Stars, Ornaments, Puzzles

IMG_20160503_192631I did a finish coat on the stars that I am making and the water based spray paint is working well with the lacquer, at least so far. I will do one more lacquer coat and it will be time to assemble them. So far I have made 4 of these stars and I really like them. The first pair were a gift and I used stain and lacquer. I had every intention of keeping this pair natural but I really wanted to play with my new paint and since I do a lot of work with red and yellow I figured why not.  I cut out ornaments this week too. I am playing with a new Christmas tree design and using negative space to work on a maple leaf ornament. Ideally using negative space wastes less wood as you have the ornament which has the shape cut out, and IMG_20160503_192520you have the shape which you can use as an ornament or as inlay in something else. I messed up the shape when I cut it but a maple leaf is one of those things that looks far easier to make than it is. A natural leaf has symmetry but there are little imperfections that are really hard to duplicate, so hopefully these will get better as I work on them. I am not sure what type of wood this is? I actually found it and there is some water damage. It is definitely craft wood as it is so thin. it’s a mystery. I also cut out a pumpkin puzzle and laid out a Menorah puzzle I have been thinking about.  I made a small Menorah candle stand a few years ago and I really liked it, I attempted a Menorah puzzle too but the pieces were too narrow and I really wanted to use Olive Wood. I still don’t have Olive Wood in fact I think I am using some rough cut pine that I had in the shop, but I did make the base a bit wider and hopefully there is more support. Wish me luck.

Thanks Jays! 44 years of Awesome Art suplies

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I am an open cabinet

It’s officially May and my cabinet does not have  doors, so now it is a deep shelf storage unit with a mosaic top. I have trim that I will nail to the face and the sides and post to etsy. I was going to do some outline painting inside the cabinet, but I might not.  I am working with a new type of paint and I don’t think the paint I have now is compatible with the new stuff.  Looking for inspiration we hit the streets of downtown Bennington on Friday and wandered into Jays cards and gifts on Main street in IMG_20160501_174403Bennington VT. They were celebrating 44 years in business with a sale, 50% off all items. They reach a milestone and we get the gift! They sell a water based spray paint made by Montana colors that is used in mural work and graffiti, it comes in tiny 100 ml spray cans and it is amazing. I sprayed two of my stars yellow and two of them red and they look great! I probably could have gotten away with one coat but I missed a small spot on an edge that would have driven me crazy. I am going to use the traditional glue and screw attachment method put on some razor hangers and voila one more project completed. It is not due until July but I need to start making mock ups soon.

Rough Cut Pine Stars and other Shapes

IMG_20160419_193013I had a long piece of 3/4 inch thick rough cut pine sitting around. It was in good shape with  some wear to it, and a few nail and screw holes.  It  had been used as a wall board in a previous life and I wanted to make a pair of 3d stars with it. Before cutting I inspected it, pine is very knotty and I have found that the knots don’t work out so well when making stars.  I cut it down into 5 12″x 10″  rectangles . I inspected them again and picked the 4 best rectangles and drew my star shape on each piece. I used a compass to draw a circle on the fifth piece. I cut each piece carefully on the scroll saw. I also cut out my circle. I will use the circle as the base to a pedestal table at some point in the future.  I took a piece of 80 grit sand paper and sanded each star smooth. I will continue to sand to 220 grit, then I will apply a spray lacquer and attach two stars together to create a 3 d effect. For wall mount stars I will join the two stars with screws and add razor hangers to mount the star. For hanging stars I will use screws to attach the stars but I will use dowels  to hide the drill holes and  fishing line to hang the star. Continue reading

futon frame

IMG_20160115_193823I 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

Happy New Year! Looking Ahead and Looking Back

IMG_2302Happy New Year! I am not the type to make New Years resolutions but I do  hope to have at least doubled the contents of my Etsy store by January of 2017. I also want to be in at least one shop and do a couple more shows in 2016 than I did in 2015.  I guess the most important goal is to learn lots of new woodworking techniques and have fun doing it.  Continue reading

Pick up Truck

46d03670-ba5c-451a-aa40-8fbaa1fc97deI have had a lot of fun making the wood planes and I decided I wanted to try to make some other wooden toys. I did a google image search for wooden toy  and millions of things popped up.  New toys, vintage toys. Toys from soda cans. boats made from milk cartons that run on candle power. In fact I lost a good half hour of work time this morning watching you tube videos about making duct tape boats,  a battery from copper coins, and speakers from lead and an empty matchbook.After sorting through the pictures I decided  I would try to make a pick up truck. Continue reading

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

Biplane

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.

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

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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.