Monday, May 21, 2012

Shuttle for mother's day

I enjoyed practicing subtle shaping & surfacing.
Here's a gift I made a few days ago for my mother. (late because I got food poisoning on mother's day). This project is 100% joinery-free and is all about surfacing. This is a giant version of a style of weaving shuttle that is normally used on small inkle looms. Yarn is wound between the two holes. in addition to shuttling the weft from side to side, it also acts as a beater-bar, packing the yarn into position with the shorter, thinner edge of the shuttle. This is the second oddly-sized shuttle I've made for my mom. I figure if I make odd sizes of things, I won't be getting her something she already has. I was also drawn to the elegantly simple utility of this style of shuttle.
The finish is drying in this shot.

I started with 1/4" x 24" x ~3" piece of padauk that I had lying around after deciding not to use it in a guitar neck. I drilled a couple of holes with an auger bit on a drill press (carfully!). It would have been better if I had a forstner bit big enough, but I didn't. I pre-drilled a 1/4" hole through the workpiece and the backing board to disable the drive screw first. This prevents the auger bit from pulling the chuch right off the drill press. It also prevents splitting the board.

I used a cambered jack plane to get one side thinner than the other, then try-planed both faces. various tools aided in smoothing out every edge and corner. I used card scrapers a lot also. A curved goose-neck scraper was instrumental in leaving a slight groove between the two holes (too subtle to photograph, but it is obvious when you feel it with your thumb.

Note that the thickness is not constant. The shaving on top was the only way I could get my cell-phone camera to focus.

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