Entertainment Center Finish

I finally got around to applying the finish to the entertainment center doors. I took a finishing sequence from an old Fine Woodworking article on finishing walnut by Jeff Jewitt. While it is a bit involved, I think it served to even out the different colors of the different walnut boards quite nicely. I still need to build the upper bookshelf units, but at least the lower sections are now 100% complete.

A coat of a golden brown dye helps to warm the cool tones of the walnut and even out the color between boards.
A coat of a golden brown dye helps to warm the cool tones of the walnut and even out the color between boards.
The dye gives the wood a warm amber tone.
The dye gives the wood a warm amber tone.
The dye is very dark and a bit alarming when it's first applied.
The dye is very dark and a bit alarming when it’s first applied.
But the color lightens nicely when the water evaporates.
But the color lightens nicely when the water evaporates.
Two coats of dewaxed garnet shellac seal in the dye.
Two coats of dewaxed garnet shellac seal in the dye.
I sanded lightly with P400 between coats.
I sanded lightly with P400 between coats.
Then it's time for a glaze made up of equal parts gel varnish and linseed oil with artist oil colors added to give the desired color.
Then it’s time for a glaze made up of equal parts gel varnish and linseed oil with artist oil colors added to give the desired color.
The glaze is applied quickly and heavily to cover the entire front of the door (I didn't glaze the inside).
The glaze is applied quickly and heavily to cover the entire front of the door (I didn’t glaze the inside).
The thick coat of glaze is allowed to sit for a few minutes.
The thick coat of glaze is allowed to sit for a few minutes.
After about 10 minutes, the glazed is wiped off, allowing some buildup in corners and crevices to remain.
After about 10 minutes, the glazed is wiped off, allowing some buildup in corners and crevices to remain.
After the glaze dries for a day or two, a clear satin varnish top coat seals everything in.
After the glaze dries for a day or two, a clear satin varnish top coat seals everything in.
After the clear coat was dry I reattached the doors to the cases for the final time.
After the clear coat was dry I reattached the doors to the cases for the final time.

Episode #49: Chopping a Mortise

While I have demonstrated the process I use for chopping a mortise before in previous videos (e.g. porringer tea table, workbench, entertainment center doors), I’ve never actually just done an episode on the mortising process. So it hasn’t been easy for folks looking for this information to find it here, because it’s burried in other videos. A recent request from the editors over at Popular Woodworking Magazine provided me with the opportunity to remedy this situation. They were looking for a video on chopping a mortise for an online extra for the article that I have coming out in the June 2013 issue. So seeing as I had to chop some mortises recently anyway, I put this together.


 

Episode #48: Entertainment Center Doors – Part 2

On today’s show I finish up the work on the frame and panel doors for the entertainment center. These doors are lipped, meaning they are partially inset and partially overlay, and they also have a molding planed on the inside and outside edges of the rails and stiles. The solid wood panel in the outer doors is bookmatched, fielded and raised. The center doors have glass panels. In Part 2, I’ll discuss how the fielded and raised panel is made, and complete the lip and outer molding on the assembled door.


 

Another Slice of Humble Pie?

So just when I thought I was making good progress on my cabinet doors for the entertainment center, I am once again reminded that I am not the one in control here. Recall in Episode #46, I laid out the ends of the mortises in the stiles of the door frame by coming in 1/4″ from the end of the stile. All went well during dry fit of the door frame, so I glued it up. Today I cut off the horns, planed everything flush and double checked that everything was the correct size. It was. So I proceeded to plane the rabbets in the front for the molding. All went well. So I proceeded to plane the rabbets on the inside of the door frame for the lip. That’s when I noticed this.

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The ends of the mortises were located 1/4″ from the end of the stiles. The rabbet that creates the lip on the door frame is 1/4″ wide. So I planed away the ends of the mortises. On the bright side I can see that the tenons fit the mortises well. But now I have no outside support to the tenons.

I’ve never done this before. In fact, the two other door frames I’ve built already were done correctly with a 1/2″ outer shoulder on the tenon so that the lip wouldn’t encroach on the mortise. But on this one I just forgot this important detail.

I’ll have to fix this by adding some pegs to the inside of the door frame to lock the tenons in place. The pegs won’t show if done on the inside of the door. But I will always be reminded of my mistake every time I open this door because there’s no way to add back the bottoms of the mortises now. I’ll just fill in the gap between the bottom of the mortise and the end of the tenon and live with the tenon showing. So I’ll have sort of a pegged bridle joint for this door.

Bet I won’t make that mistake again.

Episode #46: Entertainment Center Doors – Part 1

On today’s show I start working on the frame and panel doors for the entertainment center. These doors are lipped, meaning they are partially inset and partially overlay, and they also have a molding planed on the inside and outside edges of the rails and stiles. The solid wood panel in the outer doors is bookmatched, fielded and raised. The center doors have glass panels. In Part 1, I’ll discuss how the frames go together before the panel is added.