Finally got to the point where I could try the waterslide transfer decals out.
David’s instructions were much clearer than what came with the product.
Having already used a different first coat, than in his demo (oops), and not being sure of compatability issues (not to mention wanting to wait for a few coats of spray finish to dry) I tried using them unprotected (as per the manufacturers instructions).
They worked great – slid off perfectly. I didn’t find them too thin/fragile – I was dealing with postage stamp size pieces – and they seemed ridgid enough. One issue was with it sticking to the brayer, so I rolled over a towel with one, and rubbed really well with my fingers and towel with the other. They both adhered well, and remained in place overnight!
Moving ahead with finishing (shellac) to protect these, I find that I can still see them more than I would like (like tape on wrapping paper, it’s clear, but you can still see it easily enough)
The one on cherry (above) was less noticable, the texture of the mahogany (below) let some light (and air pockets) show from below… clearly presanding to create a slurry to fill the voids would have been a good idea.
In the right light, the label looks great. Subtle, hardly there… move a little bit, and it’s looks like a mistake.
Perhaps this is where prespraying would have come in handy – to help make them more invisible. On some of David’s labels, he put a border around the art/text… (in the how-to, for example) that would help delineate the edges of the decal and make them less noticable. On some of his other projects you can’t see the clear portions of labels at all. I’ll try that (prespraying) next.
Another idea – albeit one I’m not too fond of – is to make a larger decal, the size of the bottom of the box lid, so there is no visible edge – this was the solution we’d use in college when putting text over a photo (old school – in the pre-photoshop days)
Here are my finished boxes (1 and 3),
You might notice that the lid has curled a bit more on the mahogany one since I assembled it. I’m also not thrilled with my shellacing job. It dries so fast! I remember having an easier time with varnish on my pub table. Didn’t have all the bubbles and sanding from most of my attempts at poly. Getting some good advice in the finishing forum topic I posted yesterday. Going to try the BLO/MS/Varnish finishing treatment on the poplar box (unfinished, at the bottom of the stack (above photo) and see how that works with the labels. Fortunately I’ve inquired about getting some makers marks, leaving me another personalization option. Of course theres always a sharpie!
Future boxes will likely be finished before assembly (at least interiors), some of the steps (in the book instructions) don’t neccessarily allow for that, so I may get slowed down,... but I’m going to see what I can do to make things easier or better from start to finish. While I’d like to turn out 21 perfect boxes… this is really a class for me, a chance to learn everything I can about so many different aspects of woodworking.