Old House Restoration

A real family makes an old house their home...for the 2nd time
The Splendido's renovate, restore and rejuvenate their home with their own hands - all while living in the house
and balancing their family needs...you know...like most families have to do it!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Making Wooden Pedestals for a Wedding

Sorry for the little delay in Restoring The Splendor posts. It is not that I have not doing anything...that is NEVER the case!

The reasons for the lack of posts are two-fold:
  1. I really did not want to bore you posting about the fall clean-ups I have done each of the last 4 weekends. I mean I could probably go on and on about what it is like to rake pine needles and leaves in a miniature-forest - and how if you miss a week you will lose a kid in the underbrush...but I won't. 
    • However one thing I will say is that having both my backpack blowers fail (yes two) has been more than a little bit of a pain in the arse (sorry...I had to use that reference...I have been getting caught up on Game of Thones...yes I am late to the party!). I actually had to use a rake (ack!)
      • Thankfully my neighbor, Chris, of Full Throttle Repair Shop, got my really old backpack running again. He and Brooke have a mobile repair shop. He fixes small engines, mowers, snow-blowers, boats, ATVs, and snowmobiles...just give them a call and he comes to you! Pretty cool!
  2. The second reason for the lack of recent posts is this is prime wedding season! Karen and Splendid Stems Floral Designs has been very, very busy lately! We really are lucky. Karen does something she loves...and in that process she gets to make everything pretty on a couple's first most important day!
    • With that said, I am always happy to be her delivery guy...and the guy that makes things happen. She comes up with the designs and has the vision. I make sure she can pull it off. Building wedding arches, hanging a 15 foot flower garland off a chuppah or making sure 50 hanging votives or floating vases are all hung at just the right height - I can do that!
That brings me to this post. Karen needed beautiful wooden pedestals. She found just the right ones from one of her suppliers. However they were unavailable. She sent me an email with the subject..."Can you make these?" I wrote back "Challenge Accepted"...channeling my inner-Barney Stinson.

How to make Wooden Pedestals
Sure these were made for a wedding (and are now part of her rental inventory), but they can also be used in a home, individually or in pairs, to display something...maybe a flower arrangement?!...Call me. I know someone :-)

Step 1 - Google It
Google is your friend. Find the ones you like. Get the demensions. Print out a picture for reference.

Step 2 - Buy the materials
Karen needed 39 inch high by 13 inch wide pedestals. Each pedestal has 4 sides and a top. By overlapping the wide side of one 12x1 with the edge of another 12x1 the overall width would be close enough. I calculated I needed 27 feet of 12x1's so I purchased four 8 foot sections. I purchased a 1 inch thick butcher block for the top.

Step 3 - Cut to Length
Used my sliding miter saw to cut all the sides to 39".

Step 4 - Build your Box
Using Elmer's Wood Glue and my finish nailer I fastened each of the sides together - overlapping the edges. I used my carpenter's square to make sure it was...well...square.

Step 5 - Measure and Attach the Top
I measured the dimensions of the end of the box and cut the butcher block to size. Then I attached it with wood glue and finish nails.

Step 6 - Oh so Smooth
Sand every side and the top. I used my orbital sander - being careful NOT to round over the edges. I started with 120 grit and worked my way to 220 grit.

Step 7 - Pre-Stain
These pedestals were to be stained. The first step is to remove all the sanding dust with a tack cloth. Then use a Pre-Stain. Do NOT ruin your hard work by skipping the pre-stain!!! It is so important - especially for soft woods. Without pre-stain you are taking a huge risk that your finished stained project will look uneven and blotchy. It really takes less than 5 minutes (for a project this size) and costs $7 (and you will have plenty left over for your next 10 projects)...so there is no reason to skip this step!

Step 8 - Stain
Pick your stain - test it on a scrap piece first! Follow the instructions....which includes wiping off the excess stain.
  • Hint: 
    • Penetrating Stains (regular stains) - get wiped off after they are allowed to soak in for a period of time. 
    • All in One Stains (stain and polyurethane in one) - get applied and left alone to dry.

Step 9 - Optional - Polyurethane
At this point you need to decide if you want a polyurethane finish on your pedestal or not. We chose not too, because Karen wanted them natural to match the wedding's setting.

The Finished Product

It is really cool to know that something I made was an integral part of someones wedding ceremony and will be seen in their wedding pictures for years to come. Now I know how Karen feels after every wedding! Lucky!