|Project by jfk4032||posted 08-19-2011 09:08 PM||3051 views||9 times favorited||9 comments|
I loved the sea creature puzzle that was in the recent Scollsawer magazine. I set out to learn more about different wood species being a newbie so I wanted to use a different wood for each piece. I thought this would help me get a much better handle on color and grain options as I want to get into intarsia. There were quite a few vague looking animals in the original design so I decided to make 9 new creatures that had more personal meaning and/or connections to me and my family. I also modified some existing ones to either fit them better into my new pieces or enhance them (give the shark some teeth, etc…) I used BB for the base hexagon piece with black walnut veener on top. I salvaged some white oak from some skids at work that I used for a rope border I rabbited the rope pieces so that they cover and go around the veneered base piece.
The woods I used for the pieces are (top to bottom):
Whale: Spalted hardwood (Not sure what species that is)
Sand Dollar: Holly
Ray: African Blackwood
HORSESHOE CRAB: WENGE
SHRIMP: FLAMING BOXWOOD ELDER
Shark: Pine with natural grey stains
Starfish: Black Locust
Jellyfish: Spalted Oak
Squid: Holly with natural blue/grey stains
Crab: Cherry with pinkish hue
DOLPHIN: BLUE PINE
Hermit Crab: Poplar with green and black streaks
HAMMERHEAD SHARK: BLACK WALNUT
SEA HORSE: CHERRY WITH TAN AND BROWN STAINS
Critters that I designed in ALL CAPS
I applied finishing to the critters with an initial coat of pre-cat water based satin urethane to try to keep the colors of the natural wood as close as possible through the finishing process. I then wiped on a satin gel topcoat several times using a corrugated box piece and toothpicks as a drying rack.
I cut the rope sections into the individual knots of rope and shaped those 30 pieces and then re-glued those shaped and rabbited pieces back together again to form the rope frame. I laid down some black walnut veneer onto the plywood base and finished that with several coats of wipe on poly gel. I cut and fitted the veneered plywood base into the rope frame and then did the same with a piece of plexiglass. I mounted a puzzle legend onto the underneath side of the hexagon baseboard sandwiched between the plexiglass and the plywood base. Otherwise, this would be very difficult for a person who hasn’t seen the puzzle before to put it back together. I reflected the image so that when looking at it from the underneath perspective the pieces would be in the correct orientation to the topside of the puzzle. I also labeled each critter and put the type of wood used on it.
I also drilled and countersunk 6 holes to attach the plexiglass with some brass screws that I ground down so as not stick out above the top surface of the veneer.
I finished this project up by applying some beige colored velvet onto the underneath side of the rope border which will be in contact with a glass table and I wanted to prevent some scratches…especially with everyone playing with the pieces over time.
Looking forward to working on my next project.
-- ---Joel; Central MD...rookie empter nester and getting back into woodworking!