Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Celtic Flute Case is in the Mail

Custom Sapele Case for Celtic Flute
     I'll have to admit that I'm really happy with the final results of this Etsy order that I just mailed this morning.  This picture shows some of the beauty of this wood with its' ribbon grain effect.  The finish is Danish oil with my hand-rubbed, 3 part mixture.  Here's another shot of it that shows off the chatoyance of this wood.

3/4 View

     I tend to say that in my work it's all about the wood and this project bears that out.  I have always loved the subtle nuances in wood, one that really stands out to me is the spot about half way up on the lid.  It looks as if it's an "outie" but you run your hand over it and it's as smooth as can be!  I love the hand rubbed finish I use on almost all of my work.  You may recall that I applied all but the last 2 coats before separating the lid from the box.  They are applied with pieces of denim which I get from my neighbors whose kids have outgrown their jeans -- works great!

Applying Final Coats of Finish
     Whenever I do this step it reminds me off Marine Corps boot camp and sitting on a locker, rubbing boiled linseed oil into the stock with your hands.  I doubt they still do that, M-16's have plastic stocks whereas the M-14's of my era were wooden.  The denim concept is the same.  You use a very small amount of the finish (don't saturate it) and rub it into a small area until it's almost dry.  I really think it's more of a burnishing effect using the finish as a lubricant.  Once you're done it's important to wipe everything completely dry and just let the piece sit overnight.  
     I sure I'm not the only person that gets a bit apprehensive the closer you get to the end of a project.  Just the thought of making a fatal mistake -- I mean, the potential is always there.  One area is installing the hardware like the hinges, latches, handle, and nameplate.  First up were the hinges.  After pre-drilling them the next thing was to pre-screw them with a steel screw to avoid any possibility of the brass screw breaking.  Even after all those precautions, I still lubricate the threads of the screw with beeswax.

Hinge Installation

     For the nameplate I use a tiny #2 x 3/8" round head screw.  I don't even bother with an electric drill for those, a small gimlet works just as well.

Gimlet for the Nameplate
     Any commercial handle I found was way too large in scale for this case.  I chose to use the same leather material I use for strapping in my pistol cases.  I think the look of it with the brass finish washer and slotted, oval-head screw maintain the scale and purpose of the case.

Handle & Nameplate Detail

     Got the case all wrapped up and sent it priority mail this morning.  Most projects I do I get some attachment to.  This one was extra special.  The person that ordered it from me recently sent two recordings of the actual flute being played, the one that's going into this case!  That was special, a bit of Irish Celtic music to really get me into the spirit.  I played it while I was taping the package up.


  1. You have nicely manufactured this case. It is looking beautiful and you have done an excellent job.

    Custom made furniture

  2. John,
    Beautiful work! What type of wood is that?