Signs, Oil and Twisted Ovals

It's been a useful four days in the workshop this week. I'd did some preliminary work for future projects which should start to appear here next week. There is a real variety of size and complexity and some unusual items in the works..

This week I worked on some pretty straight forward jobs. A friend asked me to create two copies of an old weather-worn house sign he had on his property - Old Plough House. Its condition and the fact it was probably hand painted meant that I had to scan it in several setups and then draw vectors over those sections and re-assemble the design to replicate its original size, shape and look. This done, I found a couple of Iroko boards in the "scrap" pile of the workshop. Based on the pencil markings on them I think they were offcuts from stair-stringers. I gave them several coats of sealer, put sign-makers masking film on them and did the carving. I went for a flat bottom carve for the text and images but this did not machine the film very well and in future I'd go for full depth v-carving instead to try and reduce the additional clean-up that entailed. Carving complete then it was on with some more seal, then paint and finally pulling the paint mask off. These stages were done over the course of the week to allow drying time. You can see the progress below. There is a bit of touching up to do, some sanding and then applying oil to finish. They have come out very close to the original apart from looking a lot newer. 

Another quick sign job I did was the Orchard Close sign (image below) - this went from request, through design and cutting the finished part in an hour! In amongst the other jobs the tool coffin from last week and the latest batch of six CeorfanBirds were finish sanded and oiled. 

As I'm not the workshop tomorrow, my Friday morning project became Thursday evening. This week I set myself the challenge to make a pencil holder with a difference. The design utilises oval shapes that slot together the slot is the same shape as the oval but rotated slightly. When they are put together this gives a really pleasing effect of the shape twisting. It was actually fairly quick to layout (including head-scratching time) and then took about 1/2 hour to cut. I used the same Chestnut I used for the tool coffin last week as I've a stack of it to play with. With a little sanding to clear off some minor tear-out, the pieces slotted together very snugly (0.1 mm allowance). You can see in the images the ovals being cut and then the finished result with it slotted together. The result is a really pleasing shape. 

I've also spent a lot of time this week continuing to plan the future of the business and understand it's mission which is starting to get more clarity. Although it needs more distillation to make sure its 100% focused. Nice to feel some sense of direction though.