Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Walnut Serving Tray, continued

Hello Again,

Well, the weather here has gotten really, really cold and windy and with my shop not being heated, it's tough going on the walnut tray. I'm going to just work on it a bit everyday until this cold spell passes.

I just came in after having worked for about 45 minutes. I've cut off two of the corners and begun smoothing the edges with a wood file and a sander. Here is where I'm at:

Here you can see the missing corner. I wanted to follow the curvature of the heartwood a bit instead of just rounding off the corner. And I've beveled the edge just a little with a hand file and sandpaper. I think it looks a little better than it did. I also began sanding it with 120 grit paper:

And this is what it will look like with the handles in place:

Tomorrow I'll finish sanding it with 120 grit paper and move up to 150 grit and I may re-cut the bottom right hand corner a little. Eventually I'll get to 400 grit and this will be on both sides. I also need to get some small rubber feet for it and I'll do that in the next day or so.

Stay tuned.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Hello Everyone! Lathe update and new project:Small walnut serving tray-discussion and plans

Hello All,

Well, here we are again. I hope you all have had an enjoyable holiday season and are ready for the New Year.

Here's an update on the lathe-it's still not working but I am waiting on a switch to arrive that may solve the on-off switch problem. Keep your fingers crossed that this works.

The enforced wood shop idleness was making me a little stir crazy until a friend of mine emailed me requesting a small serving tray for her parents down in Texas. They all like black walnut and I think their kitchen cabinets are made from walnut so I accepted her challenge and went shopping this morning and came back with a short section of black walnut that has a crotch figure to it:

...and of course there is always a cat around for photo bombing purposes...

My goal is to make a small serving tray with a the natural edging in place that you see on the left had side of the photograph and to accentuate the swirled grain pattern by very gently curving the square ends of the board just a little bit - I don't want this to look like a board with handles stuck on it.

I bought some simple black handles and you can see where I'm going to place them at the conclusion of the project:

The key to this project is going to be the surface preparation and the finish. The more finely sanded it is, the more the beautiful grain will stand out so this is going to take quite a bit of sanding. Then I'm going to polish the surface with steel wool and then add a food grade finish to it. Lastly I'll install the handles and some small feet underneath the tray so it will stand up and away from the surface of any table that it will rest on.

This will take a few days to finish off. It's getting cold right now so I'm going to begin the project in earnest tomorrow.

So grab some coffee and join me in the shop once again! It's time for more adventures in the wood shop.

Stay tuned,