|Project by Rxmpo||posted 02-12-2012 03:07 AM||2598 views||9 times favorited||20 comments|
Here are two hope chests I was commissioned to make for my friends to give to their two young children, JP(3) and Maddie (infant). I was given approximate dimensions, a request that the wood would be dark and that it had cedar inside. That was it. (Love these types of commissions because I am free to create.)
The cases and breadboards are made out of Honduran Mahogany and the tops are made from figured Philippine Mahogany. The wood was not cheap to say the least and this being my first time working with Mahogany it took me a long time to build. I do not like to build using plans so I had to triple check my design and the 185 design changes I made during this build before cutting the wood. After working with Mahogany, I must say I feel like I am ruined for life because it was such a dream to machine and it is so beautiful.
Each project I make it a point to try something I have never done before to keep pushing my skill level, and this project was filled with new techniques for me. The through dovetails were made using a Leigh jig and although I haven’t graduated to hand cut ones yet, getting this many dovetails to fit without any real issues would have taken years for me to do. Worth the cheat for me. I was also asked to personalize the cases with the children’s initials. Talk about scary. I must have watched the FWW letter carving video a 100 times before starting this task. I learned a ton from this one video and surprisingly, there isn’t much else that I found in video format on the web as instructional.
The other new techniques for me that I used were staining with a dye stain and top coating with Minwax wipe on lacquer. The dye (thanks to the wood whisperer for the awesome video which helped me overcome my fears of using this stuff) was a 7:5:2 combination of General Finishes NGR Orange,medium brown,yellow. Measured out with a syringe for each so batch of stain would be exact. I tried other oil based stains on test pieces before attempting the dye stain and they were awful. The dye was fantastic to work with and I may never go back to oil stains again. The lacquer was a last minute decision because I was trying to make delivery of the pieces and that took came out far better that I had thought. My experience had been with poly, but after this I may not be going back to that either. Awesome build and it was hard to see them go, but I am proud of the work and knowing how these will be in their family for what I hope to be a very long time, nothing can be more rewarding than that.
Thanks for looking.