Weather Wallops Woodworking

Not much woodworking was accomplished this week in my shop. My area of the country, like many areas around the country, was covered in triple-digit temperatures. My option was to work in the shop for a few hours during the mornings, then close up and move back to my air-conditioned home office. Of course, I could stay in the shop, but only if I stood in front of my fan dressed only in my boxers. (Not photos included – you’re welcome!)

Due to humidity levels edging higher, I put off the final coats of the walnut secretary. That should happen this coming week if weather forecaster continue their fantastic accuracy rate. (Note the sarcasm.)  I did manage to slap a couple coats of paint on a small four-drawer chest and to finish construction on a block-front chest that was started a year ago. I even went as far as to apply aniline dye to the chest and spray on a couple layers of shellac. Damn the humidity.

What was interesting about the block-front was the two distinctly different mahogany woods used on the piece. My case was a nice pink shade – all the lumber came from a single source. For my drawer fronts however, I had to use 12/4 stock and its color was much deeper. Not only that, as the piece sat around my shop for the year, my drawer fronts changed far greater than the case did. Below are photos of the different mahogany used. While you may not notice a huge difference in the photos, in person you could see vast variations.

Case lumber.

Drawer front stock.

To overcome these variations, I decided to dye my case as I normally do – soak the piece until I get dye dripping off the surface, let it stand for five minutes then wipe away the excess. As I began finish on the drawers, I decided to brush on a single coat and immediately wipe off any excess.

After the first drawer was dyed, I pulled out my hair dryer to fast-track the drying process – a good tip if you’re in a hurry – before sliding the drawer into the case to see if my hunch was correct. To my surprise, the drawer front was lighter than the case, so I applied a second wipe-it-on-wipe-it-off dye coat. This time, as I slid the drawer into the case, the color looked close enough (see the chest in the opening photo).

Not only should you try and use lumber from a single source, but rules – in this case how aniline dye should be applied – are made to be broken. Maybe that should read adjusted.

Build Something Great!
Glen

2 Comments

Filed under Finish Techniques, Shop Tips

2 responses to “Weather Wallops Woodworking

  1. Swarf

    Hi Glen. Nice looking block-front. Hope you will show it finished with the hardware. Might I ask what color aniline dye you used. I have a similar problem with two distinctly different looking mahogany types on the writing table. Your blog may be a real help–thanks.

    Gerald

    • Gerald, I will be sure to post photos of the chest when it’s complete. For this chest, I used Dark Antique Sheraton aniline dye from Moser’s. It is undoubtedly my favorite color because it leans more to the brown shades as opposed to reds. This color, in the charts at woodworker.com, is listed as a dye for mahogany, but I find I like it on cherry, too.
      Glen

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