|Project by jfk4032||posted 12-20-2012 01:26 PM||2551 views||6 times favorited||6 comments|
A couple who we are friends with invited me and my wife on a golf trip earlier this year to Arizona. We really appreciated this trip as it was our first as a couple without kids in years as we recently just became empty nesters and it got our juices going to start traveling more, especially once those tuition payments are finished soon!
While buying some pocket knives for our collective kids, we all were drawn towards the desert ironwood used by many of the local native artists. This started me thinking of what kind of wood would have more meaning to make them a thank you gift for hosting our trip.
While playing golf out there I bought some extra golf ball markers from each of the 3 courses we played to use on the top of each stopper. Once back home, I searched the internet for desert ironwood and found a guy outside of Phoenix who sells it, and has a nice selection. His name is Joe Suckley and I would highly recommend him if you need desert ironwood. On a subsequent trip I made to the area this Fall, I actually drove out to his house and bought some more pieces and he threw in some rough branch pieces which is what I used for the base holders.
The wine barrel stopper was made by gluing up 5 pieces alternating white oak and desert ironwood…even the bung hole was a small piece turned of the desert ironwood. I finished that one and the simple pull shape stopper on the right with the Beall buffing system. The stopper on the left was designed to look like a golf ball sitting on a golf tee. I cheated a little in that I purchased the Boffin 53 sphere cutting jig from Kevin Young in the UK to help cut a more believable golf ball shape. I filled in some of the cracks with crushed turquoise which also carried some meaning of our trip to Arizona. I finished this stopper with CA glue and PSI’s “I Can’t Believe This Finish Starter Set”.
The base holder was made by resawing one of the rough branch pieces I got from Joe. I sliced a piece on the bandsaw, trued it up on my drum sander, drilled the three holes, filled in some cracks with the crushed turquoise, sanded that down and buffed the top and sides with the Beall buffing system. I love the contrast of the heartwood and sapwood with desert ironwood, it is truly remarkable wood.
I found some rough pieces of desert ironwood that didn’t have sapwood on them and cut them for the base legs, made them parallel and equal heights on a sander and glued them to the base. I wasn’t sure how strong the glue bond would be end grain to long grain, so to strengthen the joint, I drilled some small pilot holes and tacked in some brass decorative brads. I also put some tan velvet on the bottoms of each base leg.
Not pictured above is the matching set and base I made for our friends which I already gave to them. The pictures here are from the set and base I kept for us.
-- ---Joel; Central MD...rookie empter nester and getting back into woodworking!