Old pine should burn and gray at the close of day;Measure, measure, and check for square. Though wise woodworkers at their end know dark walnut stain is fair,Because their sanders had left no pigtails theyDo not go gentle into that good chair. Good woodworkers, the last coat by, cry ‘Varathane’Their dilute poly might protect this day,Measure, measure, and check for square. Wild woodworkers who cut and saw while half aware,And learn, too late, to measure once is to pray,Do...
I had read many times before about the three pillars of a craft: Design, Construction, and Finishing. Let me tell me you, after this experience, I truly realize now and appreciate the amount of effort and knowledge and true craftsmanship that goes into finishing. I posted on multiple forums, read many an article, and watched a veritable slew of finishing videos. Videos about outdoor finishing, videos about varnish finishes, articles about the pros and cons of diluting your polurethane. ...
Staining the seat. As mentioned, I’m using a dark walnut gel stain. This is what it looks like before wiping it off.I actually really like the way this looks. If for some reason the finish turns out horribly, at least I know I can resort to a paint to get it to look like this. ....annnndd this is what it looks like after wiping it off. Once gain, I’m satisfied but by no means ecstatic. I opted not to use wood conditioner since it is a gel stain and gel stain sh...
Based on discussion with some of the woodworkers on /r/woodworking, I opted to forego the pre-stain conditioner. I went again and stained the entire back rest with the dark walnut gel stain. Doesn’t look like Dark Walnut on most of the pieces though, eh? This is because, as I mentioned before, all the wood was second-hard from a friend of a friend’s bookshelf. I’m not sure if he had stained it previously or it was just the natural aging of the wood, but the color of ...
Since this was my first foray into a proper finish ( the most I’ve done before is a spray lacquer finish ), I decided to make a test board. I put a bunch of test dowel plugs into it and broke it out into a bunch of different sections. I used Varathane Dark Walnut Gel Stain and Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner. Top row is 80 grit, middle row is 150 grit, bottom row is 220 grit. Left to right columns are 2 minute rest time, 4 minute rest time, 6 minute rest time, 8 minute rest tim...
Next on the list was plugging all the screw holes and drilling holes for the recliner bar. I was considering making the plugs out of oak with a plug cutter but after making a test board with the stain and poly I planned to use on the project, I really liked the contrast between regular dowels and the rest of the chair so I opted to go that route. All the plugs were glued in and cut flush to the surface. Thanks much to my fiancee, Dani, for all her help plugging! I know she has a lot of ...
Now that the seat was all set. It was tie to begin on the back rest. I mde a few more mistakes in this portion by drilling the pilot holes first. Some of them I drilled misaligned (I have since purchased a drill press so the next time I do something like this, I’ll be 100% sure my pilot holes will be lined up. What happened was the back rest box was a little misaligned at the corners. I cleaned it up with my sander and block plane. Not everything lined up perfectly, but I was ha...
Here I’ve added the additional front stretecher to span the gap created by my previous mistake. I actually think it looks better this way so all went well. Now it gives the front seat slat something against which to anchor. I forgot to mention that the front seat slat has notches cut into the sides so it fits snuggly against the lets and sits a bit proud from the front plane of the chair. I then realized that I forgot to route the 1/4” round overs on all the tops of the seat...
Here I’ve added the seat supports, seat slats, and back support to which the back rest will be hinged. Again, all screws countersunk. The seat supports aren’t pictured too well but you can slightly see them holding up the seat slats. They too have a 5 degree bevel on the top as well as 7 degree bevel on the bottom. Here you can see my previously mentioned mistake. Unfortunately, I put the front stretcher 3 inches too low. It should be 10-1/2” from the floor but I ...
Stretching is important. It increases circulation, increases flexibility, increases one’s range of motion, has been proven to reduce stress, has been known to reduce lower back pain, and holds chairs together. Here I’ve added the front and back stretcher and the left and right stretcher. I made my first mistake of the project here. It’s probably not noticeable in this pictures but it will be revealed in a later blog entry. Can you spot it? The upper side stretchers...
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