Building a Credenza #12: Final touches and off to the FINISHING BOOTH !!!

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Blog entry by Blake posted 01-06-2011 01:32 AM 6462 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 11: Installing the Drawers Part 12 of Building a Credenza series Part 13: Assembly and done! »

Its been a while since I have updated this blog, but I have been working on the Credenza off and on. The problem is that there is not much to show for the work I have been doing on it lately. It hasn’t changed in appearance much since the last post. This is mostly because of all the sanding I’ve had to do. Hours and hours and HOURS of sanding. I’ve also spent days on all the final fitting, adjusting, aligning, and fussing with all of the parts and hardware to make sure it is actually ready for the finishing booth.

I decided a while back that I was not going to hand finish this piece. I will get it professionally finished. This decision is in part because I found the right finishing guy. But it is also just HUGE and I’d rather pay someone else to spray it than spend the next hundred years french polishing it myself.

Some of the following photos are in my old shop, before I moved into the new shop. Then I didn’t work on it for a while since I got sidetracked by the Freestanding Cabinet. And now, since I have to move again, I made the decision to get this thing DONE so it doesn’t go back to my tiny old shop.

Here are a few more photos that I snapped over the last few months:

Running the doors and drawer fronts through my Ryobi thickness sander at my old shop:


Many many many many many many many hours of hand sanding:


I cut a slot down the end-grain side of each door and drawer front:


These battens will be laminated into those slots to reinforce the solid panels and stabilize them to prevent warping:


Here the battens are getting glued in place on the table saw, since it is a perfectly flat surface. Shims are used to slightly hyper-extend the opposing high corners in the hopes that when it “relaxes” it will be flat.


The battens glued up:


And here they are trimmed:


Oh look, more sanding. Every outer surface of this Credenza has been polished to 600 grit. You can see your reflection in the figured Jatoba when it is done. A new trick I learned: after you sand to 220 grit with the random orbit sander, cut a circular piece of 600 grit paper a little bigger than the 220 disk. If your sander is connected to a vac hose, the suction plus the friction of the 220 disk will hold your 600 grit disk in place. It is surprising how well it works. So you can use your random orbit sander with any sandpaper you want!


I broke my big toe nail… nothing a little epoxy won’t fix. Luckily this was on the back side of a rear foot. I didn’t take an “after” photo but once it was sanded you could barely notice it.


I love this next photo… the Credenza on the lift. Man, what a luxury. It really made it easy for all the tedious fitting of hardware.


A did add a second vent for cross-ventilation (for the electronics) but I still need to order it.


Finally, when everything is trimmed and fits perfectly, it is disassembled and all of the hardware is removed in preparation for the finish shop.


Then It gets loaded up in my truck…


And off it goes!


My friend Don (who I have been sharing the shop space with) has helped me immensely over the past three weeks to complete this project while we still have our shop. THANKS A TON DON. Believe it or not, the above photos represent about 56 hours between the two of us.

Total building time so far: 146 hours.

-- Happy woodworking!

14 comments so far

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13347 posts in 3093 days

#1 posted 01-06-2011 01:44 AM

Nice work.

View chrisstef's profile


15459 posts in 2426 days

#2 posted 01-06-2011 01:52 AM

I cant wait to see it shine once the finish is sprayed. Lookis like a lot of hard work has gone into that (money too).

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Karson's profile


35032 posts in 3820 days

#3 posted 01-06-2011 01:58 AM

Nice looking Great tip on the sandpaper.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2535 days

#4 posted 01-06-2011 02:32 AM

I think we all are very excided to see this beautyfull piece
completly finished with finish ,hardware and installed in your home Blake

but next time you have to moove it , then remember a matress / formmatts under it
the blanket isn´t enoff to prevent marks if you meet an unseen bumb/hole on the road

take care

View SPalm's profile


5249 posts in 3302 days

#5 posted 01-06-2011 03:01 AM

Yowser Badowser !
Can’t wait till we see it with a finish.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 3519 days

#6 posted 01-06-2011 03:40 AM

Bearing witness to the growth of a woodworking artist…awesome:)

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 2430 days

#7 posted 01-06-2011 06:57 AM

oh boy oh boy oh boy…can’t wait for the finish! Wish there was a way you could have outsourced the sanding too, but it’s a labor of love I suppose. lol

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 2354 days

#8 posted 01-06-2011 09:01 AM

I think it would look great when done.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View mafe's profile


11061 posts in 2509 days

#9 posted 01-06-2011 12:12 PM

Look forward.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4445 posts in 3382 days

#10 posted 01-06-2011 06:44 PM

Great stuff, Blake. WOW!!! To 600 grit???? That’s slick.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1877 posts in 3092 days

#11 posted 01-07-2011 03:31 AM

Nice job, Blake!! Can’t wait to see it finished!!

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View AaronK's profile


1436 posts in 2884 days

#12 posted 01-28-2011 03:15 AM

i like your idea of internal battens. they look good, dont stick out, and do an important job. something to remember when building solid panels.

View yuri's profile


136 posts in 3023 days

#13 posted 01-28-2011 07:46 PM

I have a question about battens glued into door and panels. How it is going to work against shrinking/expending with moisture changing? There are cross grain glued. What are your thoughts?

View Blake's profile


3442 posts in 3294 days

#14 posted 01-29-2011 06:14 PM

Its so solid and that stuff is so dense its not going anywhere. My friend has been doing solid door panels that way for 40 years and they have held up.

-- Happy woodworking!

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