|Project by HorstPeter||posted 01-25-2011 07:38 PM||1460 views||4 times favorited||7 comments|
I thought my next posted project would be the second stepstool I’ve been making and it has been done for a while actually, but I’ve not completed putting on a finish yet. So I’m posting up this little project I’ve done for my niece meanwhile.
It’s a small table for her Barbies. She has some small chairs that a furniture store gave out for free (some made out of plastic, oh the sad irony) and my mum mentioned how it would be nice to have a table to go along with them. Although now that I’ve finished the table, my mum said that the chairs look a bit crummy next to it. Might’ve been a hint that I should do a full set of chairs to go with this table.
This project was something new for me in a few areas. First off and the biggest thing for me was how I treated it. I tried not to obsess over things as I usually do and if something ends up being far less than perfect I’d be ok with it. Of course I didn’t work sloppy on purpose, but it was interesting to not go crazy over small mistakes or other stuff for a change. Next was working with the alder, it is such a soft wood, that in this small scale and with the small tenons and mortises getting a tight fit isn’t all that easy. Still worked out pretty well, only the table base ended up a bit of a paralellogramm instead of proper right angles. Not that you can see it unless you check for it really.
The wood is all from leftovers I had, alder, walnut and ash, with some piece of burl veneer from my assortement box as inlay. Thought it looked a bit too bland without it, so I added it on a whim. Just like the whole design was done without any planning at all. The construction is made like for a real table, but I did glue the whole breadboard end and also the top, hoping that at this size it won’t be warped from the wood-movement like in a proper sized table.
The finish is a base of walnut oil and followed by honey shellac applied on the hand-planed surface, as usual no sanding on my pieces. Since this was a piece for my niece and more or less a wood-doodle for me, I thought I’d just use it to practice shellac-polishing. I learned quite some things about how pad movements and amounts of shellac, alcohol or pumice affect the surface. You can see in the last shot against the light just how horribly uneven the top still is, even though if you look at it normally it looks rather nice and with a great depth to it. Which sadly isn’t easy to capture in a photo at all.
This project along with Waldschrats post here http://lumberjocks.com/projects/42964 made me think about finishing a lot again. What is an acceptable finish quality. There’s a lot I could write about it and it’s not really the place here in the project page probably, but I’m very interested in what the thoughts of everyone here are. I have my own preferences and they are probably quite clear and strict, but I do wonder how other people see this. As often when I show a finish like on this table to people they find it fantastic and admire the gloss and reflections in it, but if I look at it myself against the light it makes me cringe inside and I feel like getting out the pumice and pad and go over it again and again to level it.
Anyway, thanks for reading my wall of text and looking at my project and any thoughts you might have to spare on the topic.