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Finally getting back to the wood boards…part 1

As I mentioned oh-so-long-ago in this post, I bought a few wood boards for use in a new line of books. The fact is, I really don’t know much about wood other than that I like it. I bought the wood figuring that I’d work out the rest later.

Note the word later – that was eight months ago. At times, I can be a bit of a slow-mover on new projects.

Well, I finally got moving on the project. I was contacted by woodworker Bob Bouvier, a fellow member of Vermont Hand Crafters. He was kind enough to help me out with thinning my wood boards (in their original state, they were too thick for book covers). He was able to get two pieces from each board, with each new board measuring 3/8″ thick.

Here’s what the new boards looked like:

Wood boards

Once I got the boards home, I had to cut them to the size I wanted. When determining measurements, I matched the grain of the wood (vertical) with the grain of the paper that will be used for the pages. I was a bit freaked about using our miter saw because the safety thingie on it is broken. I made a point of thinking and moving really slowly, making sure that I wasn’t doing anything, well, stupid. Luckily, I also had my hubby nearby acting as my spotter.

Setup for cutting wood boards

I used binder clips to hold boards together while cutting. I found this most useful with the softer woods. Unfortunately, the purple heart was just too hard – I had to cut each board individually instead of stacking them.

Elissa Campbell using a miter saw

No curly-haired stunt doubles were used in cutting this wood

So what did I learn during this process?

  1. The harder woods take longer to cut and the process is much slower.
  2. Wood can burn as a result of blade friction.
  3. Slow cutting also results in the generation of smoke. It’s smelly. Get fresh air as much as possible.
  4. Use a really sharp blade.

Bob was really helpful in providing me with guidance in how to finish the wood. In my next post, I’ll talk about the sanding process and how his tips worked out for me.

3 Responses to “Finally getting back to the wood boards…part 1”

By Alexia - 20 February 2009 Reply

They’ll make gorgeous book covers! 🙂 can’t wait to see the finished product.

[…] Finally getting back to the wood boards…part 1 […]

By elissa - 24 February 2009 Reply

Hi Alexia,

It will be a while before I actually make the books…I need to do some practice bindings first. I’m sure that once I’m ready, I’ll be afraid to drill holes in the wood…I get strangely attached to my materials.

Elissa

So what do you think? I'd love to know!

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