03
Mar 19

Chop, chop, swear, pare, swear more, stamp, stamp…

The title is annoyingly descriptive of the process, but on we go. Unwrapped the boards, and discovered silicone will stick to CA glue and oak…

Chopped the last line of the outline with a third gouge (this one was in-canel, so I chipped out waaaaay too many pieces on the back of the box before getting to grips with it).

It looks a bit confused because you have a few lines crossing but those areas are going away so that’s okay. Now out with a shallow gouge to remove the backdrop and I know it’s what Follansbee’s tutorials say is the right tool but it was next to useless for this design for me. I don’t know if it was because the design is small compared to his norm and it’d be better on a larger pattern, but I stopped using it almost immediately and resorted to two smaller gouges with tighter sweeps. I think I need to start stalking ebay for gouges and V-tools again, this shouldn’t be this hard.

Chip, chip chip. The surface keeps chipping with even the slightest slip. I get the feeling this is down to material as well – Follansbee rives out green oak and lets it dry for only a week or four; I’m using flatsawn kiln-dried oak.

One of these days, when I have a bigger shed and a way to handle forty pounds of wood shavings, I’ll find a source for oak logs and then we’ll see how badly I can muck this up…

I thought taking down the background would be the simple part of this, and that the V-tool and outline would be far harder. Not that I got either of those right, but they were a lot less work. Three hours, I got the front and back boards done, but not the sides. I figured I’d do those on Sunday and I dug out the punches for stippling the background because that should be simple enough…

And actually, this part wasn’t too bad. Before I do the stippling for the other sides I want to refile the teeth on the end of the punches though, they’re getting a little dull (not from this, they’re just old).

It does make a difference. The chipping and the colour (which isn’t great, the oak looks kinda grubby, I think it’s picking up sweat from my hands, and I need to clean that up at the end) did give me a neat idea for something to do with this and I might carve another scrap piece of oak to test that idea out, more on that later.

The idea was to finish all this up on Sunday, after doing the weekly shopping run, but Freya had other ideas…


Yeah, nope. I’ll get to it later…


28
Dec 17

Mucking out and mucking about

Couple of days out of the shed, mostly spent lying down and paying attention to all the little muscle cells as they turned to me and said “what the feck was all that then?”. Today though was bin day so back out to the shed and spent a half-hour cleaning up all the shavings and using the shop vac to tackle the sawdust.

Before:

After:And then, having made a clean spot, went and tidied the small section behind the tumbledrier there where I usually wind up standing wishing I’d cleaned that part of the shed.

And then, having cleaned everything up, time to play…

First off, I did want to see what the stains look like and to try to replicate this:

Granted, I don’t have resawn squares of flamed sycamore, I’m mucking about with bits of poplar, but still…

That was a bit of fun. I’ll take a peek tomorrow to see how it reacts to drying, and spray some poly on it to get a look at it under finish (it’s not actually for a project, I’m just experimenting).

Then on to the next thing; I got myself a solstice present of Peter Follansbee’s video on 17th century New England carving (I’m mad, me) and I wanted to try one of the basic v-tool exercise patterns:

Granted, I don’t have riven green oak or even quarter-sawn oak, I’m mucking about on an offcut from the table build – inch-thick kiln-dried flat-sawn oak. Grand for furniture, not so much for carving. Plus I need to sharpen my v-tool a bit more and I need some new slipstones because apparently you can shave the diamonds off diamond slipstones if you’re not careful when honing a gouge. Doh. And I don’t have all of Follansbee’s kit (which is worse than it sounds since he only uses six gouges and a v-tool…). But I have enough for one or two of the exercises (including this one) so on we go…

Natty little camping light spotted in a Big Clive video – handy since it has a magnet in one end and for throwing light across a surface with knifed marks it’s pretty useful.

The divider work is straightforward enough…

…but there’s a reason Follansbee makes it look easy and it’s twenty-five years of practise…

Still have all my fingers and no new leaks, so I’m calling that a win.

And a bit of BLO to show it better.

Well. First try. It’ll get better. Or it gets the shovel again.

And in the meantime I figured out what I wanted to do with those scraps I couldn’t throw away…