Sunday, April 20, 2008

It's the New Style; 4 and 3 and 2 and 1 . . .

I had a new stain color mixed to add to my collection. (It's a light orange that really isn't as nice as the green.) This time, I tried a stencil of my own, and had planned to print it with a dark cherry stain instead of the black acrylic you see here. It looked amazing, but when I lifted the stencil, I found the dark stain had soaked through the index paper I use for my stencils. (I still haven't found the right thickness acetate sheet.)

In order to salvage the box, I had to cover the entire piece with the darker stain. What I found was a happy accident. It looks so nice and even better in person! Using the black paint then, I have a subtle look that is part elegant - part edgy.

Here's a look at the second box. I was so excited to create it that I forgot to cut a grove in this one. I shopped the top one around at work and have found people to be interested. I'm searching for the right price to charge for a generic box, and for a box with a custom stencil I create based on the photo you supply. I've been working hard at creating more stencils and have 10 originals ready to go. I think I'm on the verge of something big!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Animal Box

Animal Box

A box I made for a friend rests atop a real-life pedestal in my backyard. I was inspired by the boxes I'm making for the Tunisian wedding. Incidentally, those are working out great, and I have perfected the use of stencils.

This box, unlike the wedding boxes, had mitered corners. This proved a bit trickier, as the cedar is too tall for my chop saw. Thankfully, I have a compound miter saw, and the head can be tilted at a 45 degree angle. Still, it's a bit of a hassle, and makes accuracy a touch harder.

The best part of all this is discovering how easy it is to have a custom stain mixed at Home Depot. It's a hair more expensive than the regular, but it will last a lifetime. I think I could get almost 100 boxes out of a tiny quart!

Be sure to always look in the Oops Basket for cheap paint. I happened to find the exact turquoise I need for the wedding boxes. 1 quart will run you a buck, whereas a gallon costs $5.00.

After finishing the stain, I quickly ran the completed box across the table saw on each side. Move the fence a bit; run it through again, and you've added a nice decorative element. It might be old-hat for veteran wood-workers, but I just discovered it!

I'll be constructing more of these, where I'll go for a more dilapidated look; possibly adding decoupage and stencils combined.