Sunday, 29 March 2015

Oak Box Continued

Hi All, Continuing with the oak box, I cut a piece of 1inch thick oak to match the size of the piece of 6mm oak that I had for the lid and then drew the shape of a box on it.
I then drilled a entry hole for the no9 blade I would be using and then cut out the centre of the box.
Cutting oak is harder than cutting pine, so make sure you have a sharp bladed fitted to the saw or you will get burn marks on your wood. The next thing I did was to give the box a good sandpapering. I started at 180 and then went through all the grades to 240. I could have gone to 400, but oak isn't the best wood in the world for a fine finish. I've never been much for flogging a dead horse so a slightly more rustic feel was okay with me.

With the box done, it was time to concentrate on the lid. I stuck my oak leaf design to the the piece of 6mm Baltic Birch plywood that I was using for the inlay and then Sellotaped that to the oak lid.

Next I did a few test cuts to make sure I got the right angle for the inlay and then I made a start. I drilled a hole at the end of the stalk for the blade, this was a place that would be easy to disguise and it saved me from having to cut a very tight corner. Talking about avoiding sharp corners, you will notice that the black cutting line on my design goes through the acorns, this is done to avoid what would be a very sharp corner between them. The acorns, when I have made them, actually cover that part of the design so it won't be seen.

All was going well until I had the first of two disasters. The fine blade I was using snapped when I was almost at the end of the cut. The air in my workshop turned purple as I let out a string of words that would make a trucker blush.

If a blade breaks when you are doing normal cutting it doesn't matter because you just go back to the blade entry hole and fit a new one. When you switch the saw on, the blade almost follows its own way back to the point of the breakage. However, this isn't the case with inlay work because the work is being cut at an angle, when the blade retraces it steps it will inevitably take off some more wood and the inlay will become a sloppy fit.

I decided the best course of action was to drill a new entry hole at the point of the breakage and disguise it as best as I could. Here is the lid with the inlay in position. If you look closely you can see the entry hole where I started at the end of the stalk and another about an inch before the end of the cut.
Now you may be curious about the gap in the centre. Well, that was the second disaster. Despite doing some trial cuts to get the angle right, I cocked up again and the inlay would not go flush into the wood. I pushed it in as hard as possible but it was still sticking out by about 1mm.  I was now fed up and about to chuck the whole thing in the wheelie, but I decided to take a deep breath and try and rescue it. I used some 120 grit sandpaper to remove a very small amount of wood from around the whole of the inlay and took a bit extra off from the curved area. By removing more wood from that area it gave me a chance to get the inlay to fit something like decently while knowing the gap would be covered by the acorns.

The next thing to do was the pyrography on the leaves and to carve the two acorns which will sit above the leaves. I will show you how I got on in my next post. Just a reminder, if you want to see any more of my work or find out about my books, here is the link to my website.

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