Thursday, July 17, 2008

good wood

Remember my recent wooden toys obsession? Yeah, 2 posts ago since I'm so bloggy lately...Well, I got myself all excited with bedside sketches and decided to buy a scroll saw, then remembered a chance conversation with a friend who offered the use of hers a year or so ago...luckily still willing. While I decide how much I might ramp up production to justify the big purchase. The danger is, of course, once I have the saw, then I need the belt sander, then the...

I warmed up by doing the sanding and waxing and happy wood purchasing for a new rail for Marian's bed. We're putting the girls' beds back up in bunkbeds, so the top bunk with rails will become Audrey's, back on top, and Marian needed a rail. I wouldn't ordinarily worry, but she is tube-fed by pump all night, and if she fell out of bed, it could rip out her port and just be an ugly situation. Nathan was a champion and got right to business with the circular saw (too heavy for me) and screws. Of course, we haven't subsequently gotten around to arranging lifting help to re-bunk, but are ready when the time comes :).Then more wood for me! I decided to stick with pine: not only beautifully inexpensive, but a softer wood for a novice saw-er (my last time with a scroll saw was 8th grade shop, a marvelous experience that has left me with all sorts of "I can handle power tool" confidence, even though, um, it's been awhile...). And I do love the familiar grain of pine and was able to find a beautiful board of "select cut": no knots. I love those, too, but they're a beast to cut through (in my vast experience).

SketchesRough cuts
(note the Childbirth without Fear on the table with my goods. I'm getting obsessed. These books are all over the house! Must recommend, though: Grantly Dick-Read was so completely radical when he wrote it in the 40s, and the information is still excellent. It's interesting to note how childbirth practices have and have not changed in the intervening 80 years or so).I used watercolors to stain the wood to my taste, and mixed my own beeswax (candle post coming soon!) finish paste. I don't have the consistency right for ease-of-use, but it's food (and therefore future gnawing) safe and the eventual result was silky-smooth and smells yummy.

I'm SOOO thrilled with the first result. My own stacking/standing wood block tree. Or puzzle. To put on one of the lintels (see! it stands!) in the baby room until he's ready to play. Or until the girls want to. Or until I just want to touch it. Or make my husband admire it. Or...

5 comments:

Preece Family! said...

I love these!

*Abby* said...

Those wood puzzles are super awesome... I've been admiring some different animal ones on the internet lately and what a surprise to see yours! I never thought to actually make them myself! Great work!

sallyavena said...

We, ok, Sophia and I, are loving these. So cute and they really make me want to get a scroll saw too. There isn't anyone left with one here.

Meg said...

Oh, Valerie,

I love these. I admire you craftiness (always have). You kids will sure love these wooden treats, I sure do.

nyjlm said...

just beautiful- hope you make more because I want to admire them all!