The Danish Oil is still drying, so it looks a bit splotchy, but otherwise this piece is complete. I may apply some Johnson’s paste wax – the dog can be a bit messy with her water so the extra protection might not be a bad idea. It’s a little after 1:30 p.m. now – I think I’ll leave it in the basement overnight and bring it upstairs tomorrow evening when I get home from work.
After gluing it up yesterday, this morning I used my flush cut saw to trim the tenons and the braces down flush. Got the chisel out to finely blend some edges where the braces intersect the legs, and went over those areas and the tenons with the block plane.
There were still a lot of dents and scratches I wasn’t happy about, so I took 60 grit sandpaper to the piece. First time I’ve ever used anything that course for this kind of work, but I felt it was necessary. Stepped up from there through the grits: 100, 120, 150, 180, 220.
Then I experimented with something I hadn’t done before. Got out some 220 grit wet/dry paper, misted the top with water, and sanded again. Switched out to 500 grit and repeated the process. I’ve read that water will help the grain stand up, so I figured doing this would get an even smoother surface. I’m not sure this accomplished anything, but wanted to try it out.
After cleaning things up and giving the dust time to settle I applied the Danish Oil.
I think the only significant step I’ve not mentioned here is cutting out the Walnut wedges. I don’t recall reading anywhere how to do this, so think I’ve invented my own process. Here’s a 4-photo gallery of how I do it:
My goal when I started this piece was to get the dado’s to turn out better than they did when I made the bench with the same design. On the bench my dado’s were blown out a bit at the ends. I paid closer attention to what I was doing this time and they turned out much better.
Everything else, not as well. A couple of the mortises are a bit wider than the tenons, and one is longer, even with the wedge. Last time I also took some time to set the legs square before laying out the braces. This time I didn’t, and the braces aren’t as tight. Of course last time I nearly couldn’t get them inserted during glue-up, and the force of them really tried to push the legs out of their dado’s. There should be a better middle ground – likely I suspect figuring out how to have those legs better square in the first place.
So I think I learned a few things, and it’s a fine piece for me, which I think will look good with the dog’s food and water bowl sitting on top in our living room.
A small update, just realized this post gave me an excuse to share another photo of our dog Ripley. Here’s one of her participating in a lure coursing event: