Thursday, August 2, 2012

Finish Process Has Begun

     Once you begin the finishing phase of a project on you know you're almost done.  I couldn't of picked a more humid day to start on them.  I decided that since I had a number of cuts on my hands I would wear some disposable gloves, usually I just rely on Liquid Gloves so I can feel the wood while I wet sand the finish.  Honestly, when I held my hands up the water would run out of the gloves --- that's humid!  I heard a little voice in my head saying "oil and water don't mix"! In any case though, now the beautiful, warm tones of the Walnut begin to show themselves.

View of One Side 

     These take up a lot of room in my shop/garage so I need to find a way to work around them.  Since my client won't be ready for them until the latter part of the month I'll probably set them on edge in the kitchen.  So nice to have a supportive wife who suggested this.  Another thing I need to figure out is how to get them up at a higher level.  If the application of the Danish Oil is an indication of the time required my old back isn't going to be happy.  Spent a little over two hours on this phase and it wasn't easy straightening back up.  With a minimum of 4 topcoats to go I may be reaching for the ibuprofen!

And then the Other
     I can re-configure the torsion boxes and put both of the end tables on that and plan to get a new drop cloth to drape over the tablesaw.  Then the coffee table will be on it and give me a higher working level.  Looking forward to working the magic on them.  Walnut is such a beautiful wood and ordering about a third more material than I needed did pay off in the final results.  Maybe I can recoup some of the costs by selling the sap wood pieces to a student in my upcoming class on making the work top bench!
     One of the last details was to put a slight chamfer on the inside legs.  This was started with a 45 degree router bit and less than 3/16" in width; just enough to add a shadow line.  The problem with a router is that it leaves rounded corners that will need to be squared off.  I had considered cutting the chamfer by hand which would have been my preferred method but the size of the glue up changed my mind as lining things up would have been tricky; to say the least.  The glue ups were stressful enough because of the high temperatures and needing to close the joints quickly before the glue sets up.
     So, here's the process, first the detail looked like this after routing.

        A small combination square was used to draw the lines required to square off the inside.  Then ...

         .... this was carefully chiseled out to the other leg.  The temptation is to take it out with one pass but that usually results in a rough, chipped out area; don't ask me how I know that!  Once one side is chamfered.....

       .... the inner corner is cut to form the miter by angling the chisel from the drawn in line to the inside of the joint.  The other leg can now be shaped in the same manner.  You need to keep in mind that you first have edge grain but when you get to the other leg you'll run into end grain.  Details set custom work apart from mass produced work.

     It's not meant to sound like an excuse or anything but in a picture framing class I took recently the speaker said that the beauty of a frame made by hand is its' inconsistencies.  This really is a true statement when you think about it.  Not too long ago I created a picture frame using a beading tool.  When you looked at it closely you could tell it wasn't machined by a router or CNC machine.  A slight bobble here, a slightly deeper cut there, and so on.  That added to it's over-all appearance.  Saying that though it is important to distinguish between hand crafted beauty and crudely done work!

1 comment:

  1. whew, glad you've come up with an idea to raise them off the floor...can't imagine bending down that long, either. I can already see a change from the "original" wood that I saw earlier this week.