Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Santa's Workshop Update

Well the television/quilt display case has been assembled and not a moment too soon. It is my biggest piece of freestanding furniture I have built thus far and I learned a few things. When temperatures are barely above freezing, glue sets up fast even if the bottle has been inside all night where it was warm. When I glued the main carcass together, one of my clamps slipped while I was applying the others and as a result, one of the middle dividers pulled out from its dado a bit. It really isn't noticeable from the front but it is from the back. Fortunately that side will be against the wall.

Also, glue that sets up quickly is hard to clean up. In a normal project, I take a wet rag and clean up any glue squeeze out that occurs and thus when I go to stain, I don't get splotches. This time I ended up with frozen bits of glue smeared everywhere which means I will have to be meticulous when I do my final sanding or I will end up with splotching everywhere.

I never seem to learn this next fact despite it biting me in the butt from time to time. As I was applying the hardwood trim to the plywood edges, I kept getting gaps like I was making angled cuts. I really only noticed it when I was cutting a board on edge. Finally I grabbed the square and checked my miter saw. It was square to the fence but was not square to the bed. It was off by about one degree. When I carried it downstairs in a wheelbarrow during the garage remodel and then back up, I must have bumped it hard enough to knock it loose. Not really anything that a little wood putty can't hide but it sure caused me some frustrations.

The one disadvantage to using cabinet plywood is that you have to be careful sanding it so you don't sand through the veneer layer. I did in one spot and on the top no less where my hardwood edging ended up below the level of the veneer. It sucks and I'm sure I will notice it every time I will walk by the thing but you know what, it lets people know that it was hand built. Besides, it adds character.

The above picture is one that I took before sanding. As of writing this, I have rough sanded it and did some wood putty work. Hopefully tomorrow I can do the final sanding and perhaps this weekend, apply the stain. I've never stained when it is cold and being that it will probably be in the upper 30's when I do, I'm not sure how it will go. Worst case, I have to open the door to the house and heat the garage for a little bit to get the stain to cure so I can apply the protective polyurethane coats. I still have 13 days until Christmas (as of writing this), so I think I will be able to get it done in time.