Saturday, March 29, 2008

Stickley Music Cabinet, Part 4

The last two days I've spent finishing the Stickley Music Cabinet. While finishing is not my favorite part of woodworking, seeing the piece completed makes it worth it. I decided to go with a medium brown finish for this cabinet. I started out by sanding the entire piece to 150 grit then hand block sanding. I used a base dye of Transtint medium brown diluted in water. After this was left to dry overnight I took a sanding block with 220 grit sandpaper on it and used it to cut the fuzz from the raised grain off of the piece. I used a brush on my vacuum to remove the majority of the dust, then hit it with a microfiber dusting cloth to remove the rest. The next step is to use a 1lb cut of dewaxed shellac, also known as sanding sealer, to seal the dye. I went over the piece again with 220 grit sandpaper and a dust cloth. Follow this with Brown Mahogany gel stain, I prefer General Finishes stains. Wipe on a generous coat on one side, then rub it in with a t-shirt, before it dries all the way use a clean t-shirt to rub the stain off. This will leave the darker stain in the open grain off the oak. Once complete this should be left to dry overnight.
This morning was spent applying three coats of amber shellac, I like to rub it on using a "bob" made from lint free t-shirt material rolled into a right ball and covered with a folded square, I use a rubber band to secure the ends. Soak the "bob" in the shellac and squeeze out the excess, the goal is to keep a wet edge as you rub on the shellac with the grain without puddling. Shellac dries quickly and any excess build up of shellac will dry as a thick line or bubble. If this happens and you catch it early you may be able to rub it out with the wet "bob", if you catch it later you can melt it with a little denatured alcohol on a cloth. There is no need to sand between coats as the shellac will melt the coat under it as its applied. I sanded out the final coat after it has dried for 30 minutes with a 320 grit sanding sponge, follow this with a dust cloth. To complete the finish I wiped on a coat of Watco Dark satin liquid wax, I left it to dry for 15 minutes then buffed it out with a clean cloth.
Finally I rehung the door and installed the door pull, I added a rare earth magnet stop and installed the shelf pins and placed the shelves.
I'm very happy with the way this cabinet turned out, its simple design combined with some very nice details such as the through tenons on the top and bottom and the raised sides around the top make this an interesting piece. I'm not really sure exactly where I'm going to put the cabinet, but tomorrow I'm getting one of my neighbors to help me bring it inside, its kind of heavy.
"The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life."
William Morris

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