I’ve got the toy chest all assembled and am finalizing the details.
I first assembled the front frame and panel and then glued on the curved K parts. I only glued the curved parts into the middle third or so of the panel, allowing the rest of the panel to float behind the K. I did put some slotted screws out in that area so the curve would stay attached to the panel throughout.
With the front assembled, I went ahead and did the back and sides, simple frame and panel assembly with the domino joints.
The front needed some final additions, including the small serif details on the outer edges of the K, some glue blocks and other odds and ends. All those went on easily and now need to be finished to match the rest of the case.
All the frame and panel parts have already been pre-finished on the outside. The process was 3-4 coats of diluted boiled linseed oil, followed by a couple coats of shellac (brushed), followed by one coat of shellac rubbed on. I then rubbed-out finish with steel wool and will finally followup with some wax.
The last two steps are to apply finish and install the countertops.
The problem with brushing or wiping finish onto this end grain countertop is that the red dust from the padauk will run over the white maple, turning it pink. I know this because I’ve done it. So – my solution is to flood the surface with finish and move it around by tilting the countertop – or very lightly using a brush to push it around the top. This worked really well for cutting boards (which were much smaller), but less so for this countertop. I did have to use some light brushing and that unfortunately caused some running of the dust. It’s not enough to notice, particularly in such a large surface. If I were to do it over, I’d probably spray on some shellac as a sealer first, and then finish from there.
I put on about six or seven coats of General Finishes HP Top Coat, sanding in between. It went quickly – no trouble. I started with around 220 grit and moved up to 320 and 400 for the final coats.
Installation went without a hitch. There are base cabinets on either side of the range, and two countertop sections sit on top of those. The third strateches between them, along the back behind the range. There’s some plywood stretchers, attached to each cabinet, that support the third countertop across the back. All three are cantilvered about 12″ off the back and with the plywood sub-base, there is almost no flexing and no need for additional support. I simply screwed through the cabinets into the countertops to hold them in place. A little clear silicon along the joint between sections.
I ripped a single straight cut across the back where all three countertops align. Then applied the 1″ padauk edging all the way around. Cutting each piece to length as I went. Once that was all in place, it was taken back off, rounded over, sanded, finished, and put back on. Then a couple more coats of finish over the entire surface plus edging. Finally finished with some wax.
The whole thing looks absolutely gorgeous in place. It’s now ready to be put to use.
I’m designing a frame and panel made of cherry that has a curly maple onlay. The frame will be solid cherry about 7/8″ thick and the panel will be 1/2″ cherry veneer plywood. The panel will be placed in a 1/2″ rabbet on the backside of the frame pieces.
On the panel I’m going to place 1/8″ thick curly maple strips in a sort of free-form that mimics the look of birch trees. (Please pardon the poor interpretation in the image – my sketchup skills make it look more like palm trees than birches).
In terms of looks, I want the cherry (both frame and panel) to be pretty dark – a natural cherry look typically seen when finished with oil. However, the curly maple pieces I want to be very white – what I can accomplish easily with a water based poly (no oil to give any amber). I don’t mind, and would actually prefer, to put the final coat(s) of finish on the whole thing to give a uniform gloss (thinking pretty shiny for the final finish).
So, the question is: How would you finish this? What would be the steps in building (pre-finish?), application of finish and types of finish?
To start things off, here is what I’m contemplating. Put blue tape on the panel and lay the curly maple pieces in place. Use a razor knife to carefully cut out the blue tape into the shape of the maple pieces. Finish the cherry with an oil/varnish blend (my goto for cherry), avoiding the taped-off sections. Meanwhile, finish the curly maple with a water-based poly. Remove tape, glue on curly maple onlay.
Unfortunately not sure if/what I can apply as a topcoat to the whole piece at that point? And plus that’s some tricky taping, cutting, etc – not looking forward to that.
I’d really appreciate thoughts and comments on this one to help me out.