Saturday, September 11

TV Tray Tables - Feedback

One of the things that makes this work enjoyable is knowing that the people who purchase our furniture enjoy it.  In this world where so many people focus on negativity, I have adopted the attitude of "If they don't complain, they're happy." because most people WILL be on the phone to me immediately if they are in any way dissatisfied, but many will not take the time to compliment us.  It was therefore with great pleasure that I received the following e-mail from Dianna:

"We received our tv tray tables yesterday. We are very pleased with them. The craftmanship is outstanding!

It is very obvious the time and care you took with even the smallest details. They look and feel great.

We are very excited to use them!

Thank you Dianna, for the kind words and for taking the time to say them.  We appreciate that very much.

Friday, September 3

TV Tables - Final Inspection

I've done the final inspection and am ready to apply the skim coat of polyurethane to the tray table tops.  The weather is getting quite humid, so I want to allow as much time as possible for the poly to harden before I box up the set; if the poly is still soft at all (it may feel dry to the touch but not be cured out hard) the Stryrofoam packing pieces can stick to it and blemish the finish during shipment.  By getting that done early this morning the poly can set up all day and all night and I should be able to safely box the set for shipment tomorrow morning.

Now is the time to request final payment, since I can not schedule the pick-up until payment is received.  So I'll go do that, then get to the poly, then go out and pull a box and packaging materials out of the loft above the lumber shed (we had special boxes made up just for shipping these tray tables) then I'll start cleaning up the mess I've made in here.

Thanks for watching!

Thursday, September 2

Tray Tables: Finishing Tables

I’ve spent most of yesterday and today sanding and finishing tables. This evening I built the stand, sanded that and applied the first coat of lacquer. That has to set up fairly hard before I can apply the second coat, so while I wait I’ll post today’s notes.

Finishing the tables means contorting them like a Houdini mannequin to get lacquer in all the places it must go. This can not be done in a single pass because once this portion is done I can not handle the table to flip it over, so this must dry first, then I flip it over and do the top of the tray. After he second coat is on I let them set overnight to harden well, then scuff sand them and shoot the final coat.

Lacquer does not require sanding between coats for adhesion, but I like to sand after the second coat with a very fine sanding sponge to smooth the finish so I end up with a waxy-smooth feel to the finish. It is wonderful!

It is almost 10:30 PM as I write this. I’ll shoot one more coat on the stand and let it set up overnight. Sand and shoot for the third time in the morning. I’ll also apply a skim coat of poly to the table tops to help them resist water rings. That will require at least 8 hours to cure before I can package them up for shipping. I’ll do that Saturday and schedule a FedEx pick-up for Monday morning. At least that is my plan.

Oh, I didn’t tell you that our dust collector blew up. It turned out to not be an actual dust explosion – which CAN happen and can be very dangerous; fine dust particles are highly flammable – but the top of the dust collector blowing off. Now that I think about it it COULD have been a dust explosion that blew the things top off, but I found no evidence of fire, so I dismissed that thought right away.

I was running the surface planer on Tuesday, making parts for the stand I believe, when I head , “BOOM” and the whole area was flooded with a cloud of dust so thick I couldn’t see across the room. I managed to get the equipment shut off and escape to cleaner air for a while to let the dust settle a bit. Even the short time I was in there gave me such a snootfull that my sinus cavities, right ear and right side of my throat are all inflamed and sore. Cherry dust is especially irritating to respiratory systems.

I got the top put back in place with little difficulty; saw no sign of fireballs having been involved, so I went back to work. But there is a thick layer of fine cherry dust all over EVERYTHING. I’ll be spending an entire day cleaning up the mess when this job is done!

Such is life when you’re a woodworker!

Wednesday, September 1

TV Tray Tables: Finish Sanding

First thing this morning I had to go over to a neighbors house and help out with something.  It's just the neighborly thing to do.  This was supposed to take plce yesterday evening after I finished up my day here, but something came up thet kept him out late so we rescheduled for this morning.

Since this will be a long day for me I'm going to post todays notes now.  By the end of the day I may be getting too tired to get this to make sense.

Todays tasks are to finish sand the tray tables and fussy-fit the snap latch mechanisms.  After sanding each table I'll shoot it with the first coat of lacquer.  Normally I would do that tomorrow morning, but I won't be here tomorrow morning.  Mom has a dental appointment, and these appointments are so hard to schedule that we dare not miss it.

I also need to mill out the lumber for the stand, make the parts and assemble the stand.

Like I said, it will be a long day.  My goal is to get this table set completed and finished by Friday afternoon so the finish can harden over the weekend and be ready to safely ship out Monday morning.

So... I'd better get to that finish sanding, all done my hand - it takes some time.