Thursday, October 29, 2009

Large Wooden Box with Triquetra and Roses

This was a nice decent sized wooden box with antiqued brass hinges ad hasp. I say 'was', because I sold it last weekend at the annual Witches' Ball, where I was vending.

It was one of the larger wooden boxes I have ever re-finished (8.25in. x 10.75in. x 6in.). It was, of course, one of those pre-made craft store boxes, but an exceptionally nice one. I believe it was made of pine, as opposed to the usual bass wood or balsa.

After removing the hardware and sanding it real good, I stained it with a honey maple, a much lighter stain than I usually use. Then I laid out a design on the lid with pencil, using a rose stencil and a paper print out of a triquetra, which I traced with carbon paper. I had planned on creating a design on the sides as well, but never could decide on what to put there. A moot point now.

Once the design was penciled in, I went over it with the dremel, using a conical stone grinding bit. As I have mentioned before, this has the benefit of creating less 'burring' than would a regular wood carving bur bit. It sands the wood down rather than carving it up. This makes for a much cleaner line, in my opinion, and requires no further sanding.

Since I stained the wood prior to engraving it, the wood was lighter in the grooves than the surrounding flat areas. I left it this way, instead of my usual 'color in the grooves with a sharpie' or dark stain. I like staining the wood first, even when I do plan on darkening the grooves with a sharpie. It makes for a very nice contrast while you are engraving. It makes seeing your lines and judging your depth much easier.

This piece sat around the workbench in this state for several months while I ruminated over what to do with the sides. In the end, laziness won out. I decided to just top coat it and be done with it. I gave it two or three coats of clear polyurethane sealer, and then I lined the bottom and the underside of the lid with velvet.

I am still working on refining my technique when it comes to lining boxes like this. I cut a piece of cardboard, or chipboard to the size of the bottom and trim it a little. Then I glue bridal velvet to the cardboard with spray glue, wrapping the edges around. I never buy cheap crushed velvet. I get the good stuff. It costs me about $25-$30 a yard. Then I glue it down to the bottom of the box. I have made one or two boxes where the sides and bottom are lined, but this was hard. I'm not good enough at judging the fit. I have seen a lot of prop makers on the brassgoggles forum who do linings, and theirs look so much better and more complex. I would like to learn how to do more like they do.

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