|Project by AffineCreations||posted 04-10-2012 01:02 AM||4027 views||20 times favorited||35 comments|
This project was actually a set of experiments. First and foremost, it was a chance to learn to use my new INCRA router table set up. Used some of the money from our tax refund to get this new toy. After a couple practice joints, decided to jump right in and try one of the fancy joints that had seduced me into getting the set up. Turned out to be fairly straightforward to cut Double Corner Post Dovetails.
Recently, while lollygagging around the yard, I noticed an interesting wavy pattern on the side of a piece of firewood. Took it down to the shop and cut off a slice. Lo and behold, some Curly Maple. I continued to dig through the firewood pile and found all sorts of promising pieces. In fact, one day I sorted through all the firewood and separated out all the pieces I thought might be interesting. This is includes a lovely log of some still un-identified wood with fantastic spalting So that was another part of this experiment: turning rough firewood pieces into nicely dimensioned lumber.
Came around this article Dyes Bring Out Best in Figured Maple (FWW) and had to try this. Picked up some dyes and after a few failed experiments, finally got something I liked Achieved this by building up first a Dark Mission Brown, sanding down. Then some Yellow Maple dye, sanding down. And finally an Light Antique Cherry red for hight light and final sanding. Hard to see from the photos, but under sunlight, the different colors come out at different viewing and illumination angles. BTW, this is that initial firewood log that caught my eye. Another new thing for me was the use of Walnut oil.
The final experiment was the finish. I have always liked using fresh shellac. But I recently thought to try wet sanding the final coat. After applying and applying walnut oil (the wood for the sides was very dry), waiting for that to dry and then applying and applying 1lb cut shellac (I mean that wood was dry), I finally got to the point I could build up a substantial coat of 2 lb cut shellac. Enough so I could dry sand it with 400 grit as to level out the surface and remove traces of brush strokes. Onto this this I padded on some more 2 lb cut shellac until no traces of sanding marks remained. And now the fun: using mineral oil and 600 grit wet sandpaper, I sanded until, when wiped and viewed at a glancing angle, I could see no evidence of unsanded glossiness. After wiping off the mineral oil, I polished with 0000 synthetic steel wool and paste wax and then buffed with a cloth. The smooth, glossy surface lets all the details of the found, spalted wood shine. I love how people are drawn to touching the surfaces, to feel how smooth I got it.
Also added some unfinished cherry dividers inside. Unfinished because my wife wants to keep her loose tea in the box.
More photos over at Flickr
-- - Nicholas, Silver Spring, MD http://AffineCreations.com