Previously on The Over/Under…
A rescue project, culled from the Free Stuff ads on Craigslist, launched a rollercoaster ride of pain, hope, turmoil and finally acceptance, as our intrepid protagonist sought out society’s refuse in an attempt to gain a better understanding of himself.
Or perhaps it was all a thinly-veiled ploy to covet and acquire another piece of furniture… Find out this week as we continue The Over/Under!
Very few of us get through life without contemplating our personal legacy. Whether this pondering comes in the form of a plaintive plea for longevity or simply from a desire to pass along our wisdom and experiences. Most of us seem to indulge at least one hope of our ability to succeed our mortality in some meaningful way.
In many not-terribly-subtle ways, this blog itself represents an active attempt at establishing my legacy. It is not the only online presence I maintain; and the genesis of these musings lies in the confluence of repercussions of various past activities. My youngest son, ever opinionated and animated, suggested this change in format. While vestiges of projects from ages gone past culled new contact from the electronic ether.
Small, but definitive examples that begin to frame what my legacy might entail. I am not immune to the appreciation of what these things might mean. What they might say about me and the wake I leave in my passing. For better or worse, we all make a difference.
Day 2 started by priming the inside of the box, which I intended to paint. Somehow, I either neglected to get a picture of this step, or I inadvertently deleted it. Regardless, once I had finished priming, I was able to apply a base coat of the final paint.
At this point you might be thinking “Hey, guy. What’s the deal with you and green furniture?” I have to admit that it is a fair question. The sincere answer is that green paint is just what I happen to have on hand. This goes back to the Trash Pile Bookcase. At the time, our bedroom had green carpet and a green armchair, so it made sense to paint that bookcase a color that would be complementary to the room. As it turned out, a little bit of paint goes a long way, so I ended up with way more than I needed and have since been using it slowly as other projects come along.
I also happen to think it looks great with the stain; of which I also bought way more than I needed. Frugality: Thy name is me.
After getting this base coat down, I moved on to the veneer. Having used this product on a number of projects, there are two things that have become more apparent with each use: the handy tool I bought for trimming veneer is garbage; and I can’t trust the adhesive applied to the veneer at the factory.
The first of these truths comes at great cost. On more occasions than should have been necessary for the point to sink in, I have ruined or nearly ruined a piece of veneer when using the trimming tool. When going with the grain, it has a tendency to find and follow the grain, which can result in missing chunks that are parallel to the edge. When going against the grain, it has a tendency to simply splinter the wood along the edge.
Which is exactly what happened this time, though I caught the splintering before it got too out-of-hand and was able to salvage the veneer. Using contact cement, I glued down as much of what splintered out as I could; and found some small bits of wood to patch the rest. I ended up losing a day of productivity to this, since I wanted to wait at least 24 hours for it to dry before proceeding.
So, I finished off the day a little disappointed, having only accomplished a base coat and veneer on the top of the box.
The next several days were spent managing other duties, but I managed to slip into the project room every-so-often and slowly work at sanding down the mess of splinters and glue until the area almost escaped notice (almost). It was during this time, however, that I began to notice something else disconcerting.
One of the things I love about where I live is that it rains. A lot. Being a pale creature, I have a genetic proclivity for the climate that wrought, by lack of negative selection, my people: a people naturally disposed to being sunlight averse. However, all this moisture is not necessarily great for working with wood.
Because veneer is shipped in rolls, it is generally necessary to lay it out for a day or two and let it flatten somewhat, before you can begin to apply it to flat surfaces. Typically this does not cause me any undue concern. However, I typically don’t allow much time to elapse between application and some manner of topcoat that protects from moisture. With the few days downtime before I could get back to work, the veneer managed to absorb enough moisture to swell the grain of the wood considerably.
The effect was somewhat interesting, in that it provided a more rustic, real wood feel, but this is counter to the nice, flat, smooth finish that is my goal for this piece. Tune in to the next time for The Over/Under, Part 3 or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Grain!