With construction complete, it is time to get ready for stain. Here I have just applied a coat of pre-color conditioner.
Finally, this project, which started in May, is coming to a close. Construction is complete on the Tornado Bed (or at least I thought it was - read on). I added the last of the pins for the mortise and tenon joints Friday evening. It was good to think that I would be putting away tools like my drill for the last time on this project.
This week was basically a repeat of the steps I took in my last post, except I worked on the head board this time and fine tuned my process for eliminating drill tear out. In case you missed last weeks post, the process looked similar to this…
My drill bit is just barely long enough to go all the way through the posts. So, I have added some painters tape to protect the soft pine from the spinning drill chuck (which can leave a nice circular scar around the opening - note the hole on the left). Also I have clamped a backer board securely in place to minimize tear out.
Pins which are quarter inch oak dowels are driven into place. There was still a little tear out around the holes. I wonder if this is just hard to control in a soft wood like pine? Maybe some higher quality drill bits like these would help?
The view after cutting the pins flush and sanding the post smooth.
With the end of construction comes final preparation for the finish, and this means a lot of sanding. In general, I think that like 95% of woodworkers dislike sanding. But it is a necessary evil. I try to make the best of it with fresh paper in my sander and I also have plenty of 320 and 400 grit paper at the ready for final hand sanding.
After applying a coat of Charles Neil's Pre-Color Conditioner, I begin to lay down some stain. Since I am staining pine, I keep my fingers crossed for good luck. Everything goes well until I get to the finials. See the pic below...
I stain two finials and find that they look horrible. Let's just say I have a thing or two to learn about applying conditioner to end grain.
The one on the right is particularly bad - note the lighter triangle coloring in the upper right of the finial. These two finials are now basically trash, and fortunately I did not proceed further with the remaining two un-stained finials.
This coloring is after one coat of conditioner and one coat of stain. I knew that the end grain would be darker, but since this is the first project I have used this new conditioner on, I did not know how dark (and I think it is too dark).
To correct this, I will apply three coats of conditioner on the remaining two finials and then stain them. I need to come up with a way to test this so as not to ruin them. I will also make two new finials to replace the badly stained ones, which means construction continues. Not a big deal since they are easy to make; I consider this just a minor set-back. If you have any staining ideas different from this, please tell me in the comments. I'll update this situation when I can.
This project is being built in response to the historic tornado outbreak that occurred in Alabama on April 27th. On that day, 63 tornadoes struck our state which claimed the lives of 247 people and caused between $2.45 billion and $4.2 billion in property damage (click the image at the right). The Tornado Bed will be given free of charge to a needy victim of the April 27th tornado event.
To view all posts on this project click here. This is post fifteen in this series.
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