Notes From the Workshop: 20110206

Pencil Box Finish

I haven't been able to spend any serious time in my shop since last weekend, so decided to finish the maple pencil box with some tung oil. After gluing it together, I hit it with some 100 grit sand paper to even out the joints. After the glue dried, I applied some tung oil with a clean cloth, let it sit for 15 minutes, then wiped the excess off. I have to say that there wasn't much of a color change after that first coat.

After letting it cure for about 24 hours I applied on the second coat of tung oil. The next day I started to see some depth to the finish. This time I buffed the box with some #000 steel wool, and gave it another coat. It's hard to see in the picture but the wood almost has a three dimensional appearance, somewhat like a hologram. What you see in the above picture is what the box looks like after the third coat, I don't think the top portion is actually blurry so much as that's just way the finish looks in 2D.

I wish I would have taken just a little more time and sanded the box with a series of finer grits, maybe 220 on the faces and edges and 400 on the ends. The ends are slightly darker than the face and edges and you can see scratches in a few places. Also if I would have been thinking I would have removed the numbers I used to match the corners inside the box, before I applied the first coat of tung oil. Not that anybody but me would ever notice these small imperfections.

More Maple at Home Depot

After discovering that Home Depot was mixing maple into their stock of aspen I went back to see if I could stock up on some cheap maple. There weren't any 3/4" boards, but I found some nice 1/2" and 1/4" boards. I spent about $10 for above wood. I know that if I bought rough maple and surfaced it myself, I could probably get a better deal, but since I don't own a planer and really don't want to re-saw and plane stock with a hand plane, I figure I did OK.

New Toys

After years of putting up with a oil-less pancake compressor, I finally bought an oil-lubricated 20 gallon compressor. I can actually hear myself think when it's running and I don't have to stop every 2 minutes to wait for it to catch up. It's going to live in my garage, so next I have to run a line into my shop. Eventually I'll plumb it in pipe, but for now a hose through the firewall is going to have to suffice.  

I also I bought a new laminate trimmer/router when I was at Home Depot. It's not that I really needed it, there's nothing wrong with my full size Porter-Cable, it's just too heavy and awkward to use for most hand routing tasks. Having a second router so I don't have to swap bits as often will also be nice.

If the next few weeks I'll probably write a few posts on Toolmonger about these latest additions to my tool collection.

Site updates

I added a feature to view projects on a single page. I get frustrated by sites that force you to view a story or project page by page, I can only imagine that there are other people that feel the same way. Not only do you have to wait for each page to load, if you want to save it you have to save each individual page.

First I need to explain how projects are laid out. There is a front page which is the top of the hierarchy, under that there are either child pages or chapter pages which are collections of related child pages. To use the new feature, load up a project and look for the link "View all on one page" below the navigation links. If you are on the front page it'll load the entire project into a single unformatted page. If you are on a chapter page, it'll load all the pages that are part of that chapter onto a single unformatted page. If you are on a regular page, it'll just load that page onto a new unformatted page. Unfortunately (or fortunately), when you view the project as a single page, none of the annotations on the pictures show up.

I hope that makes sense. 

Tools: air compressor, router

Tags: Bosch, notes, Pencil Box, Sanborn

Materials: tung oil


Jeff's picture

That's a handsome pencil box and I'll have to look for some maple at my Home Depot.

I have a small hot dog style compressor for my brad nailer and like you say, it is loud. But, I am going to live with it as I have other things on my wish list. I was looking for a good basic fixed base router at HD the other day. Need one of those.