Making of LaDanse

Crafting The LaDanse award was such an honor. I was given complete and artistic autonomy on the project, and even asked to do something that was a risk. 

Yes, I risked... a lot.. and I learned some wonderful things along the way.



The maple you see in the design is actually solid all the way through. To accomplish this, I built a sled for my table saw to remove the 1/2" of purple hearted material, before gluing in a 1.5" strip of birds eye maple.


First Glue Up

Each of the five blocks had to be cut and glued 3 times - once for each intersecting strip of maple. 


After all 3 glue ups completed


Laying out the template


Visualizing the end product...

Everything had to be exactly precise on each block for the template to work correctly. My plan after cutting out the template and making all the blocks was to use my router to trace out the pattern in the 1.5" thick material.



First Head Traced with the router...

I used a 1/4" Up/Down Combination Compression bit and a 1/4" template bushing to trace the heads. I completely burned through a set of motor bushings on my PorterCable 890


It worked!


I spent a solid 2-3 hours trying to decide if I was going to leave the heads with "shoulders" or cut them off and put them on bases...


Sunbathing Heads

The Purple Heart actually turns purple in the Sun... so the heads had to get a sun bath for a day.


Ash Wood base in Laser Jig

I love creating angled bases but this meant I needed to create a jig to hold the side of the base level when I laser engraved the recipient names on them. 


Test fit!



After 4 coats of UV Protective "Zar Ultra" Glossy Polyurethane




  Read about the presentation of the awards

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Posted in Craftsmanship and Fabrication.