Monday, September 29, 2014

An Elephant Fell On It, really!

  I have been making repairs to wooden products at 10,000 Villages in Hamilton for a couple of years now.  It has involved re-gluing, refinishing and in a couple of case re-building all sorts of things from toys, to boxes to a large cabinet. It is probably my favourite form of volunteer work, the folks at 10,000 Villages are unfailingly grateful and undemanding about how quickly I get things repaired.  So most recently I got an email saying that a sewing box needed repair because an elephant had fallen on it. How many wood workers get to do elephant related repairs in their life time?

  That is the sewing box, hiding the problems caused by the falling elephant.

  There are in fact three things that need repair. A foot was broken off, which the folks at the store cleverly saved for me to reattach. 
you can see the left foot and where the right foot belongs.

The crack on the top is going to require some filling, gluing and clamping and at my best I can't make  the repair invisible.

  I have some pieces of sheesham wood that will enable me to make some filler that is 'sort of' the right colour, and then I will stain the section again to try and blend things so that the repair is not too obvious.

  The big problem is the handle, it is held on with nails and they've been torn right out of the box on one side and twisted pretty good on the other.

  Unlike the last box I repaired I will be able to get this taken apart and repaired with relative ease.  Once it is glued, drilled and screwed together I will touch up the stain if necessary and take the repaired item back to the store.

  On my last blog I wrote about a tricky repair on an Indian Box, I got the box fixed, but it involved in insertion of a very obvious brass pin rather than the hidden fastener that had broken off.  I am of the belief that if you can't hide your joinery, or the repair than make what you've ended up doing look intentional. It is the "if you can't hide it, flaunt it school of wood work".

  Shortly I will be able to post the photos of my latest project, it has taken up several days of designing, building, carving and finishing but since it is a gift for someone that reads the blog I can't talk about it just yet.  

cheers, ianw

       George Clooney's got nothing on me!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Lovely Fall Day

  Lets face it, beautiful motorcycling riding days are winding down and there will soon be plenty of time to work in the wood shop.  So today instead of burying myself in a wood working project I went for a long, (all afternoon) motorcycle ride.  The day was lovely, the bike ran like a new watch and the miles (kilometres) rolled away by the hour.  When I am riding the bike I ponder world issues sometimes, but mostly I think about what I want to make and how to make it.  Today I was thinking about a tricky repair to a sheesham box from 10,000 Villages, I can't take the box apart to make the repair and that is what makes the repair difficult. I have formulated a plan, I think.  That will be a job for tomorrow or the next day, or soon since the box has sat on my bench for a week. 

  A wood working related project is shown below, so I haven't been completely away from wood.   I started taking a ten week course on Pyrography two weeks ago and this is the result of my first serious effort. 


  In the past I have used the Razor Tip Wood Burner that I inherited from my Dad.

  to add hi-lights to some of my 
smaller boxes and a couple of other projects.  By taking a course I hope to add some more skill with Razor Tip.

  You can see that first I outlined the leaves, as I have done before but next I used a fine tipped nib to add small dots to the leaves creating a shaded effect. There are many possible textures that can be achieved, practice will be required.  After I finished burning I put on water colour paint in a transparent wash.  All that remains is to give the project a couple of coats of spray varnish and I will be done.  I think the piece, which is 5 x 8 inches will become a lid or a panel for a box one of these days.

  *A foot note, 

 If you are going to be cutting plywood on a regular bases it is a good idea to bite the bullet and buy a saw blade specific for cutting plywood.  Steve Ramsey has a good little video on You Tube: Cutting Plywood: how to break down sheet goods, that is worth checking out. He uses the KREG Rip Cut while breaking the sheet stock down.  I know that there are woodworkers that have sworn off plywood, and I have really tried to use it less but there are some jobs that sheet stock makes easier, once you get it down to a manageable size.

  cheers, ian