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wtnhighlander

Sun porch accessories

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My clients wants a receptacle embedded into the counter top, since the cabinet will block access to the one in the wall. A place to plug in a blender, phone charger, etc.

We decided that elevating it above the main surface would help avoid spills from running into the box. I made a 'curb' of 3/16" cherry strips, cut into lengths and oriented to match grain direction with the counter top lamination.

The curb was made wider than the cover plate, so I could trim it flush. My oscillating multi-tool worked great for removing the bulk of the waste, but careful chisel and scraper work was necessary to do the final clean up without gouging the top. 

Network is horrible tonight. Here is a photo, sorry I had to crop it tight and remove color to make it small enough to load.

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PS - the tape is just a marker for orientation.

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No pics, but progress is slowly continuing. Installed drawers with center mount slides, as the skinny drawer boxes left no room for side mounts. They work well enough, but allow the drawer to rock, side to side. I installed hard maple wear strips on either side of each box, now I'm tweaking them with shims to temove the rocking while still letting the drawer work smoothly.

Tedious.

On a better note, treating the cherry "butcher block" top with sodium hydroxide is bringing the color out wonderfully. Tried a variation in the process. After sanding to 180, I applied the sodium hydroxide / dihydrogen monoxide* solution to begin coloring and raise the grain together. Repeated for 220 and 320, the surface is buttery smooth, and the color penetrates well enough that light scratches don't reveal the salmon pink of raw cherry. I'll post before and after shots when its all done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

* a.k.a. Drano & water

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8 hours ago, K Cooper said:

Ross, looking forward to more pics. Where did you get that formula? 

Experimentation. David Marks did a piece on his TV show, where he colored bubinga with potassium dichromate. Of course, we've all seen the iron acetate (vinegar & steel) treatment used on various species. 

These examples started me thinking about the chemical process involved. The ph of the treatment seemed to be a key factor, as vinegar and potassium dichromate are both acidic. I wondered what a more basic chemical would do. Lye (sodium hydroxide) is from the base end of the ph scale, and Drano Crystals drain cleaner is mostly sodium hydroxide.

I tried it on scraps of a few species I had on hand, with impressive results. Pics posted around here, somewhere.  Cherry takes on the deep red/brown it has after years of typical UV exposure. Red oak gets a nice dark caramel hue. Walnut darkens, but doesn't change shade much. Mulberry, light gold when freshly surfaced, turns as brown as a Hershey bar.

If you want to try this, I'd look for a cleaner source of lye. Drain cleaner has aluminum shavings mixed in, that need to be filtered out. Also, use appropriate chemical PPE. The stuff is caustic, could irritate the skin, maybe more serious damage to the eyes. At least it doesn't emit chromium gas, like the stuff DM used.

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Marc did a video using baking soda and water on cherry to darken it. This solution is a bit safer to use and easier to come by.

I found 100% pure lye in a home center near the drain cleaner but i'm sure it can be had easily enough from the typical online sources.

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10 hours ago, Chestnut said:

Marc did a video using baking soda and water on cherry to darken it. This solution is a bit safer to use and easier to come by.

I found 100% pure lye in a home center near the drain cleaner but i'm sure it can be had easily enough from the typical online sources.

Yeah, Marc's results are nowhere close to as dramatic as what I'm seeing. But my cherry is a lot more pink in raw form, too. May just be the difference in tannin levels of trees from different regions, but ph levels are different, as well.

Engineers toolbox lists baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) as ph of 8.4, lye (sodium hydroxide) as ph of 14. 

This wood starts out salmon pink, and ends up a deep brick red-brown.

I'll check on lye at the local home centers. My Drano came from WalMart. The local HD may not carry lye, but I bet Ace Hardware does. Used to find it commonly sold as paint stripper.

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Wow that's a lot more red than i was expecting. Most of the cherry i use ages to more brown than it does red like that. Interesting.

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It is very appealing. 

Any information on how permenant this color is?  My curiosity is that reduction and oxidation reactions are usually reversible.  Lye is a reducing agent while the pieces will be in the air exposed to planty of sunlight.  

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Shot of a shutter with lights off. Cutting in the receptacle box was one of my more puckered moments this week!

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The shutters are attached to the wall with 'Tapcon' concrete screws, hidden behind the removable 'rails'.  Eight 1/4" x 2.75" screws per shutter. Pretty sure the house will crumble before those shutter come off.

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This all turned out awesome! I really like the shutters it's a cool idea.

Those skinny drawers are kinda funky what is their intended purpose?

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Very nice and the top looks great.

1 hour ago, Chestnut said:

Those skinny drawers are kinda funky what is their intended purpose?

Liquor bottles I hope.

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4 hours ago, Bmac said:

Very nice and the top looks great.

Liquor bottles I hope.

Nailed it in one. The tall bottom drawer is sized specifically for those squarish bottles used by our TN native, Sir Jack Daniel. The other two had to fall in line, or get the boot!

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