Stuff made for Christmas 2006.

This was a busy, busy season of making stuff.  Everything was done on the scroll saw this year — ornaments, Christmas cards (not pictured), and lots of fretwork goodies.  Most of the wood used was thick hardwood, using stock left over from last year (it’s always a ‘good thing’ to buy extra!).  I was a lot more comfortable scrolling the thick hardwood this year than I was last year.  In fact, I find that I now prefer it in many ways to thin stock.   For one thing the end result has a ‘heftier’, more substantial feel to it.  For another, while doing the cutting everything happens much more slowly due to the thickness.  The down side of thick hardwoods is, of course, that it takes longer to cut out the finished piece!

The dated ornament for this year is a kind of multi-media effort. It’s about 4-inches high and is made out of 1/8-inch Baltic birch plywood, painted with various colours, and finally soaked with a natural oil finish.  The colours are acrylic paints thinned to make a sort of watercolour effect.  On a few of them, I painted the lamp in silver, but I think I prefer having some wood showing.   And, yes, I know that cardinals have a black patch on their faces but the painting was fussy enough without worrying about teensy-weensy details like that!

Here’s a fretwork cat done in 7/8-inch red oak and finished in Danish oil.  The cat’s face looks very much like our Spooky, I think!  The overall sized is about 8×10.

Here’s another cat-related piece that is a bit different, but I think it rather looks like our own Bo.  The head is done in 1/4-inch Baltic birch plywood, the frame is 1/2-inch plywood, and the backer is 1/4-inch plywood.  The frame is painted “mars black” (a sort of matte black), and the head is unfinished.  The whole thing is sprayed with a couple of coats of a spray-on polyurathane.  It’s best viewed from some distance, and the thickness of the head makes it change how it looks depending on the angle the viewer is at.

Here’s an owl-puzzle that I made for my wife (and given to her unassembled, of course).  It is made out of African mahogany (about 1-1/4 inch thick), and finished with Danish oil.  The actual size of the main tree trunk is about 6 x 10 inches.

This fretwork “butterfly amoung the flowers” is made out of 1-inch lacewood and finished with Danish oil.  The overall size is about 8×10 inches.  I really like the look of lacewood.  It is quite hard but somewhat brittle.

This mounted knight is made out of 1/2-inch cedar, the base is a piece of butternut, and the whole thing is finished with Danish oil.  It is about 8×10 inches in size.

This frework horse is made from 7/8-inch red oak, and is about 8×10 inches in size.  It was made for a co-worker who is always talking about winning the lottery and buying a pony.  So now he has a pony.

This rather artsy piece of a woman “blosoming forth” is made out of a hard maple with a sapelle base, stained with a walnut danish oil.  It’s about 8-inches tall.

This piece is inspired by the traditional “green man”, and is called “Oakoo” by it’s creator.  It’s made out of 3/4-inch oak, and is about 7-inches wide.

For whatever twisted reason, I kinda like the look of this stylized cat, and invented a title that seems to fit … “cat on catnip”.  It’s made out of 7/8-inch ash … yep, the same stuff used for baseball bats.  Nice grain, good hefty density but, damn, it is tough to cut.

A fretwork tree frog made out of 1-inch mahogany.

A fretwork chickadee done in 1-inch African mahogany, and is about 6-inches wide.  I made several of these, some mahogany and some in 3/4-inch oak.  Fun to make and quite charming.  I even saved one for myself.

A mountain goat, done in 1-inch mahogany.  It’s about 7-inches wide.

Here’s a stylized wolfpack done in 1-inch spalted maple (the spalting refers to the black lines running through the wood; sort of like a wood version of blue cheese).  I did another one of these in mahogany that looks pretty spiffy (mahogany is such a nice wood).  They are about 7-inches wide.  Actually, the first one that I made was done in 1/2-inch butternut, but beautiful as it was it proved to be somewhat on the light side, and cracked at a stress-point.  I modified the design slightly to eliminate the stress point on subsequent pieces, and used thicker, stronger woods.  But at least I’ve got a nice piece to keep for myself once I mend it.

Another puzzle, in 1/2-inch Baltic birch plywood with various stains.  I made a couple of these, each stained somewhat differently.  And, yes, they were given to the recipient unassembled.

Last, but not least, here’s a fretwork sports car that I did for a co-worker who is keenly interested in fast cars.  It’s done in oak, and is about 8-inches long. She used it as a club to hit her coworkers.

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