Come along for a workshop tour (without getting covered in sawdust) as I produce a new item.
For large items that I plan on making again I first make a template out of Masonite, then trace it onto the wood I will be using with a pencil. In this case I am making a new Noah's ark and the wood and hull sides is 3/8 inch thick white oak.
The next photo shows what one side of the ark will look like after it is cut. The piece will need some light sanding to remove the fuzz on the back side left by the saw blade.
An ark has to have animals, and for small items like these I print the patterns, cut them out, and adhere them to the wood with a special two-sided tape made just for scroll sawing. The tape keeps the pattern in place for cutting, but easily removes when I am done.
To cut the animals, I move to my Jet scroll saw and a lighted magnifier. This saw has a variable speed control, and blades can be changed quickly. The size blade I choose depends on the complexity of the cuts and the hardness and thickness of the wood.
The gorilla I am cutting below is made from 3/4 inch thick sapele, a beautiful light brown wood in the mahogany family. For the other animals I will use species like red oak, walnut, cherry, and maple.
Above is a closeup of me cutting one of the gorillas. As you can see, the blade moves quickly but it is safe because the blade is so small. There is an adjustable nozzle to blow sawdust from the work area to make it easier to follow the cut line.
After all the components for the ark are cut, the parts have to be glued. This particular glue-up took 5 clamps. After the glue-up was dry on this setup I added the roof, and that took 4 clamps.
An adage among woodworkers is, "You can never have too many clamps."
And here is the finished product! I am pleased with the way it turned out, so I will add this to the catalog and make more of them. There are sliding doors on either side of the ark, a feature I have never made before. This ark is now ready to ship, along with the other styles I already have been making for some time. Go to the Arks and Animals section of the site to see them all. Everything pictured is in stock, and I ship the next business day after I receive an order.