Monday, 24 November 2014

Inlaid Poppies

Hi all, after the hard work I put into the ebonized box with the inlaid polymer clay lid, I decided to do something quicker that would allow me enjoy a bit of pyrography at the same time.

I am struggling to keep up with my wife's requirements for wooden vases, especially as we are coming up to Christmas. She has decided to give bunches of her clay flowers to a couple of her friends and she has commissioned me to do the vases. No money is involved, but I find it is always best to keep on the right side of cook.

Here is a the front of the first vase. The vase is made from a piece of pine which, after doing the inlay work shown below, was  sandwiched between two pieces of quarter in thick mahogany. The inlay is done from quarter inch thick Baltic Birch ply wood, which I have chosen because it is great for doing pyrography work on.

Cutting out the flowers is an interesting task especially where there are tight turns. Even when using the smallest blade I can buy, sharp turns are very difficult. You can see in the photo above where I have drilled the hole to pass the blade through the wood to cut out the flowers. I like to position the hole on the inside of the tightest bend because that saves me having to do a sharp turn. I just saw my way out of it, go around the flower and back to the hole. The holes at this stage may look like they will stick out like a sore thumb, but they will be disguised in the finished product.

The rest of the cutting went very well and you can see that there aren't any gaps around the edge of the flowers. This is done by sawing with a slight angle on the blade. Most scroll saws allow the user to change the angle of the scroll saw table, but I have an excalibur saw which allows me to change the angle of the saw which makes angle cutting much easier.

If you are going to attempt to do any inlay work I suggest you cut a few test pieces before you try in on your project. The angle needs to be set relative to the thickness of the wood. If you don't have enough angle you inlay will be a sloppy fit. On the other hand if you set the angle too acutely your inlay won't fit in the hole at all.

For this project with quarter inch thick wood I set the angle a gnat's nudger under 2 degrees, so I suggest you use that for a reference point when doing your test cuts.

Anyway, here is the vase once it had been stuck together sanded and had the pyrography work done.
I like it and my wife seems quite pleased too. Notice how the blade entry holes have been disguised with a little saw dust and pyrography.
In fact, she wants the next vase to have tulips on it, so I will probably have that to show you in my next post. Then I'm done with vases and I'm going to have a go at something completely different

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