I am excited to announce that the build portion of the Thomas Walnut Dresser is complete! Tonight I trimmed and fitted the last four drawers and sanded the entire piece to 320p grit. The entire piece has been wiped down with mineral spirits and tomorrow finishing will begin. This has been a long, fun, educational process for me and I’m excited to get this delivered as soon as possible. Pictures below!
Here’s the front of the dresser, with continuous grain across the whole piece, left-to-right and top-to-bottom. The splotchy look is because it’s partially wet with mineral spirits.
Here are the bases, wet with mineral spirits. I think they’ll look good underneath!
Left side, looking down the front. That grain pattern reminds me of the trees in the Wizard of Oz (see below) and remember, the sides match!
So tomorrow it’s sanding, applying shellac, and then wipe-on varnish.
Two hours in the shop tonight and things went well. Half the drawers are now trimmed with solid walnut edge banding, installed on their drawer boxes, and they’ve been sanded and had two coats of Shellac applied. I don’t mix my own Shellac, I just buy quarts of Bulls-Eye Seal Coat, which is a dewaxed shellac that is ready to apply right out of the can. I wipe it on with clean cotton rags, and I wear gloves during the application. Dewaxed Shellac is best because the wipe-on varnish won’t have any problems adhering to it. Shellac is a resin excreted by the female Lac bug. It dissolves in alcohol and dries quickly. it is used to coat candy including skittles and jelly beans, and coat medicines for slow release. How’s that for safe and organic?
Here you can see the top row and notice the continuous grain. That’s really going to look great.
Check it out when the drawers are pushed in. Nice tight fit!
Here’s a detail of the trimmed out face. The solid walnut edge banding looks good and is easy to apply.
This really makes me feel like I’m getting close to the finish line. My only concern now is having enough time for the finish to cure before delivery. I know I can get the other drawer faces trimmed and installed tomorrow. After that it’s just sanding and finishing.
Wow. What a couple of nights I’ve had in the shop. Last night after Fifi (the three year-old assistant) went to bed, I cranked on the drawer boxes making sure they were installed so that the faces would be flush with the fronts. The cut edges on the top got rounded over, sanded, and two coats of shellac. I was in the flow all the way to midnight.
Tonight was even better. I spent less than two hours in the shop and finished the trim along the bottom, and got all the drawer faces cut perfectly, even when the opening wasn’t perfect. The faces are from one piece, so the grain will flow across the front of the dresser continuously.
Next time in the shop I’ll trim out the faces and install them, making any final adjustments for a flush fit. After that all that is left is to apply the finish!