Tuesday, July 26, 2016

General Finishes - Black

Three Coats of Stain on Red Oak, Six Coats of Varnish
I received a commission for a square dice tray, with the request: "can you stain it black or ebony?" Well, yes indeed sir; I can.

General Finishes makes a family of stains, gel stains, that are thick and seemed to me to be ideal for the task of "turn this non-black wood into black wood." I used General Finishes BLH Gel Stain, 1/2 pint, Black. A quick overview of it is after the jump.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Small Rectangular Dice Tray Gallery

Like I've done with the octagonal and elongated octagonal dice tray. I wanted to create a central gallery for the color and material combinations that I've made and photographed. Pics after the jump.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Small Rectangular Dice Tray - Ash with Black Felt

Just wanted to provide photos of another wood and color combo. This time, ash paired with black felt. As with essentially all of my pictures with dice, the gold dice are 12 mm (1/2") and the blue dice are 19 mm (3/4"). More pics after the jump.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Small Rectangular Dice Tray - Walnut Red Felt

Designing something to be used involves a surprising amount of factors. Typically, nearly everything you use that has been produced by a major corporation has been engineered to death (well, it ought to have been at least). Someone has thought through the ergonomics of how it's used, how its user will react to using it. Someone has thought through all of the minor details of how others will perceive its use. Here's a fun fact about my operation: I have precisely zero engineers. I do all of the design myself, and, spoiler-alert, I'm not an engineer (yes, presses are stopped).

Here's a thing I never considered when designing the original octagonal dice tray or even when designing the elongated octagonal dice tray: a deep tray with high sides can obscure other players' views of your dice rolls. At a small tabletop game, it's not that big of an issue. The sight lines involved don't block the dice rolls. However, at big games, like a big wargaming session or at a con, the larger distances change the sight lines and can mean that rolls are hard for other players to see. Plus, at those games, there's a higher probability that schlepping your gear is an issue, so smaller actually can be better.

Enter the Small Rectangular Dice Tray.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Lie-Nielsen No. 102 Low Angle Block Plane

Hand planes are tools that are easy to overlook in the modern shop. We have jointers for cleaning up and squaring the edge or face of stock, planers to thickness it, these tasks were traditionally done by a stable of planes of different size and shape, each powered exclusively by elbow grease. Can you function without a hand plane? Absolutely, I've managed to do so for essentially my entire woodworking life...

... until this little beauty walked into my life: the Lie-Nielsen No. 102 Low Angle Block Plane.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Puzzle Board on Lazy Susan - Father's Day

This one's more function over form
Let's cut to the chase: This is a 3 foot square of plywood covered in green felt, bordered with ash rails, and sitting on an attached lazy susan, The Manhattan Project it is not. It is, however, functional.

Monday, June 20, 2016

General Finishes - Weathered Gray

I made a handful of frames from some wood from my great-grandparents' barn in Oklahoma. Barn wood is unique looking. Over the many years it sits in the beating sun, exposed to windswept dust, and rain. Exposed to the elements like this, the bright tan color of wood weathers to a gray. Different parts of the wood fibers wear away, winter and summer growth rings have different density so they wear unevenly. This combines to create the unique appearance of barn wood.

Tiny problem though: when you cut barn wood to the size of whatever you're using it for, you're stripping away those years of weathering and exposing fresh wood to the surface. After the jump is info about how I tried to counteract this problem.