Happy Father’s Day

The Dark Walnut Danish oil took forever to stop seeping up around the base of the corbel slats. I had to wipe the excess every few hours for about 5 days! Thinking back, I think I have deduced the cause. When I was routing the mortises for the corbel slats, I made them a bit wider than necessary, to allow myself some extra wiggle room to adjust them. Since they are non-structural, I didn’t think anything of it. When I applied the Danish Oil, the extra spaces must have filled up, and the excess had slowly been drawn up, and out, over the ensueing days. Annoying, but, in the end, no real biggie. I mixed up a fresh batch of dewaxed orange shellac to seal it, and got that sanded to 320, ready for the first coats of the wipe-on poly.

While waiting for the oil to stop seeping, I took the opportunity to work on my Father’s Day present. My father collects glass paperweights and expressed a desire for a light box to display them on; basically, a box with a light inside, shining up through holes into the paperweights. I found some mahogany for the sides, and milled it down to a little less than 3/8″, a real change from the heavy 8/4 oak that I had been dealing with. I decided to get some dovetailing practice in, since I hadn’t done any in a while. It was going to be a challenge, as well, working with such thin stock. Practice certainly makes perfect. I could see a progression in quality from the first to the last; but they were all good enough to do their job. (no overly floppy, loose ones) My biggest issue is not sawing past the line. I always seem to overshoot it a fraction, especially on the pins. I need to work on that. Mahogany is such a hand tool friendly wood, no wonder it became the wood of choice for Chippendale, et al. I made two boxes, and they glued up nice and square, thanks to the dovetail joints.

For the base and lid, I didn’t have any suitable mahogany, but I did have an isolated board of Lyptus, the newly developed eco-friendly wood. Certainly similar in color and grin, but definitely not as friendly as mahogany. It is much denser and less hand tool friendly. I don’t think I will make it a regular part of my arsenal, unless specifically requested (and I can’t talk them out of it.) I attached the top to the sides, drilled the holes for the light – and the light’s electrical cord – and sanded them, ready for the finishing room. About five coats of a wiped on oil/varnish blend and they were ready. It certainly brought out the luster of both the mahogany and the Lyptus.

They were much appreciated.


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