|Project by CBoone||posted 04-02-2015 02:26 PM||1128 views||2 times favorited||5 comments|
I recently received a Euro mount for a deer that I shot this past winter around Austin, TX. I could have paid another $100 or so and had it mounted to a plaque at the taxidermist, but as a new woodworker I saw an opportunity for a new project. I have been woodworking for just over a year and amassed a decent arsenal of tools, and this was a great chance to put them to work. Almost all of my previous projects have been done with cheap, construction grade lumber from my local hardware store, and this was the first time I had attempted anything with “nice” wood. I picked up some 3/4” thick walnut from Rockler, along with a freud Top and Bottom flush trim router bit. I milled the walnut board down to 3 pieces approximately 22” long by 6” wide to give myself plenty of room to work with. I jointed the boards on my router table and glued the panel up. My wife was kind enough to print out the state of Texas on several sheets of paper, and we traced it onto some particle board that I had in the garage. With the help of the buddy, we cut out the particle board template with a jigsaw (I don’t have any kind of dust extraction hook up on my jig saw, so an extra set of hands was pretty clutch). Given that I am new to this, and this was my first attempt at template routing, I had also glued up a panel using some scrap pine so that we would have a “practice piece”, which proved to be a wise move. We used double sided tape (actually just duct tape rolled over) and secured the template to our practice piece first. After perfecting our technique and learning from a couple of minor mishaps, we moved on to the walnut panel. We rough cut the panel with the jig saw, then secured the template again with tape. Using the freud Top and Bottom flush trim router bit, and my router table, we removed the excess wood left from the rough cut by making multiple, light passes, and eventually came out with a pretty “Texas looking” plaque. I then cut a 3/4” hole roughly in the Dallas area of the plaque where I would eventually place a 3/4” dowel for the deer skull to hang on. I started sanding with my ROS with 80 grit and went all the way to 400 grit, using every grit in between. I finished with a generous coat of Danish Oil and finally a couple coats of satin poly. All in all, pretty simple project, and something the seasoned woodworker could do in their sleep, but considering that just a little more than a year ago when I attempted my first project ( a console table for my wife, more out of necessity than interest in woodworking…it was either figure out how to build stuff, or have her spend a small fortune at pottery barn to furnish our new house) I had to do a Google Image search for “Miter Saw” so that I could identify one at Lowe’s, I am pretty pleased with how this turned out.
-- Casey, Houston, TX