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Letters home to mom

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Nailing the color

Posted by joeabbott on January 3, 2014

Yesterday’s progress was modest but a good step forward. With the cabinet still a bit moveable, I chose to get a few layers of finish on it … good to see the final color taking shape!

Locking in the walls

The first step was to screw the vertical walls onto the top.

Again, ideally, I’d use glue to form the joint but the overall length of the project had me stymied. Along with the already-tight fit of the sub-top to the walls, prying it up, getting glue into the joints, and then clamping it all down just seemed like a 2-person job without breaking something that was already working. So, I snugged up the parts with a clamp or two and then, one by one, drilled through the sub-top and drove in screws.


Checking the oil

P1060052At that point, I was ready to lay on some finish. We’d decided on an oil finish, followed by wax so, my first stop was to start laying it on! I chose a white mineral oil we had on the shelf that came from IKEA. There’s a store nearby so I wasn’t too alarmed that I only had half a bottle; I could easily run to IKEA and get more.

And a good thing, too … that wood was THIRSTY! It took a long time to lay in the base coat and I managed a thin second coat before running out completely. I was happy to take a break from being on my knees and drove to IKEA.

I looked a long time and had to wait what seemed like a longer time to get help from a sales associate and, in the end, came home with a different product; they didn’t have any of the simple mineral oil I was looking for.

The stuff I brought home looked different enough (it was milky white, rather than clear) that I tried it on a test piece of wood first … no way, it gave me none of the color highlights that mineral oil did. I called IKEA and, while it took a very long time to get through the automated “help” system, a person finally confirmed they still carried the product, were out now, and would get more on Sunday. Can’t wait that long, so off to Home Depot for me!

At Home Depot I picked up a bottle of something close (“mineral oil” but not “white mineral oil” … I have no idea what the difference is) and got back before Suzy was home from work. The run-around trying to find an oil gave the project time to soak in a bit more and I then laid on a third coat … it was looking good!

I’ll wait on putting on wax until I get all of it in place but it’s nice to see things progress this far and also nice to see how the bamboo is picking up the color highlights of the oak hardwoods around it!P1060054

Next step

Today I’m going to start on the top. I have a couple designs I want to pass by Suzy first but will ultimately start cutting, gluing up, and may even have time to get it in the house! That’s ambitious so expect me to need a bit more time to finish this up!


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