I made a great deal of progress yesterday in my ornaments. I am truly happy with them so far and I look forward to finishing them up today.
I finished cutting the final two by around noon, and I also remembered to take step-by-step pictures of the final one so that I can include them in the instructions. That is something that I sometimes forget about when doing projects such as this. I am so engrossed with seeing if things will work out as I planned, that I forget to do the obvious.
I spent the rest of the day peeling off the pattern (which I needed to do very carefully and took at least two hours to do) and then sanding all 24 ornaments. I am very happy to report that in all the cutting, peeling and sanding that I did, I didn’t break even one small piece or curl. That in itself is amazing and a good sign. I will say that they are quite sturdy and much more so than they appear to be. They look so delicate, but they hold together quite well. The most delicate parts are in the center sections and quite protected. I am very pleased.
I was able to get them soaked in mineral oil last night, so they would be ready for the final finishing today. I even oiled the second set, which was cut from Baltic birch plywood. I don’t usually use birch ply for something like this, as I usually like the look of hard wood better, but I thought I would give it a try and see how it came out. What did I have to lose?
The results was very positive, and I think the birch set looks fine. As a matter of fact, I think that I will stain the frames of the birch set and leave the maple set natural. The maple I used was a mix between curly and bird’s eye, with a very small figure. This worked fine for this small scale of work. You could really see the figure in all the ornaments and I think they will look beautiful when finally done. They already look quite promising.
Here is a picture of the entire set:
My favorite may be the reindeer. Here is a close up of him so you can see how nice the wood is:
These are really quite challenging to cut because of their small size. There are many swirls and small details and they are definitely going to be graded as an ‘advanced’ pattern.
I also took a picture of the Baltic birch ornament to show how nicely it looked (so far):
As I said, they all need some final sanding and the birch set will have stained frames. That will happen today, along with another photo shoot. These are just quick shots here.
I have decided to divide them up into two pattern packets. I have also decided include six inch versions of them to use as small plaques. For these larger versions, it will be necessary to make a small change at the top of the frame so to remove the hanger, but that will not be difficult. I think that six ornaments and six plaques in the pattern will make a fine set. By including the larger version, it will allow the scrollers that may not be so advanced in cutting to still enjoy the designs and perhaps get their feet wet with this type of cutting. At a larger size, they will be much easier to accomplish and I believe they are detailed enough to still be beautiful.
The stack cutting process for this worked fine, and I was happy that I documented it with photographs. With all the details in these designs, it is far easier to have two layers of wood to cut, as you gain a lot of control by having thicker material. The maple is about 3/16” and the Baltic birch 1/8”. Having these two layers stacked really did slow down the process, but it was (I believe) necessary in order to accomplish the fine details. Each ornament took me approximately an hour to cut. Leldon cut a couple out too over the weekend and it seemed he was on the same time frame as I was. So I think I am pretty close to average there.
I am also thinking about doing another video showing how to do the different types of swirls and slices. There are certainly easier ways to go about accomplishing these things. It is just a matter of finding the time to do them. I do think it would be nice though to have a reference video to go along with the patterns so that people can look on and see how it is done.
(I haven’t forgotten about the classes here on LJ’s either. I know I am overdue for the next one and I will post it as soon as I have a little time to do it. I thank you all for your patience.)
So there we are today. I need to do some final touch up sanding, gluing the frames, staining the frames and the final lacquer finish and they will be done. I still need to pick at the line work again one more time to adjust the things I found needed adjusting and create the packets too. I can see the next couple of days being spend doing that. It is a bit of a process as you can see, but hopefully the results will be worth it. I hope you like them and think so too. I will have more pictures tomorrow.
Have a great day!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts Magazine, If you like reading my blog, come visit at Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"