To begin with, I want to thank you all for the encouraging comments on the new ornaments. It really feels nice to have so many cheerleaders when I am making a new project. It makes all the hard work so much worth it, knowing that people appreciate what I am doing.
I spent the bulk of yesterday working on cutting out the remaining six pieces, and I began the finishing process. The cutting took probably about three hours and then I carefully sanded the pieces. I was a little concerned about using my 1/3 sheet Makita orbital sander on the delicate pieces, but I can honestly say that not one piece broke. I am thinking I will be blogging in the future how to successfully sand this type of fretwork with minimum breaking. I say "minimum" because sometimes mishaps occur. However, clear-drying wood glue can be your best friend when working on delicate projects such as these. I do admit that two of the pieces broke, but it was not because of the design, but rather my own lack of concentration when sanding. As with working on any project that is fragile, care needs to be taken so that your attention is focused on what you are doing. One of the main reasons that I prefer to cut my own samples is so that I can properly assess what may need to be adjusted in the line work. The best way to learn about any project is by building it myself. While I have had many offers from others to cut for me (thank you!) I prefer to do things myself. I believe this makes me a better designer.
I did stack cut these pieces – making two sets of maple sleigh beds and an additional two runners of 1/8" plywood for each piece. As usual, I will have two different versions of finishing the pieces, as I realize that many don't have access to the beautiful hard woods that I used for the runners. The alternative version is also going to be beautiful though, and it will be a quick and inexpensive way to create an equally stunning result.
Of course, you could stack up to six layers of these pieces if you are cutting for production or to sell at craft shows. You only need to be aware that trying to hurry the process by forcing the wood through the small 2/0 blade that is required may distort the bottom layers. You need to allow the blade to do the cutting and resolve yourself to going S-L-O-W! You will still gain because of the multiple pieces. So taking your time and relaxing will give you the best result possible.
For myself – I would feel most comfortable with limiting myself to about four layers. While six would be possible, I think it would be much more relaxing and easier to keep things to four.
Today I am only going to show the natural colored, hard wood versions. I will show the alternate finishing version tomorrow.
Below are the six remaining pieces:
They look even better than yesterday's pieces I think, because they are fully sanded and sprayed with several light coats of shellac. The shellac really deepens the tone of the runners, and warms up even the light maple nicely. In person they look amazing!
Here are all thirteen of the completed ornaments:
You can see from the photograph, they range from some basic, simple designs to beautifully elaborate. I wanted that to be the case, as there will be something for all levels of scroll sawyers in one pattern. It is my hopes that this will encourage people to try something that may be a little beyond their skill level and learn to improve their cutting. The beginners can start with the more basic designs and take steps out of their own comfort zone to push themselves to a higher level.
The woods that I used for the runners were walnut, sepele, jatoba, cherry, blood wood (I incorrectly referred to it as padauk yesterday, but when I sprayed it with the shellac, I realized it was more red in tone than the orange-red of padauk) and I do believe the last type was hickory. They are all fairly tight grained hard woods, which held up to the design very well. The only one that was a bit fragile was the sepele mahogany, as its grain is a bit more open to than the rest, leaving it a little more vulnerable. But its beautiful brown color was too pretty to pass up, and with care, it worked out fine.
Together they make a stunning set:
And here is a photo of me holding one of them so you can see the size. (They are approximately 5.5 inches in length each)
Today I will be finishing up the second version and writing the pattern. I hope to have the new pieces on the site and a newsletter going out tomorrow.
And for my painting followers – don't worry – I have a beautiful sleigh in mind for you all as well that I will be offering as a free painting pattern. As soon as the update is done I will get to work on it. Please keep coming back here to my blog for the previews.
Keith has some new projects as well, which I will also showcase tomorrow. Together we hope to have enough new things to keep you busy.
It is a calm and beautiful day here. Slightly overcast and somber. I was out early to take the trash to the curb and I could hear the river happily rushing by. It seems with the leaves off of the tree, the sound of the river is more evident. What a beautiful place I live in.
I wish you all a wonderful Wednesday. I hope you enjoy your day and do something to make your heart happy.
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"