Taliesin Desk Build - How's and Why's #16: The Wood Working Blues

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Blog entry by EarlS posted 10-18-2016 11:59 PM 1748 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 15: Drawers Part 16 of Taliesin Desk Build - How's and Why's series Part 17: All Good things Must End »

I’m a huge fan of the Blues. The Blues are my go-to music in the shop. Stax, Chess, MUddy Water, Joe Bonamassa, Beth Hart, Elvin Bishop, Buddy Guy, the list goes on and on. Well, this week I’ve been singing the Woodworking Blues.

I’ve been working on the finish for the walnut desk top. Cutting the openings for the cords went well. I made an mdf template that ran the full length of the top with notches removed where the openings needed to be cut.

A little dusty, but the end result turned out like I expected.

I applied some Watco Dark Walnut Danish Oil for the first coat to even out a few of the light patches. Things were going great.

Danish Oil takes a couple of days to dry under good conditions. It takes even longer when it is rainy and the temperature is fluctuating as happened last week. At some point, I opened the garage door and quite a lot of water dripped out of the panels onto the desk top. I didn’t see any of it which meant the water sat there until it dried. Along the way, it several large water spots appeaered.

It is the off colored lighter are in the middle of the picture, much more obvious in person.

Why not turn it over you ask?? The top side color and grain is really something plus there are a number of knots that were filled on the back so it wasn’t an option.

A couple of hours of sanding the entire top from 220 to 400 grit and then a new coat of Watco, wait 3 days, then I finally could start applying the Arm-R-Seal. I’m a couple of coats into that tedious process. The finish has to completely dry before I can flip the top over and do the same thing to the other side. Generally, I can do one coat every 3 days but the recent hot, humid weather one day and sudden temperature drops to near freezing has me turning the heater on at night and the A/C on during the day to keep the humidity down and the temperature constant.

I’ve also been working on the drawer fronts and cord caps. I came up with some really intricate, complicated pieces that incorporated some of the glass from the leg panels. I was also planning to use a couple of larger pieces of glass in the drawer fronts.

When the panels arrived and I compared my efforts to the panels Alex and the folks at Heritage Glass made, I decided to go with Plan B:

Yep – the whole mess, about a week or so of work and a lot of wood that went into my grand scheme wound up in the trash.

In case you are feeling sorry for me – not to worry. Sometimes this happens. I doubt that anyone has everything turn out well every time. This is part of the process and part of learning not only the craft, but also the art of wood working.

Oh – and I called Alex and ask him if he could make some more panels for the drawer fronts. Of course he will and they will match the legs perfectly and the whole thing will work.

As for the cord caps, I have some Bubinga, or maybe Redheart, or Bloodwood, that will make really nice cord caps. Or I could find a piece of figured cherry or walnut. For now, I’m focusing on finishing the finish correctly and singing the Woodworking Blues.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

1 comment so far

View JimYoung's profile


407 posts in 2663 days

#1 posted 10-23-2016 01:50 PM

Hi Earl,

You’re definitely taking this desk to the next level.

-- -Jim, "Nothing says poor craftsmanship more than wrinkles in your duck tape"

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