A race to the finish

glue up

Austin Matheson, our teacher/glue-up guru stands behind my piece

This past Friday, our 6 week long case piece project technically concluded. Perhaps our designs were overly ambitious (and the swimming conditions overly awesome) but at the end of the day, not a single student had completed their piece. Class hours are from 9-5, but most of us are in the shop 14 hours a day. I wouldn’t say we’re going mad from lack of sleep, but we’ve definitely had our moments. The other day, for instance, I became a bit too attached to my piece. Fortunately, I was able to unclamp my hand and complete my glue up. Now if only I could glue my dignity back together.


Here are a ton of pictures from the busy week…


Before applying finish, I quickly power-sanded the inner surfaces. Personally, I’m partial to hand-sanding as those motorized machines can cause you to skip around the wood unevenly.

shellac finish

Afterward, I “prefinished” the inside of the case. I applied three coats of shellac, sanding down finer and finer between coats. Now it’s at least 15x softer than a baby’s booty.


Since my top drawer needs a surface to rest upon, I glued on some thin cleats or “chicken strips” as Austin prefers to call them.


Geez Johnny, way to be a clamp hogger.


One Response to A race to the finish

  1. Vic says:

    Great blog, Johnny. Thanks for putting this up.

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