June 2, 2011

The Latest

I started work on the great ottoman Re-covery project. I'm throwing together bits of a pair of stranded color-work sweaters that I felted on purpose, (no, not hand knit) and some Berroco Foliage from stash. I'm thinking it will look ok, maybe even better than ok. But, it could also look like puke.

Here is the damaged ottoman, the fabric just started rotting away.
Scipio thinks felted sweater bits will make a dandy cover, and wants to know, what's taking to long?
Here's the Berroco.

Next project; sprucing up the Pocket Wheel. Why? Because I'm going to the Black Sheep Gathering this year! yippeee!  I love the sanded in oil finish I put on the little pocket wheel but, it turns out an oil finish on the treadles isn't durable enough to withstand my feet. The treadles were getting footprints. Since I was going to work on the treadles, I decided to work on the drive side of the drive wheel too, to make it easier to clean off the marks left by the o-ring.

Some people will say that you can't put another finish over an oil finish, but you can, if you know what to do. I started by cleaning the surface with a Murphys Oil Soap solution. This is safe on pretty much any finished wood. Then, I wiped the surfaces with low odor mineral spirits to remove any wax. Then I lightly sanded the surfaces with 220 grit sandpaper and wiped again with mineral spirits to remove any dust or remaining wax. Its important to get the wax off.

Once the parts were dry, I applied Zinsser SealCoat, which is basically a 1 lb. cut of wax free shellac. The shellac is the secret, it seals the oil away from the next finish. Once the shellac was cured, I sanded, removed dust, and applied a wipe-on polyurethane finish. I use a wipe-on finish because I'm lame at applying brush on finishes. About 6 coats, with sanding in-between. The final step is a coat of wax. I've also applied a rust inhibitor to the metal parts. I don't live really close to the ocean, but I've found the metal rods will start to rust. The Pocket Wheel is all spruced up and ready to play.


  1. We should arrange a time and place to meet up! I may only be there one day because I don't plan to exhibit and stay the weekend. Will let you know when I know more.