Lucky, or maybe not so lucky, for you all, I’m having a fit of sleeplessness and so I’m posting a double for the day! Today, while working away on my card sleeve, I got a call from my mom to say that she would come pick me up so that I could spend a weekend at home. Normally, this would be followed by me making up some extremely outlandish excuse to keep from having to head back to the dirty town I grew up and stuff myself back into the ultra-religious box that my family lives in.
But, all week I’ve been getting calls from my older sister imploring me to join her for the weekend when she visits… and of all things, put dreadlocks in her hair.
I can’t explain how I’ve come to have experience in this – (youtube, the internet, sisters who let you experiment), but I will definitely be photo documenting this experience about the process of deadlocking – 6-7 years after the last time I did it. I know you will all be dying to read all about it.
But the point of this post, is that while on the phone my mom mentioned that it was nice that my sister and I were making the effort to come home for Father’s Day.
After scrambling for a moment, I quickly confirmed a pick up time and disconnected the call. I had completely forgotten about Father’s Day! What could I give him?!
I stewed, and thought, and tapped my head, and squinted my eyes, and listened to some Pearl Jam – until in some type of movie like occurrence – I realized the answer was sitting in front of me the entire time.
The card holder! There was no way for him to know that I had originally intended it to be an organization tool for the goldmine that is my bookbag – and I always seem to build things better when I know that I’m building them for someone.
But that meant I had to finish it by tomorrow afternoon, which meant I only had tonight, because I would be working all day tomorrow. Crunch time.
This is how it looked after I took it out of the press. I hadn’t spent a lot of time cleaning up any of the edges, or even being careful with the cuts, as I had figured that I would clean them up later, and since it was just for myself, I wasn’t too worried about it being perfect. There were also some gaps in the edges that I had had to fill with wood filler last night because the spacers didn’t quite fit together squarely. It looked like a mess!
Carving and filing down those edges was my first step. After that was done, I needed to carve a thumbhole to make it easier to pull our the cards when you needed them.
Then came the sanding. I started at 120 grit, moved to 220. then ended with a 320 grit paper, wiping down between each stage, to really smooth out those rough edges.
With the sanding done, I had to figure out how to personalize it for him. I didn’t have a lot of time for an elaborate design, and I figured he would like a more simple, sleeker look any ways. So I chose about as generic as I could go – and sketched out “Dad” on the front panel
With a small gouge, I carved out the letters
Relief carving always gives you ample time to think about how you want to finish your piece. You can see in some of these pictures that I chose a really unfortunate material for the spacers. Plywood has a filler that loves to chip away as you sand or try to carve it, so I was left with little pockmarks in the wood. I knew there would only be more visible with a stain.
To cover it up a bit I decided to spray paint the fillers with gold and stain the rest of the piece with the left over red mahogany stain from the longboards.
The stain was first:
I gave that a good thirty minutes to dry. Normally I would give it a lot more, but I was on a timeframe and it was already starting to get dark out (which means it is WAY past my old lady bedtime!)
So, I taped it up and set to spraying the inner plywood.
I was worried that with the short wait time that when I pulled off the painters tape some of the stain would come off, but I think I was safe as I wasn’t using a poly/stain combo this time around.
I literally gave this stage about ten minutes to dry while I got my lunch for work tomorrow ready. (Hummus and left over pork!)
Then I dipped it in a walnut stain/ poly to get the insides. Next time I make one of these I’ll be staining all the pieces separately before I attach them. Not sure why I didn’t think that would be easier.
It’s still drying. and I’m brainstorming ideas for some type of leather latch. Maybe with a magnet?
Not my best work – but I’m okay with it. I was lucky that I had something I could transform into a father’s day gift, any ways!