Thursday, September 12, 2013

All Done. Forward to the next project.

I got the dresser into the room last night, and like all the other pieces of furniture I've built, my cat decided to give it a test run.

My cat loves to sit on the furniture. Of course, he's so fickle, he'll treat it like it's been there for a million years in a couple of days. Nadine hasn't filled it up with stuff yet, but it's been a pretty busy week of work for both of us, so maybe it'll be a weekend thing. The dresser fits nicely in the room, and I think it'll give Nadine a lot of good space for her kimono and other Japanese dance things. I'm fully aware that it doesn't match the air cleaner sitting next to it, but it's not the same color as the nightstand either and I think they go pretty well together in the room. I was going to originally finish all the bedroom furniture the same way, but what's the fun in that?

Aside from the mishap with the drawer fronts, I thought this project was a good one. It's by far the largest single piece I've made, but not the most expensive in terms of material cost. That's still my router table, mostly because of the cost of the router plate and I needed a lot of plywood and MDF to put that together. This one only required a little more than a sheet of 3/4" ply, a sheet of 1/2" ply, and a couple sheets of 1/4" ply along with the solid pine, which isn't that expensive.

One of the things I'm really happy with on this project is the finish. It's still not perfect -- I'm going to need to do some rubbing out of the finish to make it closer to what I 'm aiming for. I was very happy with how the glue sizing controlled the color, and I really like how the dye brings out some of the figure in the wood. The birch plywood had some interesting patterns on it that I couldn't really see until I hit it with the dye and started putting on the poly. I was able to work up some wipe-on procedures I'm happy with and it gave me a better finish than I got on the nightstand, so I'm pretty sure this will get better over time. I especially like the wipe-on technique because it kind of keeps me from building up the finish too thick and making the piece look like I shrink-wrapped it, so it has a nice shine and it still looks close to the wood.

I might have to think about getting some other colors of the dye I used to try on future projects. One of the best surprises I got on this project was how the finish just popped when I put the clear finish over the dye. It was so drab and dull with just the dye on, and everything came to life with the polyurethane on it.

Now that this project is in the books and in my room, I have to move on to my next project. Since I got that new planer, I have to make something to put that on so it doesn't sit on the garage floor. I also wanted to improve my miter saw stand because it's just a table that I threw together out of scraps and it's sorely inadequate.  I thought about building them into a storage solution together, but I'm not going to be using them at the same time, so I'm going to make a couple different pieces. I have to look at some design ideas for the planer cart since I want to find a way to work in some support so it doesn't snipe as much. I have to pick up the extension tables for the planer too, but I want to have it on something to bolt the planer down to that's good and mobile. At almost 100 pounds, the planer definitely isn't something I want to be lifting up over and over.

After I work on building my shop stuff, I have to get back on track with finishing up furnishings for my room. I have my nightstand, a bookcase, and built-in storage for the closet to build. I think I might work in a blanket case as well, but I don't want to use up all the floor space in my room. I like the openness that the room has now, and I want to keep it that way as much as I can.

I have just about a full week of work lined up next week already, so woodworking is going to turn into a late afternoon/weekend thing, but I think that I'll be able to get things done.