|Project by Shannan||posted 07-07-2014 01:00 AM||721 views||0 times favorited||3 comments|
A couple of years ago, I agreed to make a teacup rack for a friend. It was supposed to be a wedding gift, but almost immediately after I agreed to make it, I moved unexpectedly and lost access to my shop. I have felt guilty about this non-starter gift for the past two years, but this summer I finally had the time and resources to figure out a way to jury rig what I needed to complete the build.
I used an Ikea bookcase flipped over on its side as a makeshift workbench for hand-sawing tenons and did most of my chiseling for the mortises on my living room floor. I used extra boards and clamps to turn my friend’s patio furniture into a temporary routing table to make the grooves in the shelves and to finish the last of the mortises. This was my first time using mortise and tenon joints, and it was both a challenge and a joy to get them to turn out right!
The rack needed to be lightweight, since it was going to hang on the walls of an apartment, so I made it using Aspen Pine that I got the guys at Lowe’s to cut to my measurements. I went with a rustic design and through-tenons to minimize the need for planing. I learned from my mistakes as I went, and I’m looking forward to putting what I’ve learned to use on my next project.
After the dry-fit and glue-up were complete, I used Minwax Polyshades in Antique Walnut for the finish—discovering to my chagrin after the first coat raised some red flags that the product had terrible reviews. Following advice I found on Lumberjocks, I kept at it and was able to achieve a respectable finish after five coats, sanding with #0000 steel wool between each one. I’m still kind of bummed with the way the Polyshades dripped and clotted, but I don’t think my friend will notice or mind the details that bug me, and even I have to admit that you can’t see them from a couple feet away.
Overall, I’m really happy with the way it turned out, and SO GLAD that I can finally deliver on this long-overdue gift!