August 21, 2008

Hmmm…..hoping to get a mile, made it a foot.  A lot going on.

Sherri agreed to do a separate blog on website sponsors, video updates and all that stuff so now I don’t have to deal with it.  I would mess it up anyway.  Me and computers are like vegetable gardens and hail storms, me being the hail!

Okay, on the step back, really wanted to get the face frames made and on but didn’t make it.  Got the upper case interior parts sanded and fitted, also got the hard to get to interior on the bottom case wood prepped for the face frames.  Top of the bottom case made and routed and sanded.

Then UPS showed up with my “Box Elder” turning cookies from Kevin at Texas Timbers.  Now they are green, moisture meter goes to 30% and its pegging off the scale so we are doing two experiments.  First is alcohol drying.  So I dropped them in a trash can, covered them with denatured alcohol.  Now the theory here is the alcohol will disperse the moisture then vaporate quickly and speed up drying.  Now I can tell you it works, but working out soak/dry times is tough.  Also I am working on a finish of sorts that as it dries you apply and it is absorbed into the cells to minimize shrinkage, thus cracking.  So what I have done is soak them (8″ thick x 16″ across) overnight.  Now I have one outside drying.  I band clamped it really tight.  I have done a lot of steam bending and found “strapping” to make it “compress” as it bends and dries works great.  Less breaking and  blow out on tough bends, but that’s a story for another day.  The band clamps should help force the shrinkage inward thus compressing, and hopefully less chance of cracking but we will see.  This is all theory and conjecture.

Now…another thing I did on Kevin’s suggestion was to try bleaching the box elder to whiten the off white/tan part and see what it does to the brilliant red.  I did a test couple of weeks ago using Clorox and nothing.  This one I used the two part bleach, now that worked.  The white got much whiter and the red, surprisingly got much redder.  Now the final test will come when we turn it and bleach it.

The alcohol thing is at this point a test, I feel sure doing a rough turning and getting the bark off and all will have a dramatic effect.  I wanted to just see if it makes a difference in such a large piece.  Stay tuned.

At 8:30am I removed it from the alcohol it was of course past 30% on the meter.  Will see where it’s at late this evening.  Now the second one is still soaking.

Okay, poplar looking like walnut, check out the photos.  I promise you the color is dead on.  I used a dye stain and a wiping stain.  I’ll give you the finishing schedule.  On the quilt rack I used General Finishes amber dye (4 coats) and two coats of Bartley Gel – Jet Mahogany and it looked good.  Here I wanted something different as I was dealing with walnut and poplar and wanted to be able to bring them together.  Todd from Gemini came by the shop, brought the alcohol and some dye and some wiping stains and BINGO! it hit dead.

Okay, got to get to the face frames.  Also got to go pick up plywood and yellow pine for a “rustic” kitchen I’m doing.  Suppose to be delivered last week, Hmmmmm was planning to go to the big IWF show in Atlanta but not going to happen.  Just too much to do.  Such is life, sometimes you just gotta go with the hand your dealt.

Catch ya Later!

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One Response to August 21, 2008

  1. Denis Rezendes says:

    looks good! you hit the walnut dead on! also i am really excited to see how the alcohol drying turns out. got a lot of green logs and I’m looking for a good way to dry them once i start turning them!

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