Stuff I’ve built: Christmas Gifts for 2008

The Christmas GiftsI FINALLY got them done!

With Christmas – and the corresponding drop-dead postal service holiday mailing schedule – breathing down my neck, I finally managed to complete my hand made gifts for this year’s festivities…

Now, of course, I have to post the standard disclaimer – if you are one of my relatives and you are reading this post, please avert your eyes from the photo to the immediate left.  You MIGHT be receiving one of these in the next week or so.

I chose to go with some simple plans straight out of Wood magazine.  In the back row are two sets of picture frame bookends.  One set’s frames are made with zebrawood and the other’s are made of sapele.  Both of the uprights are made of maple.  Since this photo was taken last Friday, I have also finished another set with sapele frames and red oak uprights.  The frames are sized to hold a portrait 4 x 6 photo in a slip-in acrylic photo frame.  We found those at a local Target store, and they fit perfectly. I love using up those shop scraps on these small projects.

In the front row, you can see some of the end-grain cutting boards I cranked out.  These were some fun projects to build, again, because I had the opportunity to use more of those beloved shop scraps.  The woods in these babies are maple, cherry and walnut, and it was glued up with Titebond 3 for its water-resistant properties.  While they came out looking great, I discovered that I really need to improve my sawing and glue up technique.  For some reason, the blocks I cut and started to glue up for the final assembly were not a consistent thickness (operator error, without a doubt).  So, I had to spend quite a bit of time with the belt sander to grind them down nice and smooth.  Hey, that only took a day or so.

I finished them with the technique Marc Spagnuolo uses – thinned polyurethane.   The boards readily soaked up the thinned finish, and a final sanding with 220 on my random orbit sander gave them a very slick and smooth surface.

Finally, I can check that big to-do off my list and get busy with my son’s desk I promised… and the new workbench I have to build… and…well, I guess I’m booked through next Christmas!

2 thoughts on “Stuff I’ve built: Christmas Gifts for 2008”

  1. Tom – awesome designs on those cutting boards. I did two of the same pattern that Marc uses in his demo. I love those pictures frames as well. I think those will have to go on my to-do list for gifts.

  2. Thanks, Aaron. Those picture frames are really cool because – as with all grandparents – all they really want are pictures of my sons….

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