Tuesday, July 31

Tuesday – Doors & touch-up

I sealed and stained the doors this morning, and did some touch-up work on the cabinet. Because of the high humidity the stain is still tacky in some places, so I’ll let it sit until it’s cured out properly.

Tomorrow morning I’m driving to Morristown to get the crate board I’ll be needing to pack this cabinet for shipping.


Monday, July 30

Monday – Sealing & Staining

Over the weekend Blake & Marilyn made their selection of colors – went for the red-brown – and so I am ready to proceed. I started by treating the glass retainer strips with wood conditioner. This is done by flowing on a heavy coat with a brush and working it for a few minutes to be sure the thirsty spots get all they can take in. Then, before the conditioner dries, all the excess is wiped off with a rag. The wood is to be wiped as dry as it can be, then left to cure for 30 minutes before staining.

While the retainer strips dried I put down plastic in the assembly room and got the cabinet back up on stands and vacuumed it to remove any dust that had settled. Then I began applying the conditioner. I worked in sections to be sure the solution did not dry out before I got back to rub it off. If it dries on the surface, it will leave a gummy mess that has to be stripped away with solvents and begun again.

Treating the cabinet took most of the afternoon because of having to work the wiping rag into all the small grooves and corners of the moldings to remove the conditioner. Then I went back to the glass retainer strips and stained them.

Because this is being done in my assembly room, which is not isolated from the rest of the shop, no other woodworking can go on while the stain is tacky. We dealt with this problem all the time in the old (smaller) workshop (which is now a lumber shed) by doing the woodworking in the morning, then cleaning everything up well and doing the staining in the afternoon so it would have all night to dry. We’ll do that again for this cabinet because there is still extraneous stuff in the area that is designated to be our finishing room. While I do have space to work on smaller things in there, the cabinet is too large to fit. Once that room has been stripped out completely it will offer plenty of room to work, even on pieces as large as Blake & Marilyn’s curio.

I got the crown section of the cabinet stained before being summoned to supper. Afterward I came back and finished the job. I don’t like leaving stain to cure out on a job that is partially done – it leaves lap marks. So I worked until about 9:00 to finish the case. Tomorrow I’ll do the doors.

So far the color is looking very good with just one coat applied; a very nice “antique cherry” color.
Point of interest: I am planning to NOT stain the back of the cabinet. I normally don't unless the client asks me to do so because the cabinet will be standing out in a room. As long as it will me backed up to a wall, staining the back is a waste of time and money.
Blake, Marilyn, let me know if you disagree.


Friday, July 27

Friday – Ahhh… That’s better!

I haven’t heard back from Blake or Marilyn, but I can’t imagine that they will approve this color and I don’t have anything else on hand that will be any better, so it’s time to do some tweaking.

I start off by resawing some scrap maple from this project into thin boards. These I surface plane and cross-cut into stain sample blanks.

I sand a few of them – but this time I sand only to 150 grit to start, apply the wood conditioner, let it dry, then sand to 180 grit. And I’ll stop there.

Now I break out my color chemistry set and begin experimenting.

Eventually I came up with two colors that I like. The one on the left is still a little purple; but not inordinately so, the other is more brown. One of these ought to fit the bill.

When the order was placed, they told me to stain it “an antique cherry color.” Well, furniture manufacturers market “antique cherry” furniture that ranges from deep red-purple to dark brown, so one person’s interpretation of antique cherry may be different from another’s, so I’ll send them to Blake & Marilyn and see which they like best. Both are now legitimately in the ball park, so it will depend on which they prefer.

This afternoon I will make a run into Newport and buy the special plywood for the cabinet backs and the timbers I need for another lumber rack – I have a load of white oak due to arrive soon.
Tomorrow we clean up a building that will be the new home of Treasures Of Appalachia, which has served as our physical showroom for the past 5 years. We lost the lease on the old building, so we are grateful to have been provided with another. Once it has been opened up (next week) we will move all of the things that have been available in our "Stuff On Hand" section to the T.O.A. gallery.
See you Monday!


Thursday – Color Quandary

The color sample board I’ve been working on is done, but I feel it’s just too “purple”. And I feel that sanding the maple to 220 grit is too fine – it doesn’t ‘grab’ very well.

I sent a photo to Blake & Marilyn via e-mail and will see what they think.

For the rest of today I will be doing some general shop maintenance and cleaning.


Wednesday, July 25

Wednesday – Stain Prep

We’re on hold for a little white again as I check the color with Blake & Marilyn. Problem? No, not really: the color is just not quite what I had expected it to be. But, it is probably what it is supposed to be at this stage.

To clarify all this let me explain the principle of a pigment stain. Pigment stains consist of teeny globs of a coloring agent (think of paint) suspended in liquid carrier. Applying the stain to a wood surface, the teeny globs of color get lodged in the miniscule pockets and furrows that are the woods’ surface. When the liquid carrier either evaporates or catalyzes into a film, the color is locked into the wood.

Two things affect the quality of a stain job: One; the size of the teeny globs, two; how the surface was sanded prior to staining.

Varathane claims to provide much smaller globs of color than most pigmented stains, thus provide more even coloring. My own experience with this brand would bear this out. That is why we are switching to Varathane as our primary brand – because I’m quite impressed with the richness of the color we get.

Sanding a wood surface with successively finer grits of sand paper removes minor surface damage and large, open grain in the wood by making successively finer sets of scratches in the woods’ surface as a little bit of the wood is removed. Sanding some woods too much (too fine a grit) removes nearly all the places for the stains’ color globs to lodge and the resulting color is too light.

Some woods with uneven graining will present the stain with greatly varying degrees of hiding places, resulting in splotching. In most cases, a wood conditioner, also referred to as a stain blocker, can be applied to seal up the “wild” grain some and even out the degree of coloring.

In the past I’ve used two methods to prepare a surface for staining. One is to flood the wood with clean mineral spirits (if using an oil base stain), allow the wood to absorb as much as it will take, then wipe the surface dry and stain immediately. The mineral spirits that remain in the grainy parts helps to repel the stain so it doesn’t get so dark. This is especially useful in preventing end grain from getting so much darker than face grain.

The other is to apply a seal coat – I like blonde shellac – allow it to dry then sand the surface again with your finest previous grit to remove most of the seal coat. Only in the grainy parts will the sealer remain undisturbed and so it will prevent the stain from collecting there and becoming so much darker than the rest of the surface.

Today is our first experience with the Varathane Wood Conditioner, and I believe they left off a key element in their instructions for use. They say to apply, let set for 30 minutes and stain. This led me to believe that it worked on the principle of the first method mentioned above. The results however say something different. The board on the left in the photo was prepared with the Wood Conditioner according to instructions. It looks like that really should have been sanded again before being stained.

The color we achieved on the unsealed board is more even, but much too light. This may be because the surface was sanded to too fine a grit or it may require 2 or possibly 3 coats to achieve the right color. I sanded to 220 grit per the instructions on the can, so it may be that we will have to apply multiple coats. But, each coat must dry for eight hours before recoating or the previous coat can be dissolved and cause it to creep. If it does that on the curio, we sand it all off and start over. And I don’t want to do that!

Also, the color sample chip in the Varathane color chart is represented on Red Oak lumber, we are using maple lumber for this curio. The difference in color between the woods will have an effect on the stain color as well, especially with just one coat applied.

The last time we used Varathane was in making the Mission Oak version of our Deluxe Sewing Cabinet for Paula. On that piece, one coat of stain was all we needed for a wonderful rich color, but that was oak and I did not sand to such a fine grit -- I didn't read the can first, just prepared the wood like we always did for the Sherwin Williams stains.

So I’ll make up another sample board and try it with 2 coats. I’ll let you know how it went tomorrow.


Tuesday, July 24

Tuesday – Finished Finish Sanding

Whew! What a day. But I got all the finish sanding done and the assembly room cleaned up. Since my finishing room is not finished there is not enough room in there to work in a piece as large as this one. I’ll need to do the staining and finishing here in the assembly room, and that means keeping all dust out of the air. So I vacuumed well this evening. The sanding dust stirred up by the ceiling fans will settle out overnight and before I turn the fans on again in the morning I’ll vacuum again. All other woodworking gets suspended until finishing this piece is completed. So… I’ll see you tomorrow. Doug

Monday, July 23

Monday – More Finish Sanding

Monday morning is bookkeeping time, but I got back to the finish sanding after lunch. But first I removed the doors and all the hardware.

Now, sanding is not the most exciting thing to do or to watch, but doing it well is essential if a good finish is to be achieved. How much sanding is required? During construction we use 60, 80 & 100 grit papers to shape, smooth and remove pencil marks. In the finish sanding phase, how much sanding we do depends on whether we will be staining, what brand of stain is to be used, and what finish will be used. On this piece we’re using a Varathane stain so we will be sanding with 120, 150, 180 and 220 grit papers to meet Varathane’s specifications.

Today I got through the 150 grit pass. Tomorrow, a longer day, I hope to complete the sanding and prepare the stain boards.
Although tedious, sanding is not mindless work, one must pay attention. You don't want to look back and say to yourself, "Did I sand that part?" If you can't keep track you'll end up wasting quite a bit of time sanding things twice with the same grit. To help with this I like to thoroughly vacuum the piece in between grits. That way it is fairly certain that if the part is dusty, it's been sanded. But is is far better to know.


Friday, July 20

Friday - Finish Sanding

I'm still waiting for a response from Blake; it's summer, they may be away from home. So rather than delaying everything unnecessarily I decided to go ahead and get started on the finish sanding while I wait. Technically, all I'm restricted from doing before we get the third progress payment is staining the piece. And there is a lot of sanding to do before I get to that point.
Since the front of the cabinet has most of the fancy moldings wit their complex shapes, I decided to start there, that way it just gets easier as I work my way around the cabinet. To make it more comfortable to work on I laid the cabinet down and raised it off the floor on some chairs. A short stool would be great for this, but I don't have one so my knees do the job.
It will take at least two maybe three days to get the sanding done. Along the way I'll make up a stain sample board using wood from this project, the stain that was ordered. One with and one without a wood conditioner. I suspect that the Varathane stain we're using now will turn out very nice without the conditioner, but I want to be sure before I start in on the cabinet.
This is Friday, so I'll be back at this on Monday. Hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday - On Hold

While waiting, I cleaned up the shop a bit and did some web site maintenance chores.

Wednesday, July 18

Wednesday – Floor & Ceiling

Once again I started off the day by working on the small projects to get those duties out of the way. Phyllis’ bag handles look good and the poly is set up hard, so I packaged them and processed the shipping label. Then I scuff sanded Deborah’s stopper rack, tacked it off and rubbed on another coat of oil. It will set until tomorrow morning.

Then I got back to work on Blake & Marilyn’s curio. Today I’ll install the floor and ceiling panels. So I start by roughing out a couple of pieces from a panel of ¼” thick, birch plywood. The first of these se I trimmed to exact size, sanded the edges smooth and test fitted into the bottom of the cabinet. It needed just a little more trimmed off of one end, sanded again then it popped right into place.

This cabinet is equipped with levelers at each corner, to compensate for any unevenness in the floor. To access them, a flat bladed screwdriver is poked down through small holes in the floor panel to engage a screw slot in the top of the leveler. Turn the screw clockwise to lower the foot. So I needed to lay-out and drill these holes, then sand the top surface of the panel smooth.

After applying glue to the floor supports and perimeter cleats I laid the panel in place and weighted it down until the glue tacked up.

While I waited, I trimmed up the ceiling panel and laid out the overhead light locations. These can lights mount flush to the ceiling panel, with their bodies hidden up behind the crown molding. I need to cut circular holes in the panel for the lights to mount in.

To mount the panel I flipped the cabinet upside down – enlisting the aid of gravity makes this job quite a bit easier. The can lights are mounted temporarily just to be sure they will fit properly. Once I was sure everything was OK, out came the glue and weigts again. While the glue tacked up, I took a break.

When it was ready I rolled the cabinet up on it’s side and bore a hole in the upper-back where the electric cord will pass through. I’ll mount the grommet shown in the hole to dress it up even though it will be in back and out of sight.

And that, friends and neighbors, completes the construction phase of this cabinet. I still have to install the brass shelf support sockets, lock trim rings, permanently install and wire the lights and of course mount the glass and mirrors; but all that has to wait until after the cabinet has been stained and finished. Then we’ll put in the finishing pretty bits.

But for now, this is as much as I can do. It’s time to send a note to Blake & Marilyn asking permission to run the third payment. They’ve been very prompt about responding to these before, I expect they will be again and I will be able to start the finishing phase in the morning.

But that’s all for today; time for some supper and a shower, and some time with my sweetie.

So join us again tomorrow.


Tuesday, July 17

Tuesday – Column Molding

This morning I started off with scuff sanding and re-coating Phyllis’ bag handles with polyurethane. In most cases two coats will be enough, but we’ll see what they look like tomorrow morning. Then I sanded Deborah’s wall hung stopper rack and applied a coat of hand rubbed oil. This too will sit until morning before I can do anything more with it.

Then I set up the table saw with a long fence. This fence is used in straightening boards that have developed a bow as they dry. By putting the concave edge to the fence and cutting away the convex edge, I can then put the now straight(er) edge to the fence and straighten the concave side. I usually allow for two passes on each edge to get to the finished width of the piece. These pieces will become the vertical or column trim on Blake & Marilyn’s curio cabinet. Once the stock is straightened, I ran it through the planer a bunch of times to reduce it’s thickness to ½”.

Now that the stock is roughed out, it’s time to set up the router table again. This molding uses another large bit that was bought specifically for this job. I set it up, tested the set-up then ran the two long sticks.

Running long pieces through a router table to produce moldings is a bit trickier then running shorter pieces. The biggest thing it to be sure I keep the lower edge of the molding dead flat on the table at all times. If either end lifts a bit, it will cause a wave in the molding that will ruin it. If I ruin it, I start over. I didn’t ruin either of these.

The router bit is made to leave a square shoulder on either edge of the shape – shoulders I don’t want, so I go back to the table saw mount a fine tooth blade and rip 1/16” off of each edge to remove the shoulder leaving just the rounded bead on either side.

The rest of the afternoon is spent carefully cutting the plinth blocks and the vertical runs so they fit snugly together, then gluing and clamping them in place. The plinth blocks are just short pieces of the same molding turned sideways with the ends re-shaped by hand to give them a nice finished look. The final step is to trim the embossed “leaf” molding strip to the right length to fit between the upper plinth blocks and glue it in place.

And that pretty well takes care of today. Tomorrow I’ll build the cabinet floor and ceiling with it’s lights, then we will be done with the construction phase and will be ready to move into the finishing phase as soon as the third payment is received.

So join us again tomorrow.


Monday, July 16

Monday – Crown Molding

Being Monday the morning was spend doing books and preparing checks for the boss’ signature. But because I’m still running behind I put in some extra hours this evening to get today’s work completed.

I started by dadoing the sides for Deborah’s bottle stopper rack. This uses a special jig that I built to be sure everything comes out square and properly spaced. Then I sanded the parts and assembled the rack with glue and clamps.

Afterward I quickly applied the first coat of polyurethane to Phyllis’ bag handles. Then packaged and shipped Caroline's 2 pair of bag handles.

Then I got down to the nitty gritty: making and installing crown molding on Blake & Marilyn’s curio. Because they have to be made of maple to match the case, I could not use manufactured crown moldings. So I bought a crown molding router bit that I thought would be close to the profile in the picture they provided me to work off. That arrived some weeks ago, so I chucked it up in the router and ran a test piece.

This would be much easier if I had a molder-planer, but I don’t. I haven’t had enough need for one to be worth shelling out $3,500 for even a small one. If we start doing very much of this I’ll have to find the money to get one; it would be much quicker. But I managed to get it done with the router bit in my router table. Then I trimmed and sanded the molding strips and got ready to do the mitering.

Quite recently we bought a “chop saw” for cross cutting long boards and doing miters. I’m glad we did, for it was very handy on this job. I carefully laid out the miter locations, snuck up on the final cuts with the chop saw, test fitted them, drilled pilot holes for the small nails, then glued and nailed the crown moldings in place.

That used up a good long day. I’m beat and ready for a shower.

Tomorrow we’ll start on the column trim. See you then.


Saturday, July 14

Saturday – Catching Up

Normally I reserve Saturdays as a day for working in the yard or on the house, but because I’ve spent so much time in the past two weeks on extra-curricular activities, I need to do a little catching up today. The yard will have to wait another week.

I started off the day by doing what I meant to get to yesterday and didn’t; installing the base molding on Blake & Marilyn’s curio cabinet. This took quite a bit longer than I anticipated because it required using my longest clamps, and I’d get one end in position, with a clamp pad under the jaw, go to the other end to position it, and the first end would slip out of alignment. I needed a clone today. But through the use of some spring clamps to help corral the far ends, I got the three base molding pieces glued and clamped in position.

Then it was back to bag handles. I finished up Deborah’s cherry handles that I started yesterday, and stained a pair of poplar handles for Phyllis, whose order came in this morning. They both need to sit over night. Debora’s order should be ready to ship Monday morning. Phyllis requested polyurethane finish, so it will be a couple more days on hers. Not counting Sunday… we don’t work Sunday.

See you Monday!


Friday, July 13

Friday – Multi-Tasking

Today I need to accomplish a number of things. In addition to working on Blake & Marilyn’s curio I need to make some cherry bag handles and get a wall hung stopper rack started. Since some of this work will need to be done on the band saw, which is still out in the old show – now a lumber shed, and it’s going to get hot out there this afternoon I’ll start with those tasks this morning while it’s cool.

Bag handles are one of those items that we can make from cut-offs left over from other projects, especially when we are making a small batch of handles. Here we have a collection of board ends that are ideally suited to this project.

Making handles in small batches also allows me to make the handles as matched pairs. By resawing the thick board into two thin boards, then keeping the aligned and sequenced, the handles will come out with their grain and coloring perfectly matching. This is exceptionally difficult to do when making a large batch of several hundred handles.

For detailed notes on how bag handles are made see the article posted in the In The Shop section of our web site: http://www.smokymountainwoodworks.com/InTheShop/Bag_Handles/index.php
I got two pair of maple and 5 pair of cherry handles made up. I already had some walnut, so I used one of those and a pair of these cherry handles to make up Caroline’s order. The rest of what I made are set aside, unfinished, so that you good folks may order them with any finish you like. Caroline’s walnut handles got a lacquer finish, which goes on quickly, so they are done. They cherry handles get a hand rubbed oil finish; they will take at least two days to complete.

Then I moved on to Deborah’s stopper rack. I got the parts blanks milled out from rough lumber, and made the parts needed, but did not get the final shaping or assembly done.
It’s Friday and my wife and I have a standing date for Friday evening, so I can’t work late today. I may pop in tomorrow; it’s supposed to rain and that will preclude doing any yard work.

Hope you have a great weekend!


Thursday, July 12

Thursday – Fixed Shelf Tray

I had a few computer maintenance chores and a web site update to handle this morning, but these didn’t take long. Then I got going on installing the wooden tray that supports the fixed center glass shelf. I used the molding strips I milled out previously and cut the mitered corners then carefully placed the pieces into the casework. The front and back pieces are glued to the front and back center rails, but the ends are “free flying” as the only case parts they could attach to would be the doors – and we can’t do that or the doors wouldn’t open! I reinforced the mitered corner joints with 2” long finish nails driven in from the ends.

I also mounted the doors, installed (temporarily) the door locks and tested the fit and operation of the doors and locks. The humidity changes are causing the wood to move a bit, but I don’t think it’s anything that will be a problem once we get the glass installed.

I finished up the day by milling out boards for the baseboard pieces, routing an ogee on the upper edge and mitering the corners. Then I laid out the fancy cut-out shape on the lower edge of the front baseboard, cut that out and sanded it smooth. Sanding in the scrolls was done with pieces of sand paper stuck to a 1” diameter dowel with carpet tape.

The base boards are not yet attached, I need to cut out an opening in the skirt of the cabinet behind the baseboard scrolls. I’ll get to that tomorrow. I’ll also need to work on a couple of small projects that have come up. But we’ll get to those in tomorrow’s episode.

Till then,


Wednesday, July 11

Wednesday – Seal & Stack Lumber

This morning I had some errands to run, so I got a late start on things, then I had a bid that needed to get finished up, then I had this pile of about 400 board feet of freshly milled red oak lumber that arrived yesterday and is sitting in the floor in the lumber shed.

To turn freshly milled (aka green) lumber into seasoned hardwood suitable for use in furniture making, it can not sit in a pile like this for very long. The ends of the boards must be sealed to prevent the very porous end of the boards from giving up their inner moisture and shrinking faster than the rest of the board. This uneven shrinking is what causes a board to start splitting at the ends. Seal the end grain to slow the moisture evaporation and the whole board dries, and shrinks, evenly. Also, green lumber will want to cup, twist, bow, and warp – if you let it – as it dries. Again, this is often a result of uneven drying.

To reduce these tendencies we “sticker stack” the lumber in piles, held off the ground, with narrow boards between each layer of lumber and spaces between each board in the layer. This way air is allowed to flow freely around all sides of all boards, so they dry evenly. And the weight exerted on the boards by the boards above them keep them flat as they dry.

As I go through a pile of new lumber, sealing the ends and stacking the boards, I cull out the lower quality boards to be placed in the very top layers of the pile. Cap boards and cement blocks are placed on top of these, but if they prove insufficient weight to prevent all cupping, ant least they were the least valuable boards on the stack.

This pile is now just about as high as I am tall, so I shall be putting no more lumber on this pile. We have 3' & 4" thick Holly on the bottom, some ash above that then the new red oak in the nice neat upper tw-thirds of the pile. This pile will be left alone to sit for at least a year so the wood can season. This was all very pretty wood, it should yield some excellent lumber.

It took me six hours to accomplish this – partly because the red oak had been cut with a band mill and was encrusted to a layer of saw dust that I needed to brush off before stacking it – my back and shoulders are aching and I’m drenched with sweat. This freshly sawn oak has a lot of water in it and it's HEAVY. It’s a bit early, but I’m going home to take a shower and rest a bit before Marie and I have to go into town for a couple of meetings.

Blake, Marilyn, I’ll be back to work on your curio tomorrow.

See you then,


Tuesday, July 10

Tuesday – Case Assembly

I got started on Blake & Marilyn’s curio nice and early this morning because there were absolutely no e-mails or phone calls to handle when I came in. That’s a first.

So I started by doing the rough sanding on the front panel and upper and lower side rails. Then I was ready to begin permanent assembly; screws and GLUE. No turning back now. I started by attaching the lower end rails to the rear panel. That created a tall ‘L’ shape that will stand up on its own. Then I attached the two inside floor supports to the back panel. I’m not messing with the front panel yet because trying to balance both the front panel and back panel while I align and install the side rails is too much for me working alone. And because there is only 10” of inside depth between the front panel and back panel; not enough to use an electric drill to drive the pocket hole screws. By leaving the front off for now, I have plenty of room to work with these screws.

I also attached the leveler blocks in each rear corner with glue and screws. Naturally I made sure the side rails were square to the back panel. This assembly needed to sit for a while to let the glue tack up good so nothing would shift when I took the clamps off.

While I waited for this, Tommy showed up with over 400 board feet of freshly milled red oak. Some VERY pretty lumber; clear and straight grained. It came from a huge tree. We unloaded it onto bed logs in the lumber shed. I’ll deal with it tomorrow; today I’m working for Blake & Marilyn.

When the back assembly was ready I moved the front panel into position, removed the clamps, applied the glue and clamped the front panel to the lower side rails. The screws went in by hand at first but because of the high humidity today (60% chance of rain) my arthritic knuckles are stinging me pretty badly so I tried our new mini cordless screw driver. By waxing the screws to reduce friction, it the job.

The next task was to install the upper side rails, which went in easily. Then the middle ceiling supports; which were a little trickier because it’s difficult to see the lay-out lines, line the part up with the marks both front and back and hold them there while tightening a clamp – while standing on a step ladder. But I got them. While the pipe clamps held the supports in place I installed the screws then removed the clamps.

Then I turned my attention to milling and installing the cleats that run around the perimeter between other supports for the ceiling and floor panels. For the ceiling cleats I was able to use large spring clamps to hold the cleats in place while the glue tacked up, but because the lower rails are much deeper, spring clamps would not reach and I dug out my hand screw clamps. These relics are very handy things to have!

And there we have it: the basic case is assembled. Tomorrow I’ll mount the doors and install the center shelf tray. Then we can begin milling out the frilly bits to go on the outside.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, July 9

Monday – Retainer Screws

OK, wacky week is over for another year and it’s back to work as usual in the Smoky Mountain Woodworks workshop.

Being Monday, I spent the morning doing bookwork.

The afternoon was spent drilling countersunk pilot holes in the glass retainer strips and inserting 132 brass screws to secure the strips in place.

Why so many? Because the glass panels that these strips will hold in place are large and heavy and I don’t want these strips letting go and allowing the glass to fall out. If this were for a local delivery I wouldn’t be so obsessive, but since it will be bouncing along in a semi as it travels to Rhode Island, I want to be sure nothing pops loose.

That’s it for today, see you tomorrow.


Tuesday, July 3

Tuesday - Troubleshooting

I started off this morning with removing the clamps from the front & back panels of Blake & Marilyn's curio and doing a little rough sanding, preparing to start the first course of construction sanding. Then the phone rang, and I made the mistake of answering it. I have to do that now since we have a phone in the workshop and promise folks that it will get answered if they let it ring long enough. You don’t want to know all that ensued, just let it suffice to say that I’ve spent most of the day solving problems I hadn’t counted on having to solve. Most have been resolved. I’m waiting on a couple to see if “the patch will hold”. Doug

Monday, July 2

Month End Monday

This week is going to be outright madness, and I may not get a whole lot done – woodworking wise. I will be *very* busy, but just not in woodworking.

As is usual, Monday mornings are spent doing bookkeeping and preparing checks and financial reports for the boss. But this Monday I’m not only doing week-end books, but month-end AND quarter-end books. And to top that, we’re moving the web site to a new host, so there are testing procedures and e-mail accounts to set up, the domain must be re-pointed… lots to do.

We are also in the middle of a construction project within the workshop that I have been dabbling with in the evenings after the regular work day. But, the construction materials are seriously getting in the way and the half-finished floor is a safety hazard. It’s time to just get the thing done and clear away the debris.

So, I spent most of the day crunching numbers, printing reports and doing web site stuff… often all at the same time; if a report will take some time to print, go on-line and work. If files will take to time to upload, make out some checks. But never just sit and watch the computer work!

By mid-afternoon that was all done and I was able to turn my attention to completing the tool room floor. For those who have not been following along, we are renovating a large mobile home into more workshop space. The area designated to be the tool room, or Parts Creation Area as it says on the floor plan, used to be the living room, kitchen and dining room. This was all one big open area except that the living room floor was 6” lower than the rest. This was a nice feature as a home but is a serious safety hazard in a workshop, so I needed to raise that area to match the rest by laying in 2x6 joists and bridging decked over with plywood. This isn’t very pretty, but it’s sturdy. I will (eventually) use a tinted polyurethane finish to color the plywood more like the hardwood in the kitchen/dining area and help prevent dirt and debris from becoming lodged in the plywood surface.

Also this week is the 4th of July. Being a holiday wouldn’t normally mean much as we often work on holidays, but because Marie volunteered up to help with the County’s “Home Town Celebration” on the 4th, we will be down at the fairgrounds all day.

Then on Friday and Saturday will be the Treasures of Appalachia “Red, White & Bluegrass” show. Since I am President of Treasures Of Appalachia Inc., I kind of have to be there.

I *will* work in as much construction on Blake & Marilyn’s curio as I can in between all these activities, I promise.