Sitting here looking at my reflection in a wooden mirror. It's not a very
mirror, needs a _lot_
of light on my face to see the reflection but
by golly I can see it.
It all started out with an old (in both senses--I've known him 20 years and
he's in his 80s) friend asking me to help him move. In his new digs he
wanted to hang a clock on the wall. It's an expensive clock and fairly
heavy and there wasn't a stud where he wanted to hang it (it's in a little
alcove with studs at the corners 10 inches apare but none in the middle). I
suggested putting up a board between two studs and hanging the clock from
that. He liked the idea, so I allowed as to how I'd bring over a board next
time, thinking about a piece of red oak that would match the cabinets and
trim. Well we got to talking about other things and the chime on his clock
sounded, almost inaudibly, and that got back to the board. We decided that
something hard would be best. I jokingly said "Well, I could probably scare
up a piece of lignum vitae". He asked "what's that" and I told him about
it, and he says "YEAH, I WANT THAT."
So went home and checked the lumber rack and while I have some cutoffs that
I use for this and that I couldn't get enough width out of them to make a
square surround in the width needed. So, off to cwg for a couple of pieces
of LV. 20 bucks later I have two board feet, planed to 7/8 and jointed on
one edge. Took one, ran the other edge through the jointer (the much
maligned Delta benchtop jointer), the edges that cwg had done had some
toolmarks, so took 1/32 off of those, cut 3 pieces a little over length, and
glued them up with T88. Let it sit overnight then ran the result through
the planer, then sawed it square and a hair over the finished dimension.
The dust had an interesting odor, not at all unpleasant but very noticeable
and quite distinctive.
Now came the fun part. I wasn't sure which side I wanted to have out--one
had some torn out grain that I wasn't sure I could sand down and the other
had a couple of wormholes and a little bit of sapwood, so decided to finish
both and then decide. Took the ROS and some 60 grit and went over both
sides and all edges (there was some slight tearout from the planer--grain in
the stuff went all over the place), then 100, 150, 220, 320, and 600,
rubbing with a paper towel between grits and tossing the towel. Next went
to Micromesh disks (been looking for a reason to play with that stuff) and
went on from 1500, through the progression to 12000. Around 3600 started
getting oil or wax or something coming out of the wood in small patches, by
12000 most of the surface was doing it. Next put a buffing pad on the ROS
and went over it with no abrasive or wax or anything. And by golly I could
Never handled LV with its "natural" polish before. Feels more like Corian
I had planned on routing an ogee on the edges but I think I may leave them
square. The flat surface with the high polish looks nicer than I expected.
Wish I could leave the end grain visible but where it's going it will be
hidden--even that buffed up.