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Project Information

This is my first project with QSWO. The dimensions of this side table are: 28" H x 22-1/4" L x 15-1/4" D, so that it can stand right next to the sofa or the chair. I got inspired by and borrowed some of the design and joinery from this video. However, I didn't taper the legs along the entire length and therefore didn't shape the shelf-to-leg mortise-and-tenon joints because couldn't find an available band saw which I could use for a couple of hours. I wonder how this could be done with hand tools. The shelf was attached to the legs through bread board with mortises and tenons.

For finish, on cut-offs I've tried several dye-seal-stain-topcoat schedules with different combinations of aniline dyes and oil based stains-and didn't really like how it looked. My major concern was that all of the samples looked obviously dyed and stained, never like natural wood. The oak pores were over-darkened muddying and hiding the nice grain.

So, I decided to try ammonia fuming instead. It turned out to be much easier to do than one would think from reading online articles. I used the 10% "janitor strength" ammonia solution by Ace. All the parts were put upright in a cardboard box which was placed in a large garbage bag. About two cups of ammonia also went into the box in a plastic tray. Please see the photo. The black garbage bag makes the setup air tight, which speeds up the process. It took overnight to get a nice light chocolate color on the wood and get the grain emphasized. What's even better, I was able to lightly plane the fumed wood because the fumes went at least 1/16" deep. This gave really beautiful and naturally looking grain!

Why would one obscure this beauty with the layers of dyes and stains?!



The fumed oak was planed or sanded with 150 grit, coated with one coat of garnet shellac and one coat of blond shellac; then four coats of GF Arm-R-Seal were applied.

I used z fasteners to attach the top.

Gallery

Comments

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Nice tight joinery and workmanship Harum 8^)

I tend to always fume WO primarily for the exact reasons you mention. You can get a fantastic finish with dyes and oils if you have the experience, but I like the ease and as you have noticed, the depth of the fumed effect. One can also choose to fume before or after assembly, no worries about glue not sticking.

One downside however is that even with wood from the same tree, sometimes the fuming will have radically different effects on different boards. Best thing I have found is to monitor the fuming process and pull items out as they reach the desired color.
 

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Harum, very nicely done. I especially like the detail on the aprons.
 

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Nice tight joinery and workmanship Harum 8^)

I tend to always fume WO primarily for the exact reasons you mention. You can get a fantastic finish with dyes and oils if you have the experience, but I like the ease and as you have noticed, the depth of the fumed effect. One can also choose to fume before or after assembly, no worries about glue not sticking.

One downside however is that even with wood from the same tree, sometimes the fuming will have radically different effects on different boards. Best thing I have found is to monitor the fuming process and pull items out as they reach the desired color.

- splintergroup
Thank you, splintergroup! Yes, I've been looking for a dye-stain finish for QSWO which would keep the medullary rays visible and the pores not over-darkened and after much experimenting still do. Have copied recipes from finishing books and Mission Oak finish from a finishing website and, as I mentioned before, didn't like the outcome mostly due to the muddy pores and low contrast grain. Will try again as soon as I see what can be changed in my schedules. I found that the oak sapwood doesn't change the color after fuming which may add extra character to the project.
 

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Harum, very nicely done. I especially like the detail on the aprons.

- AandCstyle
Thank you, AandCstyle! Yes, this detail was on the original piece from the video.
 

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Harum that's a very handsome table. I love that A&C style of furniture. QSWO is a wood I've longed to work with. The whole fuming process is the reason I've avoided it. You've inspired me. Thank you.
 

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Harum that s a very handsome table. I love that A&C style of furniture. QSWO is a wood I ve longed to work with. The whole fuming process is the reason I ve avoided it. You ve inspired me. Thank you.

- BurlyBob
Thank you, BurlyBob! For what it's worth, I found that putting the pieces in a garbage bag for an air tight seal is important. This makes even 10% ammonia solution very efficient, which some people said wouldn't work at all. Also, some say that one has to wait at least three days after fuming before glue-up to make sure the unbound ammonia airs out and doesn't interfere with the glue chemistry. I did just that. The oak I used came from different sources but the color variation wasn't a problem. 10% ammonia is caustic enough, so one has to avoid getting in on skin or in the eyes-something to keep in mind.
 

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Me too! I wanna make one like that! I've got a bit of QSWO - maybe enough. Very nice and inspiring work.
 

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Me too! I wanna make one like that! I ve got a bit of QSWO - maybe enough. Very nice and inspiring work.

- Ocelot
Thank you, Ocelot! In the video from that furniture shop they only show work with hand tool. Did they use a band saw for that taper on legs interrupted by the extended mortise?
 

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Nice!
I too like the added detail to the aprons.
 

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Nice job Harum and congratulations on your 'Daily Top 3' award.
 
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