Category Archives: Materials

Woodworking projects, plans, techniques, tips, materials, and tool reviews

Hayden Renews her Holzapfel Workbench Top

Workbenches are meant for work. They get dirty, stained, and tell stories with the drips and drops of finish and glue. Hayden’s workbench also tells stories: of painting with chalk by rubbing her project with chalk, then wetting them with water; glue drips; glitter from school projects; and other things an almost-eight year-old woodworker would do.

Clear versus Clean

In the shop last weekend she wanted to work on some projects. He bench was covered in tools and scraps, and I told her she couldn’t start a new project until her bench was clear. So she diligently put tools away and when her bench was clear she decided it wasn’t clean enough. I told her we could make the benchtop as good as new with some sanding and some oil.

She thought that was a great idea.

Sanding the Holzapfel

Here she is sanding the bench with the Bosch ROS. The dust collection on this sander is great, and we had fans going. I did most of the sanding while she ran in to change her clothes.

Oiling the Holzapfel

After sanding and clearing away the dust, two coats of Watco Danish Oil do the trick. We used gloves, had the door open and fans on, and disposed of the rags properly.

Now, if I can just get her to clear off my bench.

CVG Fir is Gorgeous – Thanks Compton Lumber

Wow, this is some gorgeous fir from Compton Lumber in Seattle. Check them out here.

The Final Mantels

It’s been a long time coming, I know.

These are the Mantels I built and installed for a wonderful client, the Stavoe Family, Memorial Day 2012. All built from solid walnut with pine seconds, sprayed  with Shellac and General Finishes Enduro-Var.

Classic Dining Room Mantel

You’ll notice that the fireplace is not centered on this peninsula wall. So the family and I worked together to design a mantel that went straight to the wall in the corner. This design is more classic and formal, inspired by designs of the real estate on Hilton Head Island. It’s a very thick top and is screwed upon a French cleat.

Stavoe Dining Room Mantel

Stavoe Dining Room Mantel

Craftsman Sitting Room Mantel

This peninsula wall divides the space into the dining room and a sitting or reading room. From other areas in the house you can see both sides of the peninsula wall, and both mantels. So the family and I wanted the materials and proportions to be the same, even though the style will be less formal in the sitting room. This mantel is also screwed upon a French cleat.

Stavoe Sitting Room Mantel

Stavoe Sitting Room Mantel

Walnut Slab Family Room Mantel

The last mantel is in another area of the house, the great room – where the kitchen, eating, and play areas come together (see the Geelong home builders project). This mantel is made to look like a solid walnut slab, but it’s not. There are threaded inserts recessed in the bottom for stainless steel christmas stocking hooks. This was the install I had the most anxiety about, but it slipped into place on cleats very tight and sturdy.

Stavoe Family Room Walnut Mantel

Stavoe Family Room Walnut Mantel

I’m getting caught up in reverse order, the post regarding design and construction will come next.