Tree Of Life Background

So I was given a pile of what I was told to be cedar by a regular visitor at the Nature Park. His neighbour was ripping out their interior wall cladding and was going to throw out. It was all of this tongue and groove and it was originally being offered to the nature park to burn in our massive biomass boiler. He had brought a sample in and as usual the inner magpie within me had to ask if there was any more available for me. What caught my eye was the colour and the grain, this didn’t look like your average bit of cheapo pine and tongue and groove. I had ideas originally on using on my Noah’s ark but then after finding some walnut for this purpose decided against it.

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How the lengths of cladding originally looked.

So I arranged a meeting with the guy, who lived across the road from my allotment and went to have a look at what was on offer. As I had my allotment so nearby I picked up a few lengths and put them in my shed and forgot about them for a month or two before returning to them after development of another idea. I had wanted to make a tree for the background of an upcoming craft fair / exhibition and so needed a large sheet of decent wood. Buying one large sheet of real wood (not ply or MDF) would have proven very expensive. I then remembered that I had all this tongue and groove stashed away at the allotment and so last week I sawed it up to manageable lengths and tied it to my bike and cycled home with it. I then took 4 sections and then removed the tongue and groove with my number 5 and then glued these together and left them for two days to dry.

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The lengths after being glued and the sash clamps taken off.

The whole lamination was then planed to remove the varnish and stain (I didn’t realise this was stain until I started planing) as well as level out the entire piece of wood.

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The planed board. You can now see the differences in the colours, particularly the second board from the top.

The design was then drawn onto the wood. I had made this template well in advance and so had made the board to fit the template, rather than the other way round. You can probably make out the crosses too where I was going to remove the wood. IMG_20150505_114424581_HDRThe outer edge was removed with my bandsaw. Next a lot of holes were drilled for my scroll saw and the sawing began.

IMG_20150505_115912051_HDRIMG_20150505_122448770_HDRTook just over an hour in total to do.

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After all the cutting was completed.

Next day came the tricky part. Carving it up to give it a bit more “form”. I began with a fish tail gauge but quickly found this wood splintered very easily and ended up using my powered carver to form most of the shape.

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The tree with a bit more form, prior to giving a final sand and then oiling.

After sanding it was then given a coat of Danish oil and the difference in the woods quickly became evident to me.

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Halfway Through Oiling and You Can See The Major Difference In Colour Between The Top and Second Lamination.

Thankfully a bit of quick thinking and a spot of stain on the affected area saved the day and the carving,

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The Finished Carving With a coast of Stain on the affected panel matching the bottom length thankfully.

 A base still needs to be added but it is now pretty much complete. Not bad for 4 hours work and a couple of bits of scrap wood that someone was throwing out.

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