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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Expansion into Wood

For those of you who know me, you know that I bore easily. I require new challenges on a fairly regular basis! So, I've expanded into Woodwork. Now, I've done some basic woodwork, before -- everyone has built birdhouses or refinished a piece of furniture and I'm no exception.

This time, I wanted to try something a little different. So, I'm learning the art of woodcarving, but more specifically, of wood 'chipping.' I think it must be called that because you use small, detail tools to carefully chip away at the wood to put on your design.

So, I started with this: old wood pallets. They are free at a variety of places. Its just a matter of pulling them apart for the piece you want.

Then, I laid out a fairly simple design of words, geometric shapes for a border, and Fleur-De-lis.

And, the chipping began. I quickly figured out how important it was to tap your tool down into the wood to create a boundary to avoid tearing the wood.

After the boundary, I did the basic wood burning. I only have a very inexpensive wood burner, but I found it to be completely adequate. WOW! Be careful when holding your head over the plank. The smoke really choked me. Some areas, I had to go over more than once to get the breadth that I wanted.

Now, its ready for sanding and polyurethane. I need to wait a day or two on this, because I will need to purchase a small rotary tool, like a Dremel to get into those small areas to sand and maintain accurate edges. Also, I've read that it should be wiped well with mineral spirits before polyurethane.

I'll keep you posted! In the meantime, indulge your inner artist!