Friday, January 4, 2008

Scarab Keepsake Box

Our youngest daughter Caitylyn of 8 has become a student of Egyptology it seems. When she and I discussed what kind of box she might like me to make for her she instantly piped up with a Scarab box. I replied "Huh?" She then showed me her scarab necklace she got at the art museum. I looked at and thought oh my this would involve carving and I am not sure I can do that! But I decided it would be cool and a great Christmas gift for her so I would give it a go.

I started with a solid block of Basswood and cut out an oval block with a domed top on my band saw. I then traced out a Scarab pattern I designed on the top. I then cut off the top which would become the lid and cut out the cavity. Then the fun part I started carving with a cheap collection of tools I picked up at our local AC More. By the way it doesn't pay to buy cheap tools. But they worked well enough to allow me to rough in the shapes. I did the final grooving and shaping with my Dremel Contor Sander.

The finish was done with water based stains going for an antique washed coating and coated with water based Polyacrylate.

I did some research to figure out how to spell her name in Hieroglyphics and used my wood burner to carve out her name Caitlyn and finally personalized the inside lid. The end
result was she loved it am I am pretty proud how it came out.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year 2008

My workshop was in full tilt mode leading up to Christmas finishing my gift list. I finished my last gift project late on Christmas Eve, more on that later. We took a few days off to celebrate with the family and it was all great. All my woodcraft gifts seemed to be very appreciated and I will post the individual projects.

Two big events happened for the shop. The first was a good find I made at our local Hallmark store that was closing down. The store was selling everything including their fixtures. I spotted some double drawer cabinet units that were selling for $10 a piece. I immediately thought if I stacked them 3 high I could use them to build a pretty nice workbench with lots of very needed storage space, not to mention some badly needed bench top area. So I bought 6 units for the grand total of $60 bucks and started designing and building the work benches (yes I decided to build two benches from the cabinets). One is nearing a state of completeness and the second is a little behind. I will post an update on the benches later.

The second really big news for the shop was a really very cool Christmas gift my Wife gave me. She gave me an Incra Lead Screw Router Table Fence System from Rockler. I had no idea I was getting such a wonderful gift from my Wife! I haven't even had close enough time to set it up on y router table but looking over the included documentation I am blown away with the capabilities to make amazing joinery with the system. Looks like there will be a learning curve on using it but you can be sure I will updating on this tool in the future. I also got a few other very useful stuff including some more clamps (you can never have too many clamps).

So I am hard at work building my benches and working on organizing the workshop getting ready for what I think will be a great 2008 wood crafting year for me!