We went to the thrift store a couple of days ago trawling for bargains and future projects. Our local good will usually has a ton of weird cool pieces, I have found funky fabric, vintage lamps, odd paintings, drum kits and lots of furniture. This week the selection was not as good as usual. but it was still fun to look. Continue reading
I was looking through the wood pile today trying to gather scrap pieces to frame out some rough cut pine for a small mosaic. I found barrel staves and slats, but the slats were too thin and the staves too curved.Then I remembered the old futon. I have had a wooden futon frame, and a collection of assorted futon pieces, waiting for the right project for almost 6 years. I have used pieces of this futon in a mosaic, as table legs, shelf slats ,and as cleats to hang shelves. I had busted up the large pieces a while ago but in my scavenging I discovered that I had an entire arm left over that needed to be taken apart. It had some nail holes, but no structural damage and it looked like it would be the perfect size for my frame. I gathered the tools needed to take its apart and started the destruction, which was much more of a hassle than I intended. Continue reading
I am still working on making wooden trucks.I have a sketch that I made of a fire truck that I hope to complete this winter. It is very simple. It is basically the pick up truck shape cut out with a slightly longer bed and the addition of a ladder. The ladder is just scrap wood and dowels and it attaches to the back of the truck with a dowel. I will paint the truck red and the ladder white. I am also brainstorming ideas for a helicopter, that has been a more difficult challenge. A helicopter is a complex vehicle to model. It is easy to get carried away ,but I want something simple that is still recognizable as a helicopter. I will give it wheels instead of ski’s and I want to have a top and side mount propeller. I have not been happy with any of the drawings I have started and I have yet to find a real world example that I like enough to reverse engineer. I will keep looking and thinking. It hasn’t just been firetrucks and helicopters in the workshop, I started a small mosaic. I am not sure what I will do with it when it is complete, It may be the center for a larger project or I may leave it as is and put it up on etsy as a small wall hanging.
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 saving 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. I 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.
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.
Jess and I went for a drive Saturday and I picked up some things to use in the shop. I bought pool cue for a dollar. I have three pool cues that I have found over the last year or so and I needed a fourth for an idea I had for a table, I am hoping to make a little end table with pool cue legs. I also grabbed this strange little end table for $5. The top is badly damaged, but I will be able to salvage the legs and the apron to re use with a mosaic top. The top of the table has a frame that will make a great mosaic frame, and there is a medallion on on side, that looks like it was added by a previous owner, and The top rotates. There is a mechanism underneath that allows the table to spin. I have seen a lot of game tables, in fact I have one that I have been trying to restore for ages now, but most of those have storage underneath, this has no storage. My guess is that it is either a game table or a puzzle table. I did a little research today to make sure I did not have something rare, I found an identical table that sold at auction for $25, so I think it’s safe to take this one apart. It does have a date stamp, it’s marked OCT 25 1954. The funny thing is I bought it on October 25, 2015.
Crazy weather we have been having it’s 70 one day and 30 the next. It did snow last week and it feels like it could happen again today so it seems a good time to make winter products. I have been working on snowman puzzles in preparation for the season. The first one I cut was okay. I did not like him that much, his arms seemed to short for me and I simulated his face with small drill holes. I think it was suppose to give a button like effect. I made another snowman, cut this one a bit bigger and this time I used a sharpie for his face. I like his look better. The big guy was cut from an old shelf that had been painted white. I will do at least one more coat of white on him, and I plan to paint his hat black. The little guy is made from walnut and I am going to sand him and use a water based stain to finish him.
I have also been working on plane puzzles, I have cut two so far. I thought it would be simple, they are small and most of the pieces only have one connector to cut. When I cut the first plane It was too loose, so if you picked up the puzzle it would fall apart, the second puzzle is tighter but I have decided that the plane puzzles really need a frame. So I made a frame for the second puzzle, painted it red and painted the plane orange and yellow. Seems to be a color scheme I like at the moment. I am glad I tried the plane puzzle, it’s good to try new things, it’s the only way to really learn.
Last year at Norman’s Attic I bought a yellow coffee table apron/leg for $5.00 hoping to use it for a table. It’s rather large and I have been staring at it for over a year wondering what I to do with it. I thought about taking barn board, cutting it to length and making a very simple coffee table. I really wanted to make a mosaic for it but I did not have a piece of wood big enough to use as the base so I moved the yellow base around hoping for inspiration. I found a piece of wood that will fit the span and I started work on the coffee table a few days ago. Continue reading
I cut some more puzzles this week. I had some unexpected difficulty cutting pumpkin puzzles. I found some scrap maple and thought it would make a nice pumpkin. It had other ideas, It was thick maple but I can cut wood up to 2 inches thick on my scroll saw so I thought it would work. It did not. The basic shape came out okay but there was a lot of skipping and it took a lot of pressure to keep the wood on the saw plate. The skipping and hopping impacted the integrity and stability of the puzzle. Every puzzle is different, some are a tighter fit than others, but as long as they stay together I call it a successful cut. I test the pumpkin puzzles by lifting by the stem. If the pumpkin pieces stay together when I lift it up by its stem than it is a decent puzzle. The maple puzzle did not stay together when I did the stem test. I moved on to a pine pumpkin puzzle and cut the tail on the stem too narrow snapping it. I gave up on the pumpkins for a while and moved on to a peace sign puzzle. I cut a large peace sign and moved on to a small peace puzzle. I managed to cut a knotty piece so the small peace puzzle pieces were useless. I did not want to finish on a failure so,I cut out one more peace sign and cut out a train silhouette puzzle. I stained two pine pumpkins and I painted a peace sign that I cut out last week. The perimeter pieces i painted red and yellow and the internal pieces are orange. It was a pain to do but it looks neat. I also made another small mosaic piece. Not sure what it is yet, a small table? A wall hanging? Or perhaps a,tray?
Tomorrow, September 26 I will be in Arlington,VT from 9 am to 5 pm for the St. James Episcopal Church 2015 harvest festival. Stop by, say hi and check out some of my work. I have a few puzzles, wall hangings and tables to sell. The weather is suppose to be great, it should be a fun day. The festival takes place on the church grounds and the arlington village green.