Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Knox Hill Project House: Fretwork part 2


We spent most of the weekend filling up a dumpster from earlier cleanup and demolition work. Now we have some room to work we hope to begin reframing the walls in the new kitchen and the hallway bathroom area so we can get the 1/2 bath up and working.


In the meantime and in my spare time ( whats spare time?), I have been working on the Fretwork that will span the space over the stairway. The design for this is very simple a ball and stick grid that will span the area. PART 1



I am trying to work in two fretwork grills salvaged from an Old Pump Organ that might make nice "centers' for each section but the primary efforts , thus far have been in getting the various pieces and staining.
I was able to locate the round balls at a local craft store. I am using 1 inch round wooden balls. they are predrilled in one direction so it saves some time. The hole diameter is 3/8 inch and I located 12" long dowel rods there as well.


As the salvaged column has a darker finish with a shellac finish I am matching the fretwork as closely as possible. I used a minwax Dk Walnut stain. Once the piece is assembled fully it will receive a coat of shellac to the color and finish will match the column. My goal is to make this look Old and if it may have always been there.

I found the easiest way to stain the balls was to put them in a bucket of stain and roll them around in it. This seemed to give a most consistent stain finish The dowels were hand brushed and then allowed to dry.


The most difficult part of the process is the cross drilling of the balls. I found the easiest way was on drill press and I made a "holder"/jig" made from a larger piece of wood that was drilled and held the ball into position for drilling.

As you can see from the photo I have a small section 'dryfitted' to give you an idea what the finished product will look like. I am building small Fitting jig, which is basically a large flat board with a series of small nails hammered into it. these nails will hold the small spindles and balls in a specific grid while the glue dries. Once each big section is finally built it will be assembled in a framework which will them be attached to the stairway hall side trim.

This is a ongoing 'down the road' project as these fretwork pieces are actually part of the finish phase of the house but it gives me something to do in my spare time.

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