I didn’t come close to finishing my headboard, so I thought I’d share the progress reached by the end of the Valentine’s Day Weekend. I got the side boxes stained and coated. I had planned to use Zar Early American stain, as I did on the upstairs moulding, but Sherwin Williams no longer carries it. After trying Minwax’s Early American and General Finish Mahagony, neither were even close on the Aspen wood, I returned to Sherwin Williams to have them match the color of the doors I’ve converted to pull out tables. They are now selling Minwax Performance Series Tintable Stain.
Per the can’s directions I sanded my surfaces with 120 grit sandpaper and applied one coat of stain, which I let sit for about 10 minutes per the clerks recommendation to get a darker finish. I let it dry overnight and then applied three coats of Minwax Polycrylic. I really like the ease of use for this product. I sanded, lightly by hand, between each coat with 220 grit paper.
After one coat of poly:
After two coats of poly:
After the final coat of poly and letting them sit overnight, I returned with my parts to the Manufactory to put them back together:
With the side boxes finished it was time to tackle the oak top shelve. I started by taking the pieces for the side to the WoodShop to use their joiner and biscuit cutter. I brought the pieces back home to glue and clamp. This was my first glue up and it was spot on! Several guys at the Manufactory complimented me as the seam of the two pieces is barely noticeable.
Now it was time to tackle the top and bottom. This headboard is going to be heavy. The oak wood is dense and in hindsight I should have detoured from the original plans sooner and used 1/2″ plywood instead of 3/4″. I can bet the designer didn’t think someone would use old wood, which weighs much more than the modern 2×4. Anyway, to try and reduce a smidgen of the weight the bottom shelve is only 12″ deep. Once the back piece is in place I’ll have a 10″ deep shelve, perfect for my bible. The top has to be the same width as the sides, so it’s 17″ deep. To reach the depth I needed I had to join two slabs together. My boards weren’t the same thickness, so I had to run them through a planer.
The bottom, per Kendall’s suggestion I routed out a 1/2 groove, because I wanted the sides to cover the top of the side boxes.
I had my mind fixed on a mitered seam at the top and that posed a challenge because my top and sides were too wide for the miter saw. After setting the back in place, I was able to mark my lines to locate the miter cut and use the table saw to cut the miter in the side panels. I used my Kreg jig kit to make pocket holes for attaching the back to the bottom, sides, and top
The top was too long for the table saw, so my only option was a circular saw. I should have called it a day and returned with my own circular saw, which has a much nicer blade, but with Kendall’s help I carried on and got the cuts made. I’ll need to do a little sanding to smooth out the edges. I made the first cut, but let Kendall make the second as there was only about an inch of waste. I beat myself up too much when I fail and I wanted to end the Valentin’e weekend on a high note. Kendall went for gold and cut right on the line to make it one and done.
The challenge now is how to screw the mitered edges together. Glue may not be enough to hold the seams perfectly aligned. In retrospect I should have routed out a groove like I did on the bottom. A normal beginner woodworker would have taken that easier road. But like Nicole Curtis from Rehab Addict says, I’m not normal.