Wedding portrait, 2nd time is the charm

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Project by jfk4032 posted 10-03-2011 02:11 PM 1633 views 5 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After cutting some smaller wine glass holders with my scroll saw, I wanted a more challenging piece to work on. I wanted to cut my wedding photo. I first scanned the picture, since this was taken way before digital cameras! Then took it into Illustrator and with Live Trace, created the base black and white vector image. I then took it into Photoshop and added and deleted areas so it could be cut and thickened up fragile looking areas. I then added some bridges (in yellow) to fragile areas that I thought could break otherwise.

The first blank was 1/2” solid birch and is the fourth picture. I did have some minor issues with removing the blue tape that took some fibers and/or small tears from the surface of the birch. Once I saw this I dabbed some mineral spirits on the remainder of the tape and it seemed to work better. I needed to sand areas which the some of surface tore off with the tape, fortunately in the solid border areas and not any of the delicate areas.

I then followed the advice of others (not on this board) by dipping the birch portrait into lemon oil and it in my opinion ruined it. The portrait surface and in particular the edges turned very dark and splotchy looking and several months later it is still not totally dry. I was determined to do better and attempt this piece again, even though this took a long time to drill and cut the first time around.

So, this time around I used 1/2” solid maple. This final maple piece is in the first and last pictures. The cutting was slightly better this time around, but I was still pleased with the previous cutting. I finished it this time with Deft satin spray in combination with 400 grit sanding with some soft flexible disks/pads in about 3-4 coats and sandings. The portrait surface is mirror smooth and there was little change in the maple wood color.

I mounted the maple portrait to a walnut veneered piece of BB with a combination of wood glue and CA glue. I milled some solid walnut on my router table for the frame pieces to match the contrasting walnut background. I also rabbited the border of the maple portrait so the piece itself when framed wouldn’t be so thick. I finished the walnut veneer and solid frame pieces with tung oil and then covered that with several coats of Deft again. The portrait wasn’t totally square and isn’t a perfect fit into the frame, but at this point, that is very minor in my eyes and I’m ready to move on to other projects.

I’m glad this one is finally done after cutting it twice. I guess I’ll go to Michael’s and pickup some framing hardware so I can hang this portrait.

-- ---Joel; Central MD...rookie empter nester and getting back into woodworking!

3 comments so far

View HorizontalMike's profile


7749 posts in 2876 days

#1 posted 10-03-2011 03:58 PM

Wow! To say well done is such an understatement. Very, very cool…

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Woodenwizard's profile


1331 posts in 3005 days

#2 posted 10-04-2011 03:52 AM

From one scroller to another, OUTSTANDING!

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View KnotCurser's profile


2025 posts in 3031 days

#3 posted 10-04-2011 02:00 PM

This look fantastic!

I don’t know what happened with the lemon oil treatment – I do all my work like that and I have never had the issues you describe. Sorry to hear it.

I admire your tenacity to finish the job the right way – even if it took two tries!

Great job!


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

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