Monday, November 14, 2016

Kitchen work table II

We decided to stain the white oak, which immediately raised a concern.  When I stain a piece after assembly, I invariably miss at least one glue spot, resulting in an ugly splotch, and I find it difficult to apply the stain smoothly at the joints. I knew that some woodworkers apply stain before assembly, something I had never done.  Doing so could potentially solve both problems, but I was concerned about whether I could glue up the base without damaging the stained surfaces.  In the end, I decided to give it a try and it worked great.  It was easier to keep the stain out of the mortises and off the tenons than I thought it would be and I managed to avoid damaging the surfaces during the glue-up.  This is something I will definitely do again.

As for the glue-up, it was surprisingly uneventful.  I am really pleased that the joints all closed tightly:

Here is what the table looks like in clamps.  Notice the cards under the clamp faces to protect the stained surfaces.

I am very pleased with this stain.  It is called Salem by General Finishes.

I am tempted to conclude that my woodworking has gone up to a new level but, in statistics, there is something called regression to the mean.  In this context it means everybody gets lucky once in a while, but they shouldn't count on it to be true in the future.  :)

One issue with staining the frame before assembly is that I have to install the lower shelf pieces later and I don't know how that is going to go.  Worst case, as long as I can touch up the stain, I think I will be fine.


  1. I thought at first that the cards were of the 52 in a deck variety. That is a pretty good use for them as they are already slick. I wonder if glue sticks to them?

    1. Ralph,

      Playing cards work great for this. I just happened to have these handy.