Nothing so satisfying as.....

…putting the first coat of sealer on a carving.

I’ve just showered off after a good MPCNC marathon in the shop getting all of the tiles for the St Nicholas carving milled, matched, magnetized (that’s how they stay on), burned and sanded. It was a LOAD of work. In the process I went through 18 feet of Aspen 1 X 8 lumber which carved beautifully with only minor chip-out on the finer details. No big deal for this project. Each panel required a tool change and I got very comfortable doing that without the aid of a touch plate.

I think in all, to run the 20 panels I must have had the MPCNC running for about 45-55 hours? But that was pretty much non-stop during the past four days. Could I have carved it by hand? Sure. Would it have turned out the same? Yes it would have. Would it have been quicker? Yup. Quite a bit quicker actually. But none of that was the point. The point was to use the MPCNC to do it. So I did. And I’m glad I did. I learned so much in the process.

One thing I learned too little too late is that the parallel method of pocketing was way faster for my pieces than the peel method. Like half the time faster! I know for next time to save the files both ways first to see what method is best. I managed to do the last six panels using the parallel method. and what was taking over an hour was ringing in just over half an hour. And actually the tool marks left behind were more natural looking (I sanded them all off ultimately but…).

Tomorrow morning I have to draw up and quickly cut and carve the shepherds hook to mount on the dowel staff but that’s it. Then the second coat of sealer and tomorrow night, the last coat of sealer. I deliver it Wednesday…but not before a pile of photos so I can share them here with you all. I was going to give you a walkthrough of the shop but it is in a horrible state with Christmas orders (meaning logs) piled all over the place and hardly room to move. Once I get through the Christmas rush (ten more days) I’ll do that.

Photos to come!

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OMG, please!

I think the step over is limited to 45% on peel and not limited on parallel, so that would be a 2x difference. If you’re doing a lot of pockets, you can also cheat sometimes and do two layers of thinner wood. Just cut out the top layer and glue it to the bottom layer. I have no idea what you’re making, so that might not work here. :D.