Plywood from 1954 | Creative Plywood Builder

Hire a creative plywood builder

The book “Plywood A Material Story” came across our desk recently with this awesome video from a wood mill in 1954.

Plywood is an astonishingly versatile material, made by gluing together layers of cross-grained veneers, creating a pliable board that can be stronger than solid wood. Stylish and practical, plywood offers huge possibilities for experimental design, and it has been used to make a wide range of products, from aeroplanes, boats and automobiles to architecture and furniture. This book traces the history of plywood from its use in 18th-century furniture through its emergence as an industrial product in the 19th century, to a material celebrated by 20th-century modernists such as Alvar Aalto and Charles and Ray Eames. An ideal material for the digital age, plywood has become popular again in recent years and is widely used in contemporary design and manufacture.  (quoted from the book)

At Gepetto we haven’t done a lot of ultra-modern plywood shaping, but if you want to order a few hundred chairs, we’ll tool up our assembly line to produce them for you!

Build your Pinterest Dream

Pinterest Plywood idea

Pinterest Plywood idea

Of course Pinterest always has a lot of crazy cool pictures – and if you live in Baltimore, Washington, Richmond, Philadelphia, or even on down to Charleston, Savannah or anywhere on the east coast and you’ve fallen in love with a “p interest” picture – contact us to fabricate a similar design!

We can match plywood specifications with any style of face-grade from light maple like shown on the right – to a dark mahogany or walnut.

If you’re a stylish Virginia Commonwealth University student looking for a loft bed, funky book case or other custom dorm room furniture – give us a note!

If you’re a mom, wondering how you can keep your entryway or hallway from continually being cluttered – have us design a coat, shoe, bookbag built-in storage unit made of plywood!

Small — well designed pieces made from affordable plywood are better than going searching at Ikea or Walmart for pre-built and breakable pieces in chipboard.

Just because we specialize in historic woodworking, doesn’t mean we can’t manufacture your small project to any specification or modern design:

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Country Chic style created by reclaimed barn wood

Custom Woodworking for summer vacation home : Country Chic Style by Virginia Craftsmen Gepetto Millworks. Have Gepetto design and build your kitchen, dining and wood paneling to meet your budget and your design aesthetic! Here we used reclaimed barn wood for the kitchen/dining area walls to bring together the front hall and original wood floors that were refinished in renovation.

Renovate your historic property with the organic look and feel of ‪#‎reclaimed ‬lumber on the walls, floors or as purpose built furniture! In this property tour you can see how the ‪#‎CountryChic‬ elements blend together with the weathered and faded walls built by Gepetto from an old barn. The country farm house kitchen was built by the space conscious farmer of the 19th century. To bring it to modern standards, our ‪#‎Kitchen‬ ‪#‎Designer‬ brought the small space between the stove, sink and fridge out into the dining room by adding the cart style island allowing the chef to determine the cooking space, or entertaining space with the roll of the casters. Gepetto built the family length dining table to fit the space using solid wood joinery. We fashioned a clock from the same reclaimed panels and tied together the staircase, sitting room, and dining area using the reclaimed paneling. If you are looking to source a medium or large project, give us a call @ (804) 938-2094 and chat about your specific needs, and we’ll scour the rich ‪#‎virginia‬countryside for the right ‪#‎reclaimedlumber‬ for the job.

Project Spotlight: Marri Vanna Washington DC

Luxury Restaurant Millwork | Custom Restaurant Interiors

Luxury Restaurant Millwork | Custom Restaurant Interiors

Our biggeest project in 2013 fits the Marri Vanna restaurant with custom woodworking in their eclectic design style.

Luxury Restaurant Millwork | Custom Restaurant Interiors

The three-level restaurant, just down the way from the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel, offers Russian cuisine in a space that makes the diner feel like they’re seated in someone’s home.
~ Huffington Post

Southern Plantation Historic restoration contractor

Historic Virginia Plantation Restoration Contractor
Historic Wooden Staircase Restoration Contractor
Rift or quarter-grain cuts are best. These cuts are the most stable. Flat grain often expands and contracts seasonally at twice the rate of quartered stock.
Historic Mantle and Trim Manufacturer Virginia
With that said, here are 10 things to keep in mind when determining which approach will work best for you:

1. Identify the factors that will shape your decision. Deciding whether to restore or rehabilitate your house, and to what extent, involves understanding its history; its architecture; and the present condition of its materials, finishes, and systems. You should also consider your household’s lifestyle and what personal needs the finished house must accommodate. More broadly, local historic district designations, local building codes, property insurance, and other regulatory or financial considerations will impact the path you take.

2. Review the house’s history. Who lived in the house and when? Did important events occur there? Did either (or both) scenarios have historical significance? If so, you could consider restoring the house to that period to help interpret its history.

Historic Home Renovation with Modern Kitchen
Install plain sawn lumber with the heart side up. Flat lumber will wear better with the heart facing up. If there’s cupping, the edges will stay flat, and only the center will hump slightly.
Virginia Historic Mantle and Trim Supplier
3. Know what “restore” means. To restore a house means to return its interior and exterior appearance to a particular date or time period. Strict restorations—ones that eliminate everything not present during the period chosen—are rare for homes, with most owners opting to maintain modern systems (plumbing, anyone?) and sympathetically designed changes, such as later additions, that add to the house’s history.

4. Know what “rehabilitate” means. To rehabilitate a house means to make it useful and functional for contemporary living while preserving important historic and architectural features. For example, a rehabilitated old house would always include modern electrical, mechanical, and plumbing systems, a modern kitchen, and other attributes typical of present-day homes.

Historic Home Renovation Cabinetry
Use traditional joinery. Component repairs should be made using traditional joinery instead of non-historic methods like a wholesale epoxy casting of a missing part.
Virginia Historic Home Restoration Supplier
5. Choose your approach. The major difference between restoring and rehabilitating is to either exactly duplicate a particular period or concentrate on preserving a sense of the changes that have occurred over time. For example, if an Italianate-style house had lost its wood eave brackets, a restoration project would duplicate them in wood as they originally appeared, while a rehab project would add new brackets of a compatible design in an appropriate substitute material (ex. fiberglass).

6. Evaluate existing alterations. Consider the quality, design, materials, and craftsmanship of the original house as well as the changes that have occurred over time. Compatible interior and exterior changes of the same or better quality than the original house, even if done in different styles or materials, should probably be kept and restored. Conversely, you should probably remove any poorly designed or executed changes.

9. Take care not to falsify the history of the house. This might seem counter-intuitive, but you actually do want to be able to tell additions apart from the original. That way, the house’s history is visible and transparent. Also be careful not to design additions that make the house appear to date from an earlier or later period, or alter the house’s details to an extent that suggest a different architectural period.

10. Look to the experts. For a more detailed list of recommendations, check out the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. This jam-packed resource from the National Park Service includes guidelines on preserving, rehabilitating, restoring, and reconstructing historic buildings.

There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to determining whether you should restore or rehabilitate your historic home. Let your property, capabilities, and needs help guide your decision, and chances are you’ll arrive at an accurate, appropriate solution.

The Glen Roy Estate was renovated and restored with the fine wood fabricated pieces by Gepetto Millworks.

We built most of the wooden construction, which was restored from a gutted historical property including:

  • cabinetry
  • kitchen design
  • wardrobe style kitchen storage
  • fireplace mantles
  • bathroom storage
  • laundry hideaway
  • china display shelving
  • custom closet design (NYC theme)
  • skylight


Glen Roy Plantation is a pristine 3-story, Georgian Revival home, which was completed in 1852. The intact interior features Greek Revival detailing and includes twelve fireplaces, forty windows, fifteen foot ceilings and a widows walk. The house sits on sixty acres with 500 feet of waterfront along the Ware River. There are also extensive lawns and gardens and numerous outbuildings including an 18th century library and a late 19th century carriage house. The property also features a stable, garage, swimming pool and dock.

Historic Home Window Repair Services

Project Spotlight: Theater Room and hybrid spaces

Project Spotlight: Theater Room and hybrid spaces

I was hired for this large home hybrid kitchen design project by a local contractor I have years of experience working with.  Trust is a valuable and scarce commodity in the building industry unfortunately.  I write these articles in the trust building process with you, as you consider hiring your contractor, because creativity and successful design come out of a trusting working relationship!  The theater room hybrid project showcases a design suggestion made by the Gepetto Craftsman after looking at the plans drawn by the architect for elliptical windows topping off the glass doors to the porch.  When I got the architectural drawings and took a look at them I felt that the drawings were leaving out a huge opportunity in the woodworking in the room. Let me give you a picture to set the stage:

The arches are a repeated architectural theme throughout the home and I felt that the architect didn’t draw this wall with a grasp on the abilities of a skilled modern woodworker. Drawing on the relationship I have with the builder and client,  I suggested some changes to the plans to include a solid wood arched raised panel to finish the look of the wall.  The builder and client agreed with me that the warmth, classicism, and functional results of my proposed drawings would be a great direction to refurbish this 1920’s home.

Eliptical raised panel – all solid wood – no veneeering – click to enlarge

A solid wood, arched raised panel is a difficult construction challenge because the solid wood used in construction doesn’t naturally conform to the designed arch.  I have to measure precisely and use old world wood bending techniques.  The highly technical machinery setups to manufacture the wooden arc of trim would baffle less accomplished craftsmen.

Arched Panel Detail – click to enlarge

While I am very proud of the arched panels – they’re only the beginning of the mixed spaces designed into this home renovation.  Take a look at three more detail pictures and then let’s move on into the kitchen.