Inner Pieces

The road to inner peace is fraught with danger.  To find one’s way, one must keep their eyes and mind open to all that is around them…our use Mapquest.

-The Dalai Emu

As I search for my own inner peace, along the road of my woodworking journey, I turn to the Ikebana vase.  It is with a sense of certainty which I build it.  For I know that when it is done I will discover inner peace, or $48.00 plus shipping and handling.  [Editor’s note:  Price subject to change without warning or even a reasonably good reason.]

The Ikebana Vase is something new.  It does not seem to present too many difficulties, but will require some patience and a bit of chisel work.  The body of the vase is made from two pieces of wenge and a piece of padauk.  Tonight they were cut to their correct sizes, based on my plans from Saturday.

The pieces were cut to their basic size with my Japanese hand saw, the 12 degree cuts were made with Jeff the bandsaw.  It was easy to route the rabbit on the under side of each piece, using my router table.  It feels like I am close to done, but I know that isn’t true.

The empty space which will hold the kenzan needs to be carefully considered.  The size of the hole in the middle piece, needs to be 1 3/4 inches.  I don’t have any sort of bit to cut this hole, but I do live near Mt. Vernon, which has an Ace Hardware store!

Off to Ace I go.  I sort of wanted an Fostner bit, but the largest one they have is 1 1/4″, so I settled for a really cheap hole saw.  One of the areas where my shop is a little bit weak, is in the hole drilling department.  I have a 9.6 volt DeWalt drill, with rather old and tired batteries.  It will take a while.

In fact, I have been at it for an hour.  I saw for a couple of minutes, then recharge the drill battery.  The thickness of the piece of wood is only 25 mm.  Definitely an exercise in patience, which isn’t all bad.  The Monday Night Football game was good, so I didn’t mind.  I used to live in Maryland, so I like to see the Baltimore Ravens do well, except when they play the Bengals.

Once the hole in the padauk is drilled I think I will use the saw to drill out about 1 centimeter worth of the bottom piece, and then chisel out the waste with Manfred.   The young man at Ace actually gave me a good idea for the bottom piece.  I will use my 1 inch fostner bit first, then the saw bit, and that will just leave a ring of 3/4 inch to chisel out.  It shouldn’t be too terrible, and if I am careful, I wouldn’t imagine screwing up the piece.

The top piece will require a center hole and a chiseled out area, as it will act like a cap and sit over the top of the kenzan.  I have already drilled the 1 inch hole, using my fostner bit, and drawn a circle, using the kenzan, to show what needs to be chiseled out.

Once these steps are finished, then the real work begins.  Each piece will need to be sanded and finished.  Because people will pour water into the vase, I want to make sure that all the wood is protected.  I bought some finish that one would use for a dining room table.  The helpful lady at the Woodsmith store suggested 3 coats.  Each piece will probably get one coat of tung oil first, then the 3 coats of finish.  After that is done, I will be able to glue it all together.

I think it will be a nice little vase when I am done.


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