Been awhile since I posted anything new... 'Course, working part time at this, it has been awhile since I've been able to finish anything. Got lots of stuff started, though, and they all reside in the "Museum of Unfinished Projects." Neat place. If you get a chance, definitely check it out.
This one started as a trade show goof-off, made a walnut and cocobolo arch using only -- you guessed it -- a bandsaw. It was basically two posts of walnut, interlocked with a crossing piece that used wedge keys to hold the joints in place. The keys were left proud and notched to receive and hold the cocobolo arch. My donated chunk of cocobolo was stolen overnite and that's all that remains of it. You can see it here in the background on a table with some more trade show goof offs.
Like I said, that was just a jumping off point. Since we don't have cable or watch much TV I wanted something that would prove a meditative presence without having to hide the TV or components, but rather make them part of the design, not just in the design. I chose lumber which was harvested locally by a mill near Austin. They weren't sure anyone would want that much in the way of spalted planks from the same tree for furniture parts and they made me a very reasonable deal to take them off their hands. That was the pecan. The mesquite on the other hand was not what I would call reasonable (about the cost of good cherry,) except that any planks over 6' long are apparently rare. "Well then, let me have them, too," I said.
Even though it was kiln dried, I let the timbers acclimate for three months before I so much as looked at them again. I wanted the many flaws to finish going where they were going. As for the spalting... I did my best to deal with it, and more than a few times pieces would just fall apart in my hands or break in half while cutting. These incidences were all forks in the road that I kept choosing and following merrily along. And keeping in form, like most of my sketches, the project took on a life of its own and ended up designing itself and allowing the cheap laborer to figure out how to put it all together.
Adhesive of choice was epoxy, exept for the background bookmatch (good old Titebond III for that one.) I also used epoxy with tint and wood flour to fill flaws and voids, and thinned epoxy to soak into the most vunerable and punky spots in an attempt to stabilize certain areas. The finish was some streaky staining to enhance the existing flaws, mineral bands and evidence of bugs. Top coat was sprayed conversion varnish, sanded to satin.
One other bizarre fact -- my mesquite tree bottoms (used for the TV base, and two others for another project yet to come) needed to be tented to get rid of the termites who decided to poke their loving heads thru after cutting into their homes. I put the pieces in a sealed plastic bag with a cup of chlorine for a week. Haven't seen them since, so hopefully it worked.
For those who decide it is worth looking at the slideshow you will see the lock miter involved in putting the posts together, some long slider work with my parallel jig, some shaper work, extension tables on my already big jointer, and as always, some tantalizing bandsaw work.
If not here's some pics of the completed piece, daylight and nightlight versions.
Questions, comments encouraged...