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Monday, October 31, 2011

First Fathers

This portrait, titled First Fathers, is a Jeff Zaffino design. The pattern can be purchased here. It is 11x17" as ordered. I scanned it on the computer and enlarged it to 18x22". I made the frames for this portrait out of white oak.

If anyone would like to know how I enlarge patterns, post in the comments and I will post and entry on how I do it. There are many way to accomplish this. As a matter of fact, most people reading this probably know of better ways than I do get it done. I use a vector based program called Inkscape. If there is interest in it though, I would be glad to point people in the right direction for instructional videos on how to enlarge patterns using Inkscape.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Boat Shelves

This project is a major deviation from my normal routine. First of all, I used the band saw and table saw, but not the scroll saw. Those who keep up with my blog know that I normally figure out a way to use the scroll saw on everything, but not this time. Also, the majority of these are covered in paint. I do not like paint, at all. I use a lot of stain and clear finishes. I have a dislike for paint though.

This four piece set is surprisingly easy to build. They are made from three quarter inch stock and quarter inch plywood. The largest is six feet tall. The smallest one, the curio cabinet style that is designed to hang on the wall, is twenty two inches tall.

If you'd like to build one of these, or all of them, you can order the plans separately or as a set from here. I was going to order just the largest one, but after figuring it up decided it was such a good deal to order the whole set, I figure why not?

The hardest part of building these is coaxing the plywood around the curve of the bottom. After learning from the first one though, the rest were a breeze. I glued and nailed it at the bow of the boat. Then I went and had coffee while giving the glue time to set up and hold it in place. Then I came back and started gluing and nailing while working my way to the transom end. Doing it this way, everything fell right into place with no problems.

I finished the rails and insides with Minwax polyurethane. I let this set overnight and then came back and painted the outside of the boat with interior latex paint.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Canadian Beer Cap Table

Our friend Willy B. appears to have been missing in action for a while. So I was delighted when I saw a message from him. Then I opened the message, downloaded the photos and my delight turned to amazement. I quit drinking years ago. I never thought I'd ever say this, but maybe I need to start back to drinking, Canadian beer, because I want one of these.

Willy B. build this from a plan he seen in Wood Magazine. He modified the top to accommodate the bottle caps upon which he poured liquid plastic over to create a clear, smooth top. He said his sons collected all the bottle caps for him while in the Navy.

The table is made entirely of red oak. The legs can be removed from the table, as they are held on with bolts. The lower part of the legs are four separate pieces that are mitered to look like they are one solid piece.

The last photo shows how the legs are designed to hold a glass or can so it doesn't get knocked off the table. I don't know if this is Willy's design or originally in the plan, but I think it needs to be made taller so that bottles will fit. How else are you going to save enough caps to build another table?

Willy, this is an amazing piece you've created here. Thank you so much for sending the photos. You are welcome to send more any time you want. I am more than happy to feature them here. You do some amazing work.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


"Serenity" is actually originally named "Solitude" from the pattern supplier. However, I find serenity more fitting. You can buy the pattern for it here. It is supposed to be an 11x14" portrait. I enlarged it to be 17x24".

I stack cut this one like I normally do and created three separate portraits. However, I did change something up on this one. I've had some large pieces of white oak under my work bench for some time and haven't really had a need for it. Since I keep bumping into this wood though, I decided to put some of it to use. I made white oak frames for this one. The wood really surprised me. It is so much different in my opinion to work with than red oak.

This portrait went pretty quickly. It only took me about an hour and a half to cut it. It was a delicate piece though. It got very fragile along the thin line of wood that is left between the mountain scene and the reflection on the water area. To make sure I didn't break it, I cut out the reflective part first. I then taped the cut out piece back into the portrait for stability while I cut the mountain part. After that, I just had to be particular careful when sanding everything and framing it.

If I ever cut this one again, I think I will take the time to find a more stable wood to use than luan plywood. While luan is what I always use, it can be nerve racking on fragile pieces such as this one.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Guardian Angel

The Guardian Angel portrait pattern can be purchased here. It is sold as an 11x14 pattern. However, I scanned it and increased the size to 14x17.

Like most of my portrait style cuttings, it is framed in a mahogany frame. It is cut from luan plywood and put over a painted background.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Subtle Change

Today, I got the second email since I started the blog about someone having difficulties seeing links. One complaint I usually let go unless I can obviously see a problem. With two complaints though, it is time to do something. So, on that note, I had to do some reading. I really had no idea how to fix this problem. I am not so great at website problems. After trying to find a solution for some time, I contacted a guy I know that knows a lot more than I about this. He told me how to fix it and I felt like an idiot when I realized how simply this was accomplished.
So, you may notice that the links are now highlighted in blue.
This means that anything you now see in blue, you can click on to be taken to wherever I linked it too. I provide links when I can to direct people where to get patterns. For example, one of my favorite places to purchase patterns is Wildwood Designs. One of my favorite sources for free patterns is Scrollsaw Workshop. My favorite designer is Dirk Boelman. See how much easier it is to see the links now?
I hope this helps people. Thank you for letting me know. If anyone else has any suggestions, ever, to make my blog better, please let me know.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

23rd Psalms Plaque

This is a plaque of the 23rd Psalms, 1-6. It is made of cottonwood except for the four accent pieces, which are made of mahogany. The backer board is stained with Minwax Dark Walnut stain. Then the entire plaque is finished with Minwax Clear Gloss lacquer.

This plaque measures two feet wide and thirty one inches tall. It is a very time consuming project. However, I found great peace in slowly cutting the words out of such a powerful scripture. Each line of text is cut out individually and then glued to the backer board. I often make more than one project at a time by stack cutting. The lettering on this project is so fragile though, that it is only feasible to do one at a time.

I found the pattern for this project here at the Berry Basket website. This was my first time ordering from this company. The pattern is well designed. It was reasonable priced. The thing I liked best about this company though is the fact that I did not have to wait for my patterns to arrived in the mail. Often I order patterns and just about drive myself crazy with anticipation until they arrive. From this company, you have the option of receiving your patterns online in PDF format.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"The Coast" Coffee Table

We all love our Moms. Well I wanted to make something with a lighthouse theme for my Mom because she likes them. I was looking for a good pattern when I run across this on the Scroller Ltd. site. You can find the plans for it here if you'd like to build this project yourself.

The table is made out of mahogany. The scenic top is made out of mahogany, oak, cottonwood, and pine. It is made in layers to give it a 3D effect. You can look at my last entry to see the progression of how the layers go together.

I redesigned this table from the plans that were purchased. The plans outline a very well built table. However, I need this to be under a certain size and to be able to be disassembled in order to be transported all the way back to Georgia over the Thanksgiving holidays. Also, I have a temporary lid over the top made out of cottonwood and mahogany with plexi-glass in it. After my parents get it home, they will have to get a piece of plate glass to go on top of it instead of this lid.
For finishing, I finished the scenic top with Polycrylic. I used this because the blue on it was achieved with water based Minwax stain. I needed a water based topcoat to go over this. The rest of the table is finished with five coats of Zinsser clear shellac.