|Project by Lenny||posted 04-25-2015 11:13 PM||1140 views||0 times favorited||14 comments|
This project is, at once, nothing much and everything. The nothing much refers to the woodworking involved and the everything is because it is for my first grandchild, Riley.
I got the idea for this “growth chart” from a fellow in the RI Woodworker’s Guild. He made several for grandkids and when he posted one along with an explanation of how he made it, I printed his tale and figured I might one day make some. I liked the idea of the block letter on top with the stippled background so I incorporated those features in mine. He made his only four feet in length and said the intent was to place it on a wall 18” above floor level. My thinking was, the board, if moved, would not give a true indication of the child’s height. Why not make it six feet (or better) in length and place it at floor level?
The board is Spanish cedar. It is 3/4 inches thick, 4 inches wide and 6 feet, four inches tall (The block is a 4 inch square.) I wanted separation from the block to the rest of the board so I routed a chamfer under it. I added a chamfer to the front corners as well.
For the block letter, I printed a block letter “R” at the required size. Using transfer or carbon paper, I drew the letter and block shape onto the wood. I used sharp chisels and a mallet to carve out the letter. In larger waste areas I used a Bosch Colt router or a Dremel tool to speed up the process. The stippling is accomplished using a broad tipped nail set. The finish is two coats of aerosol spray shellac followed by two coats of polyurethane.
Typically, Mom and Dad mark the child’s height and then use a measuring tape to record the height. I decided to add a self-adhering measuring tape right to the board. The tape measures out at just under ½” wide so I used the appropriate undersized plywood bit to run a groove the length of the board, and I set the tape in the groove so it is flush with the surface.
My grandson had his first birthday party today. He is not yet standing on his own without support. Once he is, perhaps I will come back and add a photo of his first measurement.
Update: Someone captured a photo at the party so I added it.
-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI