Ok, so I have been meaning to have posted on LJ’s for a while now, but I was in Wood Working Hiatus for a bit because I was at a very busy time in my Doctoral process. So here is my latest projects or should I say version 2.0 of a project I did for my mother last semester. Hopefully the results on this one will turn out a bit better than the last. Not that it didn’t turn out ok, but always room for improvement!
So here is the rundown. My mom asked me back during the summer to make a wood dog feeder stand for a charity auction to help rescues for English Mastiffs. Since the clientele of these auctions typically own Mastiffs I decided to make a 3qt feed stand that was a tad fancier than ones you could get online and hopefully do it a bit better than the ones at your local pet supply store. In the first project, we tried to save money when buying dimensional lumber and went with poplar, pine and birch (you can see my other blog entry for a bit more on that). Well, I learned a lot on that project as it was one of my first. In the interim, a woodshop opened up in the greater Urbana, IL area that sold good quality S2S lumber so we could avoid dimensional and I wouldn’t have to drive to Chicago or Peoria to get it (kind of defeats the purpose of saving $$ when you drive your truck that far).
Ok so on to the project. Materials used: Plainsawn Oak, Minwax Red Oak Stain, Crystalac Wood Grain Filler & Minwax quick drying poly.
So I started by milling the lumber down to dimensions. My first time with S2S lumber and I have to say, it took a while but it was totally a cathartic experience. It was great to get out into the shop and spend time getting the lumber into shape. I got a bit frustrated with some minor burn on rip cuts with my WWII and a bit of minor snipe on my Ridgid 13” planer. But all in all, I was able to get it down to size pretty quickly.
So the top is roughly 13” by 24”. The skirts are 3 1/2” with a birch appliqué on the front (couldn’t wait for the oak one to come in the mail). The legs I made from 8/4 Oak and ran a beading bit down the center (they are 16” tall). I used a template from a prior project to cut the circles rough and a flush trim bit to clean it up.
So I made the top out of four 3 1/4 pieces of Oak (7/8” thickness). The top could have really been a bit bigger for my liking on the width, but I wanted to be able to run it back through the planer after joining it. I used a MLCS Glue Edge Joint to put the top pieces together. It was a bit tricky to figure out exactly, but after some tweaking I got it to within 1/32” in alignment. The Planer did the rest.
Ok, so on to the staining, I used this Minwax and everything seemed to go OK, a humid day, so I brought the wood into the house to dry. Everything going ok until the next day when i notice that a thick stainlike substance seeping out of the grain. I wiped the wood down and it continued for 4 days :-( During this time I continually wiped, occasionally using lacquer thinner on a rag, as I read somewhere that this would help and I guess it might have. First time running into this problem. Not sure if it was the Minwax as the wood was kiln dried or if I put it on too thick (I doubt it but you never know).
So once this finally dried, I applied a washcoat and on to filling the grain. I had never done this before so I opted for a product called Crystalac from my local supply shop over Sher-wood or Wunderfill. A big mistake! I basically didn’t trust myself to get the color right so I opted for the transparent filler. The instructions were awful and it took quite a bit of experimenting and 6 coat to get the grain mostly filled. I finally had to give up on the dream of a piano style finish and move on to the clear coat. Oh well, at least I didn’t scratch through to the stain or anything. I will post a review of this once I get a chance to work with it again and post any observations I have. I really am surprised that there isn’t more info out there on it as far as applying it the right way. Anywho, I can say that it sets up rock hard and totally transparent!
So I will end this phase of the blog by saying that I had to abandon my entrée into shading because of the various setbacks, I was going to darken the routed details and edges of the legs a bit to make it look richer.
Here are some pics if your are interested!