Posted tagged ‘black oil’


July 21, 2017

I met an old friend on the street the other day, a friend I hadn’t seen for a year or so.  He walked up to me, smiled broadly and said, “Good Lord, I was sure you had died.  You haven’t posted anything since February!”…  What an “eye opener!”

Truth be told, the past few months have been full of travel, visits from family and, honestly, I just haven’t had anything to say that I thought was worth saying.  That’s not to say that there hasn’t been anything going on in the workshop.  Although I have to admit that my level of productivity has been seriously diminished. But, maybe now is a good time to “get back in the game.”

Lester (my partner in the crime of woodworking) and I have managed to finish a couple of projects during this “black-out period.”   We completed a small tavern table (based on one in the Metropolitan Museum of Art) that Les had started a number of years ago.  While dry fit, it served to provide a small amount of temporary storage for a number of years.    He opted for a oval top made from a single piece of curly maple that he’s had in storage since the last Dempsey fight.  He decided that heavy distressing was just the ticket.  So, Les, our friend Scott Midegeley and I attacked the thing with lanyards full of keys, sticks, rods, stones.  It was scorched earth!

After the beating, the top was dyed with amber water based dye, then glazed with “black oil”, a combination of asphaltum, turpentine and BLO.  The top was then finished with several coats of Waterlox.  The cherry base was stained, coated with Waterlox then painted with a satin black alkyd enamel.  Then the paint was “wet wiped” to create a heavily distressed look in the areas that would have been subjected to the most wear.  Imagine the Founding Fathers sitting around one of these little beauties, drinking warm ale and trying to determine the best way to run a Republic.

The turned legs were terminated with simple Spanish feet of the “fluted” variety.  Ends of the “ogeed” aprons were finished up with a decorative cockbead.

I became so enthused that I ran right home and started my own Tavern Table.  There are a few differences, but the design is essentially the same.  The carriage is of walnut, the top is elliptical, the finish is the same with less distressing and I opted for a little longer, more feminine Spanish Feet (probably a subliminal influence of having just watched a Penelope Cruz movie).  The aprons are relieved to create a lighter look and the top has a simple torus edge and I nixed the cockbead (for no good reason other than the fact that I wanted to get the thing finished).

Here’s a look at the table through part of the construction process:

And, if you don’t believe in the possibility of resurrection, just stand near the parking lot gate at “quitting time.”    “Gramps”




Porringer with a couple of twists

January 20, 2013

Mary recently told me that we needed a small table for the computer printer.  I immediately recognized a justification to build yet one more table that we don’t need.  These opportunities are becoming fewer and farther between.  So I decided that a little porringer table might be a nice support for the new printer.  But, frankly, I’m a little tired of most porringer designs.  They all seem to have these huge ear like protuberances at the corners.  I decided to “soften” the standard design a bit.  This is what I came up with…

1/4 sawn red oak cross-banding - French polished top - Red Zin...

I remembered that I had turned a set of legs about a year ago and stashed them somewhere on the wood pile.  So I “dug” them out and went to work.  I needed something strong but delicate looking.  Remember, porringer tables were the “TV tables” of the 18th century.  After a coat of BLO, a coat of black oil, couple of coats of shellac and French polishing the top, you wind up with a pretty nice printer stand…

This ought to bring a little more at the “final estate” sale than something nailed together from 2x’s and plywood.

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