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Picnic Challenge

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Project by Brian Havens posted 519 days ago 1022 views 4 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Every summer, the local woodworking club that I belong to, has a “picnic challenge”. This year, each participant was to make something out of three pieces of wood provided by the club president. Each set of wood was as close to identical as possible. The three pieces of wood were: a wedge of Curly Maple, about 8” x 10” on the outside of the wedge; a 4” x 4”, 3/4” thick piece of Jatoba (Brazilian Cherry); and a piece of Wenge’ about the size of a pen blank. The rules were that we had to use at least some of each wood, and that no other woods could be used.

My original plan was to make the bowl section out of the Maple, leaving some of the natural ripple, caused by the curly figure, on the outside of the log on the rim; use the Jatoba for the rim, and the Wenge’ for the finial. However, as I hollowed out the bowl, it was eventually clear that the natural rim idea was not going to pan out. To make thing worse, the opening at the rim was now too large for the piece of Jatoba that I wanted to use as rim

To solve the lid problem, I sliced up the Wenge’ to make segments, to form a segmented ring to make the rim smaller. At this point, I could use the Jatoba again to make the rim, but this left me with no Wenge’ for the finial. I did have some leftover Maple, but I thought that a Maple finial would not look nice.

I checked the rules, and found that coloring the wood was legal, so I decided to use the Maple for the finial and ebonize it. For an added touch, I decided to make a multi-axis final, which ended up kind of resembling the stem on an apple.

So, at this point, just when I am starting to feel that I am in the clear, just needing to get a couple of coats of lacquer on this piece, I completely botch the lacquer on the inside of the bowl. After trying to re-sand the inside, it was clear that I was not going to be able to easily remove my botchery entirely. Once again, ebonizing came to my rescue. I could not fix it, so I hid it.

Picnic Challenge? A challenge it was, but a picnic it was not.

-- Brian Havens, Woodworker http://brianhavens.com





12 comments so far

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

556 posts in 2765 days


#1 posted 519 days ago

I love it, Brian. Talk about ingenuity! Looks like it was made without any restrictions at all. So, big question. . . did you win the challenge? I’m guessing you did.

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!" www.woodworks-by-donna.com

View amagineer's profile

amagineer

1383 posts in 1096 days


#2 posted 519 days ago

Brian; It looks like a winner to me. The finial dyed black looks like a big drip frozen in mid air, so the inside dyed black seems appropriate. The colors blend well together. Good luck.
Don

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

View Rex B's profile

Rex B

304 posts in 749 days


#3 posted 519 days ago

Beautiful project and interesting writeup!

-- Rex

View Brian Havens's profile

Brian Havens

195 posts in 1604 days


#4 posted 519 days ago

No, it did not win, but just to give a sense of the kind of talent we have at the local club, there were six entries, and on the first pass of judging all the pieces received identical scores. No kidding. The president had to make the final six-way tie breaker. (Would hate to have been him.) Perhaps the real prize is belonging to a club with that much talent.

-- Brian Havens, Woodworker http://brianhavens.com

View Brian Havens's profile

Brian Havens

195 posts in 1604 days


#5 posted 519 days ago

You are right, Don, it does look like a frozen drip. I will have to remember that so that I can use the effect intentionally next time.

-- Brian Havens, Woodworker http://brianhavens.com

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

556 posts in 2765 days


#6 posted 519 days ago

Lots of talent for sure. I kinda saw a cobra coming out of a rope basket. In any case a superb piece.

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!" www.woodworks-by-donna.com

View gbear's profile

gbear

380 posts in 2598 days


#7 posted 519 days ago

Very nice…definately a winner in my club (i’m the only member!)

-- gbear, Carmichael, CA

View Fishinbo's profile

Fishinbo

11162 posts in 674 days


#8 posted 519 days ago

I like it a lot! This looks fun to unpack in a picnic!

View peteg's profile

peteg

2706 posts in 1321 days


#9 posted 519 days ago

nice job Brian & great use of the materials provided :)
Well done
Pete

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View Dave's profile

Dave

10904 posts in 1339 days


#10 posted 519 days ago

A lovely piece. You have talent Brian. Thank you for sharing you work.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View eddie's profile (online now)

eddie

6271 posts in 1112 days


#11 posted 518 days ago

Brian you are right you have a lot of talent in your club ,thats a stunning piece of work

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View murch's profile

murch

1120 posts in 1123 days


#12 posted 518 days ago

I think this is a very attractive project that I will put straight into favourites.
Thanks for posting.

-- A family man has photos in his wallet where his money used to be.

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