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Thread: Kitchen Cart

  1. #1

    Kitchen Cart

    I’m a photographer and was asked to get a kitchen cart by my food stylist., So being a woodworker, of course I built one. It’s made from walnut and maple. There are a couple of ways to make the edge grain top and shelves. My approach was to glue up the walnut center sections first, trim to size, and then add the 2 maple end strips. After they dried, they were trimmed off flush and the 2 maple side strips were added. Process repeated until the final length and width were reached.


    The frame was much simpler, consisting of just 2 end sections consisting of 2 vertical legs and 3 cross braces each. I debated adding braces that ran the length of the cart, but given the thickness of the shelves, I thought they were not necessary. I was right, and the result is a bit more room to access the shelves.


    I assembled the frame with my newest acquisition in tools, the Dowelmax. I am sold on this method of joinery, as long as exposed joinery is not part of the design. The Dowelmax produces joints very quickly, that are very strong and precise. I have no affiliation with them, I just appreciate a very well made tool that delivers as promised.


    I struggled a bit with the finish. I wanted something that brought out the richness of the walnut, but didn’t yellow the maple too much. After doing lots of reading online, I tested 3 different finishes on scraps; Minwax WipeOn Poly, Formsby Tung Oil finish (not real Tung Oil I think), and Watco Danish Oil finish. The Minwax WipeOn Poly was discounted immediately, providing almost no richness to the Walnut. The other 2 did provide that richness, but also yellowed the maple. I decided that I could live with that, and used the Watco.


    I followed the directions to the letter; flood on a coat, wait 15 minutes, flood on another coat, wait 15 minutes, and wipe off the excess. It was supposed to dry overnight, but took about 6 days! Even then it was still a bit tacky. And while my tests looked good on my scraps, I didn’t like the uneven shine on the edge grain, which runs in different directions. After some deliberation, I sanded off much of the finish with 220 grit sandpaper. This knocked down the sheen to a matte finish, and removed a lot of the yellow cast in the maple. The walnut lost some richness, but not too much. And when I followed this up with 2 coats of paste wax, I got a result that I liked.


    I would love to hear some comments and recommendations on finishing maple and walnut projects from some of the experts here, who are far more experienced than me. Thanks!
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    Last edited by Tim Andrews; 05-03-2019 at 1:50 PM. Reason: restored original text

  2. #2

  3. #3
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    Nice looking cart. You may not be able to see the pictures, because you now have to be a contributor to view photos.
    ShapeokoXL
    Blue and White 50 Watt

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clark Hussey View Post
    Nice looking cart. You may not be able to see the pictures, because you now have to be a contributor to view photos.
    Tim,

    I think the new policy started yesterday. Maybe edit the post again and put the text back - at least those who can see the pictures could read about it. I like the look of the cart too.

    If you feel like the tiny amount required to be a SMC contributor is worth it (just $6 minimum a year), you can set it up with the "Donate" button in the blue menu banner at the top of each screen.

  5. #5
    Nice table and a nice description.
    Lee Schierer
    USNA- '71
    Captain USN(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  6. #6
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    Tim, the images show for those who are contributors. Please see the announcement at the top of any forum area about image displays and I hope you'll become a contributor to help support SMC and enjoy all the benefits of the community.

    Very nice work, BTW.

    Jim
    Forum Moderator.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Tim, the images show for those who are contributors.
    Jim
    Forum Moderator.
    Is this right ? Visitors can't see images without paying, now ?

  8. #8
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    Tim, while the can may say 24 hour dry time, it is certainly longer, especially if it is allowed to soak in for 30 minutes or so. I allow at least a week before any topcoat. Keep in mind also, that the oil can weep out of the pores for a day or so, and requires wiping that off before it gets tacky. Itís a great product for enhancing grain, but does require a bit of patience.

  9. #9
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    Sorry but I am not an expert. However, I have used Watco Danish Oil followed by Johnson's Paste Wax many times on boxes and clocks. Most of these were either Black Walnut or Wild Cherry but a few were QSWO. This simple schedule is one of my favorites for objects that don't need a lot of protection. It leaves the surface feeling silky smooth with a warm luster and renewal is a matter of buffing with an old t-shirt. I don't flood the wood with Watco but rather apply many coats. Watco has some varnish in it and will build thickness slightly.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mann View Post
    ... I don't flood the wood with Watco but rather apply many coats. Watco has some varnish in it and will build thickness slightly.
    I use the "danish" oil a lot on woodturnings, walnut, maple, sapele, cedar, most everything except for wood like ebony and cocobolo. I also don't flood the surface but wipe on a generous coat, wait 30 minutes or so, wipe it off completely with paper towels, then let dry 24 to 48 hours. I wipe the first coat off down to where I can't remove any more since I want what has soaked in the pores and surface to dry/cure well before adding the second coat.

    After the first coat is completely dry I repeat this, but only letting it dry overnight after the first time. I usually apply 6 to 10 coats over a week or so. I often wet sand with the oil after a couple of coats using fairly coarse sandpaper, say 320 or 400, then again with finer paper after a few more coats, and after a few more wet "sand" with oil and 0000 steel wool. This process leaves a beautiful (to my eye) soft sheen, not a glossy surface, and certainly not a mirror surface. If I want more gloss I buff with buffing compound. If I want a softer look, rub it down with rottenstone on a pad.

    If still tacky after several days there is something wrong. Could it be...
    - Old product,
    - high humidity,
    - temperature too low,
    - too much in the pores,
    - too much oil (not wiped off enough)?
    A bit of japan drier might speed the drying.

    I was told once that Watco Danish Oil contained BLO, mineral spirits, and varnish (possibly polyurethane). Apparently no Danes were harmed making it.

    JKJ

  11. #11
    Hello All,
    Thanks so much for your replies! I didn't realize that this was now a paid site in order to see images. I have made a contribution, because it's very worthwhile with so many experts here who provide such great advice.

    John, thanks for your detailed description of your techniques. When I applied the finish to the leg assemblies, I did something similar, just not to the extent that you go. I wiped on one thin coat, let it dry for 20 minutes, and wiped off the excess very thoroughly. Even that took over 48 hours to dry. I did not apply additional coats, because I didn't want the maple to go too yellow. I finished with fine sandpaper and 2 coats of paste wax.

    I think your comments about the tackiness are correct. I'm in San Francisco, just a mile from the coast, and it gets quite humid here.

  12. #12
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    Thank you for becoming a contributor, Tim!!!
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  13. #13
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    I think your finishing schedule worked out well. Too often, mixing Maple and Walnut leads to too much contrast for my eye. The Maple winds up stark and cold and the Walnut very dark. Your cart strikes a nice balance, with the Maple projecting warmth and the Walnut offering a complimentary look that's not too dark. I see no lack of richness in your photos. To the contrary, the visible grain and varied hues of the Walnut add visual interest. I think you nailed it.
    It's wood dust. Saw dust would suggest a problem.

  14. #14
    Thanks Rob, I think itís more accurate to say that I stumbled upon the solution to give me the results I liked.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Luter View Post
    I think your finishing schedule worked out well. Too often, mixing Maple and Walnut leads to too much contrast for my eye. The Maple winds up stark and cold and the Walnut very dark. ...
    I agree - I keep my eye open for walnut that is naturally darker or lighter than the "average", partly for that reason when combining woods. I don't often buy walnut at a dealer but last year I found an 8/4 plank of the darkest walnut I've ever seen - I think it looks spectacular with the oil finish. I turned something from it that I'll post when I get a good picture.

    JKJ

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