Sunday, 17 July 2011

Red Wooden Heart - Cutting it out.

Ok, in my previous post I gave you a template that you could resize. I should probably say that if you’re going to make it really small or much bigger, then you’ll need to change the thickness of the wood accordingly.

So for a small heart (say 15cm/6in across) maybe use 9mm ply and one larger than 25cm/10in, use 18mm ply. Otherwise the small one will be really fat and the large one will be really thin in proportion to the outline.

My heart is double sided, which means you have to cut everything out twice, and join the 2 halves back to back. But you could just do one side, with a flat back, and then it could be hung on a wall.

Adjusting the footplate to 45 degrees.
The angled plate, looking from the front.
I cut my heart shapes out with the blade of my jigsaw at 45 degrees to create an angled cut. You could also do this on a bandsaw by tilting the bed, but if you don’t have one a jigsaw works just fine. To change the cutting angle of your jigsaw, change the angle of your footplate – there’s usually a nut of some kind underneath the plate that will allow this adjustment. Mine needs an allen key (hex key), but they’re all different.

You must clamp your work securely before cutting the pieces, and beware of hitting things with the blade underneath the wood, as the blade is protruding at an angle you may not be used to! I drilled 10mm pilot holes to make it easier to change direction at the tip and at the top of the heart where the two bumps join in the middle.

I started at the bottom and cut round in one direction. It’s a bit awkward in the middle at the top, and if you find this too hard to change direction in this tight spot, then cut one side and then change the footplate to be angled 45degrees the OTHER WAY and cut the other side from the bottom up as well.  If you do it this way and don't change the angle of the footplate to do the other side, the angle of the edges will be different on the 2 sides.  One will go 'out' and one will go 'in'.

Or you could always cut it out with a regular 90 degree angle blade and do lots more sanding!

When you’ve got all your layers cut out, glue them together (using wood glue), keeping the 2 halves separate for now. Start with the biggest piece and work up to the smallest piece. I added a couple of panel pins as well, just avoid the edges if you follow suit, as you’ll be sanding some of the edge away, and sanding down nails isn’t very easy!
One side glued and pinned - leave to set overnight.

You need to leave the glue to set overnight before commencing sanding, but in the meantime, you can get to grips with shellac. I decided to keep the shellac mixing and methodology all in the next post, instead of breaking it up..

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