“There was a little girl who had a little curl..
Right in the middle of her forehead…”
or.. for the macho guys out there
“wooo wooo wooo woo” (that’s a Three Stooges sound.. Curly, get it?
Now that my new safety glasses have arrived, it is time to get down to work and take the idea I had in my head and create it with wood. The deadline for the Awards entries is just around the corner and I don’t like working to deadlines. Typically, I like to complete the project at the first of a time-line rather than at the end. But, alas, the Universe had different plans and timing brought me to today.
Although I had a general idea of what I wanted and what I needed to do to achieve it, the finer details were left to the “make it as you go” strategy. As I prepared the first step of the process, I changed my mind, oh, half a dozen times, as to how I should start—keeping in mind the size of wood I had and the different procedures that I wanted to include in the project.
I finally just took the plunge—if it didn’t work then I’d be painting up some piece of walnut as my Yin Yang entry :)
I had a long sheet of walnut veneer that was 9” wide. I also had a sheet of maple that was 12” wide. First I considered the easy way out and just make it 9” but I knew that in the following steps, this reduced size would be causing me grief. So I took the plunge and started cutting the walnut to put together 12” pieces.
I wanted 3 layers of the walnut to create a sturdy base that wasn’t very thick (thus the veneer rather than a piece of wood). I also needed the centre of the walnut pristine so I added the extra inches onto the sides of the top piece.
Now, other than the skateboards that I made for my son (from a kit), I haven’t worked with veneer so again I just jumped in and did what I thought was right.
I taped the bottom and top layers and then just glued the centre pieces in place and hoped for the best.
I then placed them in-between a couple of boards and placed some heavy weight on top of it. Oh and I crossed my fingers.
Next, I had to work with my maple. Again, I knew what I wanted to achieve but didn’t know how to do it so I just jumped in and started working.
I drilled a hole in the centre of the piece and, using the scrollsaw, cut a big “X” in the centre of the piece. So far so good. (The new glasses worked really well, by the way).
Next was the process I really wanted to try—this really is what the entire project was about! I got the idea from the video The Wood Whisperer posted showing a woodworking building a guitar. When I got the idea for my Awards project I remembered the video and thought, “Hmmm .. would it work?”
I should say that, while the walnut veneer was really thin, the maple was not. It would have worked much better with thin stuff but this was successful so I shouldn’t complain.
I took the wood into the bathroom and got ready to play.. I mean create. Here’s my set-up. Notice the ironing board? See? I DO use it! Ha. My family would get that joke. And the curling iron – well it hadn’t been used for decades either. I’m so glad I’m a packrat! They both came in handy today.
I sprayed the wood with hot water.
Then I took a curling iron and started bending the wood.
Tada—2 sides down; 2 to go
The two sides (that I started with thank goodness) were against the grain or with it, depending on how you want to look at it, and curled really well. The other two sides—no way. (I tried it on the thin walnut first and it worked well in both directions).
So.. plan B. hmmm now what.
Well, the only way it would work is to cut diagonal pieces so that I was working with the grain on all four pieces.
So I cut out four diamonds (not too well, I might add … “should have” been really careful on the corners to get the 45 degree angles. But I didn’t.. I knew it.. and I was prepared to work with it.
This was much easier to work with than the full square
In the end I had 4 curly triangles.
... stay tuned for next step.
-- ~ Debbie, Canada (http://www.execulink.com/~yohan)