Saturday, 27 December 2014

Happy New Year

Hi all,
Hope you all had a jolly good Christmas. Mine was good, not exciting but good not least because the eating was spot on. My wife does a delicious turkey dinner and the best trifle ever to find itself on a spoon.

I know we say it every year, but this year the television hit an all time low, in fact, it was nothing but repeats and rubbish. I tried to keep an open mind but the quality of some of the new shows was grim.

Ah well, who wants to sit in front of the box anyhow when so many crafts are waiting to be tried. I told you before Xmas that I was working on a automata and I have managed to cut out all of the pieces and start the assembly work.
So far everything has gone to plan even if progress is slower than expected. I should be able to show you the finished article in my next post and give you a report on how enjoyable it was project wise.

The reason the Automata didn't get finished in time for Christmas was the effort I had to put into making the two surprise boxes that I was making my wife for Christmas presents.

The first box was was cut form a block of maple and I used my scroll saw to cut our a heart shape in the middle. The base and the lid were both cut from a panel of 6mm thick walnut. Into the lid I cut out a shape of a rose and then inlaid a piece of 6mm Baltic birch to give it a light enough background for the rose pyrography. It was finished with three layers of varnish to give it a high gloss finish.
I was very pleased with the way it came out especially the pyrography. My wife was also pleased when she opened her present and she was impressed with the way I had used flocking to give the inside of the heart a nice feel.
Because the inlaid wood is solid and the same thickness as the lid it is seen from the inside and  outside of the box, so I had to repeat the pyrography on the inside of the lid. Obviously it comes out upside down but it gives a great effect.

My efforts to get a really nice gloss finish are finally paying off. If I look at the stuff I'm producing now it is much better and I would put it down to sanding. I used to just get some fine sand paper give it a rub and hope for the best and reap indifferent results. Now however, I am more disciplined, I start with 180 grit and then work my way through until I get to 400 grit which gives me a really good finish.

The other box I made for my wife centered around a hare that I had cut out of a piece of mahogany. This would form the lid if it came out okay.
It was my intention to fill the hare aperture with polymer clay and mould it into the shape of a hare, so that one half of it would be raised on the top of the box. The nearest thing I'd ever done to that type of moulding was with some plastercine when I was about 8 years old, so I decided to see how the lid progressed before I committed myself to making the actual box.

I will show you the finished article in my next post because I want to tell you all about it. I've had a few disasters when making wooden items but not nearly as many as dogged that box during the lead up to Christmas. If I don't catch you before let me wish you all the best for the new year and hope that it is an healthy one.

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