Saturday, August 7, 2010

Fillets Mignons

Last night after posting I took my 40-grit sandpaper and my B&D mouse sander to the topmost winder of the stairs to the 3rd floor.  After about an hour and six or so pieces of the paper (all cut out individually by hand, I might mention), I began to make some impression on it.

This is going to take bloody forever!  What do I do if, a week from now, after assiduous labor, I'm working on tread No. 7 and my eldest cat hocks a hairball on the exposed wood of tread No. 3?  I gotta get these sanded and refinished within a reasonable timeframe!

There is hope, however.  Late last evening I got a call from my friend Frieda*, and asked her if anybody in her family might have some other kind of sander that might have more of an effect.  "Oh, yes!" she said, obviously going into their garage, her husband has all sorts of different sorts, including ones good at getting into tight areas.  He's off on a fishing trip now, but she'd see if she could call him today and ask him.

By now, I know she wasn't able to get back with me today, but there's a chance that by Wednesday I might be able to borrow something useful.  I could wait, I told her, because in the meantime I can work on shellacking the stairrail parts from the 1st to the 2nd floors, down in my workshop.

Took awhile for me to get to it, but this evening I got the first coat of warm walnut shellac on the rail and shoe fillets for the bannister.  Used a 1" synthetic watercolor brush I got at the arts & crafts store, and it seems to be working well.   I plan to put on another coat before I go to bed, then lay on the third coat when everything is back together.

I may be taking a risk by leaving the brads in, but I'm thinking I can realign with the existing holes and tap the fillets in with a rubber mallet.  We'll see.  I took some of the more crooked ones out.

Quick addendum, then I'm off to bed:

Got shellac coat No. 2 on.  The fun bit is trying to remember which of these fillets I'd recoated, the finish dries so fast.  You'd think I'd be able to tell by the color of the wood, and I hope I have.  But if anything looks funny tomorrow, it's liable to get another coat slapped on, regardless.

No comments: