Friday, July 6, 2012

Smaller is Not Simpler Part II

     Before I picked up the lumber for the table base commission I just received I decided to design the handle for the Maple Splendor box.  Even though it's a small detail it needs to be right to go along with the overall design of the box.  Here's what I came up with:

Maple Splendor Handle
     I like the idea of attaching it without any screws so naturally a mortise and tenon is the way to go.  It's a little over 2 1/2" long with a 1/4" x 1 1/2" tenon.  This wood is pretty difficult to work with, exotics become desirable because of their grain patterns.  The very thing that makes them beautiful also makes them hard to work with.  After cutting the handle to rough shape and forming the tenon I found that the spokeshave I'd made a few years ago was the best tool to bring it to shape.
     Here it is, ready to be glued into the lid:

     Not to sound like a broken record but the grain on this piece is stunning.  You can see in the picture that the ends of the dovetails still need to be trimmed but that can wait.  I'm experimenting with spraying super blonde shellac on some test pieces.  It's pretty hot and above the recommended temperature to apply shellac but I'm thinning it down considerable and using an airbrush to do it.  I'll let the samples cure for a few days and then see how they rub out.

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