So a few weeks back when I was headed to Omaha, I thought hey – let's see what my friend can do in his woodworking shop. I usually have him make me frames for other projects, so why not this one. Why I didn't think of this 8 months sooner would be beyond me.
So I made the call, and within a day I had a nice 5 foot by 2 foot solid raw Maple frame, 2.5 inches thick. This thing was beautiful. Unfortunately, I was going to ink the frame with Indian ink so the grain would not be easily viewable.
I laid out my work area – a little small and cramp for an apartment but doable. I made sure everything was sanded and ready to go. First coat of ink – done! To my horror, two of the corners had glue showing through the seams. Ugh. To the store I go. Lucky for me, my small sheet sander broke and it was time to get a new one. A new sander with 320 and 600 grit sand paper later, I made it home with enough energy to keep working on the project.
Not only did I sand off the first layer of ink, but also the 'invisible' glue that happened to be stuck in the corners. I cleaned up the frame, rolled up my sleeves and proceeded to ink the frame a second time. Being very careful to evenly coat and not leave any streaks, I had my second first-step done. Carefully inspecting all corners, angles, lines and sides, holy moly this thing is looking good!
By this time, it was darn near close to 1 p.m. I started my quest about 7:00 that morning, thinking I would have my whole day to work on things. More like my whole day to work on this ONE thing. I let the frame sit for a few more hours than needed, just so I wouldn't mess anything up.
While waiting for it to dry, I ran to the art store to get a piece of acrylic cut (no one local carries glass that big, who would have thought?) and to get my picture dry-mounted. Something I usually do myself, but working a piece this big I needed it done faster.
When running to the store for small items such as cutting acrylic and dry-mounting, I am usually in an out within minutes to hours. Not bad. So you can imagine my expression when I was told, "you can pick it up by April 3." I believe to best knowledge, my reaction was a loud, strong, solid, without-missing-a-beat, "Are you kidding me?" Such is my usual response to things unexpected. But having this project near completion, in my mind anyways, I would have to live with the two- and-a-half week turnaround instead of the two hour turnaround. So I gave my farewell and ventured on home to attack the frame again.
I rolled up my sleeves again, and this time applied a coat of polyurethane to seal the ink. Again, I meticulously applied an even coat, making sure there were no fingerprints or streaks. I checked my work, and when satisfied I walked away. For my work, although temporarily, is done.
I have to admit, when I went to look at the frame after drying, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning. I stood there and looked at that thing for what seemed like a long time. Now I am waiting to get my picture back from the art store so I can assemble all the pieces and see it hang on the wall for everyone to see. Stay tuned!