Stools are Finished

After our trip to Kentucky last week, I’m now back in the shop and the stools are finished.  It’s interesting that although it’s great to get away from home to explore and see new things both Diane and I missed being in our workspaces doing our creative “stuff”.  In any case we’re blessed to be able to do both of these things and enjoy our life.

At the risk of sounding like an optometrist, which looks better to you —- exhibit A:

Exhibit B

Exhibit A (for after)

Or do you prefer Exhibit B?

Exhibit B (for before)

Exhibit B (for before)

Although there isn’t a right or wrong reply I’m hoping that Exhibit A is the preferred one.  You may recall that the original stools (Exhibit B) were a bit short and didn’t pivot to make entry easy for everyone.  Also, the base is so large and flashy it just didn’t seem to fit into our over-all design.  The new bases fit into our decor more and I feel the use of the Baltic Birch plywood to make them blends well with the Zebrawood of the seat.

The design and construction process of them has been blogged but here are the final steps.  The Baltic Birch was wiped down with Watco, Dark Walnut to tone down it’s natural, blond look.  I wanted to make the finishing process as easy as possible with these so figured it was a good project to improve my spraying skills.  Once the Watco dried for about 3 days, the stools were top coated with General Finishes Enduro Var.

WoodworksbyJohn-CustomFurniture-Barstools-finishingThis is a finish that although it’s water borne, will impart a warmer tone to the wood much like an oiled finish would.  Water borne finishes have the advantage of drying quicker so you minimize the dust bunnies drying on them and clean up is much easier.  Especially when you do not have a spray booth, the world is my spray booth!


Since it dries so quickly in the desert I was able to apply the recommended three coats  before the sun came over the peak of our roof.  This is the west side of the house and the sun is in full force on that side by 11:00 am.  I used a satin finish, sanded between coats and the results are great for this application .  It doesn’t compare to the hand rubbed finish I put on most of my solid lumber work but for this application it’s excellent.  They had plenty of time to cure while we were enjoying ourselves in Kentucky.  We came home late last night and the first thing I wanted to tackle was putting them together.

That seems easy enough but have you ever played that game at a party where you attempt to drop clothes pins into a milk bottle?  Just dawned on me, some of you may have never seen a milk bottle or clothes pin!  Guess you’ll have to take my word for it but it was a popular game for get togethers “back in the day”.  Here’s why that game came to mind, attaching a lazy susan bearing requires locating a pre-drilled hole through another hole in the base of the stool.  Let me illustrate:

In the first photo you can see the bearing is attached to the stool base.  Above it (on the bench) is the chair section with a platform already attached to it.    In the second photo the scratch awl is pointing to the pre-drilled hole I need to locate while looking in the 3/4″ diameter hole at the bottom of the stool.  This is where I felt like I was dropping those clothes pins into the milk bottle!  I simplified the process by putting a small piece of tape there and then trying to sight through it.  Once I started one of the four screws it was a matter of pivoting on it to locate the others.  As you can see, the job was completed and I’m sitting on the results while I type out this blog.

Yesterday was a pretty long day with much of it spent in airports and airplanes so I’m off to a slow start.  Plus after spending a week in a different time zone I’m really not sure what time it is!  Have two meetings with potential clients to set up for some new work so better make those phone calls.  Hope you enjoyed design and construction process of these new bases.



About woodworksbyjohn

I'm a retired woodshop teacher. I build one of a kind furniture pieces and custom picture frames. You can see some of my currently available work, boxes, carvings through my Etsy store: Contact me about your project -- always up for the challenge of unique work.
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