Tag Archives: challenge

New Life – Small Scale

Our woodworking challenge for November was to work on a small scale.  I decided this would be the perfect time for a refinishing project that I have had on my list.

My find after general and basic repairs to drawer fronts.
My find after cleaning and basic repairs to drawer fronts.

The Original Find

This was one of my ‘street finds’ that someone had thrown in the garbage.  When I found it, there was no top and the drawers were stacked beside the carcass.  It had been exposed to some rain so there was slight water damage.  The carcass was strong and needed only minor repairs. There were four small drawers that were in generally good shape but required some touch up and cleaning.  Two of the drawer fronts had to be repaired or replaced.

One drawer was lined with felt and had clearly been home to a mouse family at some point.   Not too appealing but the felt could be fairly easily removed and the drawer completely cleaned.

The Refinishing Process

The first step was to remove the extra large base.   My plan was to make the finish project look more like a small scale chest of drawers and the base didn’t seem to fit that design style.  I wanted to see if I needed to replace the bottom and thought about perhaps making small feet.  Once I took off the bottom, I decided that the piece was sturdy enough and  did not require a new smaller bottom added.  I did not add feet but might still do that.  If I do go that way, I will first add a plywood base for stability and weight distribution.

It turned out that the base was solid at about 1 1/4 inches thick with a decorative edging.  I would like to know what was on the top as it would likely have been solid as well.  I wonder if this might have been part of a larger piece.   I chose to trim down the bottom and make use of the decorative edging as a top.  By trimming, the decorative edge on the side was lost.  Fortunately, we had a router bit that duplicated the edge quite closely.  The other alternative would have been a straight side with a rounded edge.

The bottom had been screwed in place so there were existing screw holes that fit the top dimensions.   Typically, the top would be screwed in from the bottom so the holes would not show on the top but since I  didn’t want to take the carcass apart unnecessarily, I decided to live with the holes and cover them with plugs later.  This also results in the option of removing the top later.

With all the touch-ups and repairs completed, I sanded everything through several phases down to 400 grit sand paper.  I chose to finish with shellac because Stephen had just picked some up for another project.  I haven’t worked with shellac have been wanting to try it.  I applied three coats using a foam brush and sanding with fine grit between coats.

Top drawer after felt removed and top sanded.
Top drawer after felt removed and top sanded.

While the outside pieces were drying,   I removed the old felt and cleaned the drawer then made sure top and bottom were level.  The belt sander came in handing for smoothing and removing last bits of the felt from the top surface.

The Results

Here is my finished scale model set of drawers.  Actually, it is not technically an official scale of a larger project  – at least not a specific one that I had in mind – but at 21″ h x 12 “d x 9″w, it is a small version of a full size dresser, perfect for jewellery, art supplies or other small treasures.  The top currently has plugs that are slightly proud (not flush). Stephen calls that a ‘feature’ but I have not decided whether to leave them like that or cut them flat.  Either way, I might put a piece of glass on top, which could be used to hold favourite images.

 

2×4 and Tech Challenges

 

The 2×4 Challenge

This week, I have been finishing a 2×4 Challenge through  Taylor Timber Mart in Musquodobit Harbour.   If you are a woodworker, you might be familiar with the 2×4 challenge idea, which is popular with guilds and online woodworking groups.   The challenge is to create a unique project from a single 2×4, usually construction-grade wood.  This is not the best wood to work with but its availability and low cost making this contest great for woodworkers of all levels.  Rules can vary.  For this contest, rules are simple– you pick up a free 8’ 2×4 and create anything you like as long as it is comprised of 90% wood from the supplied 2×4 and no more than 10% of any other elements (adhesive, fasteners, decorative features…), determined by weight.
Continue reading 2×4 and Tech Challenges

Working in Series

Today’s post written by Mary Elizabeth O’Toole

Have you ever finished an art project and realized that you would like to investigate a different angle, use another colour combination or apply new techniques?

All of these reflections are good reasons to create a series  – a group of pieces based around one or more common elements. Continue reading Working in Series

Not feeling inspired?

Now that fall has officially arrived, time to reflect on the summer.  The past few months have not been as productive as hoped.  This has many causes – low energy, limited inspiration and the usual glut of distractions.  Whatever the reason, my output was not as high as hoped and my organizational efforts have failed to create an acceptable level of results. Continue reading Not feeling inspired?

Colour challenge 1

Recently, I have had a number of discussions with different quilters about their difficulties choosing colours for their projects.  This seems to be a recurring source of confusion for many.  People have a number of ways to avoid the frustration including using the same colours as a pattern, buying fabric in collections or pre-cuts or recruiting friends or fabric store staff to help.  In fact, they may not even think about colour unless it is time to assemble materials for a specific project, either from new fabric or from an existing stash. Continue reading Colour challenge 1