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Building a bonsai display stand - first attempt

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Larry Gockley:
Hi John. Looks darn good for a first attempt. Are there certain "rules " that apply to a stand, as in height to length ratio, etc? Next time, if there is a next time, you might want to apply sanding sealer after the stain and before the urethane. Two or three coats with application of progressively finer sandpaper between coats would do wonders, especially on an open grain wood like oak. 100 grit paper, ending up with 200 grit would be good. Sanding sealer might be hard to find. Try ACE hardware. Years ago I use to wood carve fish with Spanish cedar, and the sanding sealer worked great. Larry

Now you tell me!  :)

I've seen some sanding sealer in Woodcraft and keep meaning to pick some up.  It's pretty smooth from previous sanding, but I bet would be even better had I done, you know, more/better preparation, etc.

I'm not sure if there are written rules or what they may be, other than what looks good.  There's always feminine/masculine, formal/informal, rustic/refined, etc., to consider.  I spent some time flipping through a few different Kokufu books to come up with what I thought might look good, weighing what would be a relatively easy first build. 

I'm taking a stand building workshop with Rob Kempinski at BITBG, so hope to learn some more tips and tricks.  I'll probably try another small stand before then.  I'll be sure to document the process here.

I think you did the right thing by lowering it. Also, not sure how well the joints turned out, but next time if they don't look as nice as you'd like and you don't want to rebuild , you can try mixing your fine sawdust with some wood glue and filling the joints with that and sanding smooth. We used to do this in architecture school with the basswood models we would build to hide the joints.  Also, just got through refinishing our hard wood floors myself. Huge difference between that 2nd and 3rd coat of poly, so I'd again recommend 3.

I tried that trick in a few spots.  I also experimented with a little yellow tube of stainable filler stuff.  Both seemed to work well, but I think slowing down and doing better work would yield better results.  :)

Quite a fun little learning project.

Here's the finished stand being used at "Bonsai in the Bluegrass".



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