Wednesday, December 16, 2009
oak bench put together but unfinished
Finally! On my very last shop day of the year I managed to finish building my white oak bench. All that is left to do is finish it. I doesn't look much different from the first picture I posted, does it? I assure you that in person there is a great difference!!
My goal in making furniture is to make stuff that can take abuse, where dings and scratches are "character" instead of damage. The way we live in my house, furniture needs to be that way. That means I don't want to put a dark finish on it that will show bare wood if it gets a deep scratch. I am considering fuming it with ammonia in the way that some original Arts and Crafts furniture was made. The original Arts and Crafts era crafters fumed with ammonia to create the aged look they so admired in ancient furniture. If it makes the wood dark enough I won't have to stain it at all. First I am going to experiment with some of the scrap pieces left over from making this bench. If I like the results I'll use the process on the bench. If fuming doesn't turn out well then I'll use a more conventional stain, just not too dark. Either way I hope to have the results posted here next month.
I'll be starting on another piece of furniture next month, something for my living room. I've been planning all along to build all new furniture for my living room but only now am I getting started. This month I am giving away virtually all the wood furniture in my living room; I think it will motivate me to work on my long-delayed furniture projects.
LESSONS LEARNED from this project: Make every cut, every step of a project as perfectly as possible. It saves so much time/effort/frustration as you progress. I made many mistakes with the first bench I made that I spent a lot of time fixing towards the end of the process; I didn't do as much of that this time and it was so much better that way!!!