I cant believe I did it. I spent almost every spare moment I had in the last week making 25 pens for a corporate client that was in a bind and needed something fast. Of course while I was putting all the finishing touches on everything earlier today.. something had to go wrong. I had an engraving company make some small plates for me so I could attach them to the wooden pen cases. 25 pens, 25 cases…. 16 plates. Missing 9. I picked them up two days ago, and put them in a small bag that I carry around. Got home and put the bag in my shop so I knew where they would be. Opened the bag today and got to work. I looked every where of the missing 9. No luck. Of course they are not open today, and they are likely closed tomorrow as well due to Remembrance Day. Delivery day also happens to be tomorrow as well. I have an email sent to them to call me ASAP, and I have already contacted my client and explained the situation. With any luck, everything will work out in the end, as it usually does.
I am really up tight about the fit and finish of the pens that I make, and I refuse to deliver any product to a customer that does not meet my standards. I have two mandrels, and 4 sets of bushings, so I was able to turn 4 pens at a time. The longest part is applying the finish. I use CA for my finish in wood pens, and I like to make sure the CA is fully cured before applying another coat. Most of the time, I wait 20-30 min in between coats. I really don’t like to rush things, so I have no issues with taking my time in this area. I know it can be done much, much fast… but that’s just not the way I do it.
Anyways… I have a point Im trying to make…. I have free time in between coats. So during that last week I have been applying shellac to the lid of the box that I making. After a few coats I sand it down a bit and put on a few more. The shellac I am using is pretty thin so I am not worried about wasting it. I went until I had filled all the small cavity’s in a grain. Once all the grain was filled, I left it at that stage. It is not done, but enough that I can move on and come back to it after and really make it shine.
I cut the lid off stepped back. I really felt like something was missing. I set up my table saw and cut a cove in the box and used a block plane to do some shaping at the bottom. After sanding it flush and smooth I applied some tried and true. I will do a few more coats of this as well.
Now to do the inside. This is where I need some help and the blog title comes into play. I have never had much success selling jewellery boxes, and have never really used one. My wife does not wear any, so she’s not much help. So I am throwing this out there… if you make and sell jewellery boxes, what do people look for and expect the layout of the dividers to be, what sells?
I am planning to do the work for the inside, and I have another show in 2 weeks. I want to make the inside to be able to be removed, so I can keep the box and make it and make it into something else if it does not sell at the show.
I cannot wait for these last show to be over, and for the start of the new year. I have a new mission for 2014. No shows. Only larger commissions if any at all. And my list of projects to complete in 2014:
Saw bench. I have known that I need one for a while, but Tom Fidgen’s new book has really kicked this to the top spot.
Panel press. I plan to do more marquetry in the future and I cannot continue doing much without a press.
1. Chippendale low boy. I even already have the wood to make two of them. 40bf of 4/4 curly cherry from Pennsylvania, and enough 16/4 cherry to make 8 legs. Ball and claw here I come! This will also be a pure hand tool project.
2. Baltimore card table. The reason for this is an excuse to do some serious inlay and marquetry. However.. depending on how the ball and claws turn out in project #1 I might decide to do make a Chippendale card table instead. Little to no power tools in this one.
3. Marquetry chevy. This should actually be project #1, but I already have the wood for #1 and I am trying to keep my costs at nil for the time being.
Big sigh… might just take the rest of the night and play with my new iso drawing pad.