Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Linen Pantry

Natalie wanted a linen cupboard for the guest bathroom.

We found some examples of shaker style cupboards that she liked.

I drew some quick plans and rounded up some material, poplar lumber and birch plywood.

A few hours with the track saw and a couple dozen dominos later, I had a case.

Poplar bead board made the door panels.

After glueing everything up I installed the hardware and trimmed the door to fit.

A little filler and it was time for some milk paint.

Milk paint was an interesting experience.  After a couple tries I got a decent mix.  I found that mixing the powder  into a thick paste first helped.  Then I could thin it down and let it sit overnight.  Straining the mix before application helped.

Once the painting was complete I set up out on the deck and sprayed  few coats of shellac to give the paint a bit more depth and protection.

Monday, September 21, 2015

8 Month Side Tables

I've finally given up thinking I'm going to actually "catch up" on the last 8, 9?, months.  So instead I'll just go pick up more recently and try to go from there.

Last winter, around christmas, I started building a pair of side tables to go with the TV stand. Throw in a ski trip to Japan, a wife with a broken leg and everything that goes with recovering from that and I was pretty happy to get these wrapped up this summer.

The basic frames went together quickly using dominos.

The shelf panels were sized and rabbeted to fit into the rails.

The tops are from a 14" wide walnut board that I picked up a few years back.  I added a bevel to the underside of the top edges to lighten the look a bit.

I'm pleased with the final result. One curly cherry board was used for the two outside faces and the drawer fronts.  

As with the TV stand the drawers are a simple dowel reinforced rabbet which I really quite like the look of.

They are finished with a couple coats of seal coat shellac which was sprayed on.  HVLP and shellac is a brilliant combo for getting a quick, beautiful finish.

Hopefully it won't be another 8 months before I post again, and maybe I'll even get around to finally posting pictures from the first half of this year.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Whiskey Cabinet Construction

All of the lumber for the case and door frame is from one board.  That board was part of a batch of lumber I bought last summer from a guy who was retiring. The board was about 11" wide and had been thicknesses to 3/4". It has a bit of a cup to it so I decided it would work well for this cabinet as i didn't want the case to be a full 3/4" thick.  

I was able to get all the case parts and the shelf from that one piece.  The rails and stiles for the door were from the offcuts of the corresponding case pieces. This let me utilize nearly the entire board and ensured a good grain and color match for the door.

After processing the stock for the case, I laid out and cut the dovetails for the corners. Because the top and bottom overhung the sides I decided to go with half tails on the ends.  For transferring the tail to the pin board I tried out Chris Schwarz's "Dovetail Ruler Trick".  Tacking a wooden ruler on would be even better, but clamping a metal ruler certainly helped.

With the case complete, I cut dados in the sides for the shelf.  I ended up cutting them by hand for the practice and because I didn't feel like taking the route out of the table.  This operation was certainly one of those times where trying to use the router may have taken longer by the time I got it set up. The groove for the back panel was cut at the router table as I hadn't received this yet.

Having spent some time trying to get an old Stanley #55 to work well, this tool is a welcome change. 

Next up was to finish the door panel.  I had decided to finish this project with General Finished EnduroVar and it went on really nicely.  This finish has all the good characteristics of a water borne finish, easy clean up, dries fast, and doesn't smell terrible while also having the nice warm color of a oil varnish. I found that cheap foam brushes were the best way to apply this, though I suspect it will spray nicely when the weather is warm enough to finish outside.

I lightly sanded between coats with 220 to smooth things out, and then finished the final coat with 3M scotchbrite pads.  I found that they stick pretty well onto the ROS which makes bringing the entire panel up to an even sheen a piece of cake.

The door frame was pretty straightforward, grooves on the router table for the panel and dominos for the joints. Old Brown Glue to stick it all together.

To protect the panel I covered it with painters tape.  Then it was time to sand the frame smooth and move onto hardware installation.

As I was using knife hinges, I had to to cut the mortises for them before I glued up the case.  When it came time to glue up the case I installed the door to make sure everything lined up. 

And the final product, installed and serving admirably. It is hung with a French cleat.  I offset the back panel 3/8" in to allow for the thicker french cleat.  The fixed portion of the cleat is glued directly onto the plywood back and the top. The wall mounted cleat was attached to the wall with 3 Wall dog screws, one of which is into a stud so it should hold up to a full load of the good stuff.

I've got better pictures of the finished piece here.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Christmas Knives.

This was the first year I had things together enough to get some things done in the shop for christmas presents.  Last post I showed the pictures from the whiskey cabinet, the other christmas gifts that came out of the shop were a couple knife and cutting board sets.

I got the knife blades from Woodcraft.  They came as a kit with rivets that were indicated as optional.  Bubinga was used for the knife scales and was epoxied onto the tang.  I used 5min epoxy which I turned out to not be the best choice.  A slower setting epoxy would be better.  

The cutting boards as simple, curly maple with a Bubinga strip down the center.

And here is a picture of one in use.  Overall the knife kits were made for great gifts.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Whiskey Cabinet

This year for Christmas I built a small whiskey cabinet for my father-in-law. The case and door frame are from a single board that I picked up last summer.  It had been milled to 3/4" and was a bit cupped so it wouldn't work for the side tables which need 3/4"+ parts.  I was able to get all the parts for the cabinet straight and still end up with a heavy 1/2" which I think looks nice on a cabinet this size.

The door panel is book matched walnut from a another board I had stashed away. 

I am really pleased with how the door came out.

The case is dovetailed with the top and bottom protruding out past the case edges.

 I finished the cabinet with General finished Enduro Var.  This was the first time I have used this and I was quite pleased with it.  It is a water borne varnish with a bit of color to it.  It certainly looks much better than other water borne finishes I've used while still drying quickly and not being unpleasant to work with. I may try spraying it on the next project I complete.

The door is mounted with knife hinges from Brusso. They were a real pleasure to work with.

I used a small brass pull, also from Brusso, which I think goes well with cherry.

A small brass catch is mounted behind the pull to keep the door shut.