Friday, January 6
Work day begins: 7:00 AM Time to go fire up the heat stove, then will check and handle e-mail. Shop Opens: 8:00 AM This morning I continue the sanding: take the butcher block top down to the next grade, then do the casework as well. The top will go two more grades, 150 & 220, but because of the stain, I’ll stop at 150 for the case work. If I sand too fine, the stain will have too few places to lodge and the color will be too light. Most stains don’t actually penetrate the wood. Aniline dyes do; their molecular structure is so small that they actually sink beneath the surface of the wood and produce a wonderfully life-like appearance. But they are available only in a few colors that must be combined to create custom colors, they are supplied in powder form that it extremely concentrated, therefore mixing is done with measurers that are the size of a grain of rice. Their results – when properly used – are wonderful, but they are quite difficult to use, and can be dangerous. Normal pigmented stains consist of small globs of color suspended in a carrier. The carrier evaporates, leaving the globs to lodge in the pores and fissures of the wood. In most woods, the grain consists of alternating bands of early wood and late wood. The early wood is what is produced during the fast growth periods of spring and summer. It is usually lighter in color and a bit more porous. The late wood is the slow growth wood produced in the fall and winter. It is denser, harder, and darker. When stained, the more porous early wood offers more places for the stain globs to lodge than the harder, smoother late wood, so the natural light–dark pattern of the wood is generally reversed in stained wood. To the trained eye, this looks quite un-natural. Sorry for the side trip, sometimes I just flip into lecture mode. Before I sanded the case work, I rolled it upside down and installed the leveler blocks. This included drilling small holes through the bottom of the cabinet floor so the levelers can be adjusted from above with a small screwdriver. That is about all I can do until the router bits for making the doors arrive. They were shipped a couple of days ago. It is possible they could arrive this afternoon. Workshop closes: 12:00 PM Normally I’d use idle time like this to work on another project, but since this project is taking up all the available space in the shop – it’s not a large shop – I have no space to work on anything else. So I’ll go work on posting more inventory to Treasure’s new web store.