Announcement – Epona Celtic Knotwork Intarsia Woodworking

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We are excited to announce that our Epona Celtic Knotwork Design is a featured item on http://www.etsyspotlights.com
WE NEED YOUR VOTES!
Go to http://www.etsyspotlights.com and click on the tab at the top “In The Spotlight” and vote for our design!
Thank you all for your support!
-Chris Mobley
http://www.cmobleydesigns.com

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PanHead Engine

After seeing some of my work, my boss approached me one day with a request for his father. His father’s birthday was quickly approaching and he wanted to do something special. I talked to him about his father’s interest and hobbies because I strive to do something special and that means something for each and every customer. I enjoy seeking out what a customers passions are and incorporating this into a custom design. I think it makes the piece special to each person. I learned that he owns a 1956 Panhead Harley Davidson, and his passion was working on and restoring this bike. I wanted to incorporate this into something for him. I thought for a while on what could be done. I called my daughter who does CAD work and asked her if she could draw up a design for this project. She drew the engine part so that I would have a template, but we could not decide on what else to add.

A few days later while looking over some prints of an eagle, it hit me. I decided to take the design of the engine and add wings to it and the Panhead Eagle design was born. This is one of the largest designs I have created and it is composed of hundreds of small pieces of wood. In the design, there are a few bolts holding the cover in place on the top and front of the engine. Instead of making these out of wood, I decided to actually use bolts. I did this by cutting the stem off of the bolt and just using the top. This adds a lot of character to the piece. This project is one of my favorite creations because of how detailed it is. I was very excited about completing this piece and handing it off to its new owner. The reactions I normally get from my customers seeing their piece for the first time really make what I do worth it. I was later told that this piece is hanging in his shop where he works on his bike. I am always looking for new things to do, and this one was defiantly a very rewarding challenge.

We are proud to announce that our Etsy shop is up and running. This allows us to accept major credit cards and etsy gift certificates. Please visit our newly updated “Intarsia Shop” tab on our homepage to view our updated inventory and purchase items.

We also have a contest drawing going on through Facebook. To enter into the drawing for this Rose intarsia piece you can

The Rose

Facebook Rose Drawing

1) Subscribe to our Blog at http://www.cmobleydesigns.com

2) Like our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/chrismobleydesigns

3) Share our Facebook page with your friends

Your name can be in the drawing multiple times. We will hold the drawing as soon as we hit 200 Likes on our Facebook page.

Good Luck!

Home on the Hill – Intarsia Woodworking

Home on the Hill
Creating custom intarsia woodworking often finds its best design from a story. One stormy day in April, not very different from any other day, tragedy struck in Alabama. My father was out for the morning working as usual. He decided to come home early because there were some reports that bad weather was coming. He could not have gotten home at any better of a time. As he pulled into the driveway, he had just enough time to find his wife, grab a few neighbors, and get into the panic room inside his workshop. Now this room was only built for a few, however, he provided refuge for as many people who could fit including a neighborhood dog.

It only lasted a few moments, but when the chaos was over it was time to leave their shelter and survey the damage. What they saw when they emerged from this tiny room was unimaginable. My father’s home was one of the only still standing in the entire neighborhood. The home had extensive damage, but was still there. The neighbors on both sides lost most everything to the storm. Prior to the tornado, there was a tree farm located directly behind the neighborhood that was the home to some enormous and beautiful pine trees. These were all gone now; they were sucked right out of the ground and broken like toothpicks. The devastation was overwhelming. The search for family, friends, neighbors, loved ones, and pets had begun.

My father and his wife aided in this search and helped as many people as they could. People began to bring food and water for the survivors while rescue parties dug through the rubble of what was once a beautiful community. Even though there was no water, electricity, or telephones, my father and his wife decided to stay in what was left of their home to protect what they had left. Looters drove the streets of the neighborhood preying on those affected by this tragedy. The military sent soldiers in military vehicles to help prevent the looters from taking what they wanted, but it wasn’t enough. A week went by and there was still no electricity or water. The cleanup was well under way and people from all over had come to aid.

About a month after the storms, my wife, kids, and I went to visit. By this time, things had started to calm down and the healing process had begun. I can honestly say I was not ready for what I saw. Even after a month had passed and the sight was nowhere near as horrifying as it had been, I still could not wrap my head around the devastation. The stories that were told of those few days were unbelievable. We just drove around in awe of what had happened. The tornado that hit Alabama and many other states on April 25th through April 28th, 2011 have gone on record as some of the most deadly and costly tornado outbreaks in U.S. history.

After we returned home to Texas from our visit, I was going through old photographs and found one of my father’s home right after it was built. I decided to build him a custom intarsia woodworking picture of his home completely out of wood. I knew this gesture would mean a lot to him. This picture is composed of many very small pieces. This is one of my first true attempts at creating a 3D effect. The balcony and front porch stand out from the picture while the sides of the home are more sunken in. This gives depth to the image. As soon as I finished it, I got it packaged up and sent as quickly as I could. Just a day later I received a phone call from my father. He was overjoyed with what I had completed for him. It now hangs in his newly redone entry way. It has almost been two years since this storm outbreak, and my thoughts and prayers still go out to the victims.

We are proud to announce that our Etsy shop is up and running. This allows us to accept major credit cards and etsy gift certificates. Please visit our newly updated “Intarsia Shop” tab on our homepage to view our updated inventory and purchase items.

We also have a contest drawing going on through Facebook. To enter into the drawing for this Rose intarsia piece you can

Facebook Rose Drawing<

1) Subscribe to our Blog at http://www.cmobleydesigns.com

2) Like our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/chrismobleydesigns

3) Share our Facebook page with your friends

Your name can be in the drawing multiple times. We will hold the drawing as soon as we hit 200 Likes on our Facebook page.

Good Luck!

http://www.cmobleydesigns.com

Cly Complete

A while back, I saw a pattern done by Kathy Wise titled Clydesdale and Colt. I really liked the design for several key reasons. The detailing in the face was beautiful. I especially liked how the nose was shaped. I also liked how the hair on the hooves of the Clydesdale was done. At the time, I did not have a reason to do the piece, so I set the pattern aside for the perfect occasion.

To continue reading full blog, please visit my website at http://www.cmobleydesigns.com

Facebook Rose Drawing
We currently have a contest going on. You can be entered into the drawing for the rose intarsia woodworking piece by

1) Subscribing to our Blog http://www.cmobleydesigns.com

2) Liking our page on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/chrismobleydesigns

3) Sharing our page with your friends on Facebook

As soon as we reach 200 Likes on our Facebook page, we will hold the drawing!
Good Luck!

Intarsia and Segmentation Woodworking for Beginners

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I have often been asked how to get started in intarsia from people interested in this type of woodworking. I have thought long and hard about how to answer this question and I have come up with this Intarsia and Segmentation Woodworking for Beginners article with some tips and advice that I have for anyone interested in getting started with intarsia or segmentation woodworking. In the photograph examples that I will show, I am using a pattern by Kathy Wise called Clydesdale and Colt.

The first recommendation that I have for anyone interested in beginning this type of woodworking is… Do your research! Kathy Wise produced a book called “Intarsia Woodworking for Beginners” published by Scroll Saw. This is a wonderful book to help get you started. Intarsia and segmentation work is extremely rewarding, but involves attention to detail and is very time-consuming, so you will want to do your research first.

The next thing that you will want to do is find a pattern that you like. The key work here is “like”. Picking out a pattern that I really didn’t care for was my first mistake on my first intarsia piece. Why spend so much time and effort creating something that you don’t really care for? “Intarsia Woodworking for Beginners” by Kathy Wise has some beginner patterns in it to use or you can find and purchase patterns online. For your first piece, I do not recommend trying to come up with your own pattern. Your pattern should be selected before you decide on what woods to use.

Determining what wood to use is one of the most important things about doing intarsia woodworking. Each piece should be planned from what type of grain to what color wood to use. The more exotic woods can get very expensive, so not everyone has the luxury of getting very creative. In your very first piece, I would not recommend purchasing very expensive woods just in case you determine half way through your project that this is not really for you. If you choose to do segmentation piece instead of an intarsia piece, the type of wood really doesn’t matter since you will be painting or staining the wood anyways. Some good woods to start with is maple, cedar, pine, aspen, and walnut. These ae all beautiful woods that do not cost a fortune.

The next step is getting your pattern onto your wood so that you can cut out the pieces. I use carbon paper and draw out what I am going to do. This then transfers the image from my pattern to the wood itself. I do a few pieces at a time. This is the easiest way that I have found to cut your pieces accurately. Sometimes it can get a bit difficult to transfer to the wood piece when the pieces get really small, so this will require patience. Once you have everything drawn out, you can begin cutting.

In cutting out the wood, I use the band saw for large pieces and the scroll saw for small pieces. The scroll saw has proven to be excellent when working on the very intricate detailing. As you are cutting everything out, it is easy to lose your place and sometimes I find myself asking “Where does this piece go again?” I normally use a process of only cutting out a few pieces at a time and then assembling the design as I go by laying everything out on a table. This will help keep everything straight as you are cutting.

Once you have everything cut out, you can begin shaping each piece. To do this, I use a sanding wheel to round the edges of the and a drum sander attached to a Dremel tool to shape the wood. This is very time-consuming but is very important part of the process, because this is where you give a flat image shape. You get to determine how rounded you want the edges, where the peaks and valleys should be in the piece, etc. This is where you give your project life. Again, I only do a few pieces at a time and put them right back where I picked them up from so that the individual pieces do not get out-of-place or lost. I also suggest doing this on a solid and stable surface because when my son was very young, I was working on a motorcycle project that had approximately 200 pieces in it. He didn’t mean to, but he knock over the work space I had everything sat on while cutting everything out and I just ended up scrapping the project because it was just too difficult to find where every single little piece went.

After getting everything shaped up like you would like, it is time to put it all together. If you are planning on painting or staining the project, this is a good time to do it. You will want to paint not just the top of the piece, but it is a good idea to paint the sides of each piece before you assemble everything as well so that from the side view, everything is covered. To put everything together, you will need a backer. You can do this a few different ways. 1) you can have a thin piece of backer board cut to the shape of your project that you can glue everything to or 2) you can assemble your piece within a frame by creating a background and glueing the project against a back ground and then framing it. I normally make the decision on which to do depending on what type of project I am working on.

Then you will want to put a finish on the wood. This will help seal the wood and protect is as well as giving it a finished look.

You are finished! It takes a lot of time, effort, and patients to create on of these projects, so enjoy your finished result.

I did not go into great detail on a lot of the points in this article, but for more information and pictures, please visit my website at
http://www.cmobleydesigns.com

— Chris Mobley – http://www.cmobleydesigns.com

Tools of the Trade – The Evolution of My Woodworking Tools

Every wood worker has to start somewhere. My somewhere began with the purchase of a Shop Smith and this began the evolution of my woodworking tools. My mother and father had a friend that was selling their Shop Smith multi tool system back in the mid 1990’s and I was lucky enough to purchase it. This Shop Smith is perfect for doing small projects but not big construction jobs like I was used to. I decided that buying this system gave me a reason to put my creativeness to work and begin doing some actual wood working. This system came with a band saw attachment and is a table saw, lathe, drill press, and has a sanding disc all in one unit. This has turned out to be a great piece of equipment that I still own and still use from time to time. Now granted, the shaft between the tools motor and the band saw attachment is currently duct taped together; I still cannot bring myself to get rid of it. It has some sentimental value to it and I have created a lot of projects with this piece of equipment.

There was a stretch in my life where woodworking was put on the back burner. With running a business full-time and raising two kids, I spent more time at football and cheerleading practice than in the workshop. The Shop Smith always did fine for those occasional projects. Now my children are grown and having children of their own, so woodworking has taken a forefront once again.

A few years back, my mother had a good friend whose husband unfortunately passed away. He had a wonderful workshop filled with some remarkable tools and equipment that she wanted to part with. Again, I was fortunate enough to purchase some of his things and I have put them all to very good use. Among the items that I purchased were a Delta table saw, drill press, wood lathe, joiner/plainer, dust collection system, a router table and various boxes of small hand tools and jigs. This allowed me to completely redo my workshop with all new equipment. This has worked out perfectly now that I am doing woodworking a lot more now.

I acquired my band saw from my brother-in-law. He never used his and gave it to me one day while consolidating his work space. As a way of saying thank you to him, I made him a piece with it. The piece is titles Fish out of Water and I chose this one for him since he loves to fish.

For a very long time, I have wanted a scroll saw, but I have never justified getting one. I am doing more and more intricate work, and finally decided that it was time to get one. After looking on-line, searching for deals, and reading reviews, I decided to go with the Dewalt variable speed 20” scroll saw. This tool was priced a little above my price range, but decided to purchase it anyways. I am so glad that I did. The unit came in on Wednesday of this week and I hurried home with it to use it right away. I believe this tool has taken my woodworking to a whole new level. In fact, I cannot believe that I ever operated before without one. I am currently working on a Clydesdale Horse project that has very small pieces. I now cannot imagine doing these without a scroll saw. I will continue to use my band saw for larger pieces but the scroll saw will be used for the more intricate detailing. This tool was everything that I was expecting and more.

My next tool that I have my eye on is a belt/drum sander combo. I have not seen this tool a lot, but the combination of the two types of sanding capabilities in one tool would defiantly increase productivity in my workshop and make shaping the intarsia pieces even better. Currently right now, I use a sanding wheel to shape the edges and a drum sander on a Drimmel tool for shaping. Hopefully this new tool is in my near future.

Please leave me comments on my blog with project ideas of what projects you would like to see and what types of articles would interest you.

— Chris Mobley – http://www.cmobleydesigns.com