Jay’s Blog #2
As I told you in my first blog, I will take you through the process that I use to complete a project. Many of you may have better methods and if you do, I would like to hear from you. I’m going to attempt to add pictures this time.
We find interesting pictures on the Internet and copy them. We then blow them up to the size we like and make a copy that will be used as our pattern. Figure #1 shows the pattern we use to make the flag/eagle item.
Step #1 and this is very important you must number each piece on the pattern (that is unless you are great at putting puzzles together.) Using the graphite transfer paper I mentioned Blog #1, trace the complete pattern onto your wood.
Step #2 I use a router and route all of the lines. Some people have told me that I don’t need to route the lines, (Just cut them). That may work for some people, but I like to route them. It is easier for me to follow the lines during the cutting process and I will be sanding those same edges later, so some of the material will be gone and it will make the sanding process easier and shorter in time. I don’t route them very deep, maybe 1/8”.
Step #3 after I’m finished with the router, I number each uncut piece of wood to match the numbering that I put on the pattern. You will find that when you are ready to glue the pieces together you will be very happy you numbered the pieces.
Step #4 is cutting the pieces out. As I cut the pieces I renumber the pieces on the back also and the reason I do that is that some of the pieces will be small and you will loose the number on the front. After all of the pieces are cut I place them in their own pile, i.e. 1 thru 9, 10 thru 19 Etc. This speeds up your process when you are gluing everything back together and looking for your next piece.
Step #5 I use both a belt sander, (turned upside down) and I round sand the edges of the larger pieces and I use a Dremel to sand the smaller pieces. If I can, I use a vibrater sander to clean up as much as I can and then I use my hands to finish all of the edges. Every piece I finish now has been hand sanded
Step #6 we are ready to glue the pieces back together. I use a small bottle and use good wood cabinet glue and don’t put too much on. Keep the glue to the bottom half of the glue surface, or you will be doing a lot of clean up on the top surface.
Step #7 don’t go so fast that you can’t keep things together. The glue should set up fairly fast. Move the project around some as you are gluing it to keep it from sticking to the table surface you are using. As you do some of these you will decide how you want to do the gluing, such as from the middle out, or from one side to the other.
Step #8 when your project is all together, give the glue some time to dry and then use an eraser and remove the numbers off of the front and do your minor hand sanding to clean everything up. After it is dry enough, turn it upside down and use a belt sander and clean up the back. This also gets rid of the pencil numbers on the back.
Step #9 If you have a wife like mine, she will do the painting, if not you are ready to paint your project.
If I can make this happen I will have five pictures.
Figure #1 is showing the pattern, ready for use.
Figure #2 is showing the routed pattern on the wood.
Figure #3 is showing the pieces after I have cut them.
Figure #4 is showing the pieces all sanded and glued back together.
Figure #5 is showing the finished item painted and ready for your store.
If you have some better ideas, I would like to hear from you. The way I do it works for me, but I’m open to anything that will save me time.