7. Jurassic Step Stool: The Lost World
It is March, my younger nephew's birthday is approaching and the funny precocious and strong willed almost 5 year old was in need of a big boy gift from his favorite uncle... ME! I figured the < Jurassic Stool> I built earlier in the year would be perfect for my nephew but I liked the one I built for me so he would have to get his own. I've seen countless YouTube and Instagram videos where artisans were using epoxy resin in all manor of wood projects. It looked neat and easy enough so I figured if they can do it, so can I.
Starting with a print of my nephew’s name from a laser printer. Applying alcohol to the back of the page transfers the ink to the top piece of the stool. Now, I could route the name into the wooden slab.
After routing his name, adding my signature bite mark, and sanding it smoother than butter I was ready to try the new inlay
The kids on the internet were having fun with melted crayon inlays and I wanted in on the action. But, before I ruin a perfectly good stool top I have to test out the technique first.
I routed a test letter and took a couple of crayons from the art room, grabbed my heat gun and...
After an informative trial I was ready for the main event. Using smaller pieces I chose black and gold crayons.
A little video of me having a melt down...
Everything went great with melting the name so I stained it...but I still felt like it was missing something.
Then I realized I should have used his proper and full title. So I added that in by routing and masking off the area and my previous effort.
His favorite color is blue so I added 3 shades.
It got a little messy but masking off the design is time well spent
Gorilla glue 2 part epoxy is great for smaller projects and doesn't require the bulk purchase of gallons of resin
I like adding quotes to my gifts in not so visible places so an added touch of wisdom from Naguib Mahfouz for him to find later.
I found an old can of stain. I didn't know it was possible for them to go bad until after I applied it to the stool. To correct the mistake I applied another color over it and combination of stains created a happy accident that makes the color change from gray to dark brown under different lights
I loved the result of the inlay! It is so simple to do and the effect is so eye catching. I would liken it to staring into a cat's eye marble-- being transfixed by the swirls and sparkles of the metallic flakes.
I loved being able to give my nephew a handmade gift. It can be a little nerve wracking because kids are never predictable and you never know how they will react. So, on the day, I held my breath and presented his gift. In my head, that over-sized candy seemed like it would be more interesting than a simple stool with his name on it.
But any doubt that I hadn’t crafted a little intrigue was removed when he put the candy down, stood on the stool and did the hardest dab!
Dang it! He's cute!
That's all I needed was this dope little human's approval. I can confidently continue my reign as the best uncle ever!