Here’s how I made my groomsmen gifts
It started with some test pieces to see if this was even possible:
Satisfied with these. Time to move onto the expensive wood, which as I will later discover I am allergic to the dust of. Yay!
Here’s the clamping setup I used to put these together. I wanted a continuous grain in the padauk, which “forced” me to build them like this. Ultimately, this worked out pretty well, none of the blocks had separation issues and gaps were minimal.
I look upon these pictures forlornly as my final work with Padauk. Such a shame.
I made an extra block for myself, and this would be used for final tests. I sent off the blocks to a friend of mine with a hyper accurate CNC, and he milled in the initials into the blocks, and sent them back. Here’s my first test with the hinges. Let me tell you, I hate these hinges. You can see the engravings of multiple initials on this one, my friend with the CNC also tested multiple depths and cutter bits to see what I liked.
Drilled a 1-1/8″ hole, about 6 inches deep. I bought a special forstner and extension for this purpose. I started the drilling on the press to ensure a straight, even plunge, and when I hit the press’s maximum depth, the hole itself served as a guide while I hand drilled the remainder. They came out pretty straight!
And then finishing. Tung oil, shellac, lacquer, in that order. I had originally envisioned doing a lacquered french polish to a high gloss sheen, but at this point had discovered my allergy and was now just trying to finish them ASAP.
Here’s some final shots:
I filled in Robin’s (future) initials with copper shreds, I would probably do this inlay a little differently next time, it didn’t have the effect I was hoping for. For all the guys, I left them blank because the drop shadow effect it had just looked too good.
Now for the glamour shots: