|Project by Paul Bucalo||posted 05-14-2016 06:24 PM||653 views||0 times favorited||6 comments|
A short time ago my youngest daughter acquired her newest friend from a local animal shelter: Laszlo. He is a young pup that had been living on the streets of Buffalo until the shelter picked him up. He’s an energetic and loving youngster, though he does have some bad habits that will have to be worked on over time. One of those is his desire to take his old plastic dishes, chew them up and drag them around the house. So a call went out to Dad to fashion a serving unit that was heavy enough that Laszlo couldn’t do this. My response was to build the server out of oak and cherry.
The front and rear sides are one-piece white oak beams with a height of 3”. The top is a glue-up of four 3-1/2” wide by 7/8” red oak boards that were trimmed down to the final dimensions of 21” wide and 12” deep. Side handles are cherry.
My daughter wanted a dark finish similar to a photo I found on the Web of a similar build. My first impulse was to use the Rustoleum Kona oil stain I already had, but at the time it seemed like it would be too dark. I ended up going with Minwax’s stain and poly in one, Espresso color. A big mistake. A horrendous product that is difficult to apply and spreads stain unevenly with each application. After two coats I had large runs on every vertical and underside surface that had the intended color within, with everywhere else barely any stain coverage. The poly portion was a mess, as can be seen in these dried underside pictures.
A couple of days later, I made the decision to sand down the top, front, back and sides, leaving the underside alone.
I applied two coats of the Kona stain I had first thought of. Some residual Espresso stain and poly from before was left on and this ended up enhancing the depth of the wood.
After two sprayed on coats of Minwax Helmsman Spar poly had cured, I took 0000 steel wool to the outside faces and then applied two coats of Johnson’s Original Formula Paste Wax for a subdued sheen.
The rubber grommet around the dish openings is foam rubber weather stripping. Empty, the dishes ride proud of the top surface. Over time and with weight they will give so that the dishes fully settle in. The rubber pads are cut from an old mouse pad that had a cloth top (which I peeled off) and applied with contact cement. This material is great for making non-skid feet.
Pictures have been sent to my daughter and Monday everything gets shipped out to her side of the state.
This was a lot of fun to build and some valuable lessons learned in the process. I plan on making more of these.
-- -- Paul Bucalo, Upstate NY USA