Hand Tools Archive

A good book and finally finished project *LINK* *PIC*

Paul in NJ
This is a good book for anyone interested in period furniture. It is available online at archive.org but it is worthwhile having a hard copy.

In addition to the mouldings, there are enough dimensions and views to build many of the pieces.

Now for the finally finished project.

12 years ago my wife was diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma. She knew it would take a toll on her body so she asked me to build a dressing mirror to help with make-up. I found this in the book above:

There was enough detail for me to build it. I started the mirror but had difficulty focusing and made some sloppy dovetails, a chip, or tear out here and there. The lymphoma progressed quickly and my wife passed on 6 months after diagnosis. I didn't have the heart to continue with the project.

Fast forward to November 2019. I came across the box with the pieces and decided to finish. Maybe a little more closure. It was completed in time to be a Christmas present for my daughter.

Despite the flaws it still is a handsome piece. Everyone notices the nice proportions and not my mistakes.

A little bit about the finish. Walnut has a "cold" color. The color can be warmed up with amber shellac or varnish but I was looking for something more. Rob Millard is a period furniture builder in Ohio and had a recipe on his website. I ran some samples with it and decided to go for it. It starts with a coat of ORANGE transtint dye. Here is plain walnut with a dyed piece next to it:

The dressing mirror after dye:

After the dye, a wash coat of shellac (~1 lb.) is applied to seal it. Next a glaze of Minwax mahogany stain is applied.

At this point I applied Behlens pore filler. I am always nervous with fillers, I have had them muddy or cloud the grain.

Thanks for looking.

Paul Dzioba

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