|Project by AffineCreations||posted 370 days ago||1011 views||15 times favorited||12 comments|
This is a project that had a long time from initial inspiration to final realization.
The wood is Curly Maple and the final clock is 12” in diameter. The main things I had to figure out was how to route the pattern of curves on the face and how to color the Maple so its nature chatoyance comes out and at the same the colors are bright.
The thing that makes the routing tricky is the changing radii of the curves from top to bottom. Having this up/down asymmetry I feel is key to the design; it needs to have this visual heaviness at the bottom. But this meant I couldn’t just set the distance once for the router. The router is attached to a swing arm with holes drilled at the corresponding radii. I take advantage of my INCRA LS positioner and mount a pivot for the arm on the fence. The clock face rests on the circle cutting jig at the other end of the table. I set the radius for any given curve and now use the 1/128” click wheel to fine tune the distance of the pivot from the clock so the V-groove bit starts and ends its curve exactly at the marked hour. This precision is important since at every hour mark, two curves meet.
On to the coloring. The first versions of this clock were painted with water-based dye and then Tung Oil used to emphasis the figure. But I (read: my wife) was never happy with how the colors didn’t maintain their initial brightness after the Tung Oil. I did some experiments and found toned lacquer would end up being bright, but since this had to go on top of the oil, a washcoat of shellac was required (water-based lacquer). This meant the color didn’t get into the wood. So bright, but no fun interplay between the color and the figure.
Continuing to play around, I came up with my current method. I paint with toned 1lb cut shellac. It does a nice job of penetrating the wood and highlighting the figure and at the same time coloring the wood. It takes a few coats to get the color bright, as the initial applications build and then some the toned shellac rides on top of the wood as a film coat. Since I’m starting with fresh mixed shellac from flake, each coat dries fast enough that I just keep making passes around the clock with each color before moving onto the next. And yes, the whole palette of 12 colors are hand-mixed from the three primaries.
Once the toned shellac has dried and been sanded back a spot, I topcoat with Target Coating’s EM6000 lacquer. Once cured, I rub it out up to rottenstone and polish with wax. The second photo hopefully gives you some idea of gloss.
Thanks for reading all the way through. I would love to hear suggestions on how this build could be improved. I will be making more.
-- - Nicholas, Silver Spring, MD http://AffineCreations.com