Sunday, March 29, 2009

Carousel Ride

We had the opportunity last weekend to go to the Gand Rapids museum where they also have a Carousel Ride. Their carousel has hand-carved horses along with other animals including a giraffe, a lion, and a tiger. I've always loved riding merry-go-rounds ~ as long as I got to ride on an animal that actually went up and down rather than just spinning in a circle!

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Sometimes it takes longer to finish a job then the rest of the job took! To catch everyone up, I glued up the dragon using a combination of wood glue and super glue. The super glue acts as a clamp while the wood glue dries.

Then I headed to the local glass shop to see if they could cut me some mirrors. I added a couple more coats of tung oil, then sprayed the wood with a clear sealer. All of this was done over a span of a few days.

The simple job of cutting the backer board, and gluing the mirror to the back took another week or so - But it is finished now. Ok, not quite completed - I still have to add a hanger on the back so it can hang on a wall!

Friday, March 13, 2009

WIP - Coloring continued.....

Looking at what I had done so far, I wasn’t pleased with the colors. It was too “orangish” overall. So out came the sandpaper and stains. I sanded off some of the body color, and used a couple of different colored stains to make it browner. Touched up some of the other areas making them a little redder.

Making any wood “white” without painting it is difficult. I have some white leather dye I’ve used. Most leather dyes are pretty easy to use and mix together. Then there is the white! For some reason the white dye is totally different – which I found out the hard way.
The first time I was using the dyes I would pour them in small plastic disposable cups to mix and use. So I did the same with the white dye. The fact that the white dye is in a glass bottle where the others are in plastic bottles didn’t set off any red flags. But the flags went off when the white dye was all over the paper bag and the cup had melted!

So I use either a glass or aluminum foil to hold the dye now. This project I put all the little teeth in the aluminum foil and used a q-tip to dab white dye on the pieces. I left them to soak overnight.

Once I’m satisfied with the colors, it’s time to get the finish out – I use a tung oil (that’s what it says on the can anyway). The dyes will bleed a little with the addition of the oil, so you have to be careful in handling the pieces. You don’t want the blue to rub off on the white teeth!

The wood is dry, and the dyes make them even drier, so they will really soak up the oil. Let them sit about 15 minutes, then wipe the excess off.

Let these pieces dry overnight. Tomorrow we start gluing!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Segmentation - adding color.

Now it’s time to add color!
I gather together my stains and leather dyes, q-tips, containers for mixing, and a couple of paper bags to work on. Dyes and Stains do exactly that – so wear old clothing when using them, and I suggest rubber gloves (do as I say, not as I do!! Lol)

After painting for years, it was difficult to get used to layering the dyes – With dyes, you put down your darkest color first, then sand, and layer a lighter color dye.

You can see the progression in the next few pictures – in the flame areas, I start with Red dye. Let it dry, and sand some. Layer of Orange dye is added. Again, let it dry, then sand. Last of all I add a layer of Yellow dye.

And with the dragon’s head, I started out with purple, then a layer of diluted blue.
Since I have only a few colors of dye, I tend to mix them to get the colors I need, so even using the same basic colors for a project later on, the colors won’t ever be the same. And I’ve found that the dyes can be diluted with rubbing alcohol, adding even more options to color with.
More tomorrow....

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Segmentation - continued....

Place the segments on the extra copy of your pattern to keep track of what piece is what. I also mark the bottom of the wood with a pencil – I’ve found if I don’t do this I will shape the wrong side of the sections!

I’ve started shaping the sections using my dremel and sanding attachment. Use proper safety equipment – ear muffs, safety glasses, and breathing mask. Yes, this is what I look like while working! Lol
After rough shaping, assemble the pieces and mark with pencil where additional wood needs to be removed. Decide if any piece needs to be shimmed up, or lowered.
Finished with the shaping – now it’s time to sand. I use a belt sander for the larger pieces, but end up sanding each section by hand.

Tomorrow we add color!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Work in Progress – wood segmentation

I found a design by Chrestensen Burghout Designs that works well with both segmentation and intarsia styles of woodworking. I’m starting with Segmentation, and will post pictures and explain my progress over the next few days.

I had to enlarge the original pattern and print out 2 copies – one to cut from and another to use to keep track of the pieces. I had a piece of pine in my stash of wood that was the right width. It was warped though, so I had to sand it flat.

After hundreds of passes on my sander, it is flat, and about ½” thick – just the right thickness for the project.

I glue the pattern copy onto the wood using a glue stick. Then cut along each line, separating each segment of wood.

More tomorrow.....

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

What is “Intarsia” ? Inlay?? Segmentation??

According to wiki, intarsia is a form of wood inlaying that is similar to marquetry. Which doesn’t mean much if you don’t know what inlay or marquetry is!

So, I’ll try and explain what I think these all are –
Wood Inlaying to me, is to insert 2 or more different species of woods together to create a pattern or picture. Inlay pieces are flat, with no raised portions of wood.
Here’s a wolf inlay I made into a trivet:

Marquetry is inlay done with veneer (very thin pieces of wood) where inlay can be done with thicker wood.

Intarsia takes the inlay theory into another dimension – 3-D if you wish! Each section of the pattern is cut from wood – choosing different species and using the natural grain and color to enhance the design. The sections are shaped, then sanded, then glued together to create the design. Some sections are raised or lowered to create a 3rd dimension to the article. Here’s a horse head that I made in intarsia:

Segmentation is done cutting the sections of the design from a single piece of wood, then shaping and sanding the pieces and adding height if needed. Rather than using the natural color and grain of the wood as in intarsia, in segmentation you add color using stains, dyes, and/or paints. A different horse head done with segmentation:

Coming up ~~ I’ll take one design and show some Work in Progress photos using both the intarsia and segmentation styles.