Wednesday, 23 April 2014

No More Felt

Hi All,
In my last post I showed you the little trinket box that I'd attacked with my pyrography iron. Here is a photo of it again so that you will be able to see what I'm talking about.
Once the pyrography work was done it still needed to be finished off and I can report that I had one success and one disappointment.

The disappointment came from the fact that I decided to save money and buy a cheaper varnish. They say that you get what you pay for and, in this instance at least, they are right. I usually buy Ronseal quick drying gloss varnish and it is very good with exception of the hole it makes in my pocket money. A small tin is in my mind quite expensive. Anyway, being the old miser that I am, while I was in the DIY superstore looking at the varnishes on offer I decided I would try their own brand because it was a couple of quid cheaper. It was a big mistake because after three coats the trinket pot still hadn't got any shine, plus I had to wait longer for each coat to dry. In the future I will stump up the cash and stick to Ronseal, that is unless anybody can recommend a good cheap varnish.

One of these days I'm going to knock the varnish on the head and polish all my projects with proper polish and I will keep you all posted when I try it out.

The success I had when finishing the box came from my felt substitute. Up until now, I have, or should I say my wife has used sticky back felt on the bottom of my boxes and the underside of the lids. I did do a couple of boxes myself but found the process of cutting out the felt and sticking it on very tedious and despite taking care it never looked great.

Happily, my days of felting are now well and truly over because I've discovered the art of flocking. Here it is on the bottom of the box and the lid. I also used it on the inside and compared with felt it was so simple to do.

Apparently, flocking has been about for years. Petrol heads use it to coat the dashboards of their cars and some female fashion trendsetters have their nails flocked.
The process is simple; an adhesive is brushed onto the area to be flocked and then small particles of material are blown onto the glue with a special applicator.

I purchased a starter set, which included the instructions, adhesive, the material and the applicator from a company called Turners Retreat who have a website of the same name. It cost me £20 but it will go a long way and if I never have to see a piece of felt again it will be well worth it.

In my next post, I will show you how I'm getting on with the box I'm making and I'll let you know how my new oscillating bobbin sander performs.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Pyrography Patterns

Hi All,
Sorry this post has been so long in the writing but I've been taking advantage of the good weather to try and sort out our new garden. Anyway, in my last post I said I would show you how I got on with the trinket pot that I was doing some pyrography on and here it is.
If you read my last post you will have seen my advice on how to break the pot up into sections to help me keep the thing symmetrical. Once I had divided the main pot into 4 sections it was just a matter of choosing a pattern that would suit pyrography. Drawing the checker board was quite simple because I just followed the same lines that divided the box into 4 sections. I used a pencil first then when I was happy I went in with the pyrography iron on a medium heat setting.

The weave pattern may look difficult but it was very easy. All you have to do is draw 4 short straight lines in one direction and then repeat the process in another direction. Try it out on a bit of scrap paper and you will be amazed how easy it is to create this pattern.

I was very pleased with the way the main pot came out but doing the lid was more difficult. I had decided to use the same two patterns that I'd used on the main pot, but had difficulty dividing the area on the lid into a suitable shape. I used the lid as a template to draw several circles on a drawing pad and then had several attempts at coming up with something that was pleasing to the eye. In the end I chose a swirling pattern after dividing the pot lid into 8 sections.
Again I was pleased with the way the pyrography turned out. If you have a go at this sort of pattern I would recommend using a spoon tip in the inverted position because it is perfect for dealing with the curve that comes on these little pots. The other thing to watch out for, is the method used to fill in the dark diamonds on the checker pattern; using short lines is easier than trying to use the back of the spoon. You will find it more accurate and you will avoid over burn which will destroy the crispness of the lighter sections.

In my next post, I will tell you how I finished the box off and reveal why using that horrible sticky backed felt is something I will never have to get involved with ever again.