The Radiator Cover - Finished (finally)

January 15, 2019

At long last the radiator cover is finished!  I started this project all the way back in November, and as usual - thought I could do it in a weekend.  It all started because so much work had been done on the dining room,

but the one last (and ugly) thing that remained was the radiator:

So, in November, off to work I went...

I had done some rough calculating...

And had rough-sketched the idea...

But still ended up with a bit of a mess.  The end panels were poorly designed and had to be re-fashioned:

I also put in features to try to tie the cover in with features on the hutch, table, plant stand and the built-in.  In this case, a plinth with the fleur-de-lis, and some rope applique:


And the cover really began to take shape:

A couple coats of primer and a few more of paint later:

All the pieces in the dining room are painted with Valspar's Polar Star in exterior enamel:

It's funny because in most light, the Polar Star doesn't look nearly as gray, as a matter-of-fact - it really looks like a toned-down white.  Which was actually part of the master plan way back when the years-long dining room makeover first began with the dining room table:

Anyway, the next step was applying the antiquing glaze.  For most of the pieces in the dining room, the glazing was done with Valspar's antiquing glaze.  

But, when it came time to glaze the built-in, Valspar had discontinued this product.  After faaar too much research, I settled on General Finish's glaze.

It's a good product, and worked great on the built-in, but it has waaay too fast a drying time.  I started glazing the radiator cover with it, but it ended up just looking dirty...

So I had to do some re-painting...

Then, lucky me, I found that I still had half a bottle of Valspar's glaze in the workshop.  This was so much better with a 15 minute dry time!  And with that, the cover is finished!

And looking down the other way, you can even see the plant stand in the background...

Finally, here it is in its natural habitat:

See ya soon!

Scrap Wood Gadgets for the Workshop

January 6, 2019

The last few weeks, around the holidays, I've just been puttering around the workshop.  Before Christmas I was on a roll with the radiator cover, but once the tree went up, I had to leave it.  But, I do think we found a nice way to display the Christmas cards for the season!

So, with the radiator cover on hold, I just puttered around and used some scrap wood to make a few things for the workshop.  Back in September I posted about some scrap wood projects I had done over the years, so this is kind of a continuation of that post.  As silly as it sounds, the first thing I did was make a push shoe for the table saw.  I have I nice one I bought at least 10 years ago, but it's made of hard plastic and has a very shallow heel, (I guess that's a good thing for thinner stock).

It's perfectly fine, and look at all the things it can do!  But the fact is, for at least 10 years I've only ever used it to push wood through the table saw.  So, I thought I'd make one with a thicker heel, based on my trusty ol' Vermont American.

And of course I applied a couple coats of my old favorite - amber shellac.

Then I built a vise for the drill press.  I used a threaded rod I've had laying around for years, and the end of some old stick for a handle.  

But, after using it I realized a couple things:  the vise was pretty deep, making it difficult to use on smaller pieces, and the nut in the first board needed to be more secure.  

So, I built another, lower-profile vise, this time using a t-nut, drilling some holes in the face of the nut and fixing it to the stationary board:

I didn't have any small cotter pins, so I used a small finish nail instead:

On the underside of the moving jaw on both vises, I added a guide to keep the jaw from wriggling all around.  It actually worked out pretty well and made clamping much firmer.

Here you can see the difference in the sizes of the vises:

And here's the large vise all stained - I wasn't going to stain them but then thought - why not?

And the lower-profile vise:

Good grief!  Looks like a glamour shot!  Anyway, I had one more scrap wood gadget to do - I made a couple bench dogs for making simple crosscuts or other times I need to do something that needs some stability!

There, just a few gadgets while tinkering.  Now, back to the radiator cover!!

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