Feb 19

Chop chop

So V-tool work done, time for the vertical gouge chops that make up the design on the box. After ten minutes of sharpening and stoning and stropping of course.

Chops one and two. I kindof wanted this to be more pointy at the top, but I didn’t have a gouge of the right curvature and size. Anyway, do this for all the boards...

Yes, you need the Peltors. Small shed, loud echos. On to the next gouge and chops three through six…

Yeah, the size of that central lobe looks a bit off. Well, we’ll see. Why the clamps and greaseproof paper? Because on a few gouge chops, the top later of the oak fractured (I bet Peter Follansbee doesn’t have to put up with this), and out came one of the more used tools in the shed…

How often is it used? Er…

Yeah. All four sides. Le sigh. Well, that’s me done for the evening so. Next time, next gouge and the last heavy chops to establish the pattern.

Feb 19

Resin results and carving again

So the resin tests came out pretty damn good. The idea of putting the reflector under the resin worked quite well, and most of the colours came out well (the crimson guitars stains didn’t really pop but that was more down to the dark background – the way the red especially looked over the reflector suggests it’d be lovely over poplar).

Crimson guitars stains in walnut

Calum picked out a few he liked as well (the ones with crosses beside them in pen). So now I’m just picking out designs to do for the various parts of the desk, shelves and sides. I need to print a few out and find some transfer paper, then some will be done by inlay and some with resin and some with a mix. I also ordered two new inlay handtools for a few curves I can see coming that will have to be done freehand (yeah, you could get router inlay bits but I think we’ve established by now that I don’t like the router very much).

Think I’ll skip banding this time though. For a later project, that one (and I have one in mind).

Meanwhile, I’m blocked for a few days so I made some progress on the oak box. Cutting the component parts was easy enough…

If anything I shouldn’t have cut them so early, but left that till after the carving. And I mucked up shooting the end of one…

And of course the CA glue stuck to the clamp so unclamping chipped the board anyway. Le sigh.

But never mind, on to the fun stuff..

It might be hard to spot there because scratches on oak are, but I’ve marked a centerline and scratched in a series of opposing lunettes (to borrow Peter Follansbee’s term) and next up is cutting them with a V-tool. Well. Actually next up is spending some time with the diamond plates, slipstones and strops sharpening that V-tool and trying to sharpen a second one I had but which actually needs to be reground. Those V-tools are a little small but it’s a small box and the larger V-tool I have is an incanel one which, when used for this, bites in and heads for the far side of the piece. I can’t get it to work for this sort of thing. I’ll keep an eye out on ebay, but for now this V-tool will suffice.

That’s all of them marked out in fact.

You can make out the scratches up close, but they’re still hard to see even standing in the shed. I wonder if Follansbee has it easier seeing these because he uses riven oak instead of this flatsawn stock. He’s said himself this is carvable but not the best.

After a few minutes in fact, I gave up and just ran a pencil line around the scratches. They’re being carved out so it won’t mar the work.

Then I just work my way along, cutting out the same part of the curve on every curve, then moving on to the next until all the lines are cut out. You have to cut in sections so you can brace your V-tool arm and control the cut. I say that like I’m cutting perfectly regular lines, but I have to go over everything once or twice already and it’s still not perfect.

I mean, it’s not terrible, it’s just rough. Still though. Got all the V-tool work done on all the sides.

Next will be cutting the floral decoration. That’s done with a few gouges, so got some out to figure out what fits.

They’re all a bit small though. I suppose “you can never have enough gouges” is a thing as well. Still, bit of experimenting and I found some that’ll work. A few chops with each will act as stop cuts, then some removing of background up to those stop cuts with a shallow gouge, and you get this.

Bit of tidying up, some extra bits and pieces as decoration, and that should be reasonable enough so long as nobody looks at an original Follansbee for comparison…

Feb 19

Testing resin pigments

So, like I said last time, there’s going to be some resin in the desk shelves for Calum. Because, you know seven year old clients, they’re all about the bright colours. And the North Atlantic. So, onto ebay and ordered 3kg of clear resin (I won’t need that much, but I want to do other stuff too…) and then pigments… well, Peter Brown had a “using household things for resin pigments” so I thought I’d try lidl acrylic and tempura paints and some other stuff…

And I also was thinking walnut is dark so any resin is going to look like it’s in a hole in the ground, but there’ll be an LED light above the walnut shelf, so what if I had a reflector under the resin? So I got some of the one-way reflective window film as well…

So I had some offcuts and scraps of walnut and poplar from the sides and desk and I routed out a few pockets in it, put that window film into half of them…

…and then just started making up small batches of acrylic (around 100-150g per batch) and mixing in pigments and then pouring into four pockets so I could see each pigment in both woods, with and without the reflector.

The highlighter ink one and the crimson guitars stains look particularly interesting, but we’ll see. Should all be cured by the weekend…