|Project by WoodRivWW||posted 03-31-2008 06:28 PM||1208 views||1 time favorited||10 comments|
The house had been sitting on the market for over two years when we bought it. We were living in Connecticut at the time and coming to Hailey for the summers. Although the living room was one of the better looking spaces in the house, the 70’s character was not to our taste and the small doorway to the next room (see before pic) made both spaces feel cramped. We thought that opening up the wall would provide a more spacious feel for both the living room and the next room (we haven’t tackled that room yet, and aren’t sure what to make of it). We love Arts and Crafts style so the idea for the built-in was born.
I used quarter-sawn red oak. I followed Jeff Jewitt’s “Safe and Simple Arts and Crafts Finish,” FWW #157, pp. 42-45, recipe of applying a water-based dye (I used Transtint “honey-amber”) followed by an oil-based stain (I used MinWax “golden oak”). For my top coat I used Garret Hack’s “Oil-Varnish Mixture is Easy to Apply,” FWW, Jan./Feb. 1997. This calls for a mixture of equal parts marine spar varnish, turpentine and linseed oil that is wiped on and then wiped off for three to four coats. This was followed by Hack’s favorite wax coat (same article) consisting of beeswax, linseed oil, and turpentine. This mixture is prepared in a double boiler achieving a consistency of warm butter. The wax mixture is rubbed on with 0000 steel wool and buffed to a soft sheen with a cloth.
The trickiest parts of the project were fitting the cabinets and beams to the existing structure (anyone who’s worked with an old house knows that nothing is plumb, square, or level), and making the tapered pillars. The pillars are four-sided, 8” square at the base and 6” square at the top. Each of the eight panels (for the two pillars) had to be tapered and beveled on both sides. Also, I didn’t find enough wide boards at my wood store for all eight sides so I needed to resaw the four pieces I had. After resawing, of course, the panels bowed like this “(” making them impossible to work with for my pillars. I decided to plane the eight panels down to 1/4” and glue them to some 3/4 MDF and then cut them to shape. This worked great.
This was my first major woodworking project. I must confess, I was totally over my head, but I took my time and learned a lot.
P.S. When you compare the before and after pics you’ll notice the windows, ceiling, walls and floor are all redone. As I mentioned in my profile my wife and I have been working on our place for seven years. We think we’ll actually complete the renovation within the next 12 months!!
-- Hailey, ID