Tom’s Workbench Invasion: Heading to the finish

Who left the shop door unlocked? It looks like Rhonda got back into the shop – again – to finish the step stool.  Since she was there, I had to press her into service writing another blog post.  Hopefully, you are going to enjoy this!

What with school starting and all, it took a little longer to get back in the shop than I had planned. But when I did get in there and shut the door to the house, I enjoyed it. The peace, the solitude, the task at hand all captured my attention. Besides, not even the most robust yells including, “Mom! I dropped something!” can be heard over the sander. Awesome.

* The first step was to go back to the step stool and re-sand. This seemed excessive to me, because I thought we were done, but Tom is the expert and if he says “sand”, you gotta sand. Actually, the real reason was that once assembled, joints must be smoothed and glue removed to get the most pleasing and professional product.

I started by using 120 grit sandpaper. This, in fact, achieved the amazing “like butta” texture Tom wanted. Since people will someday step on it as they ascend to the cozy bed in their bare feet, it makes sense to avoid all ouchy splinters and sharp edges.

* Second step: Finish the surfaces. After wiping down with a damp cloth, I put a “spit coat” of thin shellac on the step stool to seal the wood. I don’t know why they call it a “spit coat,” but I suspect it’s a guy thing. On the “gridiron,” a “spit coat” would fit right in.

* Third step: Sand again. This time I used a 400 grit sandpaper. I could NOT believe, and I’m being completely serious here, just how magically smooth that made the surface. You could literally sleep on the wood. It was just like a pillow… but harder.

Pause here. Sometimes I find that things get tedious around the 3rd or 4th step. I didn’t want to lose interest in this project, though. The end product might suffer. Therefore, I sought a tattoo for inspiration. (Duh!) Tom was mixing the solution used in the 4th step while I made sure NOTHING would interfere with the proper application of my “measure twice, cut once” tattoo.

* Fourth step: This was the “beauty” step. Wiping varnish all over the wood surfaces, including underneath the steps and the bottoms of the step stool’s legs, was a pleasure. I saw it turn into a piece of furniture that I would want to keep for years. The varnish was a concoction of boiled linseed oil, varnish, and paint thinner.

* Fifth step: Dry. (The time goes by faster if you have an addiction to “RHONJ” or “The Voice.” If you don’t know, don’t ask.)

* Sixth step: Paste wax over all surfaces finished off this project. I have to say that even though I had lots of help, I will be very proud to show the step stool to my mother –in-law. She will LOVE it. And so will her guests. Hmmm… maybe I should book a reservation in that guest room.

OK. So… what’s next??????

4 thoughts on “Tom’s Workbench Invasion: Heading to the finish”

  1. Great job Rhonda !
    That came out beautifully !

    Tom better watch out, you also write a great blog post !

  2. Nice to see Rhonda posting again. Also nice to see her pretty face rather than your “rugged countenance” :). Seriously, great job you two. If you can work together in the shop everything else come easy.

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