|Project by edapp||posted 12-15-2015 03:12 PM||3677 views||17 times favorited||17 comments|
This project contains many firsts for me:
First project on Lumberjocks
First project starting from a tree.
First time using sketchup for more than a general design standpoint (really helps when you start the milling process!)
First experience with milk paint
First try on any real traditional joinery (through dovetail/wedged tenon on the top, second time doing a breadboard)
First time making drawers from solid wood, and with no mechanical slides
First time using dyed epoxy to fill voids/knot holes
and I am sure there are more.
This project, starting with the tree, took 10 months to complete. The construction phase took roughly 5 months. The design of the case was heavily inspired by Benchcrafted’s “Shaker Bench” but I combined it with the traditional legs/joinery of the Roubo bench and a breadboard end which makes a nice space for my son to eat breakfast. Beyond the top, the “joinery” consists of pocket holes, glue and screws or in some cases just 1.25” drywall screws. I liked the look of some of the hardware being exposed on the inside of the case, I think it makes the piece look simple (like maybe it didn’t take 5 months to complete). The only wood used other than the original poplar tree is a few inches of oak dowel in the breadboard, the visible walnut on the top (plugs, wedges) and the beech door pulls.
My original plan was to paint the case and stain the top, but once I started milling I started to feel like painting some of this grain would be a sin. As a way to hedge my bets I chose the best grain for all visible portions of the project and waited until it was complete to decide whether to paint or stain. I spent a lot of time bookmatching the panels and drawers only to determine the variances in color and dark knots came together to create a more dark and heavy looking piece than I was going for. That, along with some pressure from my wife, made the final decision. I think the natural top and inside (drawers, cabinets) complement each other well and make it look lighter than it is. I really wish I could get some of the figure in the top to show in these pictures (the breadboard especially!).
The milk paint was fantastic. I absolutely loved the application process (its very simple and forgiving). The final product has 2-3 coats of 2/3 tavern green mixed with 1/3 snow white. The matte, chalky look is unique and has gotten a lot of complements from guests. The top was finished with 4 coats of general finishes arm-r-seal top coat (gloss) and one final coat of arm-r-seal top coat satin. Johnsons paste wax to top it off and this thing feels great and cleans up easily. The soft poplar is showing wear as expected and I think will show its age nicely.
Overall I am extremely happy with the project, and very proud to display it in my home. Thanks for looking!