I've been working on a few things for an upcoming show. Here is a barn board shelf I just finished:
I found a few pieces of barn board that were about 34" long and already had both ends cut at an angle.
For the top of the shelf, instead of cutting the ends straight I left them angled which preserved the aged cuts:
For the shelf supports I cut off two ends from another piece:
I glued them into grooves cut into the bottom of the shelf top:
Then I cut a piece to fit between the shelf supports and added 3 hooks which I sprayed with Oil Rubbed Bronze paint and then distressed. The front edge of this shelf is "live" (meaning it's left as it came off the tree, not cut straight) and the whole shelf is hand rubbed with tung oil. It really looks nicer in person!
Yesterday I showed how I made the frames (see tutorial here) for my blackboards and today I'll show how I finished them.
The first one I decided to stain with my rusty mixture. I put a piece of steel wool in a jar and then pour vinegar over it and let it sit at least overnight, sometimes longer. Then I use it with an old brush, as a stain,which gives an orangey/brown colour to the wood.
This is just the base coat for this blackboard, as I am going to paint it white and distress it so that some of the stain colour shows through.
Once that is dried I use vaseline here and there on the frame. Wherever the vaseline is, the top coat will not stick.
Here's a close up of the vaseline dabbed on:
Then I topcoat with white craft paint:
Once that is dried, I wipe off the vaseline with a paper towel. You get a peeling look as if the paint was old and chipped off:
Here's the finished product:
This blackboard is 10" x 10" and 3/4" thick, the chalk area is 5 1/2" x 5 1/2":
A second board I made doesn't have the white topcoat, but has a hand painted top piece.
It is 8 1/4" wide x 9 1/4" tall and the chalk area is 6 1/4" x 6 1/4":
I find it hard to throw out any pieces of wood in my workshop. Even small pieces can be used for something, but every so often I do sort through and decide what should be thrown in the woodstove and what I can use up.
I found these pieces of grooved pine that were short end cuts from other projects:
I also had some 1/4" thick hardboard that was already painted with blackboard paint and fit perfectly into the grooves:
These pieces will fit at 90 degrees to each other for the frame for one blackboard:
I put a tenon in the end of the horizontal piece that fits into the groove of the vertical piece:
When fit together they make a nice solid corner and allow the piece of hardboard to fit into the groove. This way it cannot come out because the blackboard is inside the frame, not nailed to the back of it:
I use glue and clamps and no nails nor screws:
Once it has been sitting for an hour, it's ready to be sanded smooth on all faces and edges.
I decided to make one of the blackboards into a bracket shape that I am seeing a lot of around the internet. I made a template on cardboard and then traced it onto the glued-together frame:
I cut it out with my jigssaw:
**TIP - when using a jigsaw, cut on the wrong side where possible. The way the blade cuts on a jigsaw gives a cleaner cut on the side facing down**
I'll show my finished blackboards in the next post.
This post is an attempt to further explain wood movement and how it relates to furniture building.
While I'm not an expert by any means, I do know some basics of wood movement.
Most of you will have seen, or have in your own homes, cupboard doors, or even interior doors that are made of solid wood. In many cases, these doors will have a panel in the middle of a frame. Have you ever wondered why and how it is built?
In most cases, if the the middle part (the panel) is solid wood it is not firmly attached to the outer frame, it's known as floating. This enables the wood to expand and contract with changes in household humidity. The frame, made with stiles and rails, has grooves in it that the panel sits inside without being glued in.
When the humidity changes (and it will unless you have a precise heating/cooling/humidifier system in your house that can keep the humidity constant no matter what the conditions are outside) the panel will move inside the frame and the door will not crack.
Perhaps you have, or have seen an antique with a cracked door or drawer bottom? This is usually caused by wood that is expanding and contracting, and is trapped between other pieces of wood.
Now, if the panel is plywood, then you will not have any changes in size and it can be glued in the frame without worries.
One of my readers asked if table tops was one of the biggest issues in wood movement. It is one of them, but any where that wood is trapped and cannot expand and contract, it will be a problem. This could occur in the bottom of a drawer, which is often why plywood is used there. It could occur on a headboard, the sides of a bedside table, the back of a cupboard, anywhere really where wood is trapped.
This reader also asked about making the kerf cut in the table apron to hold tabletop clamps that allow the wood to expand and contract. (You can see what she was referring to in my last post here.)