Another gift that seemed to be appreciated at the holidays was a
framed "picture," made of book matched thin hardwood that I'd
routed and filled. The one I had the biggest reaction from was
the Star of David.
To make it, I simply cut out an equilateral triangle from a piece
of Melamine board. It was about 8" on a side, as I recall, but
YMMV. This was used as the template to route the star.
The base was usually walnut or cherry, sliced on the bandsaw then
joined for a single or double bookmatch. The double was prettier
with the Star, as I recall. The finished piece was usually a bout
5/16" thick when rough sanded, but then later on reduced to 1/4"
or slightly less in overall thickness.
The base was then stuck to the workbench with double sided tape,
face up, and the triangle centered on it. The triangle was then
routed using a 1/2" to 3/4" flat bottom bit and a template guide.
Once the first triangle was done, the pattern was inverted and the
routing repeated. This gave the 6-pointed star.
I then mixed up Bondo or Bondo for wood- whichever I had on hand,
and colored it with magic marker dye. I'd have to work fast,
since the putty and catalyst were of different colors and that
made things difficult to judge. The Bondo was then rubbed into
the kerf of the router, being careful to get full contact with the
sides and edges of the kerf and being sure that the kerf was over
filled. When cured, this was gradually planed away, then finish
sanded until the surface was smooth.
I wasn't that pleased with the look at that point: it looked like
a Bondo filled router kerf. I ground a hacksaw blade into a
sharp, pointed hook and used it to gradually trace lines into the
Bondo reminiscent of joinery, giving the Bondo the look of an
inlaid wood. The final trick was to tap the Bondo filled kerf
with pointed wires to add a wood grain look. I did this by
clipping form tie wire into 6" pieces. I used about a dozen, I'd
say. These were then held in my hand together and used to tap the
Bondo to get tiny dings and notches in it.
The next step was to again gently sand the surface, then apply and
quickly remove a dark stain. This made the scratches and dings
stand out better, looking like inlaid joints and grain. The
picture speaks for itself.
Of course, the final step was to use the shaper to make some frame
material of the same or a different wood, then the entire framed
piece was finished with tung oil.
I had an artist friend who designed a Christmas tree template I
also used and mixed up Green Bondo. I chucked a 1/4" ball
grinding bit in a Dremel Mototool and used it to make round
dimples in the Christmas tree, which I then filled with a drop of
different colored enamel before the very final sanding. This took
lots and lots of time to dry, however, and if I was doing it
today, I'd use an acrylic that dries quickly and won't soften and
smear when sanding if you get on it too soon.
You cannot make a stupid kid smart by
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