Sunday, May 22, 2011

Made in China vs. John Made

     After using the same frame for my reading glasses for the last 7-8 years I came across a really cool, yet eccentric, pair at a "high end" (don't like that term) optical shop called Obika. They are engraved on the temple as  Handmade in Germany and the company name seems to be Schminckel.  Obika is in a new shopping district here in Las Vegas called Tavoli Village.  As a teacher I always preferred reading glasses that don't have a frame on the top so kids would never disappear from my sight, especially at the prison I taught in my last 11 years.  These are hard to come by so when I spied these I had to have them.  I was surprised when I picked them up that they came with a crappy, made in China box so I just couldn't let that slip by.

Side by Side Comparison
    Since I had some  8/4 Zebrawood remaining from the tops for the triangular tables I decided to use it for the case.  Love the grain patterns and striking coloration of that material.  The finish is super blonde shellac and wax.
Case Interior
    I was real pleased to see how the grain came out as I routed the recess for the glasses.  The first step was to make a template out of masonite that approximated the outside profile of the glasses.  If I were to make these for sale I would choose to make a more generic outline.  This template was attached to the blank with 23 gauge pins and then routed out using a plunge router with a guide bushing attached and a core box bit.
After routing, a small scraper was used to smooth it out.  Rather than glue felt into the recess Diane made a small bag out of the cleaning cloth that came with the glasses.  The grain is really stunning, almost the same effect you'd get if you cut Baltic Birch plywood.  Small Soss hinges were used along with a magnetic to keep the case closed.  I mentioned the possibility of selling these and I plan to show it to the store where I got them and see if they're interested.  Here's a picture of yours truly modeling the specs, I'm lovin' it !!

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