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Thread: Chinese Checker Boards finished just with Wax

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
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    Chinese Checker Boards finished just with Wax

    (part 1 of 7)

    Background Note 1:

    Many of you know that, for the last few months, I have been doing very little woodworking. Rather, I (along with a few former Hearst Public School students) have been involved in story gathering, story writing, story editing, photo gathering, photo editing, and layout for a book and DVD to be launched at the first ever reunion of Hearst Public School this summer. I am happy to say that (as of two days ago) the book has now been printed and the DVD has been manufactured.

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    We have had 600 copies of the book printed. I fully expect to sell out in no less time than 6 months and to require a second printing. Any proceeds for the sale of the book and DVD will be donated to the school (now renamed in honour of Clayton Brown, the longserving principal of Hearst Public School). We will also be holding a silent auction at the reunion in order to raise money. Three of the items being auctioned are these pens that we commissioned from Mack Cameron:

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    Mack made these pens from poplar that he "rescued" from the woodpile on Pellow's Island north of Hearst when he visited last September.

    I have volunteered to make two Chinese Checker boards for the auction, and late last week I finally found the time to get started on them,

    Background Note 2:

    While working with Dan Clermont at the Ultimate Tools booth at the Toronto Woodworking Show last February, I was introduced to a new way (to me) of finishing wood. Dan purchased a piece of Bubinga and invited folks to sand it up the 4000 grit using a Festool Rotex sander. The results astounded me. I had real trouble believing that the wood had no finish at all on it ?rather it had been polished to a sheen via the sanding process.

    I decided to finish the Chinese Checker boards this way.
    Cheers, Frank

  2. #2
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    (part 2 of 7)

    Making the Boards:

    The raw input was the roughsawn cherry and walnut boards shown below:

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    The first step was to run each of the boards through a jointer in order to get one flat edge and one flat side with a square corner between them:

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    The boards were next run through a planer in order to obtain uniform thickness:

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    Then, each board was sawn to an even width:

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    The next step was the cut up the cherry boards to approximately their final length then to glue and clamp them together:

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Name:	15 -Cherry bords were cut to approximate size then glued and clampedl.JPG 
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    Cheers, Frank

  3. #3
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    (part 3 of 7)

    The assembled cherry panels were cut to their final width using an Incra sled on my table saw:

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    Next, it was time to work on the walnut plank. Pieces of walnut are going to be attached to each of the long sides of the cherry panel. The first step is to cut a section of the walnut plank slightly longer than the cedar panel:

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Name:	19 -Cutting a piece of the walnut plank to length.JPG 
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    This section was then cut into four equal width strips. The strips were clamped together and sanded with my Festool Rotex in aggressive mode with 50 grit paper in order to make them of uniform thickness:

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Name:	21 -Sanding clamped walnut strips.JPG 
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    Next, two walnut strips were glued and clamped to each of the cherry panels:

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Name:	23 -Gluing the walnut strips to the cherry panels.JPG 
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    Cheers, Frank

  4. #4
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    (part 4 of 7)

    Dowels to match the colour of the cherry but to contrast with the walnut are now inserted into each of the cherry boards through each of the walnut side pieces then sawn off flush with the walnut:

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Name:	27 -Sawing the dowels flush.JPG 
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    The ends were trimmed off on the table saw, then all the top edges were rounded over on the router table:

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Name:	31 -Rounding the top corners on router table.JPG 
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    Cheers, Frank

  5. #5
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    (part 5 of 7)

    I encountered a problem when routing the end of one of the boards:

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    I had goofed when gluing up the panels and had placed a somewhat "punky" and, therefore, chipable, streak extending to a portion of the side of one of the cherry boards at the outside edge:

    I trimmed the split end again then re-rounded it very carefully -this time there was no crack but some of the wood at the edge was still very porous and likely to be damaged. The punky wood was with of few drops penetrating and quick drying Hot Stuff glue:

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    This worked very well and the wood hardened. The wood with the glue was quite a bit darker, but there are many shades and patterns in the wood and, after the wood has been polished and waxed, I was confident that it would blend in well.

    Three grooves to hold marbles were routed into each of the boards using a "core box bit" and these grooves were tested for length with the actual marbles that wiil be used when playing Chinese Checkers:

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    Notice how blocks of wood have been clamped to the fence on the router table. These serve as start and stop blocks when routing the grooves.

    Next a Plexiglas template was clamped to in the appropriate position on the board and a special drill bit was inserted into my electric drill.

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Name:	41 -Template clamped to a board -small.JPG 
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    I purchased the template and the drill bit at Rockler a few years ago and this is about the 6th time that they have been used.
    Cheers, Frank

  6. #6
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    (part 6 of 7)

    After drill all the holes and carefully removing the template, small hills dust and chips made this pattern on the board:

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    Next came the most important part of the job. Both boards were sanded with a progression of sandpapers and polishing pads using a Festool Rotex 150 sander.

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    The list below outlines the papers used and the approximate duration of use for each per board:

    Rubin 50 -30 seconds
    Rubin 80 -2 minutes
    Rubin 120 -4 minutes
    Rubin 150 -4 minutes
    Brilliant 180 -6 minutes
    Brilliant 220 -8 minutes
    Brilliant 400 -4 minutes
    Platin 500 -4 minutes
    Platin 1000 -4 minutes
    Platin 2000 -2 minutes
    Platin 4000 -2 minutes

    The grooves and holes had to be sanded by hand:

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Name:	51 -Hand sanding the grovesl.JPG 
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    Starting with the Platin steps, the effects were dramatic as the the wood took on an ever increasing sheen. The picture below contrasts a polished board with an unsanded and unpolished one.

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    Last edited by Frank Pellow; 07-02-2009 at 03:40 PM.
    Cheers, Frank

  7. #7
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    (part 7 of 7)

    The final step was to apply paste wax, let it dry then buff it for about 15 minutes using the Rotex sander in polishing mode and equipped with a sheepskin pad.

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    Some of the leftover cherry wood was used to make a marble holding compartment on the underside of the board:

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    Also, a set of non-skid feet were installed and I branded the boards on the underside with my name and year of construction:

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Name:	61 -Completed boards -back of one. front of other -small.JPG 
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    Playing a game:

    Here a test game is being played on one the new boards:

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    By the way, I lost this particular game to my 7 year old grandson Ethan.


    To come:

    All that remains is to see how well the boards fare at the auction.
    Last edited by Frank Pellow; 06-28-2009 at 07:33 PM.
    Cheers, Frank

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Location
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    I was asked on another forum to provide a little more information about the waxing process.

    I used this wax: http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.a...at=1,190,42950
    I applied only a thin layer, let it dry for about an hour then buffed it for about 5 minutes with the sheepskin pad. Then, after a day, I applied and polished a second coat of wax.
    Cheers, Frank

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