|Project by lew||posted 07-29-2014 02:59 AM||815 views||0 times favorited||14 comments|
Just completed my half of a project!
Our town has the dubious honor as being the only town north of the Mason-Dixon line to be burned by the Confederate Army during the Civil War (at the time of the Battle of Gettysburg). During the burning, one of the buildings not torched was the jail. The jail was built in 1818 and part of the architecture was a large cupola.
This year the cupola was removed and rebuilt.This picture show the copper dome being reinstalled on the top of the rebuilt cupola.
As a fund raiser, it was decided to make 100 ink pens from one of the original beams used in the construction of the cupola. They also needed a couple of presentation boxes for some of the “big donors”.
Seemed like a good idea at the time. The wood is pine. According to the authority at the Pennsylvania State University Forestry Department, the trees started growing in the early 1700’s. When we cut the wood, the knots still contained sap and the shop smelled like Christmas. However, the other areas of the beam were brittle and extremely soft.
Well, I’ve turned and finished about 50 pens (two shown in the pictures above). The made two presentation boxes from the same beam.
The box material is 1/4” thick. The boxes are about 1 3/4” high and roughly 7” long. The construction is hand cut dovetails. The bottoms set in a 1/8” x 1/8” dado and are tapered to fit the slot (similar to the top on the narrow box). The lidded box has “hinges and lift handle” made from the original cut nails removed from the trim pieces on the cupola. The other pencil style box has no metal hardware in the construction.
I lined the boxes with peel and stick felt. I thought about flocking but had never tried it and really didn’t have a lot of time for experimentation. The pen nests are made from the same pine and are fastened to the bottom with tiny wooden pegs. I did inset a rare earth magnet in each box to help keep the pens from moving around too much. It worked but not as well as I had hoped.
Inlayed into each top is a carpenter’s mark from the same beam. Because the wood was so brittle and uneven, I saturated the area with thin CA prior to cutting the inlays. The surface of the wood was cracked, rough and covered with black soot. The CA sealed it nicely.
The finish was rattle can lacquer sealer and several applications of rattle can lacquer.
Thanks for looking!
-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.