Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Fall Art Show-Black Ash wood box-the lid

Hi Everyone,

Well, I've been thinking about the lid for the black ash box. Yesterday I wanted a red colored wood for the top and as I'm without transportation today, I'm going to have to choose a different wood for the top.

Here's what I'm up to at the moment:

I had originally planned to purchase a small piece of either jatoba wood or Goncalo Alves at the cabinet makers but that isn't going to be possible so I decided to look around the shop and select a good, hardwood that I could stain to a red color. I happen to glance down and found a piece of hickory that I've been saving. Here is a photo of the board:

It's 1" thick and has a strong grain pattern so I decided to go with this and cut out a blank:

If you look at the next photo below, you can see how rough the surface is. This was probably put through a planer in an effort to flatten it out and as you can see, that didn't work. Not every piece of lumber can be machined. But happily, a lot of this "reject wood" can be turned on a lathe very successfully. I often look for beat up hard wood like this as it often masks a lovely grain. So I'm going to sharpen up one of my smaller bowl gouges and very gently shave the surface until it's trued up and smooth:

And here it is several minutes later:

I flipped it over and proceeded to true up the underside and shape it for the box:

I like hickory. It's a good strong wood that turns beautifully no matter what it looks like to begin with. It holds up well in kitchen environments and it looks great with food on it. It finishes well too. Here is the lid after its been cut and smoothed:

And here it is on top of the box:

The colors look well together and match up even though these are two different species of wood. The problem here is after all the shaping and cutting, we don't have enough wood left in terms of thickness to shape the lid the way I had wanted to.

We're at one of those forks in the road:

Should I go ahead and shape it anyway and stain it?

Should I shape it differently and add a finial to the top?

If so, what color should the finial be?

I do keep small pieces of strongly colored wood just for moments like this. I currently have three pieces-in this photograph you will see a block of bocote wood, which is orange and black:

This is a block of purple heart:

And this is a block of bubinga:

What to do?

I haven't had breakfast yet so I'm going to go and make something to eat, put on a pot a coffee and come back after I've thought about it.

More later,


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