Saturday, December 5, 2009

Finishing (Day 1)

I'm using clear shellac, and at the end of day 1, I've got 8 coats, with sanding after every 2 coats. Tomorrow I'll see how it looks and decide how much further I'm going to take it.

2 coats and counting...

It may look like I'm going to finish all of the pieces where they are, but there is a lazy susan that I put the parts on, It makes it really nice to be able to get to all corners easily.
Little ducks all in a row.

Well, all the parts are sanded and ready for finish. I can't tell you how much I'd love to say this is my finish shop, but I am lucky enough to work for a company that has one. It was kind of a pain to haul projects, gear, and finish to another shop, but you can't beat the clean room, and ventilation that a professional shop can offer.
Setup and ready to finish.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Playing Catchup

Here is the inside of the box. There is a couple of steps in there that I haven't covered. First, there are some runners for the inner box to ride on. The other is the lid aligner? I'm not sure what you call it, but it's an inner frame that when the lid is closed, will align the top half and lower half. That's the theory anyway. :-)
Inside of the box.

Here is the box thus far. There is an applied molding on the lid, and I rolled over the top edge.
Shot of the box closed.

I didn't take any picture about how I made the inner tray, but it was slicing a 3/4 board in half, and planing it to thickness. I then ripped it to height and cut to length. Finally, I cut a groove for the bottom.
Inner Tray.

In my last post, I pointed out my opportunity. Here is what I decided. I decided to leave the knothole. It's character to the piece, and I didn't want to loose that. I did want to try and take care of the chipout on the pins. I mixed up some 15 minute epoxy and added some black pigment. Next I taped off the area and added the epoxy.
Filling the holes.

When you need to mark something accurately, you mark it with a knife. It's there somewhere.
Marking it with a knife.

After the ruler has located the place for the hinge, I slid the hinge into it. Pretty self explanatory.
Putting the hinge in place.

Now that I got the top cut off, it's time to put them back together. I'm using a square to guesstimate the location. That looks about right. I'll come in from that same distance on both sides.
Hinge layout.

I want to get as tight a joint as I can, and my No. 4 plane will get me really close. I'll do all four corners, on both sides of the lid, and then check to see how they match up.
Planing the joint smooth.

It would be useless as a jewelry box if you can't open it, and here is how I did it. I took out my standard blade in my saw, and put in a skil saw blade. The idea here is I wanted to remove as little material as possible, and that blade was about half as thick as my heavy duty blade. The trade off is that the blade had quite a bit of chatter and didn't yield as smooth a cut as I would have liked.
Getting ready to cut the top off.

I'm terrible at keeping on top of this, so here is my catchup post to get me back to where I'm at on this project. I've got all of the boxes out of the clamps, planed and sanded them smooth.
Out of the clamps and ready for cutting.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Vondrak Jewelry Boxes

This is almost where I'm at now. I have all 3 boxes out of the clamps, I did plane the pins flush with a plane, (sorry no picture) sanded smooth, and I've also made a molding for the lid. I felt that the distance between the top of the box and the top of the lid needed a little help. I'll get a picture of that later.
Tower 'o Boxes.

Here is what I did to glue the boxes up. I cut some small pieces of wood that fit between the pins and tails, and taped them in place. Glue on the pins and tails, and a few clamps. Pretty straight forward.
Gluing up a Box.

Well, its not handmade without a little opportunity. I've got a double whopper here. First, I had a little tearout on the tails. I'm thinking that the way to fix that is either with a little black epoxy, or glue in some walnut endgrain. I'll do some research on that and I'll take pictures along the way. The other one, I thought was going to be a design feature of the piece. The knot looks really neat, and has a lot of nice grain around it. The problem is that I haven't cut the box apart yet, and guess where the cut needs to guessed it, right through the knot on the right.

Here is the veneer saying hello to the plywood substrate. Both sides got 2 coats of contact cement and were then stuck together. Even with both windows and the door open, "Towely" from South Park showed up and asked me if I wanted to go get high. Those fumes were pretty strong. I'm thinking a good mask might have to be in my future if I do this again...or wait until summer.
Getting Ready to Glue Veneer.

I was a little slow on the picture taking, so imagine taking rough boards and running them through the jointer, planer, and dovetailing them. The result is what you see here.
Stack of Boxes Ready for Glueup.

Along for the ride is my prototype box. This box is built a step or 2 ahead of the other boxes so I can figure out things like assembly procedures, finishing, everything and anything that can make the other boxes go together quickly and easily.
Test Box.

For this project, I was given creative license (thankfully) and I've always wanted to try my hand at veneering. I ordered some Carpathian Elm Burl off of ebay and this is what I got. This should look really good when it gets its finish on.
Veneer for the lid.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Adirondack Chairs Done!

Well, just in time for the 4th of July weekend.
My previous set of chairs were stolen this year, ending my study to see how long painted pine can survive outdoors. I was about 5 years into that study. I was kind of bummed.
Anyway, if there was a silver lining to this story (and I'm looking really hard for one) its that those chairs didn't have an ottoman to go with them, and I've always wanted one.

New Yankee Workshop design.
Pressure treated pine deck boards.
Roughly 3hrs per chair/ottoman ~ 6hrs total
No finish yet...I'll wait a year or so and either paint or stain.
Plugged screw heads at arms and back.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Project DONE!

Here it is, completed, with the doors closed. I had it in the back of my mind that there might have been a way that the remotes would have worked due to the fact I had a bigger gap in the drawer fronts than I wanted, but no such luck. The doors will have to be open. As you can see, the sapwood is all but gone on the drawer fronts. The camera also does a poor job of showing how alive the rays are on the front drawer.
Front view with the doors closed.

This is a side and front view showing the ventilation that the components will get. The back is all open, as are the sides, so I'm not really worried about anything overheating. In fact, the front will be open as well whenever it would even think about getting hot.
There are a couple of "better to be lucky than be good" things I should point out. When the drawer fronts are open, the dvd player tray misses the drawer opening by about 1/4". A little too close for me, but not much I can do about that. I also knew that I was going to be tight across the front with the dish, center channel speaker, and stereo. I didn't have much room to spare, maybe an inch or two.Front view.

Side view.

Here is a picture of the entertainment center all waxed up and loaded up.
Doors open for component access.

All that's left to do now is install the top, take some pictures, and watch a movie. I'm using figure 8 clips ton install the top. Predrill and install the clips on the cabinet side, position the piece where it needs to be on the top, mark the location, and drill into the top with a forstner bit. Then predrill and install to the top. the clips will show, but only if you are looking directly under it.
Figure 8 clips being installed.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I love the smell of Shellac in the morning.

My wax arrived in the mail today, so I spent my lunch hour waxing the piece, and I also installed the tracks, and installed hardware. Tonight I will attach the top and put it to work.
Piece waxed, and hardware installed.

With the piece ready for final assembly, I took some playing cards and shimmed in the track that the drawers ride on. There was a little racking of the drawers during construction.
Adjusting the track.

After I got about 3 coats on, I used 320 grit sandpaper and sanded the piece back to get rid of any dust nibs, and to smooth the piece out.
Piece during sanding.

After I let the piece "gas out" for a few hours, I started to apply the shellac. I thinned it with lacquer thinner. Funny story here. It's been a while since I've used shellac, and the last time i thinned it down as well. I had two gallon steel cans in my possession, lacquer thinner, and mineral spirits. I knew that it wasn't mineral spirits, so I grabbed the lacquer thinner. It went on nicely, and between that and the fact it was a warm day, it dried very quickly. It wasn't until I got about 3 coats on that I started to wonder if I was using the right stuff. I wasn't. I was supposed to use denatured alcohol. However, the finish was dry, so I didn't worry about it. My final coats will be shellac thinned with alcohol.
Top after shellac.

I didn't get a shot of the top after fuming, but here it is. You can see a small streak of sapwood in the middle of the board. That was my comprimise between as big of a top as I could get, and grain matching.
Top after fuming.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bombs Away!!!

11:45 minutes later, and this is the result. It fumed up nicely, and the shop smells like a kitty litter box thats about 3 months overdue for a change. Thankfully, there is a nice wind today and it gassed out nicely. You can see on the drawer front, a hint of sapwood. Ideally, I would liked to have taken it out, but my board was a little short already, and I think all it will do is just add character to the piece. By the time I get done with the shellac, It might not even be noticeable.

11:45 ended up being about the right time. I took a sample piece out and put a couple of coats of shellac on it, and took it into the Mrs. for a vote. It looked good to her, so it looked good to me.
11:45 later.

As you can tell by the picture, (the door is open) it's dark out, and the fuming has begun. Before I sealed it up, I threw some scrap in there. I'll open it up 12 hours later and see how dark it is. My concern is that when I did my test pieces, I had the same surface area of ammonia, but a smaller volume. I'm keeping the same surface area, but my volume is bigger.
Fuming Started. Hope you can hold your breathe.

I didn't want any tan lines from the fuming, so I put the table on points so the bottom would get fumed, and for the top, I made some additional stand-offs to let the fumes get to the bottom of the table top. After I took this picture, I also opened up the drawer fronts.
Another shot before fuming.

Duct tape is used here to seal all of the joints. I made a top, bottom, left, and right frame. The front and back pieces of plastic are just going to be taped to the other frames. For those, I taped the sides and top, and pushed the bottom under with a putty knife.
Table loaded into the tent.

After the frames were constructed, I took some plastic and stretched it over the frame. I used 1/4" staples.
Frame completed.

So, back to the project. I'm also in the process of cleaning out the garage, so I decided to rip up a sheet of plywood that I've had laying around for some time to build the frame. Pocket screws will hold it together. I'm not bothering with glue...screws should hold enough for what I need it to do.
Fuming Tent Construction.

It's been a while since I've done anything with this project. Things have been getting in the way like selling our house, family events, etc, etc. The biggest thing was finding enough time. (and the right amount of time) Memorial Day weekend was the time. My biggest concern about fuming wasn't finding time, but the ability to have the fuming be done at a time where there was still ample daylight so if it needed to fume longer, that I could put it back into the tent, fume longer, and pull it back out with daylight left. The last thing I wanted to do was to check color without the right light.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Fuming Part 1 + Odds & Ends

I was going to let this one slide, but I had the opportunity to judge a cabinetmaking class at my alma motter, and for as hard as I was on them, and for as hard as I've been on myself, I couldn't let this one slide. After the glueup of the shelf, I glued it in place before I sanded it, and I didn't get the boards flat. I was going to let it go because the top board was taller than the front, and it was on a lower shelf where nobody was ever going to see it. I took a sharp chisel, and 5 minutes of work, and now it's flat.

I can handle somebody critiquing my work from a design perspective, because that's subjective, but when it comes to construction, there are no excuses.
Fixing a mistake.

After 23 hours, this what I got. The piece on the left is what I started with, the piece on the right is what happened. Pretty cool, but a little dark.
Fuming complete.

Centered and level...can't ask for much else.
Hinge installed.

While the ammonia is doing its thing, I'll install the hardware for the drawers. About the biggest thing to remember with these pulls is that the holes aren't in the center of the pull.
Hardware I'm using.

I cut up a couple of pieces for fuming and put them into a tote. I'm a little concerned about "tan lines", in this case the fumes not being able to get to the underside of the pieces. It shouldn't be a problem with the full size piece because I'll be able to stand everything off. The procedure is about as easy as it gets. Ammonia in a container to increase surface area, put into a sealed container, wait.
Test pieces ready to go.

It's as good a time as any to start fuming. I've only read about it, and I've been sitting on the last couple of jugs that my work has for just such a project. My company used to have an old blue line machine that used ammonium hydroxide to develop the paper. We have since upgraded to a large format copier, so as common as this stuff used to be in my daily life, it's pretty rare now.

With the drawers complete, there are just a few odds and ends to finish up. The biggest is the top. I ripped it to final width, and in the picture below, I'm trimming it to final length. I tried cutting it at the tablesaw, but it was just too big for the cross cut sled. A straightedge and a straight cutting bit worked nicely.
Trimming the top to final width.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Drawers Fit

Here is a shot of the shavings I was making while fitting the drawers. The No. 4 did a really good job of this, but my only complaint with it is that the handle is a little small, and didn't really fit my hand well. My No. 5 fits my hand better, but I like the control that the No. 4 gives me.
I think I have a drill under there somewhere...

The problem with perfect fitting front faces is that I had to take quite a bit of material off to get it that way. When the drawers are in the open position, you can see what I'm talking about. I showed it to my wife and she didn't notice it until I told her. It didn't bother her, and I don't think that it will bother me. Maybe.
Drawer thickness is off.

Here is a shot showing the drawers in there open position.
Drawers open.

After about 45 minutes of planing and checking, here is the result. False drawer fronts that are flush with the front.
Drawers fitting nicely.

Lots of work, but I'm sneaking up on the fit that I want.
Drawer installed showing me how far I need to go.

With the dowels fit, it was now time to work on the drawer fronts. When I bought the boards, they were S3S. (surfaced 3 sides) The problem with this is that the grain on this board was pretty wild, and there was a lot of chipout, because the board was run in the wrong direction. It's like petting a cat in the wrong direction. So I took some time and sharpened up this plane, and used it to smooth out the board.
Starting to plane down the drawer front with my "new" No. 4 Stanley.

I drilled a 3/8" hole in the legs, and installed the dowels. The closer I'm getting to the end, the more nervous I'm getting because the margin for error is getting greater and greater. Well, the dowels were a little large, so it was back to the lathe. By the time they fit correctly, there wasn't much of a shoulder left.
Dowel serving as a drawer support.

A couple of cuts at the bandsaw, and the dowels are complete.
Dowels complete.

With the drawers installed, it was time to turn my attention to the dowels that will hold the drawers up. I squared up a piece of QSWO and put in on my lathe. After it was round, I took a parting tool, and a couple of open ended wrenches and made a 1/2" dowel, with a 3/8" tenon. If the drawers don't fit, I'll chuck the dowel in the lathe and turn it down until it fits.
Turning the dowels.