Last fall I got an idea that perhaps people might like a set of matched toys. I ended up making six of them to take to DomCon New Orleans. This photographs shows five of them. From left to right, they are ebony, padauk, cocobolo, bloodwood, and zircote. You can see a better photograph of the zircote set in things I make. If you click on this photograph you can enlarge it considerably.
Wow, I can’t believe I’ve let this lay fallow for over a year. 2016 Started off busy, and then ramped up to something more intense with events every weekend during the Fall. I get great ideas for topics while I am working, but am usually too tired to write them up after I finish working and come in the house.
To bring y’all up to date, curved paddles are now a standard item on my display. I have a form that allows me to make one each day if I need to. My second form did not turn out well, so I ended up donating it to my friend’s 12th night bonfire. That’s what I do with all my scrap as well.
Sam, my leather worker is back to making some things again, so I have crops, thumpers, and sheepskin floggers in stock.
I’m laminating more paddles than ever, they are strong and I can make them lighter than ones where the blade is made from a single piece of wood.
I changed up my listing of past events to streamline it for event coordinators to see where I have been going over the last few years. I’m always very happy when I get invited back to an event year after year.
Last year I was able to teach a few classes on impact play and spanking. They are always fun to do.
I had a problem with my old saw early this Fall, and had to go get another one. I tried one from a big box store that was badly out of alignment, cutting about 1/5o of an inch extra on the back side of the blade. Not only does this make for poor cuts, it can also be rather dangerous. After returning the saw for a full refund, I considered other saws.
The one I finally settled on is by SawStop. It is just a contractor’s jobsite saw, but it is very accurate. I’ve already tried a couple of things that I would never attempt with my old saw, and they worked to near perfection. I can see that saw and I are going to have a long and fruitful relationship. The best part is that it can’t injure my finger the way the old one did.
I got my first curved paddle finished in time to give to BootblackChrissi for her basket at this year’s GLLA. It is bloodwood over maple, rosewood, and walnut with an ebony over maple handle. It is a good example of the high finish I can produce by sanding with ultra fine grits, a couple of coats of tung oil, and a couple of coats of wax.
Early this week I visited my nearby wood store. They had a flitch of lovely walnut that I had seen the previous week. Luckily it had not all sold and I ended up with 4 slices of very nice wood that will take care of a number of projects. In woodworking, a flitch is simply a stack of wood that has all been cut from the same log, rather like slices of bacon. This tree has some outstanding figure in places and excellent color throughout. It appears to me that this wood was not steamed while it was being dried, as it is not a uniform color. While that process yields more dark walnut, it also makes the color more even, and thus more boring to me.
I got to thinking today about prototyping new items. The curved sticks turn out to be a great example of how things work.
My first prototype was with me at RBB in Indianapolis in mid August. By C.O.P.E. in early September I had over a dozen with me, and another half dozen assembled and ready for finishing. I plan to knock out at least four of them this week.
Today I pulled the first curved paddle from my lamination press. It looks quite good, and it will be ready to show this weekend at The Mark.
One of my ‘home’ shows, and often my biggest show of the year is this weekend. I’ll be showing a couple of new things, and also have lots of favorites like my steel marlinspikes and pokers.
That said, I will be vending at The Mark next weekend, and am working on stock for that event this morning. Once I get everything sanded and under a coat of tung oil, I’ll be finishing some things for C.O.P.E. that do not require finish on the wood. After that, lots of steel wool to clean up the finish on the items I sanded out last week and on Tuesday. Sheesh!
Tomorrow, I’ll run over to storage and pick up my display, then head over to set up. It’s going to be a long, fun weekend!