Saturday, July 19, 2014

OCD Woodworking: Measure seven times, cut once..

This beast of a gorgeous kitchen island is nearly finished - and it's amazing! All that is left to build is the shelf below; it will eventually hold some storage baskets. 

I saved a couple of gorgeous wide boards for the shelf slats, and since this piece is going to be stained to look like weathered driftwood, I decided to give the shelf the appearance of an ocean pier, with some spacing between each slat. Also - I didn't want dust and schmutz building up over time in the corners of the shelf. So the gaps allow the dust to fall through to the floor, easily vacuumed when cleaning house. 

I cut the shelves to size, and then notched the corners to hug the legs. Notice that template I made - it helped me work out the right sized gap before cutting my actual wood - I've learned that lesson before! 

My latest mantra has become - measure seven times, cut once. 

These Lee Valley's set-up blocks really make it easy for deciding upon the right sized gap.

 Here is the shelf in place. I left it unattached, so that staining would be easier.

This client wanted to give this island an appearance of driftwood, with an aged effect. So I distressed the piece a bit - which is always fun for relieving a little aggression! I simply took some various tools and beat up the piece - simulating wear and tear. It actually feels a little odd to break the edges you just spent time so carefully sanding! 

It's always tough when you deviate from the finishes that one normally uses - but I experimented with two different finishes - ones that I'd never used before. 

They chose the silver-grey two part stain, which gave me about six hours of working time. 

It was hot and humid when I applied it, and it was drying more quickly than I had hoped - so I had to work my way around this piece at a very fast clip. 

Luckily - by the time I had made the 360˚ loop around it - I'd gotten the application evenly applied and blended. 

It's so easy to get spoiled by using Danish Oil - which is incredibly easy to apply. Slap it on, wipe it off. Not so much with this stuff. I will probably find splotches of silver stain on my arms and legs for the next week or so! 

I re-attached the Baltic Birch plywood top that will eventually have granite placed upon it - and stood back to admire the piece.  

With a little luck and a lot of muscle, this piece will makes its way home soon. 

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