Some projects, for one reason or another, just take (WAY) longer to complete than others. Luckily, when the client on one of those drawn-out projects is "mom", they're relatively understanding.
This project was started many months ago. Not all of our furniture builds start out as old doors or other reclaimed material, so after a few design iterations, I made a couple trips across the river to my hardwood supplier to pick up enough poplar to build the frame and enough cherry to build the top. Then, I made sawdust.
As is the case with most of the furniture builds around here, I pretty much refuse to use any sort of mechanical connection or fastener - like pocket hole screws - on a structural joint, and instead prefer to use a more dependable, old-school method of joinery: the mortise and tenon. That said, cutting mortises and tenons can potentially take a LOT of time, and that was definitely the case with this build...48 mortises, 48 tenons.
After all the cuts were made, everything was dry fit to ensure that all the joints were snug. Once a proper fit was achieved (48 mortises + 48 tenons = there's going to be some fine-tuning with any number of chisels, planes and sandpaper), the frame and panels were glued together. I couldn't glue everything together all at once because A, I don't own 800 clamps and B, you can only work with the glue for a short amount of time before it starts to set up. With the body assembled, I started working on the doors and drawers, which involved a lot of work with a stile and rail router bit.
And then there was the painting. This piece received a "distressed" paint finish, which required several coats of paint and a couple different colors. The distressed areas first got hit with a random combination of red and brown, then candle wax was applied, and the entire piece then got several coats of a color called "aqua". My paint sprayer made relatively quick work of this; with all the nooks and crannies this thing has, I think I'd have lit myself on fire if I'd have tried to paint this entire thing by hand.
While I waited for paint to dry, I built the top of the buffet. I had a couple wide cherry boards, which I ripped in half so they were small enough to be run through the jointer, and after getting them all straight and square, I glued them together. I then cut the slab to length and width, and put the ogee bit in the router and crossed my fingers. Cherry is pretty easy to work with, but I've definitely had a couple slabs ruined on other projects in the past by trying to take off too much material at one time with the router. I think I made about 7 nerve-wracking laps around the slab with the router, taking off a little more material each time until the edge was properly shaped.
With all the cutting and routing complete I applied Danish Oil to the top and hit the paint with a combination of crazy high grit sandpaper and steel wool to complete the "distressed" look. The entire piece got finished with wipe-on polyurethane, which is definitely my preferred method of finishing a project, although when your shop gets frequented by a black-haired dog who sheds like it's his job, a fair amount of time is usually spent picking dog hairs out of wet poly...