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Progress on the tables

Have been negligent in posting updates on the side tables and coffee tables that Keith and I have been working on – Keith has been doing the lions share of the work – and I’ve been helping after I finish work when I can, and on the weekends.

I was experimenting with a staining technique that I saw on a recent episode of ‘Ellen’s Design Challenge’.  A solution of iron acetate is brushed onto the wood, and it reacts with the tannins in oak, darkening the wood as the solution dries.  The effect is quite dramatic!

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These pieces of wood have been brushed with the solution.  The shinier surface the oak is sitting on is my cedar desk, which was brushed with Minwax Ebony stain, and then a coat of semi-gloss varathane.

The solution is easily made simply by ripping up a couple pieces of clean 0000 steel wool and placing the pieces into a glass jar (I used a 1 litre mason jar).  Fill the jar with household white vinegar.  Fold a plastic straw in half and use the ends to push the steel wool down, so it’s completely submerged in vinegar.  Seal the jar, and punch a few holes in the lid – this is important – otherwise you could end up with an explosion of glass & vinegar solution!

IMG_0386Here’s a side table all assembled, and waiting for stain.

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Here are all three tables, stained and getting the first coat of a satin polyurethane.  I’m second guessing myself as to the finish – I may end up adding a final coat of semi-gloss – but we’ll see how the satin finish looks once we get the tables set up in our living room!

A new Jeep!

Well, it has been a while since I’ve done some wheeling, and since we bought my wife’s Mitsubishi RVR, I think I’ve been jealous of the technology in the newest vehicles.

When we were initially looking at different vehicles for her, we had stopped in at one dealership to look at the Fiat 500x.  The dealership also had Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk in the showroom that we were looking over.  A number of months later, I returned to that dealership to have another look, and a few days later, we now have one in our driveway 🙂 .

trailhawk

Coffee table and side table project

Tracey and I decided that we wanted something a little different for our living room coffee table, and wanted a couple matching side tables as well – something I don’t think we’ve had in the last 25+ years!

So I started looking at various designs, and tried drawing one up myself – but ended up finding a design through the magazine Fine Woodworking.  As it turns out, Fine Woodworking also sold plans for the coffee table, that also included a Google Sketchup file.  So, I purchased the plan, and then duplicated and modified it to come up with a design for a matching side table.

coffee table

The coffee table is a Mission-style – I’m simplifying a couple sections, and I’m also going to look at building in USB charging ports into the side tables – probably along with an outlet to plug in a table lamp.  Another change is adjusting the height of the shelf, to provide clearance for Tracey’s Roomba.

The side tables will be the same width as the coffee table, and a couple inches taller.

Went and picked out a bunch of oak to get the project started, a combination of quartersawn white oak, and some red oak.  The white oak is being used to build up the legs. Did some miscalculation in our heads while at the store, meaning we had to make a second trip to get more lumber – which brought the cost up to almost $800 just in oak!

New Pour-over :)

Taylor found this pot at Chapters yesterday – I had to go pick it up!

It reminded me of one of my favourite Bugs Bunny cartoons 🙂

instant-human instant-martians
Just have to be careful when pouring – the glass is very thin and very hot!
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My 10 Step Pour-over Routine

 

Well, after having made a dozen coffees over the past few days (only 3 using the new Brewista scale), I’m starting to get into a 10 Step routine – which is a good thing for good, consistent coffee.

Thermos Travel MugBefore getting started, I placed my empty thermos mug on my scale, then tare (zero’d) it.  I added water to the fill mark of the mug, and determined that my 16oz thermos mug holds 470 grams of water.  (BTW, this is an awesome thermos – I’ve made coffee and forgotten the thermos at home – and returned home 7-8 hours later to a mug of coffee that is still hot! Additionally, you can fill it up, close the lid, and turn the mug upside down without a single drop leaking out! It also fits perfectly into the cup holders of my Jeep.)

Step 1
Fill up the kettle – about 2 inches from the top.  Put on induction stove, Boost mode.

Step 2
Get out scale, place small cup on it, and tare the scale.  Measure out 28 grams of beans.

Step 3
Pour beans into grinder (set to 15), and start grinder. This takes about 10 seconds, and then empty doser back into the cup. (more…)