MWA Banner Rack Beginnings

Last summer, Kari Hultman kindly shared her lumber stockpile with me, and let me take as much as I could fit on my truck (leaving room for the contents of my Sister-in-Law's apartment). Since I brought it home, this lumber has resided in our sun/hot tub/miscellaneous storage room. Unfortunately that room is the only way to the back door that let's out onto the deck. As the room had to serve duty as a buffet station during our Memorial Day Party, we set about cleaning it out.
The sun/hot tub/miscellaneous storage room lumber pile.
Moving the lumber was, of course, my job. As I broke down the stacks and transferred them one-by-one to the attic I came across a piece with two live edges that looked particularly like a tree to me. I couldn’t initially think of what to do with it, but its form struck me and I set it aside.
This beauty caught my eye.
By the time I was done moving the lumber, it had dawned on me. I knew what I would do. The piece would serve as the left vertical member of the banner rack I have to make for the MWA banner we’ll be displaying at Woodworking in America.

I immediately broke out an assortment of sanders and took the rough sawn face and still partially barky edges to a smooth, 80 grit. Then I successfully filled a face crack epoxy. When it came to the multiple cracks in the back face, I first routed out the cracks a little bit to make the epoxy application easier. Unfortunately, the epoxy application didn’t go so well on the back face. I probably mixed it wrong, but whatever the reason, my 5 minuted epoxy was still tacky 2 days later.
A typical crack on the back, routed to allow additional epoxy to fit in.
I allowed it a third day to dry, and when it was still tacky I posed the question to Twitter. What should I do? One of the ideas I liked was to heat it up under a heat lamp in order to accelerate the drying. Unfortunately, within about an hour the heat lamp took hard and tacky to soft and bubbly. Thankfully, removal of the heat and time seem to have restored it to hard and tacky.
Not a formula for dry epoxy.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working on the Banner Rack so far, but since I have to design the rest, buy the lumber for the rest and it was one of may pices of word stacked in the shop preventing me from walking around, I took the piece as was and put it away in the attack. It gets warm up there, but not crazy, heat lamp hot. Hopefully when I pull it down in a month or two, it’ll be dry enough to work on.

These videos walk you through the process of sanding and epoxying the piece.

I’ll keep everyone posted when I get back to it, and please don’t forget to check out the MWA Banner Rack in person when you visit our booth at both Woodworking in America Conferences.