Monday 28 September 2015

Triangle and Cross

I'd started by making the white triangle and red cross that is symbolic of the Golden Dawn and it's ceremonies for a group operating in Dublin (Ireland).

I mistakenly thought that this would be a easy task - How hard can a triangle be right?  I obtained some 19mm x 19mm lengths for the Triangles and 12mm x 12mm for the crosses.  Had a basic wood saw, small workbench and some awesome glue.

Initially i'd made cuts at 60 degrees and this was nearly impossible to get accurate.  At this point I was making the cuts manually and using a standard protractor to measure angles - 60 degree cuts are hard.
60° means a very thin wedge

The triangles i'd assembled that way were all slightly out and sub-standard, so went away and thought for a bit and It came to me that I could use a 30° angle on the inside edge - The 30° would also be easier to manually cut/sand.
Much better!

The end results were much more consistent, but a lot of waste was happening due to cuts being slightly out. I'd come to the conclusion I needed tools (and I've literally just picked all this up to do!) So, don't even know the names of what I'm looking for at this point.  Saved by the internet, I need a mitre saw.  

While I was searching around I made a 'jig' to make the cuts more consistent.
Jigs guide the saw in a straight line
Ignore sandpaper, used as sanding block for small things later!

So, hit for 'cheap mitre saw' (we'll discuss just how bad 'cheap' can be later) and found this gem.
Cheap, accurate and fun.
This mitre saw enabled me to make any cuts I needed (within reason) - I was soon able to make lots of odd shapes.  Back to the plot, my triangle joints were now clean and straight.
Not bad.

Because this was much quicker to cut lengths, I was now getting through wood at a crazy pace and loving learning all these new skills arising from the challenge of making the tools.

Painting these was the next challenge.  I had to learn rapidly how to - wood was a new medium for me.

I used white primer starting with thin layers (Triangles have to be painted in sections) and soon discovered that it was really hard to get smooth finish.  Looking back I should have sanded the wood more - a LOT more.  Start with rough grade (80 or so) and then work your way up to 200-400 - This will give the wood a nice smooth finish.  You'll need the mask at least when sanding that primer - a very fine dust is released.

After apply what seemed to be 90 coats of primer and sanding each layer down to get the perfect flat finish I gave up - Always getting lines and imperfections...  So, I stumbled on a great trick... I used a nice large tube of titanium white acrylic, wet my triangle, wet my finger, squirted a healthy amount of paint on and smeared it with my very wet finger (a trick I learned a while back as an artist) - the result was a much better flat finish.  In future I'll use wood filler for the small gaps in some of the joins - Cutting the wood can sometimes cause chips in the edges (Keep in mind that all this is being done with a small budget, and am very new to all this (am sure there are many tricks yet to learn)

The crosses were much easier and forgiving than the triangles, and used acrylics also.  Using 12mm strips of wood meant that the height was 48mm / width 36mm.

Not too small

Once all these were done I waited until I could get outside and sprayed the items with acrylic lacquer a few times to protect the surface from dirt and chips.

The end result was just right.

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