It's been a busy couple of weeks, but the cabinets are essentially finished aside from the top plate, for which we created a template for the glass cutters and have taken measurements on hole positions. Hope to get that going soon, as it's basically the last piece of the puzzle.
Before I get to the finish pics, I want to describe the final steps in this build.
So I decided to recess super neo magnets in each baffle for the future possibility of creating grills. I purchased them from (no affiliation):
They sell stuff on amazon for more than double the price of their website! 20 of the 3/8" x 2/10" round neo magnets was a mere $10 delivered.
I used a 3/8" router bit and was able to slip each magnet in the holes pretty easily. Depth was a problem, though, so I had to use some tiny washers to get them close to flush.
Glue was the pictured super glue, which seemed to work fine. I somehow fudged one up and inverted its polarity. When I build grills, I'll just have to remember that one only goes one way!
So then we glued everything up using PL Premium. We used it because it is super strong AND would likely fill any cracks or gaps better than wood glue.
What we didn't count on was it being unbelievably sloppy and unreasonably hard to clean up...
Yeah, I stuck my fingers in it once when carrying the cabs. That was dumb, but it wasn't the biggest issue. This stuff just doesn't come off of any surface.
Even when wet, it doesn't scrape or wipe off cleanly. As such, it pretty much mucked up the finish on the glued edges of every leg. Had we masked those surfaces before gluing, we probably could have avoided most of these issues, but likely not all. Live and learn!
I tried to refinish the legs and did a passable job, but it's nowhere near perfect. They still look nice, so I'm not disappointed. It just took a total of something like 20 extra man hours to scrape, wipe, peel, cut, and refinish all the places where the PL Premium touched finished oak. Luckily, though, it holds pretty well!
After the PL saga, it was time to finish the cabs. I chose Duratex for its coverage, imperfection hiding capabilities, and rough aesthetic. First, ya gotta mask everything that's finished.
Then the first coat is applied.
I want to say here that the instructions from the Duratex manufacturer say to use drywall spackle to fill voids before applying Duratex. Well, I did that, sanded everything down, and found that it didn't work so well. They specifically recommend against Bondo, saying that the Duratex won't adhere to it. Well, the Duratex is so wet that it softens the spackle and rubs it off, and it doesn't adhere to the spackle very well either! Bleh!
My solution? Fill the voids with extra Duratex and sand prior to the 2nd coat.
This shows how I built it up after the first coat. It sorta worked after sanding and applying the second coat. Not exceptionally well, but passably. I also had an issue with roller marks, even though I was super careful in the application.
Oh well. They're not very noticeable in practice.
Of course I'm a little extra critical of my mistakes. All in all, these are pretty beautiful in person, and most of the noted flaws wouldn't be noted by anybody else.
More to come later.