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Filling in the Blanks

Posted by on September 25, 2008
This entry is part 4 of 8 in the series Boy's Cherry and Walnut Dresser
One of my favorite features of the top, is actually technically a defect — a quarter-sized knot hole. While both my wife and I agreed that it added “character” to the top, I couldn’t simply leave it as it was; it was large enough to swallow up small objects whole and naturally not very stable.
A large knot

A large knot

After some searching, I found a few references to folks filling holes like this using “Pour on” epoxy, of the type you might use to encase small chatchkis in a bar top.

A Slow Leak

On the first pour, I found myself constantly “topping off” the depression. I would fill the knot, level it off and a couple minutes later, most of it had been absorbed into the knot. By the time it cured 24 hours later, there was only a thin layer of epoxy, coating, but not filling the knot hole.

Puzzled, I decided to simply pour again. This time it filled just fine. The next day, while moving the piece, I discovered the cause: the knot hole went clear through the board and the epoxy

Pour on epoxy

Pour on epoxy

was leaking out the bottom! With the first coat effectively plugging the hole, the second coat filled it nicely and easily sanded flush (something I was a bit concerned about). The effect is exactly what I had hoped for.

My Favorite Finish

I spent quite a bit of time sanding this piece — and it still probably wasn’t enough. For the finish, I had purchased a wipe-on, “low sheen” Tung Oil-based finish. The first coat on the drawers resulting in less than spectacular results. Though each row was was made from a single board, a couple adjacent drawers were a noticeably different shade. This prompted a second, more vigorous round of hand sanding (and a few choice words). This time, they took the finish much more consistently. A week later I had built up 5 coats on all parts and was ready to attach the top and call this project “done.”


After reading Dick Cain’s forum thread about “Photographing Your Work” (PDF from Wood Carving Illustrated), and feeling duly shamed about my previous point-and-click-using-built-in flash-against-any-old-background photo sessions, I decided to step it up a notch. Unfortunately, I don’t really own any real photographic equipment and can’t afford to start yet another incredibly expensive hobby at the moment.
So my first attempt fell rather far from the intended mark. I may take another crack at it later in the week — perhaps using a cleaner and less wrinkled backdrop and a couple more lights if I can find someone to lend me any! If the new pics are any good I’ll update this post.
In the meantime, here’s my (rather humbling) attempt at perfeshunal fotogerphy.
3/4 View of Dresser

3/4 View of Completed Dresser

I thought I’d put some pics of the new baby’s older siblings on top…in theater we called this “dressing the set”…

Closeup of drawer detail

Drawer detail

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