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.