Sunday, July 31, 2016

General Finishes - Spiced Walnut

I made a rustic crate. It's basically just a box. But, we wanted it stained darker rather than the bright yellowish color of pine. So, off to General Finishes we go and to their swatches. We opted for an oil-based liquid stain, specifically Spiced Walnut Oil Stain. After the jump are some pictures of how it turns out on pine.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Elongated Octagonal Dice Tray - Maple with Cork Lining

Maple with cork lining

Another dice tray went out, this one maple with a cork lining. Finished with Formby 30063 Tung Oil, 16-Ounce, which is an easy-to-use, fast-drying, wiping varnish. It turned out nicely.

As always, they are available on Etsy.

Elongated Octagon

Octagon (domestic hardwoods)

Octagon (exotic hardwoods)

Small Rectangle

Large Square

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Square Dice Tray - Black

Those dice have so much space!
I received another custom order for a dice tray. For this one, the request was 9" x 9" square, wood stained black. The quadrilateral design is closer to the small rectangular tray, but larger, than it is to the octagonal designs. Staining it black, however, was a new wrinkle. Pictures and discussion after the jump.

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 Black Gel Stain. 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.