Monday, December 24, 2007

Armoire detail (1)...

Some of the detail in closer range. Note the small black diamonds
in each upper corner of the cabinet. I felt the cabinet needed this
for better balance with respect to colors and patterns.It is also a nice,
subtle decorative touch to convey the diamond theme.These photos
are just before I install
some additional brass hardware in the area
above the drawers
and begin the finishing process. I need to break
now for the
Christmas holidays. I wish you all a great Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Armoire stand (3)...

The front door pulls have been created and installed. It's beginning to look like a complete cabinet on stand now. I designed the door pulls to have a half-diamond embedded at the front to carry the diamond theme into the armoire cabinet itself. I feel that there is now just the right balance of color in this armoire,a subdued but striking look. I did not want to take any focus away from the tiger maple door panels but at the same time wanted to have a fine symmetry in the colors of the cabinet.In my opinion, the hint of white holly in the door pulls makes the difference.The armoire is now oriented and secured to the stand at the moment with one pin on either side, where pin refers to a short length of dowel. I can quickly detach the cabinet from the stand to continue with the next phase of work to do on this armoire. I have some specialized hardware to install in the interior of the cabinet, but this can wait until after I have partially applied some finish.

The first phase of the finishing process involves lightly scraping all surfaces, removing any lingering pencil marks , and checking for anything else I would not want to have under the finish. The finish itself is thinned shellac applied in multiple coats with an applicator pad. This is a lengthy process as each coat is thin and only with many coats does the finish begin to attain the right sheen and depth.

I decided a couple of years back to begin using more natural finishes on my furniture pieces. The benefits to this are primarily health motivated and as well the finishes are pleasant to use and with the right consistency can be applied with an applicator pad. My finish of choice is thinned clear or super blonde shellac with a light coat of wax afterwards. I mix my own shellac and set myself up to be able to finish a piece of furniture over a period of a few days. Shellac coats dry rather quickly so the possibility of dust nibs on the surface are next to nil. Many thinned coats almost guarantee a nice, even finish if the strokes of the applicator pad are offset every so often.

It's interesting to notice how much the upper cabinet ( armoire) has already naturally darkened compared to the armoire stand which is only recently put together. This disparity in color will blend together over the next two weeks or so, one of the great features of cherry.