Finishing the Fretwork : Part Two!

Part Two! It’s like “The Empire Strikes Back” of Fretwork. When Rob from Wabashiki Woodworks makes a long run that requires multiple panels, he uses a finial at the point of connection. He sent me this picture, and asked me which one I liked the best – the answer was very quickly the second one!

The first one feels…. aggressive? Like it’s going to come down from the ceiling and attack me. The third is too plain, and the last is too big.

To give me an idea of what it would look like, he sent another picture just showing how it looks on the bottom of some wood – and I still liked it the best. I loved that I got to help make these choices! It’s not always easy for me to give up “control” on a project – mainly meaning that we don’t hire a lot out. So this process is different, but SO FUN.

Work kept going with the panel builds as well. 

I LOVE this picture. The lighting is fantastic, and it shows how the scrollwork is cut out. So cool!

I also love seeing how the pieces are put together – the spindles coming out of the bottom of the balls is such a great way to understand how everything is connected together. 

Overhead shot!


Rob also would overlay one panel on top of the other, to make sure that everything lined up and the builds were the same.

Double Decker Deliciousness!

Here’s a fun video of the process!

The two side pieces together! It is MASSIVE.

To join these two panels, Rob had the idea to incorporate the build date of the house. I picked out some fonts I liked, and printed them out as large as I could. This one won the job!

I was nervous that it would feel too heavy with that solid wood, so Rob’s brilliant solution was to do some scrolling around it to lighten it. He sent a few ideas, and we played a bit with symmetry. 

Eventually, we settled on this idea, with symmetrical scrolling.


And here’s how it joins the pieces together!

Rob also started playing with ideas for the stairwell. I liked both of these, but felt like they would be too low as you went up the stairs.So he kept thinking on that. (The result is so much better than I thought it would be – just WAIT!). 

Some finished pictures! Well, pictures of the completed project without the finish.

WAIT. Did I just realize that “finish” does not mean stain and shellac but it actually means COMPLETION?

My mind just exploded. Guys, sometimes I’m not that smart.  

Rob came over – he wanted to see how the pieces fit, and if we had any bow to the top beam. There was a little bit of a bow, but miraculously for an old house, it wasn’t TOO bad. We’re lucky that Rob is so close to be able to do this. He said it’s really helpful with a long span like to know up front where any unevenness might be.  

And now….. ACTUAL FINISH! Who is SO EXCITED for this.

Me.  I’m excited. 

This is going to be AMAZING, y’all.


  1. Absolutely gorgeous! What a skilled craftsman. Loved the video. How wonderful for you that this has been such a collaborative process.

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