An unexpected delay

It’s Wednesday, and I had expected to be gluing up the last parts of the second half of the top today. That won’t be happening, because for the third straight day I don’t think I’ll be working on it. Monday was an extended work day, and today is going to be cleanup from what I had to do on Tuesday.

Tuesday was supposed to be a regular day, with hopefully some shop time on the bench after I mowed the lawn. Unfortunately, I never got the shop time I intended. Shop time, yes, intended, no. As I was pulling the lawnmower out of the crawlspace, the door to it fell apart in my hands. I made a replacement door some time back, but it was a real crap effort. My design was flawed from the beginning, and being cheap and trying to use materials on hand didn’t work either. I had planned on replacing the door after the bench was complete, alongside new shop doors. Yesterday’s event moved up the timetable significantly.

I made an emergency trip to Lowe’s to obtain plywood siding, one that’s beaded to fake siding. $30 later, and adventurous ride home, and it was up against the house awaiting my design. I chose a frame and panel, rail and stile approach with 2x4s being the frame. I had plenty on hand from the pile not chosen for the bench so I selected four boards and was immediately dismayed about how much they had warped. Some time with the jointer, planer and table saw, and they were ready to have a groove put in them. I attempted to use my new mortiser, but I still apparently need to tweak my setup as it was tedious and I was getting burning and stalling. Switching tacks, the table saw and a dado were used to speedily put a groove in. Unfortunately I couldn’t do a stopped groove, so it shows at the corners. I attempted to join the frame together with pocket holes, but they tore easily out of the soft wood. Strike a point for traditional joinery methods I suppose. They held together enough where I could put the newly cut panel in them and use some glue for primary construction. I cut the panel so that the sections would be even and lined up in the frame. I used the hinges and latch from the old door. On the to-do list is to caulk the inside of the frame and fill the visible grooves, prime and paint to match the house. Not an outstanding effort, but not bad for something I had to make on the fly in the middle of a 90º day. Some weatherstripping will be added to keep most of the bugs out.


Tutorial – painted wall plates

This is more of a written tutorial than a pictorial, mostly because I thought I had taken more than one picture. Hopefully it will still be of some use.

A while back when I painted my kitchen, I painted my switchplates with a product from Krylon called Brushed Metallic paint. While the look was pretty good, the feel and the durability left a lot to be desired. It came off very easily, and was very rough. Also, I didn’t paint the screws so it looked odd. For my bath painting, I decided to take a picture of my tools and describe the technique I used for this effort.

Here you can see the materials I used this time. I’m not really sure the adhesion promoter is necessary given the conditions the switchplates reside in, but I had it from another project so it was zero additional cost to use it here. I’m convinced, however, that the clear coat is.

On my previous effort I took the time to scuff the plates with sandpaper, and I can say after this time I don’t think it’s necessary. Just wash the plates with warm soapy water and allow to dry thoroughly.

Now whether you start with the promoter or go straight to the paint you need to do it the same way: start before the target and finish after. That means the spray needs to already be flowing when the nozzle trajectory would hit the target, and keep going until you’re past it. That, and thin coats are the secret to getting a good coat of paint, be it wall plates, a bumper or spray finish on a piece of wood. Don’t build up excess paint that you have to take down later.

Once you’ve established a very light coat, walk away. Follow the instructions on the can for follow-up coats. Be sure the entire plate is covered with paint before you move on to the clear coat, and spray it the exact same way. You want to build up some coats of clear for the next step.

The next step is one I haven’t taken yet, because I was disappointed in how the feel of the plates turned out – they were still a bit rough. But by building up a few coats of clear, we should be able to buff the plate to a nice smooth consistency, and complete the look of a metal plate. I don’t currently have a buffing wheel, so that’s why I haven’t done it yet. You can see from the photo though that at least by looks, it turned out well.

You might laugh at the pizza box in the first pic, but it does two things for us – protects whatever surface you’re painting on (dirt is best), but it also holds the plate screws so you paint the important bits (the head) and not the unimportant ones (the threads). Cardboard works best, but any rigid, punchable surface would do. I’m sure there’s an Amazon box lying around from something you ordered through my links, right?

That’s pretty much it. I will say that if you only have one or two plates to do, then this isn’t the most cost-effective method. Might as well buy the real thing. However if you have a whole room or whole house of plates you’d like to rehab, this would save you a ton of money. You can also defray the cost by rehabbing picture frames to match your fixtures. New frames are expensive, painting them isn’t. The clear is also highly recommended with that so you don’t have to keep repainting when scuffs appear.

You can find the clear coat at any automotive paint dealer, or hobby store, and will only run you a few bucks for a can. The Krylon paint runs about $8 a can and can be found at the big box stores. My Amazon link has several different colors available and ships free if you have Prime or with a $25 order.

Krylon K05125500 Brushed Metallic Aerosol Spray Paint, 11-Ounce, Satin Nickel


New category – Around the house

Everyone has it – a honey-do list. However much time we spend in the shop, some of it is compromised by projects around the house – ones that don’t necessarily involve woodworking. In this series I’m going to chronicle stuff I do around the house, both of my own accord and things I’ve been asked to do. Being someone whose brain never sits still, I’m constantly coming up with ideas and plans and projects. Hopefully I can share some insight and some ideas that you might want to try out.

Dearth Essayer

Sometimes I don’t find enough to write. Sometimes there’s nothing worth writing about. It’s been a bit of both these last three weeks, primarily getting my day job done along with some volunteer work, and work in the shop has consisted mostly of cleanup. I worked some on a basement door, getting the base done (more on that next time) and doing some major cleanup. The things I was using was making a big mess, and I had to keep hunting for what I was looking for. I took several days to put things where I wanted them, to the best of what the shop affords right now. I need to be able to find things, and then remember to put them back when I am done. It will be a major focus of what the shop is all about over the winter.

I’m working on a longer post, plus I finally took pictures of the jointer. Those I don’t have a timetable for posting, but they will be up as soon as I have time.

Change of pace

I was able to finally purchase a small clamp rack, and it should hold almost all I need it to. Hopefully that can go up in the morning. I don’t know what else will get done, because it’s that time of the year where it’s almost too hot to do anything. No AC makes me very unproductive.

So, attention turns elsewhere. This is the end of the woodworking content, if that’s important to you.

I’ve been wanting to set up a home network ever since I moved in, and it’s about that time. We’ve been doing other upgrades, and this is a natural progression. This post is really just a catalog of my ideas that I need to incorporate.

The modem needs to relocate to the exact opposite side of the house. That’s right where the cable meets the house anyway, and it will be the easiest place to come up into the wall. With the modem is the new router which has four gigabit ports.

The longest run will be to the HT, about 50′. From the wall plate a four port gigabit switch will serve the two game machines and the DVR. The fourth port will be open for future expansion or as a port I can plug a laptop in if needed.

The other three cables will be run to the opposite side of the original room to my workstation, XBMC and sat box.

Not very exciting.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone