I had a wonderfully productive day of finishing up phase 1 of my new tray yesterday. As the day before, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the saw and seeing the tray come to life was a fun experience.
I was also pleased with the good response that I received from everyone regarding the design. There were lots of inquiries as to when the pattern would be available, which is a good indicator that it will be popular.
While I will not be able to sell the pattern until after the May issue of Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine runs its course, I will certainly be working on many other similar designs that I will be able to sell immediately.
I sometime wonder if I should even show what I am working on for the magazine because I hate to disappoint people who want the patterns right away. But I think it is both good publicity for Creative Woodworks as well as a great way to preview what is to come. The magazine is a great value to customers still, as for the price of one or two patterns, they receive anywhere from 15 to 20 nice projects from a variety of designers. While one may not like every single design presented, hopefully they will feel that they will at least get their money’s worth and have several things that they plan to make. Not to mention the nice articles that they provide.
I know the print magazines are hurting now, as everything is digital, but for myself, I still enjoy paging through real paper copies of magazines and reading them that way. I know that it will be only a matter of time when paper magazines are obsolete, but until then I still plan to collect issues of my favorites.
Back to the new pattern.
I had cut the design out of a beautiful piece of solid birch. The wood was about 1/2” thick and for the most part, I used a 2/0 blade. While birch is fairly hard, the 2/0 worked fine on it and I was able to cut very accurately. For a moment, I thought that I would use a size 2 blade, but I found it cumbersome when cutting all the sharp corners and edges and quickly reverted to the smaller 2/0. I didn’t speed through the project, but cut at a nice relaxed pace and thoroughly enjoyed myself, letting the blade do the work and barely pushing the wood through. I finished the entire project using one blade, so I think the small size is fine for working on this.
Here is the finished results:
I decided to use a shorter jar candle, which is more squared up on the bottom edge than the tall jars. This made the fit into the 4” center of the tray a bit snug, but it still worked. I suppose that I need to mention that in the instructions so that adjustments can be made if necessary so that this type of candle fits properly. I may still tweak the pattern before sending it off to the magazine.
The pieces are staked in with dowel rods:
While I wasn’t sure how this would look, I don’t think it looks bad at all. The process is easy to do and the pieces are held on securely and not falling all over. I think with all that is going on with the design, the dowels aren’t really even noticed.
I plan to also make a colored version of this project. While many hard core woodworkers don’t like to paint, there are many others who do and enjoy the simple process with these trays. I like to give the option at least and they can always leave theirs natural. I do like the warm look of the piece here though and I must say I am torn right now as to which one I would like better. I suppose i will have to wait and see.
It appears that I finally got my snow. We had our first real hit of it overnight and as the sun is just coming up now, it is quite the blizzard outside with the snow blowing fiercely. But that is OK. It is Sunday and I have a nice pot of turkey vegetable soup to and my kitties to keep me warm and cozy. Even if we lose power, I have painting to do and I plan to start drawing the next design. This one will be able to be sold right away.
I hope you all have a wonderful day today. Stay warm and have fun! :)
-- 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"