I am finding precious few hours to devote to my wooddorking. No
complaints, just a fact. The cherry mantelshelf has a few coats of
shellac onnit, and in my most modest voice I say, "It's not looking
The final product is to be an eight foot mantel shelf, made of 6/4
cherry, with just a bit of decorative moulding underneath it.
Where I'm at:
Thanks. Half the final effect of any project is board selection, IME.
Didn't fit in the schedule/budget. It will be highly polished-out,
and given I cut the finish back rather severely, I end up with an
effect that's pretty close to the quality ya get in French polishing.
That is, the shellac coat is quite thin, yet uniform. No over-thick
plasticky Martin Guitar type finish (sorry, Watson, I know you're a
Someone else asked about the vagaries of cherry, as described in FWW.
Cherry can be quite vexing. The little swirls and grain reversals are
often subtle and insidious (of course, they add beauty as well). The
trickiest part for me has been the widely varying hardness of the
wood. One really has to go easy, especially with a scraper. I got
the best results when using a scraper with no hook. Progress is slow,
but the result is the as-smooth-as-a-baby's-butt surface I prefer.
Anudder thing about shellac - since it dries so fast and is utterly
non-leveling, every single minute imperfection is suddenly magnified.
It's a humbling experience to say the least :0).
Lastly, the height of the shelf is around 5', so the spectacular grain
won't be casually visible to folks in the room. However, if past
experience is any indicator, a project like this has a very high "pet
factor." That is, a person will spontaneously get up and run their
hand over the finish and marvel at the look and feel. There is
nothing like the feel of a hand-rubbed shellac finish. I feel a
little like a drug pusher with my friends on this job - once they get
something like this done, there's no going back. Heh heh heh.
Thanks to all yall who offered comments. I sent the customers these
WIP pics, and according to my pal, his fiance did something that
rhymes with creamed-in-her-jeans when she got a look at it. It's nice
to be appreciated.
Yes/no. Spent about an hour with the customer at the hardwood store,
selecting the boards. The first one (on your left, as you look at the
two glued-up planks) was easy. It shouted ,"pick me!" The other
plank is actually a cut-off of a 15' board (we had to buy the whole
thing). It's not really a case of matching, but more of finding
something complimentary. A tame, straight-grained piece would have
looked funky next to a "wild thing." As you said, it's wild/pretty
We agonized over the knot for a little while, but the board we
selected goes really nicely... dontcha think? The customer is letting
me keep the cut-off, and in appreciation of that (they paid for the
cherry up front), I'll be making them a picture frame (or two) to
match their shelf.
Ya never can have too much cherry ;-).
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.