Frozen in Ebony

Posted in Acorn House on July 7, 2010 by acornhouseworkshop

Before I shape the neck, before I finally attach the body to it, I need to radius the fingerboard to make chording, bending, etc. easier (electrics and steel-string acoustics are usually radiused, classical guitars are not). This is done with a very sharp block plane, and a perfectly flat sanding stick. There are many options as far as how much to radius according to the player’s preference. I’ll be going with a comfortable 12″ (more or less). There are also two types of radii: cyclindrical, which uses a set radius sanding block, which means as the fingerboard tapers, the resulting edges will change; or, a compound radius, which keeps the same edge all along the fingerboard, and results in different radii depending on the width. I am going with a compound radius.

With the radius roughed in, I can now inlay the fret position markers. I’m using 3/16″ MOP dots for all but the 12th fret. There, I designed (with the help of Benjy Davies) an oak leaf. In order to match the radius, and get some veining, I decided to make the leaf from 10 separate pieces, all very tiny, and all nerve-racking to saw from the MOP blanks. But, with a couple of redos thanks to tiny, fragile, thin sections snapping off trying force a curve, they all got cut.

Some clean up/fine tuning with some riffler files, and then I, once again, positioned the final leaf under some clear packing tape to take to the copier and get my routing template. Careful routing with the laminate trimmer and a 1/16″ spiral cutter; test fitting; fine tuning with the trimmer, and I’m ready to glue. Since there were so many pieces, I decided to go with epoxy rather than CA glue, so I would have more time to make adjustments (no quick setting epoxy here). Also, I knew I had some gaps (most inlays do), and epoxy takes dye much better than CA glue. I mixed up the epoxy and added some antique maple and black dye until I had a good color match with the Macassar Ebony, which isn’t black like Gabon Ebony, but more dark brown. I found that adding the black dye in steps allowed me to creep up on the color match. Then, with some tape to mask the borders, I filled the pocket with epoxy and added the MOP pieces one by one. One thing I hadn’t counted on was the overflow covering up the pieces, which made positioning them a matter of feel (read: guesswork). Then let dry overnight.

Next, after marking the dot position, I drilled the holes for the MOP dots. I carefully checked my 3/16″ brad point bits with a dial caliper and found them all slightly oversized. So, I found a regular twist bit that was exactly 3/16″ and started drilling. These I could use thick CA glue with, since they didn’t need any positioning once they were in. Then, with everything set and cured, I took the sanding stick with 100 grit and sanded down to the inlay, also further refining the radius. the result:

Not perfect (thanks to not being able to see to position as well as I’d wanted), but OK, certainly good for a first effort with a multiple piece inlay. This will be my guitar, after all, and its better to practice on this before trying it on a client’s build.

Now, if only this heat wave would break so I could get some more work done! (Here’s a tip, if you are building a workshop, make sure it has insulation and heating/cooling!)

Twist and Shout

Posted in Acorn House on July 4, 2010 by acornhouseworkshop

Before gluing on the headstock veneer, I needed to inlay my acorn logo in Mother of Pearl (MOP). Hand cutting with a small fret saw on a bird’s mouth platform is required (at least until I get that CNC guided laser cutter installed. Maybe around 2027) Some kind of magnifying glasses is a definite must.

A little touch-up filing with some riffler files to smooth any errant bumps and I’m ready to inlay. Because the pieces are so small and fragile, glueing or taping them on to the headstock to trace around them with a knife is not an option. So, I arranged them in their finished position, carefully stuck a piece of blue tape to hold them, and took that to the copier. That gave me an exact impression of the actual pieces (rather than the original art, which may, or may not, have been sawn exactly). This copy was glued to the headstock. I used a laminate trimmer with a 1/16″ spiral cutter bit — and the mag-glasses! — to carefully rout out the pockets. I’m using a piece of spalted sycamore, the same wood that will be the top of the body, for the headstock veneer. Double-check the fit, and then glue in using some thick CA glue. Over to the drum sander to sand to thickness and we’re ready to glue to the headstock.

I glued on the inlayed veneer, along with a piece of mahogany veneer for a contrasting band, to the headstock. Then rough cut the head shape, and used a pattern routing bit to rout to an MDF pattern I had made. The head was finished.

Next, after inserting the truss rod, I glued on the Macasser Ebony fingerboard, clamped it up, and let it cure. After unclamping, I brought it back in to the house to settle……

Then I saw it……

At some time in the process, whether due to the high humidity in the shop, or due to planing error, or a combination of the two, I noticed that the neck had developed a twist. ^*#&@&#$% @&^%$&^& $%(@&^%$  *^%$(&^%! Unfortunately, I had neglected to check for the twist before I glued the fingerboard on.

One thing about guitar necks, they MUST be straight, or the instrument will be unplayable. So, there was nothing else but to make a new neck. I was able to slice off the inlayed headstock veneer to reuse, but in order to use the fingerboard, I would have to get the truss rod out first. Despite my best efforts, it would not budge. I have purposely made it a tight fit, and some glue might have squeezed onto it, because it didn’t want to move. I finally cut some relief cuts from under the neck and managed to pry it out, but not without bending the adjusting rod. So, I can reuse the fingerboard, but need a new truss rod. It could be worse.

Made a new neck, etc., and got back to the glued fingerboard stage. After glueing the fingerboard, the neck gets tapered. To find the right angle for the taper, you have to make a full scale layout using the string width at the bridge, the scale length of the guitar (how long from the nut to the bridge), and the desired width of the strings at the nut. Add 1/8″ to each side so the strings don’t fall off and voila. Since I am making a through-neck guitar, I had already done this before beginning construction so I could make the neck the correct width where it met the body.

Next, I will be radiusing the fingerboard and inlaying an oak leaf at the 12th fret position.

You can play “Twist and Shout” on a finished guitar, but don’t develop a twist while you’re building one or you’ll REALLY be shouting!


Posted in Acorn House on June 15, 2010 by acornhouseworkshop

Building an electric guitar definitely requires pre-planning. The first decision is what style of guitar to build. The two main types of design derive from the two big builders: Gibson and Fender. With a few exceptions, most other designs are variations of these two companies’ offerings. The biggest difference is the type of bridge used; Fender favors a lower design, whether tremolo or hardtail, while Gibson typically uses tune-o-matic type bridges. What this means for the builder is how to handle the neck. The lower the bridge, the less (or even no) neck angle is required for the strings to be at the proper distance from the neck and hardware. Tune-o-matic style bridges, being taller, require some degree of neck angle, at least 2°, more typically 3° (+). So, it is vital that you choose your design and gather all of the pickups and hardware before even beginning to touch the wood.

I will be building a Gibson derived guitar using a through-neck design. This means that the wood used for the neck will continue down to become part of the body. This allows me to build in more access to the higher strings with deep double cutaways without compromising the strength of the neck join (since there won’t be any!). It does make it a little more challenging to build, since the required neck angle has to be there from the beginning, rather than fine tuned when attaching the neck to the body.

After hearing the resonance of Butternut, and feeling how light it is, I had decided to use it for the neck and body, reinforcing the neck with strips of maple for added strength. However, when I went to rip the butternut for the neck glueup, it warped terribly, indicating a lot of inner tension in the wood. Not what you look for in a guitar neck, where the goal is to end up with a stable and, above all, straight, finished product. So, I decided to use the curly maple for the neck, alternating with thin mahogany  strips to get the required width.

After this first neck glueup, I did a careful layout, using the exact dimensions of the bridge in hand, to figure out the exact angle for the neck (and double checking everything. There is NO second chance, here!) An angle cutting jig at the table saw, with a little hand tool cleanup produced the basic neck roughout. My angle turned out to be 2.5°.

Next, a scarf joint creates the angled headstock (another key difference between Gibson and Fender designs). This is the same technique used for the parlor guitars, except the headstock is thinner, since it solid rather than slotted. Again, one of the best benefits of the scarf joint, aside from conserving wood, is that you have long grain the length of the headstock, rather than shorter angled end grain if you had cut the angle from bigger stock.

In order to reinforce it and allow a thin, comfortable, neck, truss rods are required to counteract the force of the strings. A channel is routed into the neck. Since the truss rod I had purchased (again, get the parts BEFOREHAND) is 3/16″ wide, I used a 1/8″ spiral bit and an edge guide on the laminate trimmer, routing form both edges of the neck. This has the added benefit of guaranteeing that the channel is perfectly centered. After the basic channel is routed to the proper depth (don’t go too deep. or you will break through when you start to shape the neck contours), some hand work is needed to provide room for the adjustment nut , leaving just enough room for the nut, but not taking away too much wood to weaken the neck joint.

The final part of the initial neck work is to add wings to the headstock to widen the headstock to desired size. This, along with the headstock top veneers which will be added later, has the added benefit of reinforcing the scarf joint. Guitar building, acoustic or electric, is all about removing wood, then reinforcing the resultant weaknesses.

Well, that’s enough shooting angles for today.

A Tale of Two Turnings

Posted in Acorn House on June 11, 2010 by acornhouseworkshop

I’ve been getting in some time at the lathe, turning one bowl blank that I’ve had for a year or two, and one that I just got the week before.

The first bowl was a small 2″x6″x6″ blank of redheart that I got in a mixed lot from Westpenn. I had a pre-plan to turn a thin, flared, undercut lip with a shallow bowl. The redheart was ideal for this because of its tight grain. Since it doesn’t have any pronounced figure, the form and the color are the stars of this show. The wood didn’t pose any problems turning, responding equally well to the gouge and the scraper (for the final smoothing). I strived to get the lip as thin as possible, while still having it provide a handhold. Since the wood was dry, I didn’t have any movement as it got thinner to worry about. The only finish was a tripoli polish after sanding to 400 grit.

The other bowl started as a fairly fresh Butternut Burl, about 8″x14″x10″. (One customer of my supplier who saw it said that it looked like a turtle. Luckily, he had already promised it to me.) The first step was to saw it into a circle no larger than 9″ in diameter. Since most of the flare was thin, I didn’t really waste any wood rounding it. Then, attaching it with a screw chuck, I shaped the outside outside, adding a tenon for the chuck to grab onto when I inverted it. Being a little wet still, the gouge took off the wood easily, although not too cleanly. The scraper and sandpaper fared better at that. My objective with this bowl was to turn it completely in one session and dry it in the microwave; accepting, and even encouraging, any resultant warpage.

After finishing the outside, I inverted it and began to work on the inside. With the grain and figure from the burl, I went with a plain, inverted, bell shape, letting the wood itself be the star. As I worked my way in, I could tell that as the first part of the wall was thinned down, it was drying and getting out of round. So I didn’t dare go too thin with this one. Getting it scraper smooth every inch or so was the order of the day; no time for fussing, and no coming back to an already finished section, it would be out of round by then. I worked my way to the bottom, and then sanded the inside to 400 grit.

I didn’t want any foot on this bowl, so I reversed it onto a jam chuck, with a live center to hold it on, and removed most of the tenon, leaving a raised base with a center recess. The last part of the tenon I took off off the lathe with a sharp gouge. Then to the microwave. Short 1 minute exposures at medium to low power – taking it out immediately to let the moisture escape and the bowl to cool down. I don’t know how many times I zapped it, but it was quite a few. Then after thoroughly cooling, I sanded it back down to 400 grit. Not only did I get some warpage, but the curls dried at different rates, providing some surface variations. The wipe-on poly brought out all of the figures and colors of the burl.

In an earlier posting, I had show what happens when the wrong length brad is in the nail gun. After removing the errant brads, I applied some shop sawn veneers to the wounded areas, refinished, and glued and stretched a new paper. There is a little color difference from the older wood getting some sun prior to repairing, but that will blend over time.

Next up, an electric guitar build.

Golden, brown and delicious

Posted in Acorn House on May 31, 2010 by acornhouseworkshop

One of the woods that I’ve been wanting to work with is butternut. So, when one of my local suppliers mentioned that he had a board, fresh out of the kiln, I grabbed it up, even though it was a little rustic (better grades are still in the kiln, processing). Even with its defects, I could see that it had a lot of the character that I prefer in wood.

Another first impression I had was how light it was, even for an 8/4, 6 foot long plank. Butternut is a relative of walnut, often called “white walnut”, and is used for carving, as well as furniture. It is not as strong as walnut, but very easy to work with, which means, of course, being extra careful not to ding and dent it. I would describe it as having the grain of walnut, the lightness and strength of poplar, and the color of elm. I also noted how resonant it it. I can easily see it making into the body of a guitar in the future.

Since I needed a luthier’s toolbox to keep all of the various small tools and parts, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try it out, and also to try some carving. I used traditional box joints; on 3/8″ thick sides, I felt dovetails would be excessive; plus, with the rustic character of the wood, I didn’t want anything too fancy, just good, strong, honest joinery. After the sides were dry fitted, I worked on the carving of the Acorn House logo into the top board. Butternut certainly lives up to its reputation as a carve-friendly wood, mallets are unnecessary.  As a novice carver, the grain direction caught me out a few times, but, in the end, I think it came out appropriate to the style. I left the background toolmarked rather than smooth.

Glue up, with a similar resawed butternut board for the bottom, went smoothly using liquid hide glue. With all of the notches of the box joinery, using a faster setting glue would have been a nightmare. Prior to glue up, I had sawn a dado where I would be separating the lid, so, after it had dried, and I had given it an initial planing and sanding, I could cut the top off with the table saw and have a lip to catch the top.

Next was a small tray to hold all of the small parts and materials. 1/4″ sides and 1/8″ dividers makes for an incredibly light tray. I used only quartersawn butternut to give it the maximum strength, and more box joints. The tray slides on two side runners.

Finally the hardware. I decided against any metal hinges or latches, and used some more quatersawn (for optimum strength) butternut and made them myself, using a 3/16″ brass rod for the hinge pin, and a turned ebony latch pin. One thing I discovered while drilling out the holes for the pins is how fragile butternut can be. Even quartersawn, the thinness of the hinge ends wanted to tear out from the drill. I used some CA glue to strengthen the weakened ares and screwed the hinges on without glue, so, if they ever fail, I can replace them without too much problem. A denser wood wood be a better choice, next time.

I finished the box with a first coat of Danish Oil, followed by some wipe-on poly (and shellac for the tray). The butternut really blossoms under the finish, with a depth and a glow that rivals any other fine wood.

Its true what they say. Everything really does taste better with butter!

Stand and Deliver

Posted in Acorn House on May 18, 2010 by acornhouseworkshop

I’ve been working on a couple of projects that were going to be gifts, so I wasn’t able to talk much about what was happening in the workshop. But they’ve been delivered, so here is a recap.

The first project was a commission for another music stand to be a graduation present for a Music/English major here at Rio. I used the opportunity to expand my skill set, since there was no new design work to be done. Instead of attaching the legs with a routed dovetail, I used the table saw to rough in the dovetails on the legs, and then my old Disston No. 68 dovetail saw to cut the matching socket and a chisel to pare out the waste. I think the most challenging aspect of this method is trying to carve a curve in the leg’s shoulders to match the curve of the post. You definitely need a well sharpened gouge to work on the end grain. other than that, I certainly prefer it to the jigs and fixtures needed to get the grooves routed.

The client was pleased.

The second gift was for Mother’s Day. It was a side table to sit next to a big recliner with a storage area under the top. The picture I was shown had a basic box on legs with a shelf underneath. What I didn’t like about it was that the top opened via a hinge by folding back on itself. Which means that when you open it, you can’t have anything on the stationary part of the top. So, aside from jazzing up the design a bit with some curves, I had the moved the hinge to the end, so that it opened out. Also, to make it easier to retrieve items towards the back of the “fixed” part, I attached the rest of the top with buttons in a groove that ran the full length of the “fixed” top. That way it can slide back, while at the same time allowing for any wood movement. I used cherry for the legs and aprons, and spalted sycamore for the top and shelf.

And with the open part opened.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.


Posted in Acorn House on April 22, 2010 by acornhouseworkshop

I have a project in the finishing room right now, but, unfortunately, I can’t talk about it publicly, yet. It is a commission that will be given as a gift, so, until it is presented, Mum’s the word.

However, I would like to talk about my method for finishing cherry. I read about a lot of various recipes for finishing cherry, how to deal with its blotchiness, how to even out the color, etc. etc. etc. Most of the time I end up just shaking my head. Now I realize that the final appearance of a project is a matter of personal taste, but for me, one of the reasons I use a particular wood is its inherent look and texture. If I wanted it to look different, I would use a different species. So, for the most part, I always prefer a natural, uncolored, finish. There are exceptions, of course, as you can see when you peruse my Gallery. If I am trying to match a specific style of period, Arts & Crafts, for example, well then, I will try for a more appropriate coloring of the Oak. Or if a client wants a specific look to a wood, I may try to talk them out of it, but, in the end, they get what they desire.

Cherry is one of the woods that I see abused (to my eye) the most. A colleague build a new house with all solid cherry cabinets, cut from trees on the property. When I saw the finished kitchen, I held my tongue (but it was hard.) They had been stained a uniform dark brown color with no sense of the grain, and NO chatoyance, at all. The things that draw me to cherry most of all had been killed. Eradicated to make sure they all matched and blended together. Personally, I love the subtle variations that are ever changing in every board foot of cherry. I love the depth that natural cherry has, and the subtle patterns of the grain. And when you get some curling, or crotch figure, or gum pockets, or (if you are extremely lucky) birdseye, then the character just gets more beautiful and interesting. If you want uniformity, then use poplar and paint the damn things!

Sorry, hope the kiddies were out of the room.

So, for my finish for cherry, I use some old and some new; nothing fancy, nothing that hasn’t been used before to wonderful effect. I start with a coat of Boiled Linseed Oil to get a jump start on the aging/darkening process. (I’d hate to see those stained/pre-darkened cabinets in 20 years. They’ll be positively gloomy.) After wiping off any excess (of course, fresh cherry will want to soak up most of it), I set it to dry, preferably in the sun, further enhancing the natural color that cherry acquires. Letting it dry for a few days to make sure the BLO is really dry, I will wipe on some oil/varnish or wipe-on poly to protect and give a nice sheen. That’s it. Simple and, I feel, beautiful.

After all, that’s, for the most part, the way that Thomas Moser does it, and he seems to be doing alright for himself. I think people just need to be shown how beautiful cherry is, without all the shading/glazing/dyes/stains/conditioners/etc….. They may just not know any better. Or, they may actually (gulp!) like it that way. Me, I’ll stick with the natural look.


Posted in Acorn House on April 7, 2010 by acornhouseworkshop

I’ve been back in the workshop for a while now; definitely overdo for a new blog entry. I’ve completed a couple of projects, and the gremlins have been out in force. Oh, sure, I could just be rusty from the winter break; but the problems have just been too weird.

The first project involved making two mini shoji screens to cover some ugly wall speakers. They are made out of walnut, with two different, yet related, asymmetrical designs. Aside from the basic stock dimensioning, most of the half lap and rabbet joinery was all hand work. A really nice way to tune up your sawing and chisel skills (and break in my new set of mortise chisels.) Aside from the outer frame, I used different widths for all of the elements, and different thicknesses, giving many nice shadow lines. I had picked a bundle of different, handmade, papers to choose from, and selected one that worked well with both the shoji frame, and the speaker grill that it was going to cover (also making sure that it didn’t affect the sound). After finishing the frame with an oil varnish, I glued on the paper. You don’t have to have the paper super tight at this stage, just be careful to avoid any puckering. The next day, after the glue has fully cured, I sprayed the back of the paper with water and set it in the sun to dry. Presto, the paper is nice and taught.

Then came . . . the Gremlins! I had milled a simple mounting piece to hang it from the wall and went to nail it on. I checked the length of the nails, opened up the nail gun, checked that it was empty, and loaded the 5/8″ brads. A few pulls of the trigger and its done. But, hey, wait a minute, why is it stuck to the cork board I was working on? There are four brads, merrily poking through the front.

I distinctly remember seeing no longer brads in the gun! They had to be put in while I wasn’t looking by the Gremlins. (or maybe just tucked in under the front of the chamber.) I will trim them flush and add a veneer on that top rail. (Since it is for my own use; if it were for a customer, I would redo it.)

The two screens.

The other project is a cabinet, similar to the one(s) that I made for the school‘s Fine Arts Atrium. This is a single, shallow unit, that will hold the poster for whatever concert is coming up. Construction is the same as the other, with large G&G type finger joints, but when I did the glue up of the box, something looked odd;  it didn’t look square. Sure enough, Gremlins had struck again. Even though I used my accu-miter with a stop to cut the pieces to length, even though I had done a test fitting and checked for square, after the glue had cured, one side was 3/8’ of an inch longer. I still haven’t figured this one out.

But here is where I can gauge my progress as a woodworker. I was able to figure out what was wrong, and, more importantly, how to fix it. Luckily I had used liquid hide glue, so cutting the offending side out was not a big deal. I made a new side (the correct length this time!), redid the joinery, reglued, and back in business. All that is left to do, now, is to make the cleats and hang it.

Gremlins are always hanging around the shop, and everyone will encounter their mischief from time to time. Everyone, even masters, will fall prey to them occasionally. Look back through the ‘casts of Tom MacDonald, the host of WGBH’s new WW show, and you will see him, in his bombé secretary build, have to rip out and redo a major structural part. Knowing how to fix mistakes, and not being satisfied with sub par work, is what shows us our growth.

Let the Gremlins do what they will, I’m ready for ’em!


Posted in Acorn House on February 15, 2010 by acornhouseworkshop

One of the bonuses when I bought my house was that it had an extra, one-car garage, that allowed me to set up a workshop and start my woodworking life in earnest. One of the drawbacks when I bought my house was that it had an extra, one-car garage, that wasn’t designed to be a workshop. That means, limited electrical, no finished walls and, more to the point nowadays, NO HEAT! I have upgraded the electrical to take care of my power needs, but the heat issue remains. And in the dead of winter, even with a couple of space heaters, no insulation makes for a very unpleasant time out there. Its hard to do fine work when every tool’s metal surface feels like a block of ice. Not to mention the variable stability of the wood out there. (Cut a lap joint too tight and bring it into the house, it will be too loose within a week!) I envy those of you that have a nice, WARM, shop to work in, whenever they want; even if it is in a too small basement, say, in the wilds of Michigan.

So, locked in a hard freeze, with snow predicted almost daily, now is the time to plan and dream. I know I have one or two coffee tables to work on this year. I want to turn a set of plates out of some 8/4 cherry. I had planned to work on a modern adaptation of a Morris chair and accompanying ottoman, but the more I looked at various Arts & Crafts books, the more I am liking the lines of the Frank Lloyd Wright inspired Prairie chair. (Plus, I think the cats will appreciate the large area of perching surfaces better.) The upholstery is a little trickier, with the back cushion getting a wedge shape, but that can be worked out.

I am going to be continuing the progress of Acorn House Guitars; expanding the line to include an electric guitar. I have come up with a design which has met with the approval of almost everyone I have shown it to; original, but not just for the sake of being different, it has ties to traditional models. It will have a mahogany body and neck with a spalted or birdseye maple top (depending on whichever one is nicer from my stock). I will be using a through-neck design; which means that there is no join between the neck and body, the sides of the body are attached to a long, through, neck. This allows me to have deep cutaways for the hand to reach the highest notes on the fingerboard easily, without having to compromise structure. Some double cutaway models have had problems because, after routing for the upper pickup, there was not much wood left where the neck attaches to the body (yes, I’m talking ’bout YOU, Gibson!), this design avoids that issue.

An electric guitar poses different challenges versus an acoustic. An acoustic is much more hand tool intensive, while an electric is more dependent on power tools – particularly, a router. There is also more interaction of wood with metal hardware, and, of course, wiring and soldering. But, the design has been determined and components are being assembled.

My little website has been garnering some attention online. I have joined with Matt Vanderlist over at Matt’s Basement Workshop for a new project of his called the Spoken Wood podcast. Matt has enlisted a number of woodworking bloggers to produce audio version of some of their past postings. Just the thing to load into an iPod for those short trips. Also, I was honored to be included in an article about woodworking sites. (I’m #1! I’m #1!) Welcome to all new (and old) visitors.

Man, I’m really jonesing to get back into the shop. I think its time to change the patch of cherry veneer on my arm. To dream, perchance to build…

School work

Posted in Acorn House on December 14, 2009 by acornhouseworkshop

The last few weeks of the semester are the busiest for a college professor, especially one who teaches music. There are a constant stream of end of semester recitals and concerts to direct and attend, not to mention finals and grading! Doesn’t leave much time for woodworking. One piece that I did manage to finish (and literally, put the finish on in between classes) was a display cabinet for the Fine Arts building’s Atrium, right next to our Auditorium entrance. It will hold student art in the outer cabinets and house award plaques in the center.

Made from walnut shorts that I had in my stock (hence the design) and sycamore for the back and trim. I used Greene and Greene/Japanese inspired finger joints for the joinery.

Since the doors are only 3/8″ of an inch thick, I couldn’t inset an escutcheon, so I made them out of some spalted scraps to sit proud of the surface. Now we are waiting for the glass shelves to be cut to size before putting additional student work in, and the plaques to be attached.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to post until after Christmas, since all of the work now until then will be for gifts. Santa’s workshop doesn’t allow spectators, ho, ho, ho.

So, have a Happy holiday season, be safe, and I’ll see you next year.

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