Due to the COVID-19 (Corona Virus) Pandemic and the need for social distancing, PWC will be having VIRTUAL meetings for the foreseeable future.
MAY WOODWORKER OF THE MONTH MICHAEL OSHRY
I’d like to share with the club the last project I finished, a sewing/knitting/multipurpose table as a Christmas gift for my wife, Gail. By way of background, this table was a more advanced project for me. While giving careful consideration to good design, overall functionality and of course craftsmanship, a primary focus was upon matching grain-Michael ?
??Frankly, I enjoyed working with this species of hardwood and it was fairly easy on the blades. In addition, Limba was a joy to work with because of the uniqueness of its grain, the endless variety of color and the variations of hue in its striping. Besides, I was drawn to the rich collection of small “irregularities” I found within the pieces I selected—worm and pin holes—which for me contributed significantly to its beauty, its uniqueness, it’s one-of-a kindness.
?I decided upon a beautiful hardwood called Black Limba (also referred to as, “Korina"), for which I learned is a species native to the Democratic Republic of the Congo near the western coast of Africa. Limba (both black and white) is “not” a protected species, a concern I’m intentional to remain mindful of given the magnitude of deforestation occurring throughout the world, particularly in the Amazon. I felt good about working with it.
Once assembled and sanded, along with clean used cotton T-shirt sections, I applied finish beginning with a diluted boiled Linseed Oil to Mineral Spirit ratio of about 3:1 - just dark enough, but not too much so. As usual, the first application of penetrating oil really popped the grain. I never tire of this first impression. I then began to apply several coats of oil-based polyurethane. I used a “satin” resin finish knowing my wife tends to shy away from glossy, even semi-gloss finishes. After applying the first coat of polyurethane I began “leveling” the wet surface with 320 grit paper. Thereafter, each topcoat was thinly applied. After four or five coats and sufficient drying time, I applied Odie’s wax.
If I were to suggest my table has a “centerpiece” it would have to be the public library card-catalog units I repurposed. These drawers had been sitting in my workshop for some time before I realized just how fun it would be to retrofit the units to work within the sewing table. After all, I knew Gail needed small, but long drawers for storage—knitting needles and the like. It seemed to work perfectly. ?Considered a separate project, I began to remove the “fronts" to fashion new ones out of the African Black Limba hardwood taking care to match opposing grains and attention given to space clearances. I kept and used all the “thumb-pull” hardware too. ?
?Perhaps the best lessons or awareness learned were:
Be patient when allowing each finishing coat to penetrate and settle. If it requires several days, so be it.
When I miss-cut a piece, such as one of the trip pieces around the openings below where the baskets go, “re-cut again from fresh stock” rather than to try to jimmy-rig the piece into place, sacrificing quality and just “settling,” unnecessarily.
Since this was a piece of furniture for my wife, I began consulting with her along the way on just about everything, so that in the end, there “were no surprises.”
When I was getting tired, or feeling achy, I mustered up the determination to just “stop.” The project took on a completely different feeling the next time I began to put on my apron to get back to work.
With this project I really learned what it’s like to “take one’s time,” and to allow the “low” of the project be what it will be. There were days I would stand in front of the unfinished table for what seemed like thirty minutes. It would become clear “today is not going to be a woodworking day.” So I would do something else, tidy-up, put some things away, maybe do some cross-cuts on the table-saw in anticipation of what was coming next. ?
MONTHLY MEETINGS WHEN: First Thursday of each month (September through June) WHERE: Hillcrest Baptist Church 205 Black Diamond Road Port Angeles, WA ??TIME??: 7-9:00 pm