Little Boxes made of Ticky Tacky

Christmas came and went with such a rush, that I completely forgot to even take some photos of the two boxes I made as presents.  These are a few photos of one of those boxes (taken by my old man) of the box given to my Mum.

Dovetail Box

The sides are Tasmanian Oak, from Misan Timbers.  They have been dovetailed using the Gifkins Dovetail jig, with felt on the base, and more felt on the inside base.  The finish is hard burnishing oil, followed by Ubeaut Traditional Wax applied then buffed with the Ubeaut Swansdown mop mounted in the drill press.

Underside of Lid

The top is framed with Tasmanian Oak, and the panel is Queen Ebony from SITCO Australia.  (It is looking a lot redder than in real life).

On the underside of the lid, I have added felt around the perimeter (where it makes contact with the base)

Inside of Box

The base is actually a floating panel (as is the Queen Ebony in the lid), with a rebate around the edge and sitting in a slot cut around the base.

Side of Box showing Dovetail Detail

The dovetails were perfect straight off the router table – the beauty of the Gifkins jig – once you have it set right, repeatable, perfect dovetails are almost too easy.

Melbourne Timber & Working With Wood Show 09 Day 1

Show Time!!

Had a great day one – still really enjoy wood shows.  The day absolutely flew past, so I have hardly scratched the surface of the displays that are there.  Good catching up with everyone who came along and said hi, and welcome to anyone who has now discovered Stu’s Shed because of the show.

I’m sure those who have taken the MagSwitch gear are already discovering why I like it so much 🙂

Vesper Tools, and the long expanse of Carrolls

Vesper Tools, and the long expanse of Carrolls

Got to say hi briefly to Chris (Vesper) and see some of his latest creations.  What I like about his display, is even though the tools he makes are works of art (particularly those in the display cabinet), there is a wide selection of his products out on the bench where you can have the full tactile experience.  I will get more photos over the next couple of days of Chris’ tools, and the other stands around the place.  Today, I almost forgot that I had a camera with me!

A very busy Tormek Display

A very busy Tormek Display

The Tormek guys are active as always, so a great opportunity to pick their brains about the finer points of show speed wetstone wheel sharpening methods, see the different jigs that are available (and pick up a T7, as quite a few appeared to do today – their stock levels where dropping noticeably quickly!)

SawStop

SawStop

Gabbetts machinery were there with the full cabinet SawStop, as well as the more recently released contractor’s version.  When you hear an airhorn (approx every 2 hours), you better hightail it to their display because another hotdog is about to put its life on the line for your education (and entertainment).  No matter how many times I see it, I still enjoy seeing the SawStop mechanism render the saw safe in such an incredibly fast manner.

Carb-i-tool

Carb-i-tool

Looking for a router bit? The the impressive range of Australian-made Carb-i-tool router bits is certainly worth a visit.

Impressive Burls

Impressive Burls

Some impressively large burls ready for finishing into unique furniture.

CNC Router from Carbatec

CNC Router from Carbatec

Looking a bit like a computer printer that carves, rather than prints on wood, this CNC router is running during the day, demonstrating how it created the Carbatec sign seen here.

That would certainly make routing rather easy!

Closeup of CNC-carved sign

Closeup of CNC-carved sign

SitCo Australia with Queen Ebony

SitCo Australia with Queen Ebony

I first came across SitCo in Brisbane, so it’s great to see them down here as well.  They have a really nice collection of Queen Ebony for sale, and you can get some really nice pieces without breaking the budget.  They also have some musical-grade timbers as well, but talk with Brian if you are after anything particular.  The end-grain of Queen Ebony is particularly impressive, and it is a very dense timber.  Lots of different shapes and sizes, so ideal for boxmakers and wood turners alike.

Turned Queen Ebony

Turned Queen Ebony

A couple of beautifully turned bowls by Guilio Marcolongo, which are being silent-auctioned off for the Royal Childrens Hospital.  Doesn’t show up here, but the Queen Ebony has gone an incredibly deep black.  This is not ebonising, but is the natural colour this timber goes once it has time to oxidise.  To speed up the oxidisation process the timber is exposed to household ammonia.

So that’s all I have for day 1.  Sorry – was too distracted by the wood show!  Will try to get more detailed photos etc from the show tomorrow 🙂

Timber Harvesting in the Solomon Islands

As a follow-up to the timber-of-the-month featuring Queen Ebony, as sourced from the Brisbane Wood Show, SITCO Australia have sent some photos through to me of the timber being harvested.

Some AMAZING heavy, thick planks of Queen Ebony.  I’m imagining a heavy-topped Queen Ebony workbench – it would look incredible.

2 cutters operating surrounded by S.I Blackwood trees

2 cutters operating surrounded by S.I Blackwood trees

Fresh cut Ebony

Fresh cut Ebony

Queen Ebony Chainsaw cut

Queen Ebony Chainsaw cut

Some amazing planks coming off the chainsaw there.  When we shop for timber around the traps here, we often seem to scavenge for scraps that look good.  It is amazing to see whole trees of quality timber (and remember this is eco-timber – working towards accreditation for best practice, which is an excellent direction for Pacific Island nations to work towards – long-term sustainable businesses.

Free Hand chainsaw

Free Hand chainsaw

Queen Ebony

At the recent Brisbane Wood Show, I picked up some interesting ebony, hand milled in the Solomons, and sold by SITCO Australia. It is also known locally (in the Solomons) as Tubi, and is marketed as a premium hardwood and as part of the Solomon Islands eco-timber products. For those who understand Latin: Xanthostemom melanoxylon- Myrtacea

The timber looks really interesting, and initially starts out a whole range of shades.  It darkens significantly when exposed to air (although I’m not sure as yet over what period).  Some of the carvings that were displayed were as stunning as they were a deep, rich black. Many of the traditional wood-carvings done in the Solomons use this timber.

Solomon Ebony

Solomon Island Queen Ebony

This piece has really picked up with the application of some burnishing oil, revealing some really interesting character.  As is readily apparent, is there is significant checking from all edges.

I have some other pieces that I bought at the show (as mentioned here), so will be really interesting to see how they come up in different applications, such as turned pens.  Ebony is typically a very expensive timber, even in very small quantities, so the size and pricing of this source of a very dark version (once it has sufficiently oxidised) is particularly interesting.  The colouring of the piece above is very light compared to the older samples I saw, so if it doesn’t really look like ebony yet, time will tell!

It is not currently recognised as a true ebony, (as in timbers from the Diospyros spp. family), but when you end up with a timber that becomes a stunning jet-black, close grained, heavy hardwood, what is in a name?

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