Friday, September 20, 2019

Planchettes v1.6

I have made about five batches of planchettes since I first posted about them. This post is about batch #3, i.e. version 1.6. I'll try to keep it brief, because I just finished batch #4, i.e. version 2.0. 

Version 1.6 was just like version 1.5, except they had laser engravings on the top surface. It was a medium sized batch of about 17 units. All were made from hardwood, though some were made from planks that I planed down to thickness, and some were made from thin (1/8") stock I usually use in my laser. The laser stock ones were too thin to put a glass oculus into, so only the ones I planed got that. The woods used were red oak (laser stock), spalted buckeye, and hickory.  I didn't take many pictures of the production process, as most of it happened on the laser. Below are the planchettes hanging on a rack drying after being coated with either Danish oil or Tung oil finish. I can't remember which.

 I did learn a few things from this experimental batch.
First, although the laser stock wood will cut all the way through on the laser, it is really a little too thin to make a nice planchette, and definitely too thin to inset a glass oculus. The planed down boards on the other hand are a good thickness for drilling and insetting the glass, but even though they are technically under the maximum thickness for the laser, they are really too thick to cut through all the way by that method. In the future, I will likely just score the outer outline on the laser and do the rough cutting on the band saw and sand up to the line on the disk sander, like v1.0 and v1.5.

Second, due to possible alignment error when drilling out the center hole, I should mark the center of the hole with the laser by scoring a cross-hair, but NOT score the actual circle to be cut out. Any misalignment of the drill bit can cause the score line to be visible even after the hold is drilled.

Third, when using thin stock, orient the grain of the wood with the long axis of the planchette, or at a diagonal. Doing otherwise will create a weak point at the sides of the center hole, where the body is very narrow. 

Here they are again, waiting for the next coat of finish.

This batch with the laser engraving was very popular both on my Etsy store and in my brick and mortar shop. All of my offerings in my Etsy shop are sold out and I only have two left in the brick and mortar store. You can mostly make out all of the designs in the picture above, but I only took glamor shots of the ones that were going to be sold online. So, here they are-

This was a smallish batch that was finished fairly quickly. It only took a couple of days from start to finish. Its main purpose was to test the idea of cutting out planchettes on the laser, and for engraving the tops with designs.

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