First Desk Leaves the Shop

The first G&G desk carcass FINALLY made it out of the shop this past weekend and into our home office for my wife.   The desk is complete, minus the finish on the drawers, but she has pressed it into service while I finish the drawers.

The finish has turned out OK, but much darker than I would have liked (much darker than the samples that I did indicated).   I’ve had this problem with aniline dye before…I always make it too dark.  But, the dark looks pretty good anyway,  it just doesn’t show off the ebony accents as much as I’d like.

I used a pre-mixed  Behlen Aniline Dye (alcohol based) in their "medium brown mahogany" color.  I did not dilute it (I should have).   I also used a water-based "General Finishes" brand Poly/Acrylic Satin finish as the topcoat (5 coats of it).   This was my first time using the newer water based varnishes, and I mostly was pleased with the result.  It was certainly nice to have less toxic smell in the basement.

I hope to finish the "finish" on the drawers for my wife’s desk this weekend, and then move on to the finish on the 2nd desk…..after that, this project can finally be put to bed.

Overall, I like the design of the desks a lot.   I am relatively pleased with my woodwork on the desks (maybe an 8 out 10) and am much less pleased with my finish on the desks (maybe 6 out of 10)…but, these desks have been a great woodworking learning experience, and that was the point.  When I started the desks, they were somewhat beyond my ability, but I pushed through it and learned a lot, and my next projects will benefit from them mightily.

I will post pictures soon.

About mattsanf

Matt Sanfilippo is the Chief Partnership Officer (CPO) for the College of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Co-Director of its Engineering Research Accelerator. In this role, Matt coordinates and enables strategic and sponsored research opportunities across the college, and stewards the development of proposals for major research opportunities along strategic themes. Additionally, he enables collaboration among the college's research institute/center executive directors, and industrial and government relations personnel in the pursuit of opportunities with industry, federal and state governments. Before becoming CPO for the College, Matt was the Senior Executive Director for Research Initiatives, the Executive Director of CMU's SII (Smart Infrastructure Institute) and ICES (Institute for Complex Engineered Systems), and Associate Director of PITA (Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance) and RAMP (Research for Advanced Manufacturing in Pennsylvania). Before CMU, Matt was Managing Director of Applied Technology for Michael Baker Corporation, an engineering and energy services firm. Matt managed Baker's technology division including Geographic Information System (GIS), software and web development, multimedia, virtual reality, visualization, Global Positioning System (GPS), mapping and surveying services. Before joining Baker, Matt was an Innovation Director for Redleaf Group, a Venture Capital/Operating Company focused on information security, supply chain and mobility solutions. While at Redleaf, Matt managed technical due diligence for seed-stage investments and coordinated relationships between Redleaf and their partner companies. Prior to Redleaf, Matt was CIO of GZA GeoEnvironmental Technologies, an infrastructure engineering firm, and operations manager for their Internet start-up that focused on web-technologies for health and safety and manufacturing metrics. Matt is on the board of Larson Design Group (LDG), past Chairman of the Board for the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, current board member of the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation (PHLF), current Vice President of the Sewickley Heights Gun Club (SHGC) and former member of the Information Sciences and Technology Advisory Board for the Pennsylvania State University Beaver. Matt is also former Vice President of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Association of Internet Professionals and former Vice President of the Board of Trustees for Baker Combined Charity of Pennsylvania.

Posted on December 19, 2007, in Woodworking. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. How are you testing the dye swatches? On large boards or small ones? I’ve heard it is very hard to get an accurate picture if the surface area is too small…

  2. On small ones…that was clearly a mistake. The small ones did not end up being representative enough…another lesson learned.

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