Tuesday, December 8

Two Jobs Tuesday

The snow that we enjoyed so much over the weekend is all gone now, the truck that broke down in that snow has been repaired and is back home with us – actually it’s in Newport with Marie at the moment – and I just got an order out of one of the discussions that has been on-going over the past several days; Dianne has decided to order a custom Over-the-Sink cutting board and has paid her deposit. The template we will use to make the board is supposed to be in the mail to us. This will probably be the last custom-made order we will be able to guarantee delivery before Christmas. On-hand stock is no problem, but custom stuff is now past the bubble. I started the morning by flipping over Carl & Pam’s bedroom door and staining the other side. It’s chilly and damp today but I’m hoping that this coat will dry up in time that I can get the first two coats of lacquer on this afternoon. While it was drying I worked on Robert’s stopper rack. I’ve decided that since this project is so close to being done I’d just finish it up. I had a walnut 4-tier base made up and on hand so I don’t need to make that, just the shelves. I made those yesterday, so all I have to do now is assemble and finish it. I start by laying out the locations of the peg holes in the base and drilling them on the drill press. The pegs are not just decorative, they go through the side of the rack into the base to provide structural reinforcement as well. I apply glue into each hole with a small artists paint brush, drive a length of oak dowel rod into the hole and cut it off flush with the base side using a flush cut saw. When the glue sets up some I sand them smooth, and finish sand the base. I use oak dowels in teh walnut parts and walnut dowels through the oak shelves to provide a nice contrast. Then I finish sand the shelves. The large surfaces can be sanded with a random orbit sander, but the curved edges along the shelf front, sides and holes require hand sanding, especially the holes, these are tricky to sand well; I have to wrap a piece of sandpaper around a finger and work it into each hole, varying the angles to sand the entire curved surface. I tend to switch fingers (and thumb) often or it will get quite sore from the pressure. When they’re all sanded I remove the sanding dust and glue and clamp the shelves to the rack base. I’ll let the glue set up here before I try to drill for pegs. Since my finish sanding is mostly done, I don’t want pencil marks on my shelves, so I put strips of masking tape on the lay-out areas and make my marks on that, then I can drill right through the tape, put glue into the holes and drive the dowel rod though as well. Once I’ve trimmed the dowel off I remove the tape. While the glue sets up in this I go lacquer the door. By the time I have two coats on that the rack is ready to sand the plugs smooth.
Then I can tack-rag the rack to remove the sanding dust and shoot it with the first coat of finish. Polyurethane takes much longer to dry, so this will sit overnight and we will see how it’s doing in the morning.

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