First off, thank you Marc for your videos and website. Everything I know about woodworking, I have learned from your videos and website. This is a walnut entertainment console for my ginormous TV in the basement. This project is the most complex I have built to date, and a culmination of skills I have developed from the previous five serious woodworking projects I attempted. The start of the process was sitting in front of my Mac and creating the project on sketch up. I had found a picture of a similar console in a Fine Woodworking issue and wanted to create the project for myself. I knew many of the skills I had learned would come to good use, but had to try some new things. Honestly, the day that I stop trying new things will be the day I stop woodworking.
There was a lot of veneering with this project. This gave me the opportunity to book-match and control the direction of the grain to maximize visual appeal which was one of my original goals of the project. I wanted the flow of the grain to be smooth and move naturally through the project. I used heavily figured bees-wing walnut. I made sure all the figure curved up, as if the project was smiling at me. Sure it sounds lame, but it looks nice! This was the first time I made full sized templates for project parts. I would seriously recommend to anyone,take the time to make templates. I was able to use a flush trim router bit in combination with the templates to make perfectly proportioned parts that were consistent throughout the project. All of the curves match and flow evenly in the console. The style is Greene and Greene inspired. It’s not totally authentic, because I didn’t think the real thing would match the rest of my furnishings, but the contemporary hybrid works very nice.
Finishing proved to be trickier than I expected. Because this was a combination of solid wood, sheet goods and veneer, I had various different shades of color to work with and even out. I wanted the walnut to be dark in color, so I used Watco walnut colored Danish Oil. Depending on the color of the the wood, I used medium walnut color and dark walnut color to make sure the sheet material matched the darker solid wood components. Some parts required one coat while others needed two. The process took time, but eventually the color was even enough to my satisfaction. The original plan was to top coat with my tried and true Arm-R-Seal wiping oil varnish blend, but I thought the color was still a little too bland. In a last minute finish change, I went with 3 coats of amber shellac. The amber gave the walnut the warm glow I wanted to achieve. I am very happy with the results.