Hey everyone, it’s good to be back. Had to take some time off due to work and life getting in the way as always and also some time to think about how I wanted to tackle the tops. In my last blog, i tried fixing my tearout mistakes with inlays. Well that didn’t go to well either and the tops looked far worse in some places. I wasn’t happy with such obvious mistakes being so visible so I scrapped the old tops however I will be saving them to use on smaller boxes or jewelry box tops. I figured the fastest way to fix my mistakes was to just redo them completely.
I learned a lot from those mistakes though. 1) Make sure if you resaw your own veneer, that its all a consistent thickness before trying to press it. 2) make sure you press the veneer correctly. These tops were the first time I did veneers and I did them with some cheap clamps and cauls. Well they weren’t glued down in some places so when I went to level the veneers and flatten them using a hand plane(they were around 1/8” thick veneer), it would grab a piece and just tear it out since it wasn’t glued down.
So I redid my veneer press to use cauls that I tapered at the ends with a hand plane so that there would be pressure all the way across when clamped. I also bit the bullet this time and bought professional cut veneer from veneersupplies.com (excellent) so that I had consistent thickness which would help with distributing the clamping pressure evenly across. I also used 1/2” mdf on the top and bottom to also help distribute pressure under the clamps. Last time I used 1/4” hardboard. Finally, I bought some deep throat F clamps so I could clamp further towards the center instead of just around the edges.
These tops came out perfect this time :) There isn’t a single air bubble or part that isn’t glued down. No tearout, nothing. The only issue was I didn’t notice how I laid out the veneer in relation to the substrates, so the center of the 4 point match isn’t perfectly center in the top.
So here are the new tops all sanded and the completed stands(without finish). I got a lot of practice joining veneers and doing a 4 corner match since I had to redo them a couple times :)
I routed a 45 degree bevel on the underside of the top frames as well, not sure how well you can see it from these pics.
The drawer handles will be screwed on after the finish but they are these style stainless steel pulls… http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=23330&filter=drawer%20pull
So, after almost 1 1/2 years, I will finally be able to finish these stands :) and move on to the bed(I dont plan on that one taking as long)!! Super excited about completing these.
Tomorrow I will start the finishing process. This is the first time finishing a nightstand or anything with drawers. Charles Neil has helped me with some questions I had regarding the overall finish, but I forgot to ask a few so hopefully someone here can help. I plan on using General Finishes Arm-R-Seal Urethane Topcoat for the finish.
1) Do I finish the inside walls of the stand that will be blocked by the drawers?
2) Do I finish the drawer sides and interior of the drawer? I know I shouldn’t finish the bottom edges of the drawer or rails where they slide on though. I believe I’m to wax these instead?
Questions, comments, constructive criticism welcome.
-- - Eric Noblesville, IN