Friday, April 8, 2011

Wedding Centerpiece Part 4

We are on part 4 of our wedding cake topper coming together. This project will assemble a very delicately cut painted wood cake topper. Currently it's in a pretty dull phase as there are 24 hour waiting periods between steps. Bah!
Actually I think it's good though to get involved in a project that requires patience. In this age of instantaneous everything- finding a project that requires time can be blessing. It reminds you to slow down, take your time, and do it right. After all doing it wrong has serious consequences. I mean- we are in Day 4 of this thing and it's not something you want to mess up at the end.
Tung oil finishing and polish is ot something that can be sped up. There is a product called Japan drier that helps the oil dry a little faster but I'm not sure I'd be comfortable reducing the 24 hours beween coats so what is the point of an extra mixture?
Yesterday we applied a 50/50 mixture of tung oil to mineral spirits. This seeped into every pore of the wood. Today we are getting back into it with another scrubbing with the Scotch-Brite pad. Here's a photo of the wood pieces before coat two.
First Layer of Tung Oil dried

First layer of Tung Oil dried
It's hard to see on the photos but there is a light satin finish from yesterday's application. Today's application will bring a little more shine- still at the satin level.
 Here are some photos after the hand rubbed coat number 2.
Layer 2 of Tung Oil Finish

Tung Oil Layer 2 over Lexington Green
Of course these are still wet so they are a little shinier than they will be tomorrow. You should wait about 10 to 15 minutes after an application of tung oil and then come back with a clean cotton cloth and remove any extra oil left on top. Leaving wet oil will interfere with the drying process and I can only assume cause cracking, micro-fissures, or other issues with the final finish. Tomorrow's coat will likely be the last one before we go to the next step of putting it in the engraver.

Meanwhile I have been working on the digital files. We have a few layers obviously that will be making up this topper with one obvious one being a bride and groom. Ok- maybe not obvious but it's my only clue for today. You may see that the surfaces are painted all over. We will be working with the engraver settings to actually burn off the top layer of paint. This maintains the detail level we are looking for (and consequently makes me look like an AWESOME detail painter. More on digital files tomorrow- G'night folks.

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