Sunday, September 23, 2012

Keep the Ball Rolling

It’s been a bit of a crazy week here in the Second Wind Workshop…busy at work and a houseful of sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching…you get the picture.  I’ve been able to squeeze in some shop time though to keep the project list moving along.  I also received some great feedback from my fellow woodworkers in the online community on keeping things fresh, staying inspired and managing project time.  There really are a lot of amazing, talented (and generous!) folks putting themselves out there and sharing their skills and experiences without any reservations.  THANKS!

My go-to finish is usually some kind of wiping varnish or a Danish Oil finish.  I like the control one gets with a hand applied and rubbed finish, however it does require a bit more of an investment in time.  A few days ago I decided to give a sprayed lacquer finish a try for the first time.  I opted to try a canned finish as I’ve seen quite a few folks online have some really nice success on their projects. 

I chose Deft Clear Wood Finish (Satin) to try on two of the Oak and Sapelle candle holders.  I set up a make-shift spray area on the kindling box on the back patio and went at it.
After the first few light coats I was really pleased with how they were turning out.  These will require only a light sanding with some 320 or 400 grit sandpaper to clean them up before applying the final coat.

I’ll experiment with spray finishes a bit more on a few more small projects, and then I’ll have to take a serious look at a spray gun to use with my air compressor.

While the lacquer was curing on these two candle holders I turned my attention to the break-down version.  I’ll build a small box, also from the repurposed Oak, to contain both the holder and a small supply of the tea light candles.  The long base piece is the guiding part that will decide the minimum dimensions of the box.  With the pieces stacked like this I’ll be shooting for an inside dimension of ten inches long, two inches wide and two inches tall.
These dimensions will leave enough room for six of the candles to accompany the holder.  The box will be made from some of the stock that was milled to 3/8 inch thick.

Over the past several weeks I’ve been pressing veneered panels in several different species.  I've amassed quite a little collection of pieces ready for use in box lids or maybe even some paneled doors.

I had hoped to use panels pressed with this stunning Walnut burl.  I thought the color contrast would pair well with the subdued tone of the Oak, and the wild grain pattern would be framed nicely by the straight grain in the body of the box.

Unfortunately, when I pressed these sheets onto the 1/8 inch MDF substrate some of the cold press glue squeezed through the open grain and glazed onto the show surface of the veneer.

There was quite a bit of glue that came through…more than enough to eliminate any continuous piece long enough to serve as the lid panel for the candle holder’s storage box.   I’ve done some sanding (wet and dry) to see how much I can salvage, but I’m worried about the thickness that will be left as I continue to work these panels.  I may be able to salvage some smaller portions for use in smaller boxes though.  I’m wondering if there is a way to seal or size the surface to be glued down to the substrate in advance.  (A little research project to be undertaken…I’ll keep you posted.)

I’ve decided to use the panel that presents the strongest color contrast with the Oak, the Sapelle.
It won’t provide the same drama that the Walnut would have, but the beeswing figure should still look very nice once it’s been oiled, waxed and buffed.

Just rolling with the punches and rolling through the list.

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