Monday, December 27

TV Tray Tables - Lacquering

I had no radio program to do this morning – we got snowed in this weekend. Most everyone just stayed put to wait it out. Snow never lasts long here.

I start the day by trimming off the screw hole plugs and sanding them smooth. I cut them off with a flush cut saw, which has a thin, flexible blade and teeth with no “set”; meaning that the teeth do not stick off to one side or the other as most saws do. Normally this is done to provide a small amount of clearance in the wood so the blade does not bind up. But teeth with set with no set to them will not chew up the wood when the blade is laid flat on the leg to trim the plug flush with the surface.

The last step of construction is to set each table on the only guaranteed flat surface in my shop big enough to do this – the top of my table saw – and check to be sure the tables sit sure and steady. If they wobble, I’ll sand a little off the long legs to get it to sit flat.

Then I final sand the entire table by hand with 180 grit paper, vacuum and tack them off to remove sanding dust and move them into the finishing room.

The high temperature for the day is expected to be 30°. To keep from running myself out of the workshop with lacquer fumes I have to set up a vent fan to suck the lacquer stink outside. To provide replacement air for what is sucked outside I have to crack a door to let outside air in. All this means that in order to keep the inside temperature above 55° the furnace will be running pretty much all day. But the alternative is to leave the shop closed up and either wear a respirator full time or go home with a major headache (and fewer brain cells) this evening. I elect to pay for the heat and ventilate the shop.

By day’s end both tables and the stand have been given two full coats, scuff sanded and shot a third time. I will now allow the lacquer to set up over night before I apply a skim coat of polyurethane to the tray tops. That will have to set up hard, then I can package the table set and ship it out.

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