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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Shelving the shelves...or, Library Part 6

New oak panels to replace the old Birch ones
Wayyyy back in early March of this year, I got bogged down choosing stain colors for the trim in the library I'm building. While I had originally thought I'd have it all finished by sometime in April, here it is going on September, and I've not worked on this much at all in the 5 months or so since.
In the interim, I had decided to solve the staining issues I had been having with the pine and birch I had originally spec'd - splotching, unevenness, and mis-matched coloring - by ditching the birch and pine trim altogether and starting over with oak instead.

Stain tests on the old problematic birch plywood. Even tho' careful sanding and chemical pre-treatment
cut down on the blotchiness, once I switched the edge-face trim to oak, I'd never get this to match...
Of course, I had all the larger trim surrounds for the window, door and window seat already cut and ready to stain in Birch, so switching to oak meant additional purchases, and trimming/fitting all the pieces anew, not to mention now I have all this Birch trim I can't use.
in a fit of motivation, I was able to purchase, remeasure, cut, trim, sand and stain all of the trim surrounds in oak in a single day:
After sanding, the oak faced plywood took the final stain very well with good grain detail
The oak performed as I had hoped - it sanded easily in one step, took the stain well, and in a matter of a few hours I had all the pieces I needed to face the window and door surrounds in the Library. And since the shelf edge-facing will be of the same red oak, they should end up matching exactly.
The remaining steps on these surrounds will be to apply several coats of semi-gloss varnish, lightly sanding with 300 grit between each coat, then glueing/nailing them into place.
I'm still on the fence on whether to rebuild the window seat from scratch in oak, rather than the birch its currently in, but as that's a big expense to rebuild, I'll have to think hard and long on that one. If I leave it in birch, perhaps I'll think about staining or painting it a contrasting color to the oak, rather than trying to match it.
In the meantime, I also have a front tire for the FJR to save up for, as well as a battery for the GB500, and a trip to Italy in the fall...
Seems completing the library may have to wait on the backburner for a little while longer.

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