|Project by JWF||posted 10-17-2012 06:34 AM||1256 views||4 times favorited||5 comments|
My Dad is 82 and has managed to collect most everything he could ever want over the course of his life. This makes gift giving a little tricky. For his birthday I came up with this idea. I bought a $10 BBQ tool set (spatula, fork, and tongs) at Home Depot and made new handles from curly maple. The kerf from my bandsaw blade was a great fit for the “tangs”on the metal pieces. Only minor persuasion of the hammer type was necessary to get the pieces fit together. The connections are secured using brass Loveless bolts I got from NorthCoast Knives (www.northcoastknives.com; quick shipping and good pricing). The bolts were pretty straightforward to install and they came out OK. The slight curve on the outside of the tong handles was an afterthought to accommodate the thickness of the material. I didn’t want to reduce the material thickness for fear of weakening the handles too much but they were way too bulky to fit comfortably in your hand. Cutting away the curve made them fit my hand much better without removing any material where the wood and metal are joined.
Finishing was a lot of fun. This was my first time working with curly maple and I read everything I could find about popping the grain. I got some dye stain and tried it but the color wasn’t quite what I wanted and I didn’t feel like spending the money on multiple dyes to start blending colors. Tried a few more things from the finishing cabinet but wasn’t happy with any of them. Finally I wound up using tea (yes, the stuff you drink). Three applications of strongly brewed Lipton gave me exactly the color I was looking for. The complete finishing schedule goes; tea, sand the raised grain, tea, tea, BLO, BLO, SealCoat, General Finishes High Performance Semi Gloss (3 coats).
Thanks for looking.