Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 27

Thread: What Would You Do?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    SE Minnesota
    Posts
    2,524

    What Would You Do?

    Ok, I'm in a quandry and I'm not sure how to resolve it. Maybe some of you wiser, much more experienced folks have some suggestions.

    Yesterday my in-laws came over with some walnut to get my help. My F-I-L had glued up (I'm using that term loosely) these pieces of walnut into 6 panels from which he expects to build a blanket chest for my wife. From what I can tell the edges weren't prepared in anyway and evidently he didn't have any clamps that would span the panels. I don't know how he clamped them while gluing.

    After he glued everything up, he took it to the local hardwood dealer who ran the panels through his big sander. The panels are now about 5/8" thick. On one panel, a joint failed during sanding. Another one was about to come apart. I fixed both of them.

    So now I have these panels. Not one of them is flat. There are knot holes and pith in some of the boards. There are gaps in glue joints. One of the panels contains a board that is nearly all sap wood. The panels aren't large enough to cut apart, repair and reassemble if I'm going to get a blanket chest out of it. And, to top it off, the walnut is some stuff from the family farm but there doesn't appear to be any more.

    So, should I try to convince them that Kari really wants a cigar box or should I get some additional walnut and try to mix it in or should I just get some new walnut and start from scratch and, in the case of one of those last two choices, hope they don't notice?

    I know my father-in-law really wants to build this chest for his daughter. It's to be a high school graduation gift even though it is 23 years late. He's got Parkinsons and really should be using power tools anymore not to mention that his power tools aren't safe for anyone to use.

    I don't want to hurt their feelings. I know they feel like they've put a lot of work into this already. Unfortunately it seems to me the project is already beyond saving.

    So, what do you think?
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,825
    First, you will have to "hurt" their feelings. At least at first with the truth about what you have just told us. If the final product is going to represent the kind of work you do you must be straightforward with them. Tell them you will take what is there and complete the chest to the best of your ability. If that means mixing in some new wood, so be it. The final product will be a nice item because you made it correctly will your best skills. And, you/they will still be able to say it was made with wood from the old family farm. Trying to cover up and cobble together will only result in a less than desirable finished product and disappointment for everyone.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Posts
    9,076
    I believe the phrase, with no offense to the valiant efforts of your FIL, is 'beyond salvage'. Your best end result will come from starting fresh. This definitely falls under that "twice as much per hour if you worked on it first" situation but with the obvious challenge of family being involved.

    I would try to have the possibly difficult conversation with the in-laws and determine if they are more concerned with the end product or the fact that they were involved. Perhaps you could build one from scratch and have FIL over to help with the finishing process? Perhaps some of his supplied pieces could be used on interior partitions or lift-outs(?). Maybe a decorative pattern on the outside or inside of the lid or as accents(?).

    Good luck and I hope all turns out well.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 02-10-2008 at 04:30 PM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    138
    Tough problem. Would it work to explain to FIL the issues and maybe use the best of the wood to do accent or trim on a blanket chest 'you both make' out of some completely other wood? Maple or cherry with walnut trim would be beautiful!!

    Perhaps a SketchUp rendering would sway him?

    And, dang it, Glenn types faster than me! Nice to find great minds think. A lot!
    Last edited by John Hemenway; 02-10-2008 at 04:42 PM. Reason: keeping up with Glenn!! :)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Tokiwadai, Japan
    Posts
    2,882
    Dave,

    I would first discuss the situation with your wife...the recipient or the piece...and the love that her father has and wants to show by building/having it built it for her. I'm sure her father's intentions are more important than the quality of the chest. But since it's for her, let her know the problems, alternatives and then both of you can come up with a plan to get the chest done incorporating at least some of the original wood. Maybe use a piece of it in a special spot and have the father write a message and sign it there.

    Good luck, Dave

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    2,323
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Richards View Post
    Ok, I'm in a quandry and I'm not sure how to resolve it. Maybe some of you wiser, much more experienced folks have some suggestions.

    Yesterday my in-laws came over with some walnut to get my help. My F-I-L had glued up (I'm using that term loosely) these pieces of walnut into 6 panels from which he expects to build a blanket chest for my wife. From what I can tell the edges weren't prepared in anyway and evidently he didn't have any clamps that would span the panels. I don't know how he clamped them while gluing.

    After he glued everything up, he took it to the local hardwood dealer who ran the panels through his big sander. The panels are now about 5/8" thick. On one panel, a joint failed during sanding. Another one was about to come apart. I fixed both of them. (Good)

    So now I have these panels. Not one of them is flat. There are knot holes and pith in some of the boards. There are gaps in glue joints. One of the panels contains a board that is nearly all sap wood. The panels aren't large enough to cut apart, repair and reassemble if I'm going to get a blanket chest out of it. And, to top it off, the walnut is some stuff from the family farm but there doesn't appear to be any more. (that's okay, this is understandable to all involved)

    So, should I try to convince them that Kari really wants a cigar box or should I get some additional walnut and try to mix it in or should I just get some new walnut and start from scratch and, in the case of one of those last two choices, hope they don't notice? (Don't try to sneak one over on them, they are adults so approach them with the plan that to do it you need incorporate more lumber, so would they like to add more walnut or white oak to blend with the sap wood or some cherry might look nice.)

    I know my father-in-law really wants to build this chest for his daughter. (This statement says it all! At this stage in his life, this is the most important thing you need consider!) It's to be a high school graduation gift even though it is 23 years late. He's got Parkinsons and really should be using power tools anymore not to mention that his power tools aren't safe for anyone to use. (agreed!)

    I don't want to hurt their feelings. I know they feel like they've put a lot of work into this already. (I see no alternative but to respect their feelings, dig deep into that creative box of yours and make this the box that Dad will be proud to give his daughter) Unfortunately it seems to me the project is already beyond saving. (Dear Dave, You can do it, and you should do it with all the vim and vigor you can muster. Their lives are closing down, they don't need a masterpiece of great quality. They want their daughter to have something they laid loving hands on in the process, from the farm of their memories. Guess I am just too sentimental to make a great project that has less significance than a simple one they helped with!) So, what do you think?
    Hi Dave ,
    This is a sensitive issue but in my opinion you can do it and it can turn out well. The design may need tweaking. Remember Greene and Greene.
    Can you run some pependicular slats, like an old trunk has in leather, surrounding the trunk, only yours maybe out of walnut, used to eliminate the concern for joint failure? Mak lend it self to some fine joinery?
    Don't want to con you into something you don't want to do or can see just won't work. Not being there it is easy to say "You can do it!" I don't mean to step on your toes. I trust your opinion, but hope you reconsider before your final verdict. How can I help, I would like to be of assistance?
    Respectfully,
    Shaz
    PS Thank you for bringing this subject to our attention.
    I am a registered voter and you can be too. We ( registered voters ) select the moderators for this forum by voting every six months for the people we want to watch over this family forum.
    Please join me. Register now.
    Shaz
    Here is how

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    2,323
    Google.................old trunks
    I am a registered voter and you can be too. We ( registered voters ) select the moderators for this forum by voting every six months for the people we want to watch over this family forum.
    Please join me. Register now.
    Shaz
    Here is how

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    1,487
    Dave, How about ripping the glue joints apart. Mill the boards to 7/16" and face glue to some more 7/16" walnut. The boards can then be edge glued and milled to final thickness. That way you can save the "character" of the family wood and still have enough for the project.

    If you can pull it off, I don't think you even need to tell your FIL. It'll be our little secret!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Nelson View Post
    Dave, How about ripping the glue joints apart. Mill the boards to 7/16" and face glue to some more 7/16" walnut. The boards can then be edge glued and milled to final thickness. That way you can save the "character" of the family wood and still have enough for the project.

    If you can pull it off, I don't think you even need to tell your FIL. It'll be our little secret!

    A secret on the internet?.............
    Ken
    ------



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    Posts
    5,319
    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Nelson View Post
    Dave, How about ripping the glue joints apart. Mill the boards to 7/16" ...
    Taking this a bit further: maybe rip and re-glue the panels, sand them to 7/16, or even 3/8", and then use them as panels to make a frame and panel chest. Make the frames from full thickness 4/4 walnut.

    As for the sapwood, it's not necessarily a problem. Keep it in the project. It can make a very nice accent. I often use both walnut and cherry sapwood in my projects, and also leave knots and othe 'defects.' Perhaps a bit of judicious staining/dying and filling a crack or knot or two with epoxy to help everything blend, and you can still have a fine looking piece from this.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •