Jun 12 2012

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If At First You Do Suceed, Fail, Fail Again

I thought making bracelets was easy, I guess I just got lucky the first time. I made my first bracelet out of Peruvian walnut. I started from a 1/2″ thick square blank, cut out the hole in the middle with a 2-1/2″ hole saw, and cut off the corners to make it easier to turn. Then I turned down a piece of pine to the diameter of the hole and pressure fit the bracelet blank on the pine chuck. I didn’t run into any problems during the whole process.

Then I tried to make another one. I started the same process on the matching piece of Peruvian walnut, but the saw caught the blank when I was cutting off the corners and ripped the blank apart — fail one. Since I was out of walnut I tried a piece of Padauk. I cut out a square blank, cut off the edges (a mistake) and then tried to drill the hole in the middle. By cutting off the edges first it made it harder to hold the blank for drilling. Then when I was almost through, the saw caught and shredded the blank — fail two.

Seeing a problem, I decided to change my methods, rather than using a hole saw I decided to only score the blank with the hole saw and then cut out the center with my scroll saw. I accidentally cut outside the lines and ruined the blank — at least for that size hole — fail 3. Using a piece of blood wood, I finally made a blank I could turn. I got the outside rounded and started to round the inside edge when I heard “snap.” the edge of my chisel must have dug a little too deep and I cracked the bracelet right in half — fail 4.

That’s okay, when finishing the good bracelet I made first, I decided to try out some new buffing compound. Let’s see if you can guess how I screwed this up — otherwise I’ll walk you through it.

  1. Walnut is a porous wood.
  2. I only used a urethane finish and didn’t fill any of the pores.
  3. The buffing compound is white.

Let’s just say I ended up spending an hour working out the compound with a needle. Oh well, at least I’ve learned my lesson never to do that again.

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