Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cabinet Scraper Box Finished

Well, here it is my first attempt at some relief carving.  I've shown the details of this box in prior posts, it's designed to hold my cabinet scrapers, burnisher, etc.  Like many projects it was something I can use in the shop but mainly I wanted to have a practical "practice piece" to play around with and improve my carving technique.  You can see the latch on the left side that secures the lid.  I added the claws to provide a finger hold to slide the lid open.  The other purpose of this box was to experiment with a new type of finish I may want to use on a dining table.  I actually hate surface coatings and finish all of my work with a hand rubbed oil which is then top coated with a 3 part concoction I learned about from Art Espinoza Carpenter when I was at San Francisco State.  Although it gives a beautiful sheen, it's just not super durable and requires lots of maintenance when used on a surface like a dining table top.  What I used here were 3 coats of polyurethane, brushed on and lightly sanded between coats.  The problem with a surface coating (other than the plastic appearance) is that it can chip/wear off and also gathers lots of dust during the long drying period.  To combat that, this technique uses a gel polyurethane which is basically rubbed on and then wiped off.  Although it was a satin it was still too shiny for my tastes so I applied the final two coats with 4/0 steel wool.  It's tolerable, next step is to take the sample piece I made and use it at the table to put drinks or plates of hot food on and see if it holds up.  All of this for a possible commission somewhere down the road.  Never stop learning and trying new stuff!

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