I've been up since five this morning, staining the pieces of the bookcase. Mrs. SOG and I came to a compromise on the color of the finish - it's not quite as dark as a traditional Arts and Crafts oak finish would be, but it's not a light as she wanted it to be, either. I had to experiment on some scrap last night to get the right color. I pretreated the wood with a pre-stain conditioner, mostly because the carcass and shelves of the bookcase are red oak plywood and it's a crap shoot on how the stain would take. I applied two coats of Minwax Gunstock stain, which I will follow up later with one coat of Minwax Provincial stain. The two coats of Gunstock give the oak a nice, rich, red undercoat, the Provincial brings out the grain and softens the red hue quite a bit, but lets the warmth come through. I'm going to let that last coat dry overnight and see what it looks like in the morning, I might give it one more coat to tone it back even more. I also bought some premade strips of oak beadboard for the back wall of the bookcase and am staining that to match. I'm ragging on the stain, to work it into the grain. Brushing stain just doesn't work for me. It's a lot more work and takes longer, but it really looks like it's hand finished. I'm going to put three coats of ragged on satin poly to protect it. The first coat will be scuff sanded with 500 grit paper, the second coat will be burnished with good old brown paper bag kraft paper. That's about the finest sandpaper you can find.
I'm hoping to be able to assemble the carcass on Sunday, slide into the hole in the wall and square it up to mark the position of the stringer I'll attach to the wall to support the bookcase so it won't sag. Then I'll install the shelves, add the beadboard and install it permanently. Monday night after work, I'll start ripping and shaping the pieces for the mantel, I should have that done and all the staining done so I can start assembly next Friday morning. I'd like to have it complete by the end of next weekend so I can help the Mrs. restore some order in the house before Thanksgiving. It always seems I'm playing beat the clock with these projects just before some major holiday.
I think I'm going to have something to eat, I haven't had anything but coffee all day.
Catch you later.

go ahead, make your day...



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