It’s not exactly the projects I wanted to get done this weekend but I managed to build some much needed storage in the garage and garage workbench.
The weekend was mostly taken up with painting and other prep work for my son’s new bedroom but on Sunday I did manage to sneak a bit of shop cleanup and woodworking in. During the cleanup I found the third crest rail blank that I had prepared so I steamed it and pressed it into the form with the pieces clamped down. In the end the piece split and the vise wrenched itself loose. It’s still attached but it’s got a lot of play.
While I was working in the garage I sat the backstool in the sun foe a bit. The torrential rains the past week Have slowed the oil finish curing so hopfully a few hours of earth will speed it up so I can put on some shellac. It’s a shame that one board was glued up the wrong way as the difference in look detracts from an otherwise pleasant effect. If I hadn’t built it myself I would assume it was from a different board.
As you may remember from yesterday, by back-stool stain came out a bit darker than I would have liked. Well a bit of finishing magic and things are looking better. I mixed up some red mahogany TransTint dye and some water and applied to the the test piece of poplar. When I wiped up the excess I noticed that the a significant amount of the van dyk stain had come away and the wood looked significantly lighter. I decided to throw caution to the wind and applied it to the entire chair and low and behold things look a lot better.
I had also been experimenting with some pigmented oil but mixing 1 part gum turpentine with 2 parts boiled linseed oil and adding some Warm Cyprus Umber pigment. I decided to apply it to the chair as well.
The right most board has opposite grain direction which explains why it looks different.
After letting the backstool dry for a couple of days while I was out of town I was disappointed to see how dark it ended up. You can see the seat ended up much darker than the test peice of poplar (which I now realize is from another seat blank and probably a different species of “poplar”) so now I need to decide what I am going to do.
I only have small quantities of black and red milk paint at this time and I don’t want to order more at this time because the second kid is only 2 months away which means even less woodworking time.
The seat and the crest rail both look a bit muddy and could do with some red and the oak ended up with some pores without color. I do have some earth pigments which I could use to mix up some tinted oil to fill in the un-dyed pores which would requires some experimentation. I also might have enough paint for some thin washcoats.
Since I am back in town full time I am starting to make some progress. I cut the legs to attain the seat slope listed in the Anarchist’s Design Book but ended up cutting it a second time to take an additional 3/4 inch off the front two legs. I then pinned the crest rail tenons with bamboo skewers and trimmed them flush.
After a bit of sanding it was time to start the finishing process. I have been repainting the third bedroom in our house so all of my drop-cloths were already out upstairs so up we went. I had mixed ups some van-dyke crystal dye last year as mark of a test batch of finish so I used that
I was planning on the black on red milk-paint from the Chair-maker’s notebook but now I’m starting to rethink that. This is a test project so I might try some Watco over the stain and see how it looks.