Tuesday, February 12, 2019

My winter 2018 project

It's almost spring - and I'm looking forward to its arrival!  It's been a cold and wet winter here in sunny California.  Sure, we need the rain and I'm happy we've had as much as we have had.  But, I like California because it's usually warm and sunny!  I'm ready for warmth, and sun!

I don't work well in the cold (Last November in Etna - brrrrrrr!).  So, I've had my heater on out in the shop, I've kept the garage door closed most of the time, and I've worn heavier clothes.  I've done a few things, but nothing really to write home about.

The main project has been a double dog kennel.  I built this for the young couple that bought one of my big tables last year.  It was painted a silver color in a style similar to  Z-Gallerie  or Restoration Hardware furniture.  She approached me about building a bench to match the table, and instead we ended up designing a double dog crate/console cabinet that will sit in the area of their dining room and be a pretty place to stash their two dogs when they are entertaining. 

The final project - sans drawer knobs (the owner will be adding those!)

Admittedly, this was not the easiest of builds.  Originally, it was going to have just one row of drawers, then the design changed to have an open area below the drawers, and finally, the two lower drawers were added.  I think this was a good change - so much more useful.  But, more work.  Also, the door on the left was nothing but trouble!  It was tweaked somewhere and it sits a bit proud of the face frame.  I even rebuilt the door thinking maybe it was out of square.  I moved the hinges around a couple of times, too.  Nothing changed.  So, I decided it was something they would have to live with.  Another challenge was the latch on the left side.  The latches were made to screw in from the back.  However, the face frame position didn't allow for that.  I was able to squeeze the screws in on the right side, but there just wasn't a way to do that on the left.  So, I had to come up with another option.  I'd used epoxy before to fill some holes in wood and knew that it could also be used as a "glue".  So, I used a fast setting epoxy to attach the latch to the face frame.  The latches are level on the face frame - even though it doesn't look like it here!  But, as a consequence of the fast setting quality of the epoxy, there is a slight gap between the latch and the face frame - about 1/64th of an inch, and looking down on it, you can tell that it isn't completely flush.  It won't be noticeable unless it's scrutinized.  And, it works. 
Another design change was in the rods used on the doors.  Originally, I used rebar.  I thought the pattern of the rebar would be nice.  And, I worried that aluminum rods might bend more easily than rebar.  But, my client likes things more modern and streamlined and after seeing the rebar she requested that the rods be changed.  I do like the aluminum bars better, too.  I just hope they are heavy enough to withstand any pressure from the dogs-and kids.  

Overall, this was a fun build.  I think they'll enjoy having it in their home and their dogs will be safely crated when their owners are entertaining.  

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Tables Finished!

Hey there, remember last post I mentioned I was making two massive coffee tables for the Doc's in-laws?  And, that I hoped it would look somewhat like this?

Well, here they are finished.  I hope I'll have a picture or two to post once they are delivered and put in their planned places.  But, I think they are very close to their inspiration picture, and right now, I'm really happy with them.

Wood bases (2x8's cut to size 2x2, milled down, sanded, filled and sanded again-I only got two long pieces out of each section of 2x8; there was so much waste!)

Primed with Rustoleum black primer; three coats of Rustoleum black satin, two coats of Varathane satin polyurethane.

Table top is 1x3s cut to size, placed within a frame of 2x4, on the diagonal in 4 sections. All of it is glued onto a 1/2" plywood based.  Then, the top was flipped and screws were run through the plywood into each of the boards in at least two places.  The pine boards were then stained in different base colors (Varathane summer oak, Varathene basic gray, Minwax Early American, and Minwax Ebony, and Varathane weatherizer).  Sanded, filled, sanded, more stain, more sanding, more stain, more sanding until they looked old and weathered enough!  The edge trim is Minwax Ipswich pine and it went through the whole aging process with the rest of the table!

Finally, the tops received 4 coats of Varathane Satin Polyurethane.

The tops will be screwed on from the bottom of the top rails of the base.

These were another fun project.  But, I think this weekend it's time to move them to their new home!

UPDATE:  Photos of tables in their new home