Well! It’s about time I got my act together to greet you all, and wish each and everyone a very healthy and happy New Year. Late I know, but better late than never, eh?!
I know many of you have been very productive since my last posting in May … having enjoyed viewing and commenting as often as possible. Between cabin life, Xmas projects with the grandkids, and moving my 93 year old Dad just before Xmas into his semi-assisted lifestyle (where he is very content) ... the whirlwind around me has finally calmed down!
So now that I’ve explained my cluttered life (excusing myself from posting until now!) ... it’s time to show you this special project I made for our daughter as a Xmas gift. I’m thinking this must be the only Intarsia Wine Box in existence … not trying to brag here, I’ve just never seen one. Maybe somebody out there can prove me wrong!!
This project got started up at the lake in my Arthaven Workshop …
I’ll try to speed things up by not ‘talking’ so much! But … I do have to give thanks to Paul (aka Shipwright) for thinning a nice plank of his beautiful cedar until it was only 1/4” thick, because otherwise I would have ended up with a gigantic wine box!
What you won’t see is the basic plywood box that was prefabbed before heading off to the cabin so I could take it with me … but what I do have to explain is that for the front of the box (where the spigot would come through) I used some 1/8” pine I had kicking around. The idea being that the spigot hangs out only so far from the box, so the total thickness of wood surface could be no more than 3/8” max.
That being settled, above is the design placed over the pad of cedar panels that will eventually become the 4 sides of the wine box. And below … all the design cut out.
There’s a story behind the design that I hate to bore you with … but … my original thought was Forget-me-nots, thinking it a lovely sentiment between Mother giving and Daughter receiving. However while chatting with company one day shortly after I had created this wonderful design (and of course it was a deep dark secret) ... the topic of wine boxes came up, and our darling daughter blurted out to all that I was going to make her an Intarsia wine box (she knew this would come to pass, just not when). Then continuing expressively, this wine box was going to be covered with grapes and leaves!! Damn … back to the drawing board!! So much for sentiment, eh?!
So now all 4 panels are cut, assembled back-to-front/front-to-back/upside-down/right-side-up so the pattern has continuity (whatever!) ... believe me when I tell you that took more time than it looks!
Yep … times 4 … the shaping has begun. Here’s a look at the tools that helped me out! You’ll notice the pretty yellow fabric ‘net’ to the side of my belt sander. It’s there to catch any little part that goes astray! Actually that is the waterproof cover used to protect this unit when not in use.
Ah! 4 panels of leaves shaped ….... Grrrrrr!!!! and 4 panels of grapes to begin shaping. Talk about a Mother’s Love!!
One down … a gazillion to go!!!!
There! That wasn’t so bad, now that I can sit back and look at these photos after the fact … my fingertips have healed nicely!
It’s amazing how little I thought (beforehand) about how many times this design would be taken apart and pieced back together … repeatedly!! ... Mother’s Love is blind!!
And then the painting began! I’ll let that speak for itself in the following photos.
Except to explain those clear cedar pieces to each side of the panel, which will eventually become the exterior corners of the box, framing the Intarsia panels.
Mother’s Love … Mother’s Love … OMG TIMES FOUR!!
Now, while all those grapes were drying in stages, I was gluing the leaves together side-by-side because this is actually a free standing panel. But once the leaves are glued together … more glue has to be applied and rubbed into the back of the design … so it can be held up to admire without falling apart!
Mother’s Love is wearing thin!! Even thinking about gluing all those grapes side-by-side gave me a major headache … so I skipped that process and went onto the next. After securing those cute little grapes in place with masking tape, I proceeded to apply a liberal amount of glue to the back side, rubbing it well into the cut grapes. Then everything was flipped (wet glue down) onto a flat waxed paper surface, and pressed down to make sure they didn’t dry in all kinds of horrible positions! That worked well, thank goodness!
At last!! Time to press these babies onto the prefabbed wine box. My innovative presses work rather well!
Ah yes … we’re back to those clear slats of cedar viewed previously … now cut to size, glued to form the corners, filled and sanded in preparation for …..
You guessed it … painting!! Then more innovative pressing and voila!
One last part to finish off before this box is ready to pack up for our return home … the base for the box to sit upon ….....
Not only was this work under pressure, but so was I … needing to get this finished so I could close up my little Arthaven for its long winter’s nap!
Once home again, with all sorts of demands holding forth … I did finally manage to find time for the completion of this project. If you notice the date in one photo above, it was September. Work to create the lid for this Intarsia Wine Box began the middle part of October.
My original thought of creating something more grandiose, quickly evaporated when Dad suffered a mini stroke, and needed more care after hospitalization. Between his care and the grandkids turning my workshop into a war zone with their hand-made Xmas crafted gifts! ... the crunch was on to make a suitable lid and give the whole thing one more protective coat of lacquer so it could sit and cure enough for gift wrapping.
I have to admit that my mind struggled with “suitable”, and it took many hours just looking at that wine box trying to think beyond suitable to at least something stylish! Hopefully you’ll be able to follow the path taken by viewing these following photos … as well as a last minute change to make things right!
You caught that … right?!
The grape I thought would look so cool atop the lid, did absolutely nothing for me or the wine box!! I tossed and turned all night long, finally giving in way too early the next morning … before coffee even! … to rectify the problem. Sometimes it pays to get all stressed out … in this case, it did pay off!
Couldn’t do the gift wrapping without a ‘photo shoot’ first …...... and I hope you noticed the design’s continuity?!!
It’s a wrap!!
If you’ve managed to get to the end of this very long blog all about the birth of an Intarsia Wine Box that’s functional in serving out well aged red wine of the home-made variety … I applaud you all for being so attentive!! As always, I’ve enjoyed spending this time with all my LumberJock buddies … rewinding, and sharing this tale of this Mother’s Love!
Until next time, keep happy making your own sawdust!!
-- Elaine in Duncan