|Project by Don||posted 01-10-2007 06:55 AM||2234 views||0 times favorited||13 comments|
This was a project that I found myself starting with absolutely no confidence. Relatively new to woodworking, I had enough trouble getting everything square, let alone dealing with the carving issue. Now I was being asked to make a Rocking Horse. So I began searching the web and found a number of examples that were very uninspiring, and required some imagination to see a horse. Of course, given my untested skills in carving, I was fully prepared for my rocking horse to look like a rocking kangaroo.
I finally selected the Little Red Rocker by Anthony Dew.
The wood I chose was jelutong (Dyera costulata). From the rain forests of south east Asia, It grows to approximately 200 ft with diameters of 5 to 6 ft and boles clear and straight for 90 ft. It grows in Malaysia, Borneo and Sumatra. Its natural distribution is scattered locales in low-elevation tropical evergreen forest.
Jelutong is used for its wood. Although technically a hardwood it has many properties similar to balsa wood. These properties such as the low density, straight grain and fine texture mean it is easy to work with and popular with model makers.
The stand is of Australian Mountain Ash, a hardwood.
The horse is primarily natural in finish with some dark stain to antique the look of the wood. I sealed the wood with a sanding sealer, then applied the dark stain and immediately wiped it off and re-sanded to return to the natural honey colour of the wood except where the stain penetrated below the grain surface.
I followed this up with three coats of dewaxed shellac, with a light fine wet/dry emery paper between each coat. The final shellac coat had a hardening agent to give a harder surface than is normally available using shellac. Finally, I cut polished the hardened shellac with a waxed based polish available here in Australia.
The stand is finished with shellac as above with no stain. This project has given me confidence to do more woodworking involving carving. I plan to make a larger Rocking Horse in a few year, as this one is suitable for children up to 5 years old. Although my grandson is still an infant, I can see him quickly growing out of this one.
-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://www.dpb-photos.com/