This little drawing has been hanging out in my notebook lately. It's been calling my name in obscure ways so I had to get an idea of what to do with it so it would stop haunting me. I interpreted this mysterious calling by considering this to be manifested into a physical object that one could hold. I had chunks of hardwoods lying about my desk that I have had kidnapped for their wood grain color or texture so I figured it was about time they got merged together.
Its been a while since I made time to hang out in the wood shop, so it was about time I put my two feet into the place that compelled me to want to show up to work in the first place.
I started two of these at the same time. Cut out the original shape - the photocopier is my best friend for scaling sizes. Then they get glued onto their respective wood blocks.
The larger figure on the left is on a Acacia wood block and the smaller figure on the right is on a Rain Wood, or as we call it in the shop "Meh", though it is far from just being a shoulder shrugging "meh" statement.
Their holes in the middle of the figurine gets punched by the drill press.
Then I get to select the quarter round router bit to round the edges of the hole that got punched in the middle. The thing about the router bits is that you got to think the opposite profile of what you want to achieve, so its a bit of reverse image thinking here.
I wish I could say I set up the router by myself, but I definitely got help from Shop Chief to change out the router bit from the straight flute that was in the machine to the quarter round.
Due to the size of the original wood block the only place it can get secured is in the workbench Vice. I get educated further on the custom height settings to make sure I don't accidentally cut to deep.
The pieces occasionally get to migrate home with me with the borrowed round rasp file to smooth the edges on the inside of the hole left by the drill press and router bit.
This particular one I got help to glue two layers of wood blocks together to end up with a thicker profile.
Once these little things get routed and filed, they get to be put through the band saw to start trimming the outside edges to get closer to the intended profile.
This is how the double layered one turned out after making several cuts through the band saw. I ran out of time to keep cutting, but it's always good to take breaks to reassess the decision making process. For once its been cut, it can't be undone like the "undo" button that almost exists everywhere in our daily digitized lives.
Rounding the edges through the belt sander I think is the most zen process so far. You get to really manipulate the shape of the figurine quickly and deliberately, and at the same time gratifying to get closer to the intended result.
I like the look of the figuring after its been belt sanded you get to see the remnants of the original drawing versus the new shape that is emerging from the shaping process.
The larger figuring looming in the background is on a Mango wood block, but I am definitely saving that challenge for later after I finish the two smaller ones.
This single layer version is hanging out in the sunlight drying. Once I get into the sanding process it goes from a coarse grit sandpaper to a finer grit sandpaper. The trick in between is to lightly wet it with water to "raise the grain". The wood breathes with water, so you prevent future movement by encouraging the movement with the water, and then sanding it down.
I managed to complete the single layer version. It went through a rigorous sanding process and finalized by sealing it with tung oil. I wasn't too fond of the smell of the tung oil even after I let it dry for a few days. I had the idea to consider applying a shea butter moisturizer on it. I figured a natural product with a natural product should not react negatively with each other. As a result of the shea butter I applied, it ended up absorbing quite a bit and becoming softer to the touch. It luckily kept the sheen of the wood showing through too.
Now I get to tackle the double layer version to the belt sander the next few days, and hopefully take better photographs of these when completed in bright daylight!