Top Me Off


March 24, 2013 by stpaulhaus



The top is on! hoorah!

It was a b-word though.

Just an absolute pain in the ass.

After screwing these together, there were inconsistencies in the levels between each board. Higher here lower there. Boo. I had read about this in my research of the kreg jig. Both from the manufacturer and from the people of the internet. It is recommended that all edge joined boards be run through a planer. Do I own one of those?…no, no I do not own a 1000 dollar piece of equipment used to sand a piece of wood.

Lucky for me I have a tiny, make that very tiny, hand planer that worked pretty well.


After removing as much unevenness as I could, I farther evened everything out with a hand sander. Once relatively smooth I turned my attention to the terribly uneven walls for which the top needed to fit between. I did not want to put any trim around the top to cover gaps so the boards had to be cut perfectly and conform to the uneven walls. This required a technique called scribbing.

There are 3 ways to account for the walls using a scribe method:

1) measure the longest point between the 2 walls and add 1/2 in. Cut to this length. Now fit in the board in place flat against the back wall. obviously it will not fit completely because it is 1/2 an inch longer than needed so raise up the opposite end so the side you are working at is at a slight angle.


Use the compass to scribe the side with a 1/4 inch block spacer to accommodate the increased 1/2 in length ( 1/2 divided by 2 to get 1/4 on each side).


Repeat this on the other side. Cut off the excess wood on the outside of the line you just drew and then finish with a sander to get as close as possible to the line you drew without taking off too much. If the walls are more uneven than 1/4 inch on either side then you can cut the board longer and have a larger spacer but it gets tricky to do so and it is harder to handle.


2) if the walls are really uneven this is definitely the easier way to go. Make a template out of scrape plywood, mdf or cardboard (as you can see I did above). Use a sharp utility knife to make perfect cuts. You can make one huge template or several small ones, whatever you like. Use the same method above with the compass to make the template.


3) Mess up option 1 and be forced to do option 2 with increased difficulty.

I picked number 3. Let me explain.

I accidentally forgot to add the extra half inch to the length of the board and thus could not do option 1 as I would be unable to cut anymore off the ends. Also in doing so, when tracing the template from option 2 the template extends out to the edge of the wood making the cut not so much fun. It is always easier to cut a 1in piece (or bigger) of wood off the end of a board than it is a tiny sliver, particularly with a jig saw


At any rate. It was completed successfully.



I did sand it and wipe it clean before staining it with red mahogany by Minwax.


It still needs to be sealed with a couple coats of poly, but I’m waiting for the stain to dry completely.



Almost there. We still need to get the hardware on the doors, and of course, every window seat needs a cushion. Yes, I am making the cushion. My mom helped me with the one for the window seat in the kitchen, but she vowed to never do it again after it ended in a long day of frustration and swearing. I am still thinking about fabrics and how I am going to do it. The last one was foam but I may do fluffy down cushions this time.  Something like this maybe:

Or this?

Yiiipppeeee 🙂 I like progress.  What do you think so far?


6 thoughts on “Top Me Off

  1. Dusty says:

    I love the stain. Great color

  2. mary says:

    Don’t use Polycrylic on top of red mahogany!
    It will leech your cololor!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow Me on Pinterest

Enter your email address to follow STP Haus and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 220 other followers

The Kitchen

The Guest Bedroom

The Dining Room

The 1/2 Bath

Posts by Room

Hirshfield's Color Club

We're the Midwest's premier paint and decorating centers.

The Mendota Project

Adventures in first time homeownership and DIY


Curious Adventures in Home Improvement

St. Paul Real Estate Blog

All about St. Paul, Minnesota - By: Teresa Boardman

Young House Love

DIY Home Decorating Projects, Tutorials, & Shenanigans

Welcome to Turtle House

Bout Dat DIY Life

Hazardous Design

Bout Dat DIY Life

Russet Street Reno

Bout Dat DIY Life

Just a girl with a hammer

Bout Dat DIY Life

Picardy Project

Bout Dat DIY Life

%d bloggers like this: