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  #51 (permalink)  
Old February 8, 2011, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by digitalcowboy View Post
For the top trim are you going to mitre the ends? bit more work, but should look nice. especially for this surface, try and find a jointer or a planer to smooth out the trim strips for a lot less filling and sanding! can't wait to see this done!
Argh, I knew I was missing something. I already put the trim on, and you'll see that reading this sooner would have been a lot smarter of me lol - lots of wood filler, and the ends are not quite as nice as they could be... ah well, you live, you learn, eh?
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  #52 (permalink)  
Old February 11, 2011, 08:23 AM
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Default Adding Trim to the Desk Surface

Aaaand, here it is - yes, I should have mitered the corners... ah well ;)

The last time I left off, I had just finished flushing the sides of the table in preparation to add some trim. I found a nice piece of long maple that was just a little over 8 feet long, a little wider than 1.5 inches, and thick enough to cut some 1/4 inch strips from.

I layed it out, setup the table saw and cut myself a test piece.



Looks good!



Here's a pic of the cutting process. I'm afraid I had some difficulty with this. Actually, let me rephrase - the saw had some difficulty with this. I was still using the same blade I've been using the whole project - which needs replacement pretty badly. Asking it to cut through 1.5 inches of maple, for a length of 8 feet was asking a lot of it.



I made it through eventually, but the whole process left quite a few burn marks on the wood.



I glued and nailed the trim around the perimeter of the desk, which was a pretty straightforward process.



And then took out a hand plane to get rid of most of the excess material and bring the trim down flush with the desk surface. Some neat pictures here.





After some sanding with some 60-grit on the random orbit sander to get everything smooth, I went nuts with the wood filler.







At that point I stood the surface up in the back of the shop and called it a night.

Next update in the loop, I setup some dado blades in the table saw, mmm mmmm, that was fun!

Have a good weekend everyone!
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  #53 (permalink)  
Old February 11, 2011, 07:46 PM
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labor of love :)

keep up the good work.

So your going to build anouter one after this fore the girlfrend maybe.
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  #54 (permalink)  
Old February 25, 2011, 11:55 AM
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Default Dado Cutting

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Originally Posted by ZZLEE View Post
labor of love :)

keep up the good work.

So your going to build anouter one after this fore the girlfrend maybe.
Thanks ZZLLE, you're totally right, it is an affair of passion, no doubt! As for building another one for the girl... I'm actually going to be building some cat tree structures next lol

It's been a while since the last update, but basically, I got around to installing the dado blade on the table saw to make some important cuts for the two cabinets, and was able to do a bit of test fitting.

For those of you not really in the know, a dado blade has two regular saw blades (One for the left, one for the right) and some irregular shaped blades of varying thickness that you put in between, until you get the right width. I'll let the pictures do the talking.







The beauty of using dado blades in the table saw (At least I think) is that you can set it up at the right height and width, and then set the fence to the proper width and do all 3 of your supporting boards one after another so they will be lined up perfectly when it comes time for assembly.



I put 3 cuts in each of the 3 supporting walls of the left-hand cabinet. There was a bit of chipping, I should have probably put down some masking tape, but it's nothing major and will be on the inside anyways.



I threw on a bit of wood filler to patch up the chipped parts, and then let these 3 dry while I worked on the right-hand cabinet cuts.



I then had some time to put together a quick test fitting! Not bad! Some of the wood was just a bit crooked, so I'll have to spend some time with the sander to loosen up some of the dado joints.













This pretty much completes the first phase of the project - I won't have any use for any of the big, messy tools anymore.

All that's really left are a few small detail cuts, some holes need to be cut out, the whole thing needs to be sanded to pre-stain state, and then assembly and staining!

I'll be bringing all of the materials back to my place where I'll be doing just that.
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  #55 (permalink)  
Old February 25, 2011, 11:56 AM
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Default Basement Move

And, through the miracle of internet technology, I'm bringing you the next update right away!

There wasn't much work done in this update - just thought I'd show everyone where the progress is going to be taking place from now on. The spooky basement in my building!

It's a really old house, at least over a hundred years old, in fact, there's a 12" x 12" solid beam of wood running as the main support member along the entire length of the house, it must be at least 30 feet long. Can't get those any more!!!

My main complaint with the basement is that I am constantly bashing my head on the low ceiling beams, and it's quite cold! Getting motivated to go work down there is not nearly as easy as working in the nice, heated wood shop.

Time to let the pictures do the talking:





I purchased a new shop vac at Canadian Tire along with a bunch of other stuff during the Boxing Week sales after Christmas. Sweet.



I also setup a plastic wall to help prevent sawdust from going all over the basement, as well as to help keep any breezes contained when it comes time to stain.



Some of my personal tools:











And there we have it! Until next time, have a good weekend!
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Old February 27, 2011, 09:49 PM
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are you dexter morgan in your spare time?

looking good! can't wait to see the finished product. do you have a heater for the dungeon? gotta keep the temps up for the stain and finishing!

are you going to hollow out the 12x12 beam for the home server next?
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  #57 (permalink)  
Old February 28, 2011, 09:28 AM
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Default Quick Test Fitting

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Originally Posted by digitalcowboy View Post
are you dexter morgan in your spare time?

looking good! can't wait to see the finished product. do you have a heater for the dungeon? gotta keep the temps up for the stain and finishing!

are you going to hollow out the 12x12 beam for the home server next?
lmao, awesome ideas, thanks digitalcowboy ;) ;)

No - for the record, I'm not Dexter! It's funny every time I bring someone down to "check out the project I'm working on" lmao, everyone thinks its a Dexter setup!

No heater unfortunately, I think that I may actually have to wait until a bit milder temperatures before I start the final staining. As for that 12x12 beam, I think it may actually be worth a significant chunk of cash, so no, I'm not touching that! ;)

So, I did a bit of work in the basement the other night, and since the next part of the project is going to be assembly, I decided to give it another shot at test fitting, since the last time I tried it was just loosely put together.

Time to get out the sander with some 80 grit. The hose on my shop vac is a little over 2", and I didn't have an adapter to attach it to the DeWalt ROB Sander unfortunately, so a little tape had to do the job.





I took each piece one by one and sanded down the edges where they slide into the dado cuts. I had to do a surprising amount of sanding, as the fit was incredibly tight.

I also took the time to label each piece (Top, Middle, Bottom, and which side faces the front) so that it could be easily repeatable when it comes time for final assembly.

Almost there. So tight! I needed a rubber mallet to set some of them, and then remove them afterwards.



This shelf was just ~slightly~ warped, and needed a lot of sanding so that one end was nice and snug, and this end actually a bit of free space (Hello wood filler!)



A couple more progress shots:





And, all tightly assembled. I could probably jump on this box...





I spent about an hour and a half doing that, and honestly, it was freezing cold down there and that's about all I could stand for that evening. Until next time!
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  #58 (permalink)  
Old March 11, 2011, 06:31 AM
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Nice design, signed up just to see the finished product
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Old March 11, 2011, 09:45 AM
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man...you should get paid to make plan for those desk! Can't wait to see the final result!
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Old March 14, 2011, 09:29 AM
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Default First Staining Attempt

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Originally Posted by Relevant Wing View Post
Nice design, signed up just to see the finished product
Thanks Relevant Wing

Quote:
Originally Posted by martin_metal_88 View Post
man...you should get paid to make plan for those desk! Can't wait to see the final result!
Thanks martin_metal_88, you and me both. I figure another 3 weeks or so and it'll be setup upstairs awaiting hardware. I'd love to build these for a living!

So - it's been some time since my last update (What has it been.. 2 weeks? Geez!) but I haven't been idle at home, it's just that I was really busy (There are kittens running around now!) and I've been working with some staining techniques, which has been a long, learning process.

I did a bit of research and came across a good video over here: Link and I opted to give it a shot, because there apparently, is a tendency for maple to come out a little blotchy due to the tight grain, or something or other like that.

So I picked up some supplies:



Made up a test board - some wood filler, some real maple trim, and one side sanded to 120 and the other sanded to 220:



And, apparently, I was supposed to cut the shellac with some denatured alcohol. Something I was not able to find, and subsequently, I found out that it is actually quite difficult to obtain here in Ottawa. I did not realize at the time, that I could have cut it with methyl hydrate, which is something quite commonly available at the local Canadian Tire.

And, this is where things start to go wrong. Here is the shellac applied:



Ok, not bad. Full strength. Ended up closing the grain structure completely, most likely. Here is the gel stain I chose:



And, onto the wood:



Wait 5 minutes, wipe off...



Gross. Seriously? This is why you test on samples first. Look at that colour - it's practically pink!

How about a second coat.



And why the heck not, we'll stain the back as well, where it hasn't been shellac'd.



Huh...





Now really. That was not quite what I was expecting. Time to get a new sample piece - no shellac, but sanded properly to 120.







What's going on here? This is not really the expected "richness" of a dark gel stain like this, is it? Hmm..



Doh! Looks like keeping the gel stain in the basement, where it is freezing, separated the contents. There is a visible layer of clear liquid on top of the stain - that shouldn't be there.

Staining attempt number 1? Failure.

1. If you're using shellac to seal, to avoid streaking and blotching - you MUST cut it
2. If you're going to use a gel stain, don't keep it in a cold environment before you're about to use it.

Well, time to put the stain upstairs for a little while, and maybe another trip to the hardware store... And just an fyi, this took me about a week just to do the 2 samples, since it's so cold, I can only do 1 coat per day, as it takes a long time to dry.

And here's a little something else:



Cute, no? A litter of 5 - the first one was stillborn, so we've got 4 kittens, pretty exciting stuff. ;)
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