Kevin hand-picks the lumber to be used for each project. It is then cleaned, dried and the old square nails and other debris are removed. The wood is then laid out and studied to optimize the character of each board and cut to create the new piece of furniture. Traditional mortise and tenon joints are cut using hand chisels, with hand carved wooden pegs to hold the joints together. The dovetail joints are also created by hand using saws and chisels. These methods allow the wood to “breathe” giving room for the joints to expand and contract with the seasons. The final flattening and shaping of the furniture is done using hand planes, spoke shaves, scrapers, files, and chisels to optimize the character and detail of the century old wood. Kevin works with his clients to select their choice of hardware, which is often salvaged antique pieces, reproduction cast iron, and/or hand forged custom hardware from a local blacksmith. Each piece is finished using a hand-rubbed oil and varnish mix or an organic finish, with a bees wax top coat which provides a durable finish with a soft luster. Other finishes can be applied at the customer’s request.
After many years of combing through antique shops and markets and witnessing the hack jobs done to so many antiques, Kevin has realized that there is a need for someone to properly care for and restore damaged antique pieces. Kevin has worked on many antique pieces over the years and has learned a great deal about properly repairing, restoring and refinishing antiques. He has also graduated from the craftsmanship program for fine woodworking at Rosewood Studio, one of North America’s premier fine woodworking schools. He takes pride in returning antiques to their previous glory, so that the can be enjoyed for another hundred years. Whether it is your grandmothers rocking chair or that armoire you always thought of fixing up, you will find that Kevin’s attention to details, patience, thoroughness and use of traditional woodworking methods is your assurance that your family heirloom will be in good hands. If you have an antique in need of loving care please contact Kevin to discuss your needs and to layout a cost estimate for the required work.