Against the Grain

Some random off-topicness for you today.  As my hair gets longer (approaching waist now), I find myself finding wonderful new ways of putting it up out of my way.  I’ve progressed from pony tails to buns held with sticks, and I recently made a fork!  Yes, for my hair.  Out of wood, no less (and a decommissioned watch movement, but that’s just for decoration)!

It’s been ages since I did any woodworking of any sort (there was that one picture frame my dad helped me put together in college (because my Chat Noir poster absolutely needed a spray painted gold picture frame, dammit).  And that’s about it in recent memory.  My family is pretty handy and includes a few carpenters, so I’m passingly familiar with wood working stuff, but out of practice, shall we say?

Turns out, my hubby is also interested in wood working and has picked up a nice assortment of tools over the years (I knew we had them, but if pressed to find and/or use them?  Meh.)  Oh boy, I’m digressing in the midst of my digression.  So.  A few months ago, John acquired some 2×2 bits of bloodwood.  (Can we just ooh and aaaah for a moment?  It’s soooo pretty!).

And so I when I decided to make a hair fork, naturally, I appropriated one (actually, I think I traded a few jars of pickles for it…I think we’re square?).  I traced out the general shape of it and (with John’s help) used the table saw to cut a “blank” to then shape.  This went pretty well, but getting the center bits (between the future tines) was a bit of a challenge.  The router spit my first blank out, ripping off the most of one side in the process.  (Not cool, router…you can see the failed blank next to the almost-finished fork below.)

I finally ended up gingerly slicing the center bits out with the table saw instead, which…worked…but…I feel like there must be a better way?  Once I had the general shape set up, I started sanding with a Dremel.  Holy bananas, that is one cool tool.  Just using different sized sanding drums, I got the fork shaped and pretty smooth all over.  I did use a cylindrical hand rasp for the inside curve at the center (it’s a bit narrower than the Dremel head), but man oh man, Dremels are effective!

Once I got the shape, I sanded like crazy with finer and finer grit paper (sneaky trick, for sanding curvy areas smooth, wrap the sandpaper around the long neck of a screwdriver for easier sanding and less finger pinching!).  And John helped me use a Forstner bit to hollow out the spot for my watch movement…I was a bit unconvinced of my ability to drill straight down and stop before I got all the way through!  Not to worry, though…bloodwood is super hard, so the drilling was slow going after all.

I used mineral oil to seal the wood (so it’s not waterproof, but wow does the oil make the bloodwood shine!), then used some e-6000 to epoxy the movement into its slot.  The hardest part of the whole thing?  Letting the epoxy dry undisturbed for 72 whole hours.  Gah!!

Here’s the back side (and the un-attached movement):

I’m pretty thrilled with how it came out, and I already have plans for another one…bwahahahahahahahhahaha.

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