|Project by jfk4032||posted 11-30-2015 11:53 AM||1320 views||2 times favorited||14 comments|
This Maryland Terrapin intarsia piece is for my youngest son who is graduating University of Maryland, also my alma mater, next month. There are 91 pieces using 9 wood species; wenge, yellowheart, bloodwood, aspen, holly, ebony, ziricote, pink ivory and some amazing maple burl from Greg and Jacki over at Oregon Burls.
As I’ve done on previous pieces, I traced the official university logo in Adobe Illustrator and then made some slight modifications to enhance the piece and make it easier to cut and assemble. This is the first time I’ve used overlays of several sections to create extra lift and depth between groups of pieces beyond what shims can do. I also carved in some detail into the turtle back shell and belly side of the shell with a bench chisel and some triangular files. I think a decent set of carving chisels is next on the list of must haves.
The maple burl slab must have been freshly cut as it was quite wet. It took about 2 weeks to do a series of 1 minute microwave blasts in a large plastic bag to reduce the moisture content to a workable level. Almost all of the pieces were cut with double bevel cutting for nice tight fits. Some of the combined heights were over 1.5” on some very hard woods, so the cutting was very slow on some of these pieces. I used some chipboard cutout pieces as thin shims on the Maryland “M” to create a thin and consistent upward staircase effect and more traditional wooden shims elsewhere throughout the piece to create pleasing lifts.
With each project I’m getting more comfortable shaping and carving. On the head and right hand I used a scrap 2×4 piece to practice before using the live maple burl piece and had a good idea of what I liked and didn’t like from those samples to actually execute. I picked up some new carving bits and cutters for my rotary cutter at the Fox Chapel woodworking show and open house earlier this year and put them to good use on this piece.
I used a variety of finishes and finishing techniques on this Terp. To bring the wonderful maple burl figure to life I first rubbed on a thin layer of pure tung oil. To keep the aspen as white as possible I used Deft spraying satin lacquer with a 0000 steel wool to soften the look and even out the surface. I also used this on all bloodwood pieces as I didn’t want some of the other finishes adding more yellow to the bloodwood potentially making it more orange. For the eyeball and tongue pieces I used a high gloss brush on poly to make those pieces look shiny and wet. For the ebony mouth area I used Deft spraying gloss lacquer and then buffed it out. For the rest of the pieces including all of the burl, I used wipe on satin poly and then rubbed 0000 steel wool to the surface to make it look more satin after about 4 coats.
A full work in process album is posted here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/78271350@N00/albums/72157660953027439
Let’s Go TERPS!
-- ---Joel; Central MD...rookie empter nester and getting back into woodworking!