Friday, March 27, 2015

Behind the scenes

I have been doing a lot of prep work on my pieces this week,  aka sanding and using wood filler.  Not such exciting work but necessary for a good outcome.  
I am currently working on this table and chair set.  This one will have a painted base and chairs,  with a stained top. 
These chairs will look the same when finished and the whole set will match nicely.  One chair had a broken spindle that someone else repaired but there was chunks missing at the base.  Time to bring out my wood-filler friend. 
I am also working on this dresser for my Mother-in-law.  This piece will be fun and a bit more artistic,  I can't wait to show you when it's done!  
Right now it too is getting the basics worked on with wood filler and sanding.  I am doing this and the table and chairs at the same time because both will require primer and it's easier to just dedicate a day to setting up multiple pieces for spraying.  Not the most exciting blog post but the basics are important! 
I saw this picture on Facebook and her poor feet are horrible.  It illustrates a good point though.  If you want a beautiful ballet you will have dancers with terrible feet.  If you want beautiful restored furniture,  it takes a lot of boring sanding and waiting for wood filler to dry. Putting in the hard work is the only way to have the outcome you desire.  Hopefully I will get to show you the pretty stuff soon!
  Have a great day! 

Love, Lori 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Daydreaming in wood

I am thinking out loud in this post.  The more I look through furniture that draws me in,  the more I see ornate carved wood. 
I didn't make this piece, I am no where near this skill level.  I would love to learn how they did this!  

And look at this beautiful, antique bed!  I have searched online to try and find ways to make furniture like this.  
Long story short:  each one of these fantastic pieces is carved by hand.  Someone took the time to chisel and sand out each detail and that's why each of them are so fabulous.  
I really admire the artistry and the detail.  People have carved the most unusual things out of wood that are absolutely stunning.  Here are a few examples:
Isn't this incredible?  This owl looks so real! Every feather is a piece of carved wood. 
This is a neat musician,  again an artist took the time to carve each tiny detail!  I don't ever see myself having the patience or skill to do this but I can appreciate someone who took the time and had the talent.  I have purchased wood and plaster carvings to go on furniture before.  Here is a plaster one I am about to use and that I have colored.  
For now I will continue using these but maybe, just maybe,  I might ask for a set of wood chisels for my birthday.  ;) 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Console table complete.

Here she is!  It took me over a month to complete it but I am very happy it's done.
I have enjoyed turning headboards into benches and doing other minor woodworking but I had never built a complete item (other than the ottoman tray) 100% from raw lumber. 
Last time I featured the table it looked much like this photo.  See the marks on the drawer fronts?  They drove me crazy, all the wood filler and sanding didn't make the smooth surface I was going for. 
 They had to be re-made.  
Here are some of the underneath inner workings of the table.  Most of the screws I put in with my Kreg Jig,  I love this tool.  It helps drill the holes at an angle so when you put the screws in,  it gives it a nice finished look. 
I ended up rebuilding the drawers completely.  As I was working on the table,  the look of the drawers didn't feel right.  I cut all new lumber and made new tracks for the bottoms to nest in. 
I cut the boards on a 45' angle so they would nicely fit up against each other. 
I stained the drawer fronts and then attached them with wood glue and clamps.  The only screws on the drawers themselves are just the ones for the handles.  I wanted to keep the drawer fronts as clean and smooth as possible. 
So here is the example picture again and here is the finished product.  The drawer fronts look so much better with the rebuild. 
Not to shabby eh?  I am really happy with how this turned out.  I am more excited and looking forward to building more from raw lumber in the future! 

Have a great day!
Love Lori

Monday, March 16, 2015

Hardware quick change

A couple of years ago I painted this dresser for my girls. 
I had left the hardware the bright brassy gold but I was never a big fan.  I purchased some more colors of guilders paste over the weekend and in about a half hour,  with no removing the handles, I made it look completely different. 
This is the brand of guilders paste I love to work with the most.  If any of your local stores don't carry it,  you can purchase it on Amazon.  For the handles I used Baroque guilders paste in silver.  My finger looks a bit like the Tin Man from "The Wizard of Oz" but I wears off your finger quite quickly. 
Here is the before,  I had tried a bit of the German Silver on them but it was still too gold.  
Here is the after, I decided to leave the brassy color in the grooves because I liked the contrast.  If you wanted to eliminate that,  you could use a small art brush.   See the smudge above the handle on #2 drawer?  I accidentally touched the drawer front.  The smudge will come right off with a little clear paste wax,  even weeks later, if you don't have time to fix it immediately. 
I really like the silver look much better! If I decide to change my mind in the future there is always a ton of other guilders paste colors to try.  

Have a great day and try something new!
Love, Lori

Friday, March 13, 2015

Crazy week.

It's been almost a week since my last blog post.  I have been trying to post more often but this week I have had a lot of personal things going on.  I have been trying out some new techniques behind the scenes though. 
I have posted before about my love of compasses.  I purchased a wood burner the other day at Michael's Crafts and I am trying some new styles and techniques with it.  This is a stain & burn combo.  This is only about a 5" square size compass,  my goal is to someday make a large one for a floor or table.  The top one has a touch of guilders paste. 
The middle is burn and stain only.  I am trying various looks with it in a small size before I commit to a larger and more permanent piece. 
The bottom photo is before stain and sanding.  I have also been working on figuring a better way to remove old flaky paint from furniture.  My husband is a sandblasting pro on metal so we tried a few techniques on my wood projects. 
Cleaning paint off of spindles is very hard with just sandpaper.  I tried using a chemical stripper but the results were not great.  The sandblasting works well but I need a better air compressor to do it for very long.  This detailed sandblaster was inexpensive at Harbor Freight but it worked well! 
The white sand piled up everywhere but it helped take a bunch of the paint off.  My husband showed me how to blast it and then I took over.  I am now coated in little beads and I feel sparkly and exfoliated. 
My sweet niece is sending me these knobs.  My last name is Hatfield and these say "Hatfield and Ross" on each.  How cool is that!   I am getting closer to doing the big reveal on the sofa table, I am hoping to reveal it next week sometime if I am lucky.  

Have a great day!  Love, Lori

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Step stool

So this piece my husband did most of the painting on.  He has been working from the office a bunch lately and is itching to paint something. 
It started by looking like this:
It was an old stool headed for the landfill because it was falling apart.  He repaired the boards and removed the top to replace the rusted and damaged hinges. 
Then he sprayed the whole stool in Behr premium pure white paint.  
After I taped the step area while he cooked dinner.  :D  I chose the color combo and design but he did most of the work. 
He painted the little dipped feet and I taped off where I wanted to do stripes.  I was such a bone head and I used masking tape ((not recommended)) it bleeds under the edge but I was in a pinch and out of the good blue & green stuff.
After a bit of touch ups with the colors, I think it turned out well.  
So here it is all done.  The top slides back to allow it to be stairs or it stays forward to use as a seat.  My hubby did a great job and I am happy to have him paint with me any day.  

Friday, March 6, 2015

Staining time.

Hooray,  I started staining!
I had a few days of filling holes and sanding but now it's when the fun begins. 

I remembered to put a drop cloth down first this time.  :) I haven't distressed the wood as much as I am going to yet.  The purpose of the first coat was to try out the new wood filler with the stain on.  The wood filler I used for my card catalog said it was stainable but I think it should have said "stain repellant."  It took quite a bit of creativity to get the stain to look consistent and so the new stuff I got was Sherwin Williams brand.  It adhered great and I can't even tell where I had previously filled the holes.  I even remembered to wear gloves. (mostly) 
It's too light and not the final texture and protected yet but you can see the pretty grain of the wood.  
When it's all finished it will be beautiful and rustic looking.  My next steps are to turn it upside down and make sure every inch underneath is stained and pretty.  Then I will heavily distress it and do a second and (if needed, third) coats of stain.  The key with stain is several thin coats and just to wipe on and wipe off.
Going from the light pine to a dark Jacobean finish makes it take on a whole new look.  
After I get the staining and distressing done,  I will let it dry and use a clear coat spray to seal and protect it.  It will also add a consistent and beautiful sheen.   Spring is right around the corner and if you are starting on projects,  I would love for you to post your work!   I have really loved the kind messages I have received in my inbox as well,  thank you everyone.

Have a great day!  

Love, Lori

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Seeing the finish line.

I am getting so close to being done with the console table.  I got the top bolted on today. 
I started using the wood filler and I have a bit of trim and finishing touches to do tomorrow. It's almost there!  I wanted to make sure the table top is on secure enough to be able to lift it from the top. 
I got the drawers and drawer tracks working smoothly.  It was my first time building something completely from scratch and drawers were an interesting challenge.  
I used the table saw of death so much, I think I am losing my fear of it.  I have conquered my fear of the air nailer and now the table saw.  I am really happy about that!  See the wide grooves on the table saw?  
They are really great to put your thumbs on to push the board down the machine while keeping your fingers clear of the blade.  They were probably designed for just that purpose, but I am just figuring it all out.

When I cut the grooves for the drawer bottoms I learned that the saw is 1/4" wide and the thin fiber boards are 1/4" to go in them.  When you cut the fiber boards,  it makes the edge rough and wider so the easiest way to make it fit in, is to sand the edge to a bevel. 
I used my small belt sander and I held the board on an angle on each side to smooth out the cuts.  It made it go into the track so much easier. 
So although it's not quite here yet.  You can see it's coming along. 

It has taken me so much longer to finish then I expected.  I am still struggling with my back.  
Here is the underside of the table.  Pocket screws with my Kreg Jig to bolt the boards together and then to bolt the top to the frame.  I am happy with how it's coming together.   Hopefully more progress to show soon.  Have a fantastic day!  

 Love, Lori