Roland Rolson

Thunderbolt

Just another wall decoration, but if there is nothing complicated in cutting the timber or if the wood joints are simple – the finish has to differentiate the project from many others. In this case these are the colours and beautifully exposed grain. The thunderbolt comprises only 2 blocks of timber deliberately divided with 2 rounded edges. I started with cutting tapers using my tapering jig. The first board could be placed against the jig’s fence, but the other was held just with the clamps, it was still safe though.

I set my mitre gauge to about 83º and cut the timber to size. I flipped the gauge from left to right, but the angle always remained the same. One of the edges was originally rounded over and that edge was my reference point, it was kept against the fence. Once cut, I tried to layout the blocks, and the best results I got were with a 180 mm overlap (just above 7″). I sanded the timber using my orbital sander, re-rounded over the edges with my router, broke all the sharp edges with a sanding block and next, I prepared for spray painting.

When the paint dried I had to give them a quick sanding and finally I could do some joinery. I drilled 3 holes for 10 mm dowels and transferred their locations to the opposite side using centre point pins. I applied glue and kept them clamped for 30 minutes before I moved to the next step. I drilled 2 holes for the feet and 1 for the hanger.

I applied 2 coats of water based varnish and after it dried I buffed the surface with steel wool and wax. I was afraid that the blue colour would come off, but it didn’t. Just in case, however, I started with clear areas and then moved to the coloured ones. As always, it gave me a super-smooth to the the touch finish and it also smelled nice for a couple of days. It was hard to find a perfect place and a perfect wall for that decoration, as all its edges had to be shown. It was obvious that it had to be placed below an eye level. Eventually I found a perfect spot, my newly built thunderbolt replaced a picture frame that had to go somewhere else.

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