October 30, 2012

Quick update on the kid table

I sanded down the first coat of poly and added 2 more coats this morning.  When I get back from Vegas I am going to rub out the 2 pieces and finish the final assembly.

October 25, 2012

OK, so I totally lied yesterday

I said yesterday that I would finish up the poly on the table when I returned from SEMA.  I couldn't help myself and put on the first coat of poly about a quarter to midnight last night.  I checked it this morning and it is definitely going to need a good sanding before I put on the next coat.

October 19, 2012

4th coat of poly and dull spots

I lightly sanded the tabletop last night and applied the 4th coat of poly. When I checked it this morning there were a couple of dull spots. It looks like I didn't quite get enough poly on them. It felt really smooth so I think I am going to apply the final coat without sanding first.

This was taken right after I put the poly on and it is still wet.

The 2 lighter spots next to the light reflection is where it looked dull this morning.  I am going to rotate the piece 180 degree and apply the final coat tonight.

October 17, 2012

Even more poly

I really think that I have not been putting enough poly on each coat that I have been applying to my projects.  I was really worried about putting too much on and was apply just enough that the wood looked slightly wet.  I applied what felt like a heavy coat (compared to what I have been using) and I finally saw the material look slightly milky white like it does in all the YouTube videos I have watched.

I lightly sanded the 1st coat smooth last night and then put on the second coat at 9:30 pm.  I waited 2 hours like the directions on the can say to and checked the finish and it felt pretty smooth so I applied coat number 3.  I checked it this morning before I went to work and it still felt very smooth. 

I figure I will put the 2nd coat on the bottom of the tabletop tonight, let it sit for an hour, and then lightly sand the top and add one more coat to make 4.  I will then let it sit overnight and lightly sand and apply another coat tomorrow morning.  Wow, this is really starting to feel like work!

October 16, 2012

I think have found my next project

Laney Shaughnessy at A Simple Design Of Ocala is having a Christmas Contest Build Off.  The contest is to build a keepsake or jewelry box.  Once I finish the kid table I am going to try my hand at building a jewelry box.  I have a rough idea of what I want to do.  I am kinda looking forward to making something small after building the Hall Tree and kid table.  You can find out more details in the video below.

back to work on the kid table

Now that the Hall Tree is done I could start working on the kid's table again.  I stained it on Saturday to match the Hall Tree since they will be in the same area.  The stain came out a little blotchy in some areas.  The directions on the stain say that it does not need any conditioner applied first and I had great results with all my tests on the Hall Tree.  I bought the wood for the hall tree at Home Depot and the wood for the table was purchased at Lowes.  I also sanded the table a couple of weeks ago.  I'm thinking that I should have re-sanded it the same day to open the pores a little more.  I also should have found some scraps from the Lowes wood to test the stain on.  I put one coat of poly on the bottom on the tabletop, let it dry for an hour, and then flipped it over and put a coat on the top.  I am going to give it a light sanding tonight and then apply another coat on both sides.  My goal is to have 2 coats on the bottom of the tabletop and the legs and frame and then 5 coats on the tabletop itself. 

On a side note it's still pretty neat to see the color pop when you add the poly.

October 8, 2012

The hall tree is done!

As you might have guessed by the title, I finished the Hall Tree today.  It took 3 weeks instead of the projected 2 but the extra time was worth it.  I learned a lot from this project and look forward to finishing the kid sized table.
My buddy Jason came over and helped me to rub out the finish with some 000 steel wool and some paste wax.

I had a 10% off coupon for Lowes so we picked up some double hangers for the front and single hangers for the sides.  I wanted to put in hat/coat hangers but they didn't have them in the finish that I wanted and I didn't feel like waiting so I bought the doubles.  We measured and taped a ruler to the back so we could get them all the same height.  The opening is 22.5" so the center hook is at 11.25" and the sides are 5" in from the outside.

I put one hook on the right side for backpacks.  We tested it in place and there was not enough room for the door to open with a backpack hanging on the left.  We can always add another hook later.

I don't want my youngest son to be able to easily knock the tree over so I made some cleats.  I took a  1x2 and cut it down to 2 - 18" pieces.

I used a 1/2" straight cut bit in the router and made several passes by moving the fence back about 1/8" each time until I got the depth I wanted.

I made some test cuts first on scrap wood first to determine the height of the bit.

This is where the tree is going.  We also put in some doors stops in the hinges.

I marked where the cleat was going and managed to find 1 stud.  I used drywall hangers on the outsides.  I pre drilled and screwed the cleat into the stud first and tested the fit.  The tree was about 1/8" off the ground so I moved the cleat down 1/4" and then tested again.  It had the fit I wanted so I drilled the 2 drywall hangers in.

I made sure everything was level before I drilled any holes.

I pre-drilled and screwed the top cleat into the rear of the shelf and used 1.25" drywall screws.

This was exactly the fit I was looking for, just a little bit loose.

I left the back open to acommodate the light switch.  I also moved the picture frame higher.

Now that it is in place I wish I had mounted the hooks a little higher.  There are 2 - 5" boards under the shelf and I mounted the hooks to the middle of the bottom board.
Now all the kid's shoes are in the tree and not on the stairs for me to trip over in the dark.

October 5, 2012

The final coat of poly...

The fourth and final coat of poly is done!  I am going to let it cure out in the garage for a couple of days and then rub out the finish and install it on Sunday.  I smoothed out one of my tester boards with steel wool last night and then applied some paste wax and it turned out great.  My original plan was to screw the hall tree to the wall next to the front door but my wife wants to be able to move it for cleaning so I am going to do some testing with cleats.  I don't want to actually hang the thing from the wall, just secure it enough to make sure it's not going to fall on the 2 year old.  I am going to try making a french cleat and also make some rabbits in a couple of boards and see if I can get them to interlock the way I want to.

I only applied the 4th coat to the outside parts.  I left the insides of the bottom shelves with just the 3 coats.

I just remembered that I haven't bought the hooks yet.  I may have to stop by Home Depot on the way home from work tonight.  My plan is to have 3 hooks under the top shelf, one on each side near the top and then one on each side near the bottom at backpack height.


October 4, 2012

3rd coat of poly and sanding mishaps

I lightly sanded the hall tree with 220 last night and applied a 3rd coat of poly.  Even with being careful I managed to sand through the poly and some of the stain in a few spots.  I have been trying to be careful to not make the coats of poly too thick and I think I have been making them a little too thin.  I am leaving the light parts there for now as I think it gives it a little character. I was planning on putting a 4th coat on just the top shelf and seat but I think I am going to put an extra coat on the whole thing.

 I am going to oversand some of my test pieces down to bare wood and see if I can put some brown stain on it and make it look weathered.  If that turns out well I may redo some of the hall tree at a later date.

October 3, 2012

2 coats of poly later..

I put 2 coats of poly on the hall tree last night.  I put the first coat on at about 9:30 and it took about an hour to get everything covered.  I got the top shelf, sides, front, and bottom seat and shelves.  I have not put any on the back yet.  The directions on the can of poly said I could put another coat on after 2 hours so I put a second coat on at 12:30.  The second coat went much faster now that I had a system worked out.  I am going to sand the whole thing down tonight and apply a third coat to all the visible areas.  I am not going to put a third on the bottom of the seat and shelves.  I plan on putting four coats on the seat and top shelf because they should see the most use.  I am also going to be putting 2 coats on the back and bottom just to play it safe.  I have read that you should coat an entire project with the same amount to prevent moisture from getting in unevenly but I really don't feel like putting 4 coats everywhere and don't think that I need that much protection in Southern California.

This is right after I wiped it down with a damp lint free cloth and am getting ready to apply the first coat of polyurethane.

1 hour later and the first coat of poly is done.  It puddled up a little in the corners but I brushed it out as best I could.

2nd coat of poly applied 2 hours later.  It's time for bed.

October 1, 2012

The hall tree now has color

The hall tree has been stained!  Saturday morning I sanded down the back piece that goes under the top shelf and then glued and screwed it in place.  I had to drive out of town for my nephew's birthday party and by the time we got home and got everybody in bed and I got out to the garage it was 11:15 pm.  I turned on the radio and the fan and got started.  I wore latex gloves and used 1 lint free cloth to rub in the stain and another to wipe it smooth.  When I was finished and looked up at the clock it was 1:00 am.  I guess I was just in the zone.  Next time I think I will use a small foam brush to get the inside corners and edges where 2 boards meet.  I am also going to buy some heavier duty gloves.  I tore out the end of the index finger on my right had 3 times.  I plan on putting the 1st coat of polyurethane on tonight and have no idea how I am going to do it.  Wish me luck!