It's been a busy few weeks. Where to begin?
Last blog I walked you through some of the initial steps of making inlayed bread/cheese boards ending with the glued up initial slabs. Let's finish the process.
I draw two curves on the blanks and cut the blank in two along one of the curves using a band saw. I very lightly sand both edges of the cut blank. I then glue to blank back together inserting a 1/16" strip of contrasting wood between to two halves. This step is tricky and crucial. If I sand the edges to much, or the inlay strips are too thick/thin, the different woods in the blank will not line up correctly when the board is glued back together.
The contrasting inlay strips are slightly wider than the board is deep so I hand plane them nearly flush with the board. Then back to the band saw to cut the second curve, sand, glue a second contrasting inlay strip between the halves and plane down the inlay.
As usual, I forgot to take pictures of the last steps...… Following initial rough sanding, the edges of the boards are relieved on a router table using a round-over bit. Then the boards are sanded with progressively finer grit sand paper and finished with three coats of mineral oil.
These are some of the finished boards I hope to sell at the upcoming Durham Farmer's Market Holiday Market.
Those of you who follow my personal FaceBook page will have to forgive my repeating the rest of this. My wife, Barbara, and I went up to the mountains so I could attend the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Watercolor Society of North Carolina and we could do some hiking and fishing. Yes she fly fishes too, ain't life wonderful? We noticed a bird tangled in fishing line hanging from a tree limb while we were fishing the Watauga river in the Valle Crusis Park. I waded across the river and cut it down. It was a red phase Eastern Screech Owl. I was able to untangle some of the fishing line and remove a hook that was lodged in the skin under a wing but the owl was disoriented and very weak and I did not want to try and get the rest of the line untangled. We took the owl to the May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center associated with Lees McCrae University in Banner Elk. It initially did well but expired several days later. The lesson is for all us anglers to remember to retrieve and properly dispose of all lures and lines whenever we are able.
I attended the opening reception of the 2018 WSNC Juried Annual Show where my painting "St. John's" will hang until Novemeber 16, 2018.
Finally, I have been busy making photo frames for the Holiday Market. I will have 4X6, 5X7 and 8X10" frames in three wood combinations. Maple with jatoba inlays, jatoba with maple inlays and cherry with maple inlays.
Cherry with maple inlays frames were very popular at last year's market. I wanted to make four 8X10, six 5X7 and six 4X6 cherry frames with maple inlays. Very small differences in the width of the molding or placement of the inlay lead to poorly aligned inlays and bad corners during final glue up. I make all the molding I need for a batch of frames at the same time using the same equipment setups through the entire run to eliminate these differences. I estimated I needed about 58 feet of molding to make these frames. I wound up with three short pieces of molding left over. Not bad estimating!
Above are rough sanded jatoba with maple inlay frames awaiting final sanding and finishing. In the back left are the beginnings of my latest brainstorm for utilizing "waste" from making frames and bread boards. Coasters.
The coasters are 4X4" and 1/2" thick in dimension. The edges are rounded over and they are finished with three coats of polyurethane to resist moisture. They will sell for $5 each. Buy four, and get a free stand.
I hope I am accepted to the Holiday Market. If not, I should have plenty of Christmas and birthday presents for the next few years!
John Schwartz - watercolorist and woodworker.