Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Craft Fair Display Shelves

     In my last blog I gave a tutorial on how to make the torsion box shelves we'll be using in our display for the craft fair we're hoping to be juried in to this fall.  One of our main concerns is  making them light in weight and easy to get from the parking area to wherever our tent is located.  Here's a picture of one of Diane's units temporarily set up in our living room!

Clamps, no Hinges!
Glued & Clamped
     The framework is made of 3/4" Baltic Birch plywood so the height is five feet.  This is a totally utilitarian project and the emphasis was on being able to construct them quickly without a lot of fuss or time.  For that reason I chose to use biscuit joinery.  There are a total of 4 of these units that measure about 20" wide by 5' tall and 2 units that measured 20" wide by 30" tall.  As always in my desert shop, heat is a big consideration when it comes to gluing or finishing.  I had enough large bar clamps to assemble two of these at a time so that was the first step of the past couple of days.

Oh boy, do I dislike power sanding and especially MDF!  It leaves a super fine dust all over the place.  I figured that since I will be spraying these at the side of the house I may as well sand them there too.

Wish Those Sawhorses were Taller!

     This is the west side of our house, notice the sun on the fence?  It's around 7:30am in this picture and the sun is just beginning to light up the tops of the wall.  As you can tell, with all of the pieces that go into this project there's a lot of sanding to do.  Ditto for spraying on the waterborne lacquer I'll be experimenting with.  The specs for the General Finish lacquer suggest a temperature no higher than 85 degrees, our predicted lows are in the mid to upper 70's so it's an early spray session to be sure!  Look at the sun on the wall around 10:30,

     I'm starting to feel the heat already as it's reflected off of the wall.  Thankfully the lacquer will dry very quickly so I'm hoping to apply the initial coat on everything, allow it to dry, and then sand with 320.  If all goes as hoped, I should be able to shoot a second coat on everything and then move it into the garage to bake; uh, I mean dry for the remainder of the day.  Then the next morning will see the third and final coat and we should have this phase of the shelving complete.  I had to order a smaller needle to spray the lacquer and it's scheduled for delivery this afternoon.  All of the wood will need to have the grain pre-raised with a spray of water then block sanded to be ready to apply the lacquer first thing tomorrow morning.  Glad my next door neighbor is out of town so the sprayer won't disturb his sleep!


  1. You're doing a terrific job on these, don't know what we would have done without your skills!

  2. You could place masking cassette and label exactly what is in each point.

    Just another way of keeping things organized.