Rick_Underhill's "Out of the Woodwork.biz"
Contemporary Style Furnishings
With 35 years of woodworking and management experience in the fields of furniture, cabinets, architectural millwork, museums, and trade show exhibits; Rick is now accepting commissions for the Custom Design & Fabrication of unique contemporary style corporate and residential furnishings.
Influenced by James Krenof, Sam Maloof, George Nakashima, Japanese feudal achitecture, Greene & Greene, Frank Lloyd Wrights prairie house style, Art Deco, Art Neuveau, W.C. Escher, Salvador Dali, Pink Floyd, Jake Shimabukuro.....
Once smitten, you will dream about sharing your space with a
Rick Underhill Original.
(Not to be confused with Rick Himself, who is also a verified original)
If you are passionate about fine woodwork and enjoy the beauty of natural wood polished to reveal the hidden wonders of a once living tree, you will experience my furniture as an heirloom to be shared and treasured.
With 34 years of experience in the Exhibit, Museum, Architectural Millwork, and Commercial Fixture industries, Rick brings substantial fabrication expertise to the woodworking viewing audience. After serving in the US Air Force during the Vietnam era, he attended Atlanta Area Technical School to become a machinist in order to work his way through college as a research instrument builder at the University of Georgia where he studied Soil Chemistry. It was at UGA where the woodworking bug bit him. Over the next few years his machinist training enabled him to quickly become a fine woodworker, which in short order, led him straight to the exhibit industry, where he has consistently earned respect as a top builder, crew leader, foreman, and manager. He has served as Operations Manager for three national exhibit companies and three AWI Millwork companies in the Atlanta Area. In between corporate managerial positions, Rick managed his own fine furniture and architectural millwork company for over ten years. His “hands on” managerial experience has led to the development of an overall understanding of the entire fabrication process, from project management to quality control, that provides a unique ability to keep projects on schedule and on budget while managing day-to-day fabrication realities.
Rick’s most recent large project was the United States Supreme Court 75th Anniversary exhibit of the Supreme Court building itself for one of the premiere US Museum fabrication companies, ExPlus, Inc., in Sterling/Dulles, Virginia. Rick’s first Museum experience was as the Pico Atlanta Shop Crew leader on the Chisholm Trail Museum in 2003. He was chosen as well to supervise the on-site installation crew in Duncan, OK. On his next museum for Pico, functioning as Project Manager, while simultaneously managing Pico's production facility, was the much celebrated New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe. With Rick at the production helm, Pico Atlanta completed the University of Georgia Tennis Hall of Fame Museum in Athens Georgia.
Among his personal fine woodworking achievements is the beautiful solid Ash working loom for the Children’s Museum in Macon, GA. His list of projects for Exhibit clients is extensive; Kawneer, Lotus, Wells Fargo Bank, Yamaha Golf–carts, Nortel, Javad Navigation Systems, Stromberg-Carlson, BellSouth, Siemens, Reebok, Prince, Ruger Firearms, Sikorsky Industries, BMW Motorcycles, Olin Chemicals, Kohler, Inc., Coca-cola, Manheim Auto Auctions, Auto-Trader, Oncology Supply, Magic Chef, etc. Millwork Clients include Jurlique Skin Care Products, First Centenary United Methodist Church, Gwinnett County Municipal Courthouse Judge’s Chambers, Fulton County School System, US Embassy in Saudi Arabia (Architectural Millwork), etc.
As a result of his broad industry background, Rick has developed a high level of communication skills and management expertise in anticipating, assessing, and addressing the potential problems and issues related to the successful and efficient solving of the many challenges involved in complicated projects. This includes the fabrication and on-site installation. Value engineering is a particular strong suit. He is adept at keeping crews focused and on track with the project timeline. Rick’s ultimate goal is a smooth running operation and the production of a high quality finished product on time, and on budget.
"In this corporate world of woodworking, I have experienced a kaleidoscope of management personalities, both as co-workers and supervisors. I would be remiss without thanking some of my former bosses: Chip Brenner, past President of Pico Atlanta; Paul Mullens, past President of Pico North America; Scott Wilen, past President of Northland Custom Woodworking (Chicago, IL); Paul Madsen, past Production Manager of Czarnowski Exhibits Atlanta and past Production Manager Of GeoCreative, Inc.; Andy Lanier, past Production Manager of Architectural Concepts Inc. & Pico Atlanta; Brett Beach, Marketing and Sales for Explus, Inc..
And now, Current Colleagues at ID3 Group: John Courtney, Past Operations Manager & Steve Bruha, Vice President of Sales.
"Thanks, gentlemen, for all the confidence and support through the years. Your influence has made me a better woodworker and manager. I wish you all much success in both your professional and personal lives."
Outside the woodworking world, Rick is an accomplished photographer, home chef, science buff, animal lover/advocate, and avid mountain biker. He lives in the beautiful North Georgia Mountains with his wife of twenty-one years, Clair Dakota Underhill, a published writer and former editor of the Gilmer County newspaper, the Times-Courier in Ellijay, GA.
Rick is a firm believer in the connection between humankind and the creatures with which we share this world. This connection extends to the "standing people" that we refer to as trees. Without their contribution of wood, mankind would not be where we find ourselves today in this technological wonderland. It is to pay homage to the trees, that he puts so much effort into exhibiting the incredible beauty contained therein.The second motivation is the belief that beauty can and will influence people in a positive manner. Rick thinks that everyone can learn to see and appreciate the beauty of the natural world surrounding us and translate that vision into our personal spaces. Life without beauty is a sterile and boring experience.
"...that my work will have a positive influence in the world"
Sitting at the roots of the ancient standing people,
I ask, "Guide my hands and heart that I may create objects of beauty from your fallen brethren."
© J. Rick Underhill
Graphic Designed by Steve Holley
(more to come)
Mountain & Road Bicycles
Cartecay River Bike Shop
126 N. Main Street
"We are the mountain bike capital of Georgia"
Steve Holley, Principal
Trade Show Exhibits/Displays
Rock Design & Production
Chip Brenner Principal
Tye Dyed T-shirts (Artfully processed)
Designs By KayLee
Car Audio, Customization, & Window Tinting
Kris Fonteboa, Principal
Pro Fishing Guide Services
Lake and Stream Guide Services
Gary Weil, Principal
Trade Show Supplies
Tyler's Display Supply
1731 Taylor St.
Atlanta, GA 30318
Toll Free: 888.355.9301
Out of the Woodwork ®
About Us Page (2)
Rick on Woodworking
In process of kicking off this website, I have given much thought to my experience in the woodworking trade. I have perused the woodworking periodicals, catalogs, and dozens of websites in order to get a feel for where we are as a trade and avocation. In talking to my friends working in the trade, I keep up with the doings of many companies across the nation from trade shows to kitchen cabinets. As the economy spits and stutters along, some companies are growing, but most are just hanging on. Wages have been reduced as happens with each economic downturn and it is getting harder for most to sustain a middle class lifestyle. So, in this current environment I have decided that by sharing the hard won knowledge from the past thirty-five years, I may be able to help a trademan or two gain some knowledge that can impact their wages for the better. Some may question my motives because I charge money for this knowledge instead of the common practice of sharing techniques for free on the web. Realize that I too have a family to support and hopefully you woodworkers will feel that the stuff I sell will help make you a better woodworker. No different really from buying a book or magazine. I firmly believe that each person should be a student of their profession.
When I started my woodworking career, there were only basic hand and power tools available. Today, there is an incredible amount of new state of the art tools and tooling. Templates and devices of ingenuity that thirty years ago, had to be made by the craftsman himself. Of course, the template making itself was educational and demanded a higher level of precision than normal building required. Woodworking today is a wonderland of technological devices to help you accomplish your tasks easier and more accurately than ever before. Relish our good fortune! Hopefully this means more time to experiment with design and allow us to create beauty in our work.
My goal is to stimulate the woodworking community and help educate our customers with what it really takes to build and create sound designs that resonate quality and value. We have to keep in mind that the influx of everything Chinese, has taken a devastating toll on the value of goods and the devaluing of woodwork has made survival difficult. This also holds true for the woodworking entreprenures that are struggling to make payrole week after week. The first place to cut overhead is always payroll. Having managed several large custom shops, I will begin to address some of the issues that owners and managers have to contend with daily. Once I get the blog set-up, much of this discussion will occur there.
Some of the most recent excitement in the trade is the establishment of the standards for the skill levels of craftsmanship. This is promoted by the larger companies and is a reflection of what Europeans have done for years. On the surface, it seems like a good idea, and as a manager it certainly has merits for hiring new builders, but unless the existing companies embrace and pay for their employees to become certified, I don't think it will go far. Most managers can determine a builder's acumen in one day of fabrication. Part of the dilemma that I see is, that the trade magazines promote machinery over skills. The use of CNC machines has shifted the layout process to the draftsman from the shop layout person. My experience is that most detailers have limited building experience and make a lot of very costly mistakes, only resolved by building a prototype prior to actual fabrication. Usually there is not enough lead time or money for the extra material needed to complete the prototype. Hence, most shops go right into production and accept the losses. Now there are very talented detailers who do have building experience or have done the detailing over a long period of time and are very efficent. These guys are worth their weight in gold. In fact many competent builders eventually become CAD detailers in order to get out of the daily brutality of the shop environment as they get older. This is as it should be, but because older woodworkers tend to be a bit opinionated about what they draw, younger managers and owners often become intolerant of the suggestions and hire the newbies that will just do what they are told.
Even with the heavy dependence on sophisticated equipment, an experienced builder must adjust and/or make the CNC'd material work. This is where you and I come in. If you gain the layout and farbrication skills that are still practiced in the small shops with what you do in a large shop
you will increase your employee value when machining issues arise on the shop floor.
So keep learning and trying new techniques. Exposure and mastery of new stuff will keep your brain functions at peak performance.
I'm looking forward to the learning myself!
Come back and visit!!!!
***Woodworking essay is at the bottom of the page***
Rick on Woodworking
Well it is now three months later and I have allowed my new site to languish, attentionless. Browsers, I ask for your forbearance. Just as many of you, I work a fifty hour week and the commute to Marietta, adds fifteen hours a week. So I have been remiss in my website editing and adding the finishing touches. My solution is to redouble the commentment and hopefully the Holidays will allow several hour sessions. All I, and everybody else, needs is more time in a day.
So, again, bear with me as I navigate the website development phase. Post your thoughts and comments on the comments ikon at the bottom of the index page.
Cross Creek Dimensional Graphics
4233 Bankhead Hwy
Douglasville, GA 30134
Rick on woodworking
With the holidays in full swing, I wanted to wish everyone a wonderful end of the year.
We send our heart felt condolences to all families affected by the recent trageties in Newtown, CT.
Enjoy your families this holiday season, especially the ones who irritate you the most. Love and allow yourself to be loved.
To quote a song from Seals and Croft; "We may never pass this way again." So forgive and be forgiven.
I am working on the videos and hope to have them up by the first of the year.
Thanks for visiting!