New Mosaic Table Techniques

IMG_20151020_174026When I make my mosaics I don’t generally plan them out in advance. I screw in my frame and start arranging shapes until I am, happy with the pattern. Sometimes I fill an entire section with shapes and take it all apart the next day because  I see something new, or the original idea doesn’t flow very well. I have tried a number of things to streamline the process and the most productive experiment involved making smaller mosaic fragments that I assembled into larger pieces. Continue reading


WIN_20151117_201006I made another plane. I used poplar for the body and walnut for the tail. The wings are made from a mystery wood. I changed the design a little bit from the first one. On my first plane the wings were glued to the bottom of the plane . For the new plane I attached the top and bottom of the plane’s body to the wings. It gives it a slightly more compact appearance, and a stronger bond. I wanted to,keep the wood as natural,as possible so I left the wood raw, no stain or paint. I sanded it from 40 toIMG_20151114_182029 400 grit sandpaper and finally finished it with butcher block oil. I really like the way this one turned out and I have already started making the next plane. Jess wants me to make a triplane, like the red baron made famous. For now, I will stick to the bi plane but I definitely will experiment with other designs. Clamping a biplane  is a challenge, I can’t imagine the logistics of clamping  triplane. Actually most of my plane ideas require a similar clamping process which is  different than clamping other projects. The most effective and efficient  clamp for projects that are not a uniform shape is a rubber band.  Rubber bands apply pressure where you need it and are very accurate but they can do damage if you are not careful, in fact I accidently launched a piece of the tail the first time I attached the rubber band. Lucily no damage was done to the plane or anything else.

The Silo

IMG_20151107_153153I have been working on lots of small projects, looking for local,craft shows, and coming up with new projects for the winter. I have a pair of shutters that I am thinking of turning into a bookshelf. They are pretty worn, which I like. Somebody painted them black once, but It wasn’t the right kind of paint so it’s peeling. Once I sand the rest of the black paint off I will clean it , then I wipe it down with mineral spirits. After I clean up the shutters  I IMG_20151107_203916will put a clear coat on it to seal it and prevent anymore paint from peeling. It won’t be a very big shelf. The shutters are only 3′ tall at most. It will only have three shelves, a top,shelf, a center shelf and a bottom shelf. i am still coming up with a material for the shelves. I have some old wood siding that would be perfect,but I just don’t know if I have enough.  I don’t know why but I have been thinking a lot about the silo we use to live in. It really sucks that it’s gone, but I have a piece of the silo in the workshop. It’s about 5′ tall and 3′ wide, it’s a section of the north west wall. The outside section has horizontal boards and the interior section has vertical boards.  I’ve had the piece since before the fire. The town made the owner put a proper egress window, and to do that they cut a section of the wall.  I kept it when we moved, I hoped to make something cool, but I am at a loss. I could make benches, a couple of tables, maybe shelves?  Since the silo fire I worry that I will make the wrong thing. It may be one of the last pieces of the silo left and I don’t want to mess it up.

Coffee Table Progress

WIN_20151108_183137 (2)I am almost finished with the coffee table top. I hope to glue it up Friday, and attach the top sometime this weekend. This mosaic is more colorful than others I have made. Most of my painted scrap wood is white, black, red and occasionally blue. I had some yellow and orange pieces that I have been WIN_20151108_183212saving for the right project, since the base I am using is yellow I thought this was the right table for the yellow and orange scraps. To attach the top I will have to reinforce and tighten the legs and add extra supports. It looks like yellow was not the original color, it may have been green. Before I add the top  I may do a little sanding and expose some of the green, giving it a distressed look. I think it wood look cool. What else am I up to?  I put another wall hanging on etsy. It’s made from pallet wood, cutting board cull and barn board. IMG_20151107_210440I painted another peace sign, the new one is orange and blue. I hope to put that up once the paint dries. I finished painting the airplane puzzle and frame. This one is a prototype, I painted the frame with enamel paint which would be unsafe for kids. If I decide to sell it I would sell it as a decorative item only. Most likely I will keep it to use as a template for other plane puzzles. When I make new puzzles I will leave them natural  and apply a food safe oil or paint using non toxic kid friendly paint.

small wall hanging


1″ scrap wood mosaic

I am still working on the coffee table. It’s been a while since I have tackled a mosaic piece so large and i am growing impatient with the process.. The coffee table is approximately 36″x18″ which doesn’t seem that big until your staring at the vast  empty substrate that needs to be covered.  That’s a tad melodramatic, I am actually making a lot of progress, I am about halfway through the mosaic  now. If all goes according to plan, it should be finished in the next week. For my next project,  I had planned on making  of small wall hangings, and selling them as a pairs.  Most of my mosaics use 3/4″ wood for both the frame and the mosaic design.  I have some 1″ thick pieces that I thought would work as frames. I  don’t have a thickness planer so my first idea was to use the thicker wood,for the frame and use 3/4″  pieces for the mosaic,creating a shadow box. I dry fit some pieces to see what it would look like. It looked okay but there was something off about it..  I dug through  the wood pile looking for any 1″ thick scrap.  I found walnut, oak,,cherry, cedar, and,pine. I put together a quick pattern, and I have enough wood to make at least one more 1″ thick piece.