Gavel Block for a Mason

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Project by DaveTPilot posted 10-04-2014 08:21 PM 1290 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi Guys,

I was asked by my mother-in-law to make a gavel block for my father-in-law. He is becoming Master of the Lodge and was already given a gavel for another honor.

She said to just grab a block of scrap wood and throw something together real quick. Nothing fancy, just something with a side to which she could possibly add a name plate.

She knows me better than that after 12 years of marriage to her daughter. I hope she and he like it.

Wood: Jatoba (A small square block I bought years ago from the “scrap bin” at Woodcraft. I knew I’d use it one day.)

Process: I used a circle cutter on my drill press to mark the outside diameter and to give me a line to work up to with my plunge router. I just free-handed it. That always makes me nervous but since I was doing the recess first, a screw up would be easy to start over.

After cutting the circular recess, I squared the block making the circle dead center. Then I cut the legs by making several passes over the table saw with my dado stack installed. Leaving the fence in the same spot and starting with a square block, the legs are all the same size. I beveled the edges with the router table. I then cut the grooves at the top of the legs to give them some definition using a v-groove bit on the router table.

I installed the emblem with some epoxy and filled the recess with Glaze Coat so the emblem sits below the surface. I finished the rest of the block with Glaze Coat as well.

Problems: Glaze Coat can be a real pain in the A$$ to work with. Even after 2 pours, there were some major blemishes. The stuff seems to just arbitrarily decide it will not flow into a given area and leave a crater. I missed it before it dried. I don’t know how for the life of me as I studied it very closely under all kinds of lighting including natural light. I did my entire counter top at my old house an didn’t have this much trouble.

The Cure: I wet sanded the top and any drips with 180 grit then followed with 600 grit. I then tried coating it with a water based poly but it came out awful. Did not level and left streak marks from the brush. I then remembered that you are not supposed to use a brush with water based poly. D’oh! I just read that a few weeks ago too!

Back to sanding. this time only with 600 wet paper. I was out of time and left with a relatively smooth but very dull surface. Out of desperation, I grabbed my can of Clear Gloss Spray Lacquer. I had to spray outside but it was humid as all heck in SWFLA. When I sprayed it, it looked awesome for 10 seconds then clouded badly. I quickly brought it into the 76 degree A/C cooled house. It dried perfectly clear in about 5 minutes or less.

I hit it with a second coat and the same thing happened but the results were the same also. Very happy. Crisis averted. :)

-- How valuable is time to a person who spends his disparaging the beliefs of others? --David Berthelette

2 comments so far

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10321 posts in 4253 days

#1 posted 10-05-2014 04:10 AM

Very COOL!

They will LOVE it!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Roger's profile


20952 posts in 3005 days

#2 posted 10-05-2014 01:37 PM

Nicely done.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

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