|Project by Elizabeth||posted 03-22-2013 01:50 AM||1182 views||3 times favorited||8 comments|
This project has been in the works for a few months now. I wanted to make a removable wooden height chart that I could take with us if we ever moved. The race was on to finish it before my son was old enough to use it!
The chart is made of maple with walnut inlays. The maple board is 6’2” long, about 4” wide and almost 1/2” thick. I cut up a walnut pen blank on the bandsaw to slightly over 1/8” square, and either 2” long for the foot marks or 1” long for the half foot marks.
The area where I wanted to hang the board had a molding along the floor, so I designed the board so I could hang it just over the molding and have the measurements come out correctly. So the first mark from the bottom is more like 4” up rather than a real 6”, but it works out correctly once it’s hung on the wall.
The inlay points were chiselled by hand with an Irwin 1/8” chisel I got off of Amazon – it wasn’t expensive at all and definitely did the job. Every so often I’d resharpen it, but no more often than the larger Lee Valley chisels I was also using. Once they were glued into place, I carefully shaved them nearly flush with the board (using the blue tape as a small insurance policy) and when I was as close as I could get by hand, sent the whole thing through the planer to get everything flush. (I was a bit nervous about whether this could cause tear out so I actually made a test piece with one inlay and sent that through first…no problems at all.)
Once it was all smooth, I applied a few coats of danish oil finish. Then I scrolled his name out of a piece of 1/8” walnut, finished those pieces and glued them on near the top of the board.
Mounting the board on the wall was tricky, because height was critical. I’ll try to explain it clearly. I used a pair of 1-1/2’’ x 1-3/4’’ Extra Thin Flush Mounts, which were Rockler item # 29975 in February but are not showing up on a current search. Each mount is a two-parter, one faces up and the other faces down and slots into it. I attached the wall side (facing up) of these two-piece mounts using 6×1” screws into a stud, then placed the board-side of the mount in place on its matching part, and put double sided tape on the surface which would be attached to the board. I then had my husband help me line up the board with some painter’s tape foot-markers that I’d put on the wall. When we got the height lined up and it seemed more or less centered on the mounts, we pressed the board into place, sticking the mounts to the board via the tape. Then I took it out to the shop, marked where the mounts were, and screwed them into place, removing the tape as I went.
It worked – the lower edge of the walnut inlays are exactly the right height from the floor.
I’m going to put a screw into the wall above the board so that it can’t be accidentally lifted up by a small boy, and I need to put some shims behind the board so it can’t wobble on the wall. But other than that, it’s done, just in time for his first birthday and coinciding within a week or so of his first steps!