completely different: A wedding signature board!
My wife’s niece (would that be me niece-in-law???) is about to get married. Third time around, at ca. 40 years. The lucky guy is called Tommy and sports a mohican haircut. Nice guy, though. And before I forget it: my niece-in-law is a certified witch. So: not your average couple.
Unsurprisingly, the motto of the wedding is also a little different: Steam Punk.
Since I sent her a handmade tealight holder for Christmas some time ago, she knows I do woodwork. So she asked me to make them a wooden signature board, with an engraved text and ready to be hung up over the sofa in the lounge once the wedding is over. I told her that’s corny, but she wants it anyway.
So I made up around 20-30 design sketches, and we worked our way from there. The wedding is next week Friday, and I’m almost done. Here’s what we have so far:
The whole thing is made from a bookmatched pair of maple boards, cut from a single big slab. This is not your average sycamore, it’s proper hard maple. And heavy. After cleaning up the sides and gluing the whole thing together, I had one hell of a time getting it flat and cleaned up. It’s too wide for my thicknesser, so had to be done by hand. And even then, with a freshly sharpened blade in my No. 4 plane, there were plenty of places where the grain just lifted up, leaving me with an uneven surface. In the end the only thing that really worked was a furniture scraper. And loads of sanding. Followed by more sanding. And finally, you guessed it, more sanding.
The idea here is to have something looking a bit like a steam pressure vessel. The veneer bands represent brass binders, and will have decorative round studs glued to them, so that they look like the heads of rivets. I even made two short bolts with washers and nuts to be glued into the rounded ends, as if there was a steel rod running through the centre.
The picture above shows the board after the initial carving was completed. Some glitches are clearly visible, and these have by now been cleaned up. Now I need to clean up the corners of the banding, then apply sanding sealer and a few layers of satin varnish, glue in the bolt ends and glue on the studs and we’re there.
It’s a lot more work than I thought it would be, but then, she’s family and I like her.
Update: Here’s the finished article: