Christmas Gifts 2018

This Christmas I was in full swing for making stuff in the workshop, and decided everyone was getting hand-made gifts for Christmas. I should have started in June and not in mid December, but here we are…

These are pretty much all made out of a combination of European White Oak, American Wallnut, Purple Heart and somethingsomethingtreewood that I can’t remember.

Cheese Board and Coasters

The first set was a nice little chopping board made of a dark American Walnut bordered by thin strips of Purple Heart, with the main body of the board being White Oak. The coasters don’t actually match but I stuck in the same photo, and are made of something I can’t remember any more, but it is a really nice light wood that contrasts with the walnut really well.

The Purple Heart is a stressful material to work with, as when it’s cut it is actually a fairly nasty dirty brown colour, and only turns deep purple after a couple of days exposed to air. It’s also crazy hard, so quite difficult to work with in a fledgling home-workshop.

Enormous Cutting Board

This one ended up being a gift for ourselves. It’s Walnut ends with the mystery white wood (Maple maybe?) in the middle. These I cut to size on the table saw, hand-planed the joining surfaces, and glued them together with the trusty old TiteBond Ultimate waterproof glue. I left that for a few days clamped up to really set nicely, as the next destination was a trip through the planer/thicknesser. That is one of the scariest tools in my shop, so I needed everything nice and sound. The next step was to use a router to make all the edges nice and rounded (a tight 5mm radius bevel on the edges I think), and then a chunkier 8mm or 10mm round-nose bit for the channel. Then it was just a case of several coats of nice food-safe butcher’s-block oil, and it was done.

[editors update: It’s December 2022 now, and this board is still in daily use four years later, with no sign of that nasty discolouration that can appear in the joints of these sorts of objects that are near moisture a lot. That TiteBond really is the business!]

Various Tea-Light Holders

I made enough tealight holders that I was asked quite firmly to not make any more thankyouverymuch. Turns out “it’s the thought that counts” only counts if they’re new thoughts each time. Here I present just three of them.

The first was inspired from some things I found on Pinterest. Not actually lathe-work, just judicious use of a lot of sanding. White Oak and Walnut.

The second is a matched-set of three (Sycamore maybe? Dammit this was written 4 years after I made them) and is simple bandsaw work followed by lots of sanding.

The last is just a slighty-brutish attempt at using a lathe, and never actually got given to anyone.

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