Tag Archives: walnut

Video Post #4: USFA Trophy Bases: Repairing Voids in Walnut with Epoxy

The stock for the USFA Trophies has been roughed and stickered in the shop for a while. I’m on vacation from work, and now that Christmas is over I had five hours in the shop today and made good progress. Before I did the final thicknessing and dimensioning, I had to repair a split in one board. I’m a member of the Wood Whisperer Guild so I’ve watched Marc Spagnuolo’s tutorial demonstrating a solid tinted fix.

The Supplies

For this fix I need the following supplies:

  1. Blue Tap to mask the area around the split
  2. Epoxy to fill the split
  3. Tint to make the epoxy look all Walnutty
  4. A tub to mix the epoxy and tint
  5. A stick, brush, or some other implement to deliver epoxy from the tub to the split


You can see that I’ve already masked the end of the board and the bottom face of the board. I don’t want epoxy leaking out the end or through the bottom and making this board a permanent accessory to my bench.

The Application Technique


I used my compressor to blow any loose pieces or dust out of the split before starting the repair.


And here you can see the epoxy applied. The procedure is: glop on some epoxy, push it into the split, slam the board down on the bench to work out any bubbles, repeat. Beware, this Gorilla Epoxy stinks pretty bad.

The Cleanup

I waited a full 24 hours to let the epoxy fully cure, and then I used my Stanley Sweetheart Block Plane to cleanup the split. I am very satisfied with how this turned out, and although the epoxy is darker than the walnut it looks similar to the streaks in some of the other boards.

USFA Trophy Bases: Sketchup Designs

A buddy I used to work with when I was a Manager in Xbox Live is a member of a fencing club. No, not the picket or chain-link kind, more like the slice-you-to-bits in the blink of an eye kind. He works with the US Fencing Association’s Western Washington Division and they host the Leon Auriol Open every year. Leon is a fencing master who has been teaching fencing here in the Pacific NW for decades. He’s been instrumental in building the fencing community here in Seattle as well as in Portland, Oregon.

These days, the Auriol Open typically draws 200+ fencers from all over the Northwest and as far away as Alaska. It is run by the WWD organization, and takes place at Salle Auriol Seattle (the club Leon founded many years ago). The Auriol Open has been held every year since 1982, so it’s understandable that they are running out of room on their trophies to engrave the names of champions.


Typically when trophies run out of spaces for names you don’t replace them with a new trophy, you mount it to a base and continue to use the original and traditional trophy. One reason you do this is so that new champions can look back through the years to see all the names of the past champions. Take a look at one of the most famous trophies of all time: The Stanley Cup. While they don’t add a wooden base, they keep adding rings at the bottom, and it’s been going that way since 1893.

That’s where I come in.

I am currently working on a design for the US Fencing Association’s Western Washington Division to build the solid walnut bases for the six trophies they award each year at the Auriol Open. To ensure these look just right, I’ve been sending designs back and forth with Dan. Thanks to the Google 3D Warehouse, it was easy to find a similar trophy scale it to the right size, and place it on the base. The follow-me feature in Sketchup made routing the edges a snap.

Here’s the current design, please let me know what you think before I begin the build.


Thomas Walnut Dresser: Done and Delivered!

Yesterday I had a great day with my little shop helper at the Shrine Circus. After the day was done and the shop helper was sound asleep, I hit the shop. After a long night last night and a few hours today, the dresser is done and delivered.

Here’s what’s happened in the last 48 hours:

  • Two coats of Minwax Wipe-On Poly
  • One coat of paste wax
  • Bottom legs installed
  • Knobs installed

The Original Plan


Pictures of the Final Project

Remember the original design below, one change was to make the drawer dividers come all the way to the face.


Here’s the final with the pulls installed. I like pulls the customer selected and the positioning.


Check out the grain, and here you can see the base.


Another front shot.


From the side you can see the cool patterns on the front.


Another side shot.


From the right side.


From the right side, down along the top. Flat and waxed, looks good.


Here’s the back you can see the bases from behind. This piece could be in the middle of the room and the back would look nice.




Now that this project is done, this Bakon Vodka Bloody Mary is my celebration. Wednesday night I’ll clean up the shop, it’s a bit messy after the last few intense days. Next Sunday I’ll start the next project, a saltwater fish tank stand out of maple for GAKMAN. I’ll do a post in a few days about things I learned on this build.