Thursday, 25 February 2016

Up cycling

Hi all,
Sorry to say that I haven't made much progress with the oyster box since my last post. Here it is so far.
I need to make the top piece, sand it down to shape and add the hinges. I hope to do all of that before my next post. The reason progress has been slow is because my wife decided to de-clutter our dining room, which meant a trip to the jolly old tip, a trip to the charity store to donate some nice but no longer required items.

A wall cupboard and side board were also declared redundant and, I while I could make use of the wall cupboard in my workshop the sideboard would need to be cut up small enough to fit into our Nissan Micra before going to the tip. Anyway, while I was dismantling the sideboard I decided that I could use the wood to make a nice bit of furniture to store art pads and the like, so I set about it with my scroll saw and here is the result. Not bad, all my art pads and other flat items are now all in one place.
Before I go, I'm pleased to let the followers of this blog that one of my books, "No Fishing In Here" which contains a collection of short stories is free today and tomorrow (25th and 26th Feb 2016). To get your free download, just click on the books link at the top of the page and then click on the book.

I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Oyster Box

Hi all,
I have had this idea for a box running around my brain for a few weeks now, so I've started to make it.
I am calling it an oyster box because that is about the shape of it. The thing about the box shape is that it is completely organic. I drew something that looked a bit like an ear and then cut it out of a piece of 1inch thick maple.
When I did the cutting on the inside and the outside I put the saw at a 35 degree angle to give them some shape. The fact that the scroll saw, rather than the table, can be tilted is one of the best features of an Excalibur saw. I imagine cutting a 1 inch thick piece of maple on a tilted table would be a bit grim and one's piano playing days could soon be over.

I used a no9 Olsen blade with reverse teeth and it it cut pretty well. After giving the outside of the box a bit of a sanding,  I stuck a piece of 2mm ply on the base and then sanded that as well.

It is coming along quite nicely and I will share my lid making experience in my next post.

By the way, please be aware that one of my books "Bossyboots" is free on Amazon today and tomorrow. That's the 18th and 19th of February.

To get a free download of this laugh out loud book, just click on the books link at the top of the page and then click on the "Bossyboots" link.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Card Box

Hi all,
At last I have finished the card box that my wife asked me to make for her. She received some Oracle cards off her daughter for Christmas and wanted a special box to keep them in. She said she wasn't bothered about the design and left it completely in my hands.

After a bit of thinking I decided upon an image that consisted of an avenue of moon lit trees. The box was a simple rectangular design made from 6mm walnut. I couldn't used walnut for the lid because it would be too dark to show up the pyrography, and besides that, I couldn't source a piece that was wide enough so it had to be 6mm birch plywood. I figured it would be okay to use plywood for the lid because the design was going to be darkened by the pyrography.

Here is the sketch I produced to allow me to cut out the fret work with my scroll saw. It would also be used as the reference for the pornography work.
After making the box, I cut out the dark parts on my scroll saw.
Once that was done, I attached the lid to the box with some small hinges and then set about the pyrography. I concentrated on the trees first making sure that I put the darkest pyrography marks on the sides of the trees away from the centre. I did that because the insides of the trees would be lighter due to the moon. making trees light on one side and darker on the other gives them a feeling of volume.

The next thing I tackled with my pyrography iron was the grass, which I made longer at the front and shorter where it receded into the distance. I also made the stepping stones small as they receded away to give the image some depth. I had to do the pyrography work over several days because the repetitive nature of the work was giving my Carpal Tunnel Syndrome some gype.

Finally, I shaded in the sky around the moon and went darker the further I went away from it.
This part didn't come out as well as I would have like. I made sure to keep my iron moving all of the time to avoid dark sports but I'm becasue wood is an organic material it doesn't always do what you think it should.

Here is the box finished with 3 coats of gloss varnish.

The only other thing I had to do was to make a mechanism to make it easy for my wife to get the cards out of the box. Tipping it upside down didn't seem to be the right thing to do. So, I drilled a hole in the middle of the base and poked a piece of blue ribbon through it. I then tied a knot in it and glued it in place to stop it pulling through. On the other end of the ribbon that would sit on tops the cards I attached a small rabbit that I carved out of walnut with the Dremel that my wife bought me for Christmas. Now all she has to do is give the rabbit a bit of a tug and the cards are lifted.

By the way, it was my first real go with the Dremel and I like it. Here's a picture of the rabbit.

All in all, I enjoyed getting back to a bit of scroll sawing and pyrography and I think that as the weather warms up my workshop will be seeing me more often. I even have an idea for a new box design that I can't wait to make so I will share it with you in my next post.

PS my wife liked the box.