the gift of music
This project is of very personal importance and meaning to the Branch family. The eldest Weimer son, Jaxon, had his 13th birthday this year—culturally that age is significant, but spiritually we believe that this is the age where boys start to develop in to young men, take on leadership in the family and are held to a higher accountability for their actions. We also like to see them grow and take pride in areas that they sense the Spirit has gifted them in; in Jaxon’s case this is music.
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6
From a very high level, building a guitar was seemingly a simple task. Shape the body and neck, connect the strings and there you have a guitar—not quite the case! There is a large amount of hardwiring and electronic programming that is involved in making an electric guitar, but by the grace of God we encountered a guy in a music shop next to where Jaxon takes music lessons. He gave us an idea that we were able to run with and create something to last him for years. We took the hardware of a guitar kit and crafted the body and neck out of Sapele, a Mahoghany substitute. We delivered the guitar to him on his birthday and his shock that it was able to be created by his father was priceless!
Creating this bar, made from cherry, was no small task. And not because it was such a large piece but because we knew that this would be the centerpiece of the client’s room. What made this even more special was that our client used to be in the bar industry and when renovating his house decided that he wanted a bar made just for him. We really wanted to exceed his expectations…so we went to work.
This 10 ft x 10 ft bar had plenty of cabinets for storage, along with a wine rack made specifically for this piece. It’s a 5 piece panel with mortise and tenon joinery so there’s no question as to whether it will last. With applied trim around the edges, this custom-made bar definitely stands out from the others.
For the finishing touches a custom foot rail and a granite counter top was added. Even though this bar was made for a home we definitely think it is restaurant quality and will last this family a lifetime. We hope this beautiful piece will be a place for gathering and laughter among family and friends.
Queen of a Bed
We love the challenge when clients come to us with something that hasn't been done before-- in this case a Queen-sized bunk bed! But not just a standard mattress-over-mattress and connecting ladder set-up, they wanted stairs with a drawer for storage, a slide for an adventurous way to get out of bed, a rock wall to climb up and fold out table that was large enough to covert to a second queen sized bed.
Strength and safety are always the number one priority whenever we build anything, but this project required extra attention. Mortise and tenon joinery were used throughout the project in all fixed applications for stability and strength. The slide was constructed with plywood and finished with white laminate to ensure a smooth descent.
We are not a team of engineers and the convertible bed-to-table took us for a wild ride! We wanted to provide a product that was user friendly, functional and most importantly--safe! Utilizing a scissor lift method, we used pivot points and locking hardware to keep the table sturdy and in place while in use but easily adjustable to convert from work to sleep space.
We finished with the stairs, which had extra storage space built in. Since the client indicated the main use of the bed would be for smaller children, we took every precaution so that this piece would be something that would be safe but also exciting to use!
This project had so many different aspects that made it one of the most unique and challenging builds to date. Imagination, engineering and design all delivered in a few months time. We love a challenging project, a difficult space or a piece that requires intricate detail to strengthen older skills and develop new ones!
mcc kids hallway
Not only does Branch Furniture build quality and lasting furniture, we also try to expand upon our artistic abilities and illustrate the design component of our brand in constructing what we call “creative spaces.” We call it a creative space because we work with our clients to design and build a fun living space. Our family belongs to Mechanicsville Christian Center located in Mechanicsville, Virginia.
When approached by your church to serve and give back in a way you are truly gifted in—there is no turning that opportunity down. So we went to work constructing an entire town in our kid’s hallway, adding dimension, color and engaging structure to what were once blue, cement walls. We came up with biblically significant names for each of the town’s buildings and themed the structure to match.
What started as an idea from the pastor’s wife wanting to show the children that they are important, turned into a 3-D rendering, and then eventually into reality. One of the church’s goals with this hallway facelift was to get children excited to come to kid’s church on Sunday’s and give a fresh look to a growing ministry. As a Christian business, it is very important that we focus on serving in our church and building up our community. In efforts such as these, it is “all-hands on deck.” For those who helped in any part of this construction—we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Why did we start Branch Furniture? As followers of Christ we all have one chief purpose, to bring glory to God. This extends into our business model as well as our personal life. Spreading the gospel by trying to live Christ-like, delivering quality furniture and connecting through fellowship. Additionally, one of the main reasons we started Branch Furniture is because we wanted to leave a legacy for our family. Something that would be around long after we are gone. Our business may be building furniture and creative spaces for you and your family, but our legacy is building relationships with you, our clients, and inviting you to become a part of our family.
Family means so many things to us, and probably to you too. There’s obviously the definition that includes our 3 boys-- our 3 wild, sweet and loud boys. As trying as it may be at times, we love it when they want to “help.”
Another definition of family includes people who love and support us but aren’t necessarily blood related. They are friends that feel like family-- our church family. People who not only love us but also live life right beside us. We thoroughly enjoy serving our church and leaving a legacy of wonder for the community. Stay tuned for next week’s blog post to find out more about Branch Furniture’s involvement in Mechanicsville Christian Center.
And we would be remiss if we didn’t also mention our furry family member. Shelby, our shop dog, who isn’t overly helpful but sure is cute.
So, whether we can build you a family farmhouse table, a cozy breakfast nook or a desk that will become an heirloom, we consider you part of our family. And that means you’re welcome to join us for dinner any time…just call first!
The natural nursery
Still to this day, one of my favorite projects I have created is the nursery at Mechanicsville Christian Center in Mechanicsville, VA. This project was and is a perfect blend of creativity mixed with woodworking. I was asked in the fall of 2015 to create a fun space that is inviting for the young children to enjoy. The concept of a tree house was presented to the church in a hand drawn depiction. I love the natural form you get from a live/natural edge slab of wood and wanted to re-create that look in this design. This presented the first challenge-- finding wood big enough for the counter check-in. The second challenge was how to make the front of the desk look like a fallen tree log.
After finding the 2" thick x 8' long slab of white oak I began to flatten and surface it for the counter. Butterfly joinery were added to stabilize the checks and splits as needed. Next was the curved 3' x 8' tree log wall-- I started with 2x4’s and began cutting them all at a 7 degree angle (I had figured out in AutoCAD). After the wall was formed and glued, a lot of grinding and sculpting was required to create bark, knots, and give other tree-like characteristics. Finally, a layering of paint was used to create depth and volume with the colors. This was followed by installation of siding, a window, and more trees to create the feel of the nursery.
This project was built in 2015, however, Branch Furniture + Design was not established until the next year. For me this project was the pivotal point for me as a maker and ignited what I feel is my life's purpose. I gained confidence within myself, along with my skills as a woodworker. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this project and love seeing the little children still excited to be dropped off at this fun and very life-like, CREATIVE SPACE.
Branch Furniture + Design was established to provide quality, functional furniture for Richmond, VA. and its surrounding areas. Our goal is to create well built, custom furniture for our clients with hardwoods found along the East Coast. This differentiates our furniture, creative spaces, and cabinetry from competitors.
The name Branch is derived directly from scripture. In John 15:5; Jesus is telling his disciples that "I am the vine and you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit: apart from me you can do nothing." This really hit me the morning I read it as I was looking to name the business. The name Branch is a constant reminder where my strength, my passions, and my woodworking abilities all come from; Jesus! Being a Christ-centered family business means that we see our furniture and designs as an extension of spreading the gospel.
As creators, we get very connected with the pieces we work on. Every part and every joint- our hands have touched them all. As we work to refine the rough edges, flatten the wood, and prepare the joint for assembly; we are fully immersed in what the wood can do.
God sees all the defects, the rough edges, and splinters that we, as sinners, have. The good news is, He loves us despite all the roughness! He sent his one and only Son to die for us when we were still sinners. Jesus paid it all for us! God is the original creator, His hands are on every part of our lives. But we are more than furniture to him, we were created in his image.
So, if we let Him into our lives and allow His hands to rework our hearts; we will bear much fruit through the works of Jesus Christ.
Paul Weimer, CEO