Thursday, January 2, 2014

Handling walnut

I have recently bought myself a carving knife and I have been testing it on some walnut that a friend gave me. Due to my interest in the tactility of architecture - or maybe due to Vancouver's new bylaw banning doorknobs - I decided to try carving a door handle.
After deciding on the basic outline I cut the shape with a jigsaw.
I could really feel the fibres of the wood as I was carving. Pushing up from under them would cause it to splinter easily, and shearing them downwards took more force but was more controllable.
Walnut oils really nicely, completely changing the character of the wood. I used olive oil because I didn't have any other kind.
To fit the existing latch of the door I had chosen I used a dowel carved into a square rod.
The part I had the most trouble with was the spring mechanism. I tried first with an elastic threaded through the centre rod:
That did not have enough force to pull the handle back up, so I tried next with a clothespin spring:
But, the metal was too easily bent out of shape. I finally went back to the elastic, but arranged differently.