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What He Was Looking For

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Blog entry by Mark Wilson posted 08-22-2015 05:11 AM 858 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

They weren’t shiny enough. I know. In the eyes of a woodsmith, such as we, they were beautiful. But the guys who put years of work into their show buggies insist, as do the judges, that bedboards appear as though there’s a sheet of quarter-inch glass lying on top. Which they do now. He handed them over to someone else. A word about the someone else: He’s a guy who spent thirty years restoring and refinishing pianos. His current gig involves building and finishing furniture for Gulfstream Jets. Why my man didn’t go to him in the first place is a mystery. I spent at least 120 hours, taking off the old finish, bleaching out the iron stains that had developed over the years, laying on layer after layer of polyurethane (about 18, in the end), and, in short, being absolutely consumed and wrecked by the project. And wound up with gorgeous wood that lacked the appropriate shine. So, three coats of an unknown clear coat, sprayed on, and here’s what he got. I don’t blame him. This was done in less than a week. Hours, I don’t know. Clear coat, I don’t know. If I ever meet the guy again (the someone else), I’ll ask him. For now, I’m so over this.
By way of redeeming myself, I made some door props for him. I just handed them over to him. His buggy is at the L.A. Convention Center now, for the weekend. He took off this afternoon, just as I was Trimming them to fit properly. I won’t know until after the show whether they do, unless he calls me. In case they don’t (and my self-confidence has taken a brutal beating lately), I handed him two little wedges that, while having no style at all, should do the job.

-- Mark



7 comments so far

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2316 posts in 3145 days


#1 posted 08-22-2015 06:58 AM

Can’t keep everyone happy Mark, always that one that make you feel bad. He ended up with a nice job but.

-- Bob C, Australia. I love sharing as long as it is not my tools

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1751 posts in 524 days


#2 posted 08-22-2015 07:11 AM

Yeah, he did. By way of making sure I didn’t pollute anyone’s mind about this guy: He was as apologetic afterward as I was. (“Don’t beat yourself up about it; I know how hard you worked on it; I think the world of your craftsmanship; I’ll keep using you and recommending you”, etc.) He knew how hard I tried and how much it took out of me. (He’s my neighbor, and, while I wouldn’t say he knows me well, he knows enough about me. He simply wanted them shinier than I, evidently, was able to make them. I sincerely hope he brings home another trophy.

-- Mark

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16241 posts in 3680 days


#3 posted 08-22-2015 12:32 PM

As someone who has put mirror finishes on small boxes, I can’t even imagine doing it to old truck bed boards. Your result looks great to me, but these old car guys can be mighty persnickety.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View woodsmithshop's profile

woodsmithshop

1253 posts in 3007 days


#4 posted 08-22-2015 02:55 PM

THE BIG QUESTION, did you get paid for all of your hard work??? if not, a deposit should have been made before you started.

-- Smitty!!!

View Rockbuster's profile

Rockbuster

499 posts in 2070 days


#5 posted 08-22-2015 04:33 PM

Hey Mark, I thought that your original boards looked good, but the next time that someone wants a finish with that much depth , try using Enviro-tex, and pour on a bar top finish. I have another suggestion, if you don’t mind. The next time that you make a tenon too small, simply make it even smaller, and take it down to a standard size, then simply drill that size hole in another piece of wood, and glue it on to the tenon, and re, turn it.

-- Rockbuster,Ft. Wayne,In It is far better to remain silent, and appear the fool, than it is to open ones mouth, and remove all doubt.

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1751 posts in 524 days


#6 posted 08-22-2015 09:29 PM

Don: Done that. Thought about it this time. Would have wound up with an extra ring at the base of the finial. And, Envirotex is on my study docket now (opened in a new tab).
Yes, Smitty, I got paid – up front.
Charlie, the one piece I actually ever got a mirror finish on was a lamp table I made for my sister, before I knew anything about woodsmithery. As I recall, I brushed on three or four coats of varnish and chased dust away the whole while. Seriously, I knew nothing but what the label told me. That finish, I’m told, looks as good today as the day I delivered it. I wish I had photos. I’d love to show it to you. Not just the finish, but the whole piece exhibits the innovation of a truly ignorant person. It’s amazing what one can do when one has no clue.
It just occurred to me that that table led to polishing a stick, which led to my love of wood. That was my birth as a woodsmith. Heavy.

-- Mark

View woodsmithshop's profile

woodsmithshop

1253 posts in 3007 days


#7 posted 08-23-2015 02:49 PM

glad to hear that you got paid for all of your hard work.

-- Smitty!!!

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