Not really a build-a-long but a series of progress pics and some explanations.
Odd design, I know, but that’s what I like to make.
Cut this off a log from one of the piles in my yard. Stripped the bark off with an 80 grit flap disc on my angle grinder. Heavily spalted and a fair amount of punky wood, really wasn’t sure if it was going to end up in the kindling pile or not but pressed on.
Spring clamped one end of a broken band set close to the bottom of the V and wrapped it downward towards the bottom of the handle in a loose spiral then held the bottom while I traced along both edges with a sharpie. After removing the band I used the trace marks as a path and started in with my rat-tail rasp. Tore through the wood fairly easily at first then then it firmed up as I got deeper. That was it for the first session.
Next I used the four way rasp to round all the edges of the spiral and smoothed out everything, it was starting to look like something.
Used my pull saw and cut a slightly deeper ridge all the way down the inside of the spiral and hit it again with the rat-tail and a couple of different needle rasps. Also brought the “trough” up and around one side of the front of the fork.
Started getting a more refined image in my head. Knocked off the left outside bump at top of the handle with a Shinto Saw Rasp. Next with my whittling knife I did some detail work on the front and inside the V to give it a “wraparound” look. More sanding inside the spiral. I was nervous about the strength of this fork though so researched and discovered a product called Minwax Wood Hardener and picked some up at Lowe’s. (excellent for this purpose, btw)
Gave it a good sanding with 80 and then 150 grit sandpaper.
So I’d seen a guy on youtube use a yellow stain on a spalted maple bowl he was turning and it looked DYNAMITE so I got an idea. The wood hardener is a very watery liquid. I decided to add a teaspoon of turmeric into the portion that I was going to apply to the fork in hopes that it would draw the yellow stain down into the deeper fibers as it hardened. It was purely experimental as I had more sanding to do. I figured this would be a way to have the stain remain as I sanded back a few more thin layers. It worked for the most part. Obviously the softer parts that absorbed more hardener also absorbed more yellow tint. It was too yellow for my liking.
Even though the fork was MUCH firmer now, there were still areas that would not sand smooth so the experiment was only partially successful. I gave it another good go ‘round with the 150 and then 220 and I figure this is as smooth as I’m going to get it. Gave it two good helpings of BLO and it brought the color in to a better range.
Just need to band it up and hit the range.
Hope you all like it, thanks for looking!