First I must apologize for my previous blog. There are times when I should not write! at that was one of them!
I left of saying that the silver and gold I ordered had arrived. I neglected to get any pictures of the gold wire before I put it in but it was 5/16in long 21gauge solid gold wire. I inlaid it into the corner of the Red Coral of the Sea Monsters Eye. I wanted the eye to have a sparkle from standing height. I chose gold because it will not tarnish and will always keep that sparkle!
It will look even better when it is inlaid in the floor, sanded down and finished!
Now, the silver I used was about 1/32 thick, by 5/16 tall by 8in long. Again I used Jewelers pliers to manipulate it as I needed.
With the new order in I was able to get back to placing it in the spine!
I messed up again and did not get a picture of the finished piece before I moved on to the tail. I had a series of disabling headaches as well as an increase in vision loss that really threw me off. It took me a while to find my groove. But once I started on the tail things started coming together!
In order to get the pattern of the snakewood to follow the curve of the body I had to divide the body into sections then line them up one the spine.
With the tail glued together I started on the spine.
I had to take a break from the spine when the second order of Black Mother of Pearl arrived so that I could organize it and glue it together. I needed to stack it 5 sheets high in order to reach the proper thickness. I matched up all the sheets to similar size. If I was only working single sheet thickness inlay I would worry only about the pattern on each sheet! I didn’t have that luxury here! I will be stuck with what I get when the final surface is reached once the floor is finally sanded! (it should still be beautiful…otherwise I wouldn’t do it:)...it just won’t be optimal!:) )
This time I used 5 minute epoxy….Which was was a huge mistake!!!! Cutting corners is never a good idea. The 60minute epoxy is much stronger… yes it takes 24hours to cure fully, but it is worth it. When I was cutting out the inlays, the 5minute epoxy was failing due to the heat generated from the friction. Oooo, I was not happy at all…...) I had to repair each failure later!
Back to the tail…
I finished the final fin on the spine! The tail is complete except for the Mother of Pearl Belly!
Before I finished the tail, I finished this piece of the body that was missing Mother Of Pearl as well! This is actually its backside!
Because of my inexperience or just stupidity:) the curve of the tail was about a 1/4 of an inch larger than the plans. I did not fix it like I should have! I failed to see the problems it would create in placing the inner pieces. I got four cut out and then realized I needed too stop and re-assess things.
So the Plan was to fit the four that I had already cut out, glue them in. Then trace everything I already had. Then I would go back and draw in new sections of belly that matched the new curve! So thats what I did! :)
The final step before I could inlay it in the floor was to glue each piece to 1/2in 9ply Baltic Birch Plywood. I selected Polyurethane glue because of its foaming attributes. It will expand and fill the small irregularities where the pieces didn’t sit level with on another, and give the support needed to the bear the weight to be walked on.
More to follow….
-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate