Monthly Archives: April 2014

Started the Stained Glass Panel for the Byrdcliffe-ish Cabinet

Yesterday I started on the stained glass panel for the door in the cabinet I’m making.  I was surprised (58 pieces, shocked!) when I set up the pattern for the glass at the number of pieces it’s going to be a little more work than I anticipated.  It’s also going to be kind of fussy work as some of the parts are pretty tiny, and I need to be careful to keep the main seams very straight and even or it will look “off”.

I started by making a test panel from 1/8″ MDF to make sure I had the size exactly right.  I sized the rebate in the back of the door so that about half of the zinc channel that will edge the glass will show.  In fact, if everything is exactly on the money the panel should end up being the exact size of the opening.  The zinc channel is about .550″ wide, with an internal stop for the glass that is about .330 from the outside of the channel — and I made the rebate .330 deep.

Checking the fit of the mockup for the glass panel using the zinc banding - top to bottom

Checking the fit of the mockup for the glass panel using the zinc banding – top to bottom

Checking the fit of the mockup for the glass panel - side to side.  It's a little loose and I needed to make the mock up a slosh wider.

Checking the fit of the mockup for the glass panel – side to side. It’s a little loose and I needed to make the mock up a slosh wider.

Fit from the front to check the reveal on the zinc edging

Fit from the front to check the reveal on the zinc edging

Next I set up the pattern board.  I don’t know if other glass people do it this way, but I’ve found it works really well.  What I do is glue the pattern down to a scrap of plywood.  Then I layer packing tape over it to protect it from water damage – the glass grinder is water cooled and there are often several trips back and forth to sneak up on the fit.  Then I staple a guide strip along one edge and use my MDF mockup of the glass to make sure the other three guide strips are square and perfectly sized.  As long as the foiled and tack-soldered panel fits in the opening I’m positive it will fit into the door with the zinc channel added.

Pattern board set up

Pattern board set up

Then I pressed my son into service to help cut and grind pieces.  We worked an hour or so and made a good start on it.  Next weekend we should be able to finish it (fingers crossed).  As we add more pieces and foil it I’m sure we’ll need to adjust the fit, and probably re-make a few pieces.  On this particular piece I need to have a really good fit on along all of the long straight lines, if they aren’t straight it will look sloppy.  Gaps and irregular edges on the curved parts isn’t a big deal as long as it doesn’t end up with a wonky seam.

Fitting in the background pieces

Fitting in the background pieces

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Applying Finish to the Brydcliffe-ish Cabinet

I scraped and sanded the exterior of the cabinet today.  I sanded through 220, wet the surface to raise the grain, and scuff sanded with 320 after that.  Then I started building color, starting with a water dye.

I decided I liked the sample with the Brown Mahogany dye and Candelite gel stain combination.  To try to get more contrast I diluted the dye a bit more than the concentration I used on the sample.  My rationale was that the gel stain didn’t seem to affect the color of the ray flecks much (or maybe at all).  It colors the regular straight grain, and darkens the pores of the wood, but didn’t seem to affect the ray flecks.  So, my thinking is that I’ll get a better contrast this way.  We’ll see…

I decided to hold off on installing the back until after the finish is on, so here we go.

Sanded and ready

Sanded and ready

Parts laid out on my 400hp supercharged finishing bench

Parts laid out on my 400hp supercharged finishing bench

Dye applied, wiped down and drying.  I let the dye dry for an hour, then rubbed the surfaces with a maroon scotchbrite pad to remove any raised grain, and remove a little color from the very top surface.  The color is a little weird at this point, and I’m more than a little nervous.

Dye applied

Dye applied

Dyed

Dyed

Rubbing the parts out with the scotchbrite seemed to make the ray flecks a little brighter, but it’s a subtle thing.  The 1/2″ x 1/4″ strips are to make the stops that will hold the glass, I’ll cut them to fit after I’ve done the glass insert.

Next I applied the gel stain.  Not much to that, I brushed it on in a nice thick coat and let it set for a few minutes, then wiped it off.  After wiping the gel stain off I wiped everything down with linseed oil and left it to dry overnight.  Tomorrow I’ll see how it looks.  If it needs any touch ups I’ll deal with that, otherwise I’ll apply a couple of coats of shellac and rub it out with steel wool and wax.

I like the color, I think this is going to work out OK.

Gel stain and a coat of linseed oil

Gel stain and a coat of linseed oil

Gel stain and a coat of linseed oil

Gel stain and a coat of linseed oil

Gel stain and a coat of linseed oil

Gel stain and a coat of linseed oil

Gel stain and a coat of linseed oil

Gel stain and a coat of linseed oil

I’m happy with the color, although I think it could be a little darker.  I may put a coat of garnet shellac on it to get a little more color tomorrow.  And I’ll wax it with brown wax, which will help too. TomorrowI should be able to finish the finish, install the back and start on the stained glass panel.

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Patina on my Hardware

I’m working on the final scraping and sanding before I start building up the finish on my Byrdcliffe-cum-Arts & Crafts cabinet.  While I’m doing that I decided to try experiment with the finish on the brass hinges I’m using.

I don’t think I want shiny brass, I want a little color that will compliment the other colors I’ll have going on, but also something subtle that will blend in rather than call attention to itself.  I read somewhere about using ammonia to patine brass, so I dribbled some into a quart paint can with some wood shavings – just enough to moisten them.  I dropped my hinges and screws in after cleaning them with some acetone, and left them overnight.

Today I dumped out the contents and let everything dry off.  I rubbed the brass with steel wool and applied a coat of paste wax.  I like it.  There is a soon on one of the leaves that didn’t get an even color, I probably should have scrubbed them a little more first.  Live and learn.

Patinated Brass Hinges

Patinated Brass Hinges

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Byrdcliffe-ish Finish Selection

The glass arrived to make the stained glass panel for the Byrdcliffe-ish cabinet.  As usual, it’s not quite what is shown in the online pictures.  Some of it is pretty close, some of it is nothing like the catalog photos.

I’ve been holding off on finishing the cabinet so I could pick the best option to match the glass.  The main glass color (the background in this panel) is what I’ll use to choose the finish for the white oak.

CAD Mockup of the Door

CAD Mockup of the Door

Here are my finish samples laid on top of the actual glass.

Main glass color with finish samples

Main glass color with finish samples

And another with the light at a different angle

Another shot

Another shot

Anyone have an opinion?

I don’t think the tone of the fumed sample works very well with this glass — that is the middle finish sample in both pictures.  Either of the other two look OK, although the ray fleck is too subdued for me.  Grumble, grumble.

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