Reliquary Project: The Test

Starting disclaimer: I am not a woodworker! Anything I do in wood is a bit crude so be patient! The end product will look pretty good. Tool supply is limited too.

Rather than jumping into this project with Black Walnut, I created a test using poplar. It was ok for a test, certainly not for a finished product since it is an extremely soft wood.

First step:  measure out the board thickness and width then created a measured line drawing.  This step is something I learned from my father, a real woodworker. Best to get everything down on paper prior to cutting.

line drawing

Next, I transferred this information to the board and cut using a table saw. I used lap joints rather than miter. Once the lap joints were smooth, I tested the basic fit.

basic box1

Things looked good so I moved on to creating the windows.

Windows were the tricky area I just didn’t know how best to approach.  Did I want a single big window or multiple? How easy was it going to be to smoothly cut this space? What tool would be the best? I drilled holes close to the four corners and chose a coping saw for the cuts. The blue is painters tape used to hold 2 boards together (why not kill two birds with one stone?). Not great but an interesting trial.

coping saw

Basic window was cut but a lot of sanding would be needed to get the edges level.

window cut

I decided I didn’t like the look of the large single window and decided to break up the space with two smaller ones.

window cut2

This seemed to work a bit better for my taste. Next problem is the window treatment.

I thought about using a thin printmaking paper but it didn’t provide enough transparency. Then I thought about sandwiching cut black paper silhouettes between waxed print paper. Too much! How about leaves? I certainly have quite a few left around…

window treatment

Things are starting to work better. I think multiple small window are the way to go for the final project. Hopefully the walnut will cut better than the poplar. The windows will have to be sanded before gluing the box together. The unit will then drop on top of the base unit (that will hold the wire heart).

Published by paperstew

I'm an artist in Albany Oregon focusing on paper and natural objects for inspiration.

8 thoughts on “Reliquary Project: The Test

    1. It’s going to be a wire heart covered in hog gut! Thank you Melissa Manley for the great ArtFest class. Still trying to figure out how to get it lighted. Wait! I know someone who has a EE degree and works in optics. Maybe Dave will assist on this. Check out the new posting from yesterdays work.

  1. Hi Gale, when I googled to find a meaning for reliquary, one was “it may contain the remains of a saint”, wondered if you had someone in mind. Jean

    1. Maybe in the next day or two I’ll post the background on the piece. You’re correct in thinking it has to do w/ Saint Evelyn! Maybe it should be Lee who is the saint for all his support. 🙂

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