Sanding away my sanity

July 25, 2010

So here I am, and what you see here is my curse.  My desire to make pretty things.  Somewhere early on I decided to make 30 centerpieces for our wedding.  I stuck with it through all the questioning, and debating on if it and the cakes were a good idea.  I must admit that a few times over the last few months I’ve felt like I have officially dug myself a very deep hole.

with ~30 cake stands, that makes for ~60 legs.  As you can see on the first leg above, some of them had some “issues”.  This required a significant amount of special care and attention.  The stands themselves appeared to take on a unique personalities.  Some of them felt old and worn, some were new and smooth.  Some flashy, and some plain.  They all had their faults.  And maybe I was just losing my mind.  I mean really, can pieces of wood really have a personality.

Maybe I had spent too much time alone in the garage.

Much of my time was spent like this.  Hunched over a single piece.  Examining all the edges for defects.  Lovingly sanding the heck out of it to hide the defects as much as possible.  All with a 3/4″ wide strip of sand paper.  Back and forth, back and forth.

At some point I lost my mind, and it seemed the only way to get it back was to improve the process.  Enter the flap sander.  This beast of machinery spins 12 strips of sandpaper at 1800 rpm to beat the edges of the wood into conforming in as little time as possible.  I almost felt silly after getting it in how fast the rest of the sanding went.  What had been weeks of sanding turned into one weekend.

With my future firmly in control again I started in on the tops.  The twelve inch expanse of wood needing some serious tlc.

Fortunately I already had a power tool at my disposal.  Not that I wouldn’t have liked a new one to make it go even faster, but we all have a budget.

Here we see what a partially finished product looks like.  Note the beautiful grain patterns exposed by the oil rub.

And here we see an oiled stand conquering its unfinished brethren.  On  a related note, the oil used was Boiled Linseed Oil which is made from flax seeds.

Which makes my garage smell like breakfast…

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