No Sweets for this Sweetheart

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 20200208_192240Sherwin 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.

 

 

 

I Told You She’d Be Beautiful

October 2017, armed with 2 PB&Js, Vitamin Water, and Gatorade I freed this hand-crafted, almost 100 year old built-in from the wall it was encased in.  It was one of the many vintage/cool elements that vandals left relatively untouched that made me fall instantly in love with this house.  I knew before the house was mine it would have a relocated home in my kitchen and today marked the day her restoration was complete.

Picking up where I left off with moving her back to the kitchen I completed restoring the doors.  The two smaller doors at the top were a simple clean with Murphy Oil Soap water to remove the dust, followed by denatured alcohol, outside only with alcohol.  Once dried I applied Howard’s Feed and Wax.  Like the bottom door, I decided to sand the glass doors, apply the Zar’s Early American stain, followed by the Howard’s.

Most of the door hinges were rusted, so over a year ago, I cleaned them up by soaking them in vinegar.  I sprayed them liberally with WD40 and placed them in labeled plastic bags waiting for this moment.

The drawers were missing from the beginning.  When I picked up my bathroom vanity from Homestead Furniture I noticed shelves of drawer boxes, so I asked if this was something I could purchase from them.  The answer was yes, so when I returned home I took measurements and ordered them.  I already had the plan for the drawer fronts in my mind.  The original closet shelves in the attic space were in the same stain/patina as the cabinet.  I just had to cut to size four fronts on my table saw.  The sharp edge from the saw I did not think was fitting of a 100-year old cabinet, so I used my palm sander to round over the edges.  I applied the Zar stain to the edges and sides due to the fresh cut and again applied the Howard’s.

To attach the fronts to the drawer boxes I drilled counter-sink #8 holes in each corner of the drawer boxes, applied wood glue, and screwed 1”, #8 screws through the boxes and into the fronts. The bottom drawer is the only drawer I did not glue as I that drawer may get altered in the future. It is also the only drawer to get drawer slides.   I did have to alter the drawer box to accommodate the slide, but my JobMax tool made easy work of that.

The top three drawers I am operating the way they were built, sliding on the wood frame, although I did add Nylo-Tape to make the slide smoother and to stop further deepening the wear groove. To stop the drawers from being pulled completely out I added plastic drawer stops, both found at Rockler Woodworking.

The  bottom drawer got special treatment because it now my hidden dog feeder.  I saw this idea on many of the HGTV/DIY shows.  I thought it was an awesome idea.  I never measured my dogs, assuming the bottom drawer was low enough.  The height of the drawer box I based off their current bowls.  It is almost too high for them, so I bought new shallower bowls and even though I had the scrap piece of plywood, I purchased a 2’x2’ piece of thinner wood to lower it more.  They took to the new meal location with ease and already stand in front of the drawer when they know its time to eat.

The final touch to the drawers were some vintage pulls I found on Ebay.  I searched vintage/antique built-ins on the Internet and all seemed to have cup pulls.  The wear pattern on these I thought was fitting.   They didn’t come with screws, but I found antique copper specialty screws at Lowes.  The Phillips head is the only thing that speaks modern.

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The shelves were covered in red gingham contact paper.  It was filthy and not fully in tack on all the shelves.  The idea popped in my head to look for blue gingham contact paper on Amazon and I found it.  My motto is Ask Google, Shop Amazon.   I will say it was hard to work with, very difficult to separate the peel off paper.  Luckily one roll was enough as I bought it December 2018.  Blue is no longer available.  I applied it to all the shelves and the top of the dog’s pull out tray.  The bottom stationary shelf I didn’t try to remove the remaining old adhesive and the new did not go on smooth.  For the three adjustable shelves I took a damp dish towel and applied heat from my iron.  The old peeled off in relative ease.

With all the doors, drawers, and shelves installed, all that was left was the counter top. The original was just a piece of thin metal covered with contact paper.  I knew when I freed her I wanted to put on a piece of soapstone.  Nicole Curtis used soapstone in one of her renovation and I it was so cool.  Over a year ago I found a remnant piece at Ohio Valley Solid Surface. I paid for it in full, less than $300, and they have stored it in their yard until I was ready for it.

I picked up a scrap piece because I knew I would need to notch the cabinet in order for it to fit.  I wanted to put stain on the cut areas and have the space completely ready, so all they’d need to do was slide the top in place.

The same men that delivered my kitchen and master bath counters brought the soapstone.  Their first task was remeasuring the cabinet.  They determined that more needed to be shaved off before bringing it into the house.  After shaving it off they cleaned it with alcohol.  That was the first time I saw the huge veins, beautiful, I was giddy with joy.

They carried it into the house, but had to remove a bit more wood from my notch before it would completely slide in.  Once in they applied the first of what will be many coats of mineral oil.  From what I’ve read it will take 5-6 coats before it stays dark.  The edge of the stone is beveled.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that as I assumed it would be rounded like the other counter.  However Emily, my sales person, had in her notes that we discussed a beveled edge would be more fitting given the age of the cabinet.  That was a conversation I did not remember, but glad she did.

It’s absolutely beautiful, everything exactly as I envisioned.