Memento Display Shelf


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Worked on gluing sub-assemblies today. No pics, you've already seen how it goes together. A side note, though...


Chemical coloration isn't desirable for every species. I tried the lye on this piece of butternut, and turned it into pressure treated pine! If I had continued, it may have deepened to emerald green, but that's not a look I particularly care for. Fortunately, butternut sands quickly, so the green didn't last long.

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8 hours ago, Coop said:

Just wondering, why did you switch species? 

That piece is a display plaque for Cody's samurai sword. Don't ask, I can't explain why he bought that. Anyway, his bedroom walls are dark blue, and the dark cherry kind of disappears. The butternut is just to add some contrast.

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11 hours ago, Mark J said:

How do you know that you've neutralized all the lye?

Mostly when the finish doesn't fail! :o

My first go at this (a bar top), I applied wipe-on poly without neutralizing. About 2 months later, the finish turned cloudy and yellow. I scraped and sanded back fresh wood, no simple feat, because this color penetrates. After re-doing the application of lye, I wiped it down with a shop towel, moistened with 50/50 vinegar and water. I guess you could take another pass with clean water, if desired. Anyway, that was enough to keep the finish clear for the past couple of years, so I think its good. The lye does most of its reacting with the tannic acid in the wood, so not much is left to neutralize.

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On 10/12/2021 at 6:25 AM, Mark J said:

Can you apply the HP with a rag?

I have on smaller projects, I spare on larger ones and I am pleased with the results either way.

Nice work Ross.  I like the big contrast in color between the bowl and the rest of the piece.

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I appreciate the kind words, all of you! Client is happy, so I guess I can be satisfied. 

For any newcomers who read this, never agree to match an existing finish, even on a piece you made youself and have thoroughly documented. It is guaranteed to make you pull out some hair.

Also, be careful with 'clever' design features, like the suspended shelf in this piece. I came very close to 'painting myself into a corner' with that, as the design to lock the bars into place almost prevented it from being assembled.

Every project is a learning experience.

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