Friday, November 6, 2009

Rosewood Console Table #3

10:09 AM Comments 0

Rosewood Console Table: Mortising and Finishing

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After allowing the veneer to cure and fully adhere to the MDF substrate, we tackled the task of mortising dozens of 5″ long, .5″ wide, 1″ deep mortises in the surfaces, which would hold a loose tenon and connect the surfaces to the uprights.

Using a clamping straightedge, a plunge router, and a brand new .5″ spiral up-cut bit, to ensure minimal tear-out in the veneer, made the entire process a fairly easy one. The most difficult task was keeping all the sawdust out of the way so we could see the start and stop points on the surface. I suppose it is time to get a new fancy smancy plunge router with a nice built-in vacuum attachment.

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A couple of hours later, we had routed ourselves 24 perfect mortises!

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I have also learned over the past couple of years, no matter how good you are, always dry fit the project before you dive into the assemble or finishing processes.  In this instance, the dry-fitting process allowed us to fine tune the alignment of a few of the mortises and assign a letter to corresponding mortises and loose tenons, ensuring the final assembly would be perfect.

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The first step to the finishing process was to sand all the veneer surfaces using a sanding block and 150 grit sandpaper. Once we removed any sharp edges, scratches, or frays it was time to spay on a coat of vinyl sanding sealer.

We just recently began using a vinyl sanding sealer as the sealing coat, rather than using an extra coat of of lacquer or varnish, because the vinyl sanding sealer is thinner, which allows it to penetrate deeper into the wood, doing a much better job of sealing the pores in the wood. The vinyl sanding sealer also sands much easier and creates an incredibly smooth surface for the lacquer or varnish to be sprayed over.

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We sprayed on two coats of conversion varnish over the freshly sanded sanding sealer.

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Repeat the same process as above for all the vertical uprights, except rather than leaving them a natural color, we stained them pitch black!