|Project by Dan||posted 142 days ago||978 views||6 times favorited||17 comments|
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a project but believe me, I have been busy building and keeping up with all the projects you guys are posting. I get a lot of inspiration from coming here and this project was no different. Not too long ago, I stumbled upon this walnut step stool and knew that as soon as I found the right lumber, that I was going to tackle something similar in the name of “practice.”
I had mentioned in my earlier posts that I had been hesitant to pull the trigger on purchasing some good wood and had been practicing with construction grade pine. I have completed several chairs and I have been happy overall with what I have built, but my maloof style joints have been somewhat sloppy as I have been attempting to kerf out the dados in the legs with my table saw. I had known for some time that I needed to save up and invest in a good dado set, but I’m cheap, young, have two daughters under five years old and not a lot of expendable income. I finally ponied up on a dado set and really had the last piece of the puzzle as far as tools needed to attempt a real Maloof inspired rocker. But I wanted something to practice on, and I wanted to practice with some good lumber.
On top of not wanting to spend a lot of money on good wood, I live in a somewhat rural area, and there isn’t anywhere nearby to even get higher quality lumber if I wanted it. I came across a hardwood lumber company in Jackson, Mississippi while traveling with my job and impulsively decided to splurge on a piece of 8/4 walnut, about 10” in width and 34” long. The price was a little over $9/ bd.ft., so I paid right at $50 bucks for this piece. When I saw this piece of wood, I immediately thought of the above linked stool and knew that this was my next project.
This was my first experience with high quality wood. I came home that day and set the wood up in my garage. For the rest of the week I came home every day and just looked at that board and was afraid to cut into in fear of ruining it. It was so pretty. This was the first time I had even held walnut lumber. I have copies of both “Sam Maloof Woodworker” and “The Furniture of Sam Maloof” and I had become infatuated with walnut and Sam Maloof. My wife rolls her eyes when she hears the words “Maloof” and “walnut,” because I talk about it A LOT.
I decided to hit up my scrap pile and I completed a similiar stool in pine, so I guess that was a “practice” practice piece. That is the last picture I have posted. I was very pleased with the outcome. I even sculpted the legs similar to the above linked project and I loved it, so I decided this was it. I laid out my cut lines and I went to town on the walnut and never looked back. I humbly submit the finished product. After assembly, I couldn’t bring myself to attempt to sculpt the legs as I had the prototype just out of fear of screwing it up. It looked so good to me, I thought, “why mess with it?” Hence, the squared, rounded off result that doesn’t match the practice piece. It’s finished with Maloof’s trademark mix of BLO, Tung Oil, and Varnish. It stands 11” high, 10” deep and 16” wide.
This stool was intended to serve a purpose as well. As stated earlier I have two young daughters, one of whom is getting old enough to brush her own teeth and need a little help reaching the sink as well as a wife who every now and then struggles to reach something in our kitchen cabinets. The problem is, since I finished it I havent allowed anyone to step on it. It is very sturdy as I tested it out before I began sanding. Instead, I painted the “practice” practice piece pink and that is what my daughter is using. The walnut stool is just sitting in the corner of my living room and no one is allowed to touch it. Ha!
Oh well, I’ve rambled enough. I’ve come to love everything about woodworking. I’ve even sold a few pieces and it feels really nice to have someone enjoy what you create enough to want it. I thouroughly enjoy coming here daily and seeing what everyone is working on. Keep up the good work!
-- Dear God, Thank You for wood putty...Amen.