I got some good suggestions in my last post about what to do with this block that I glued up from mostly reclaimed red oak pallet wood:
One of the ideas I liked best was an end grain cutting board. I realized I had pics of each side of the block, so I made a block in SketchUp of the same dimensions, then slapped on textures from those pictures. It looked like this:
Now I could cut that up by drawing lines at the locations where I wanted the cuts, then using the push/pull tool to shorten them to the right size. I made 2” thick pieces, 6 out of the 13.75” block, accounting for kerf and making them a tad longer originally so I could plane down the resulting board to the full 2”. Obviously I can’t change the end grain textures in this mockup without actually cutting the block, but this did allow me to see the unique side grain patterns on 4 sides of each piece I ‘cut’ from the original. Here are the cut-out blocks made from duplicates of the original block:
And now I could make virtual boards to try out various orientations of the pieces:
Here are the bottoms:
I’m leaning toward the one with the dark bands along the long edges, framing the board in. It’s the one in the foreground here:
Another suggestion was to rip it along its length into 3 sections and make a long grain cutting board. It was easy to do that with the same block in SketchUp. Isn’t the future amazing? Here it is, 1” thick:
It’s neat to see the end grains – looped 3x here – looking so realistic:
And the bottom:
If only the texture were 3D as well, I could do virtual turnings! Actually, I want to try that one day by taking a highly figured piece of beautiful wood, like a mallee or walnut burl, then repeatedly planing away exactly the same amount of material – say 0.005”-0.01”, then scanning that face, and eventually building up a 3D texture made of cross sections, just as in the Visible Human Project from nearly a decade ago.
If you’ve never heard of the VHP, they took a prisoner on death row who’d donated his body to science, froze the body in a block of ice, then shaved away 1mm sections from head to toe, taking a few different kinds of images of each layer. In the end they had a full 3D view of the guy and could then cut into him from any angle and see anything from that view. Too, they used color and shape finding algorithms to automatically figure out where all the structures, like bones, muscles, and organs were, and could view or manipulate them by themselves. Again… the future is amazing.
-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator