Hand Tools Archive

Durability and Appearance
Response To:
Re: Different finishing ()

Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
The tops of these dressers are finished with conversion varnish for durability. While it initially doesn't look quite as good as the Waterlox it will look better after a few years of use. While a urethane varnish would have been a good choice too, it was too cold to cure it rapidly when these tops were finished. In the case of a bed side dresser the top will likely become obscured with stuff piled on it. What will show are the fronts and there I worry more about appearance.

My furniture doesn't/won't live in a museum or need to be marketed in a gallery. It will be judged by its function and appearance over time, with function being way more important than appearance, though the two don't need to be incompatible.

Appearance factors that need to be discerned by careful scrutiny don't have any relevance to furniture that stores socks. If it looks good from 10 feet across the room and continues to look good for years to come, that is good enough. Proportion and color are more important to appearance than other factors. Bottom line-to what ever extent appearance is an important factor in my designs the place to fret over appearance is in the proportions. I would judge color and luster of next most importance. I did several test panels to get the luster right on these pieces. Because of inlay, I was stuck with whatever color the combination of wood and finish provided.

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