|Project by Spoontaneous||posted 05-18-2011 03:14 PM||2571 views||10 times favorited||25 comments|
It was supposed to be a quick and easy project, but as with most of my seemingly ‘great’ ideas… I seem to overlook potential complications.
The idea was to buy several boxes of toothpicks, tape them up with duct tape, cut off the top and pour in pigmented casting acrylic. Once that stuff hardened all I would have to do is trim off the cardboard on the bandsaw and slice through the ‘brick’ to get the pattern I wanted. Piece of cake…. well, not until AFTER I taped up the 24 boxes and cut one open, did I discover that they don’t pack them tightly enough at the factory. Bummer!
So, I made a frame and began laying the toothpicks one by one by one by one by… Which had it’s value because what I discovered was that about 20 % of the picks were warped, splintered and otherwise unusable for this project. So I would roll each one across the glass table top and if it hesitated, or took a wrong turn, I scrapped it.
After laying out the toothpicks I poured in the casting resin as planned. Once hardened, I broke off the frame and tried squaring it up on the bandsaw. Then it was just a matter of slicing lengthwise and cutting into ‘tiles’. I super glued the tiles down on a piece of paper, framed it with wood (allowing space for a border) and poured in more casting resin. Once the thing hardened (a couple of hours out in the sun) I took a grinder with a masonry wheel to do the major flattening and then finished it off with a DA sander.
I haven’t put a finish on it… just sanded to 1500 and with all the acrylic built in it shines already. The darker tiles are from where the toothpick blocks were cut closer to the ends. If’n I had thought of it, I would have put those four tiles on the corners. I noticed a brown spot in the center so I need to go back and resand, I guess. It has a slight bow to it (arching up in the middle) so maybe as I re-sand, and it heats up again, I can clamp it flat.
I’m pretty sure this is a ‘one-of-a-kind’ because from now on I’m gonna leave the cutting boards to you guys. I quit!
Keep your criticisms to yourselves, I’ve got enough of my own. ha!
-- I just got done cutting three boards and all four of them were too short. (true story)