“Jabba’s Palace” – Daniel D. Brown, 2017, Wood Intarsia

My latest wood intarsia piece: a scene of Jabba’s Palace on Tatooine from “Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi”. I built this from a variety of domestic and exotic woods including mahogany, bubinga, bloodwood, purpleheart, walnut, lacewood, sycamore, and maple. All natural wood colors (NO stains or paints). The frame is bocote with mahogany splines. The work is finished with Tung oil and the frame with polyurethane. This work took several weeks (and many countless hours) to create, and I documented the entire process on my Instagram account. Videos can be seen in my “story highlights” on my profile. I made this for myself. However, I am willing to very reluctantly part with it for $500 if someone just had to have it + shipping. You can buy it HERE.

 

 

  The Making of Jabba’s Palace

from instagram:

After ~7 hours of scrollsawing. My back feels just great! Ha. New Star Wars intarsia project “Jabba’s Palace”. This is how it looks in the warmer living room lights. Actual color is probably between this post and the last. Next up, getting the depth and shapes down with hours of sanding. Lacewood, bloodwood, mahogany, bubinga, purpleheart, walnut, maple, and elm (maybe. It was a half rotten branch I found and milled). See my stories to see me rocking out to @galacticempireofficial (and others) while making it. . . . #starwars #starwarsart #starwarsfanart #woodstarwars #woodart #workinprogress #woodworker #woodworking #intarsia #tatooine #jabbaspalace #binarystar #maytheforcebewithyou #scrollsawart #scrollsaw #madeinpittsburgh #pittsburghmaker #pittsburghwoodworking

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Last shots before the finish (hopefully my Tung Oil will arrive tomorrow. Thanks for all your advice!). I got to break out my 45 degree table saw jig today and rebuild my crappy straight edge jig. I had a really nice piece of bocote wood I bought a while back for 15$ from @woodcraftofpittsburgh. It was slightly warped, so I jointed it with the straight edge jig, ripped it in half lengthwise, and mitered the 45s to make this frame. It’s not actually glued up yet. I was originally gonna router the edges, but I love that grain so much I’m just gonna leave it rectilinear – no distractions. I would have paid probably twice that at least for a decent frame otherwise. Not that anyone sells frames with these weird dimensions anyway. The piece will intentionally poke out of the frame at its thickest depth. Random: the plywood for my 45 jig was set pieces being thrown away by the Pittsburgh Playbouse. The rest was 50 cent scrap from Construction Junction @cjreuse.

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Wooden Oval Earrings #2 – Cherry & Purpleheart

These earrings are hand-made, one-of-a-kind pieces made from cherry and purpleheart woods. The colors are the natural colors of the wood (no stains or paints). These are finished with a food-safe mineral oil/beeswax mix. 

This pair of earrings is available for purchase on the Laughing Mantis online shop.

 

 

The wood is initially cut to size and glued in the desired pattern. I then sketch out the design and cut it out with a scrollsaw. Finally comes a LOT of sanding by hand and then finishing with mineral oil/beeswax.

 

Wooden Oval Earrings #2 – Cherry, Padauk, & Purpleheart

These earrings are hand-made, one-of-a-kind pieces made from cherry, padauk, and purpleheart woods. The colors are the natural colors of the wood (no stains or paints). These are finished with a food-safe mineral oil/beeswax mix. 

This pair of earrings is available for purchase on the Laughing Mantis online shop.

 

The wood is initially cut to size and glued in the desired pattern. I then sketch out the design and cut it out with a scrollsaw. Finally comes a LOT of sanding by hand and then finishing with mineral oil/beeswax.

 

“FN-2187” – Daniel D. Brown, 2018, Wood Intarsia, Maple, Walnut, & Padauk

This was a fun wood intarsia project I did inspired by “FN-2187” (Finn) from Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens. It is constructed with maple, walnut, and padaduk wood – cut with a scrollsaw, shaped with a Dremel, and hand-sanded. No stains or paints were used – these are all the natural colors of the wood. Finished with gloss polyurethane. I made this primarily for me, but I am willing to sell it. Buy it here.

“FN-2187”
“FN-2187” Detail

Lumber Cart – Daniel D. Brown, 2017

Much needed lumber organization made with a gift card from the in-laws!

Framed “Sunset in a Galaxy Far Far Away” – Frame: Daniel D. Brown, Painting: Tamaryn Kelley Brown

My wife painted me this watercolor and ink scene of Tatooine entitled “Sunset in a Galaxy Far Far Away” so I made this frame for it from unknown wood I found in our garage.

Cutting Board Christmas Gift #4 – Daniel D. Brown 2017

I made this cutting board for my wife, partially out of some old branches I found in our old neighborhood, which I finally milled up myself. One was Osage orange (I believe) and one was maple. I also used scraps of walnut and mahogany. It’s already gotten a ton of use!

Aaaand a cutting board for my wife @tam_a_ryn (and me). This one is actually partially made from a couple large branches I found in our old neighborhood last year. One was a piece of spalted maple and the other I believe might be Osage orange. I got a little benchtop bandsaw for Christmas, so I milled them up, and combined them with some mahogany and walnut for this board. And it’s already seen usage, as you can see in the second pic 🙂 note: I don’t have a planer – so these are all handplaned. I look forward to the day I can get a planer so I can make some cool endgrain patterns. I’m not sure I have the skill to handplane flat enough for the endgrain glue-up step. . . . #cuttingboard #woodworker #woodworking #diykitchen

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Cutting Board Christmas Gift #3 – Daniel D. Brown 2017

Another cutting board I made as a Christmas gift. Made from walnut, cherry, ambrosia maple, and mahogany.

 

Three-Legged Stool – Daniel D. Brown, 2017, Red Oak and Elm

I found a big chunk of red oak from a tree that was felled near my house in Schenley Park, Pittsburgh a year and a half ago. After letting it sit and dry in my basement all that time, I decided to make a stool out of it. I also had a few elm branches I picked up in a neighbor’s yard around the same time. (side note: I actually started drilling the leg holes early in the summer – and broke my finger in the process. Now that it’s mostly healed, it was time to tackle this bastard).

The original chunk of red oak
The chunk had a large bug hole in it going all the way through the corner, which I decided to fill with epoxy resin, mixed with a tiny bit of green watercolor pigment.

   

Check out that grain!

Cutting Board Christmas Gifts #1 & 2 – Daniel D. Brown 2017

These are the first two cutting boards I made as gifts. Constructed from scraps of Ambrosia maple, walnut, cherry, & mahogany.

 

 

 

Tree Table Lamp – Daniel D. Brown, 2017, Wood

I’ve been needing a bedside table lamp in our new house for a while now. So I spent over a month designing and building this thing with a whole host of tools and techniques. Needless to say, it was a hell of a learning experience! I detailed pretty much the whole process through instagram (which I do often with my artwork – follow me if you wanna keep up):

My bedside table lamp is complete! It only took me a month. lol. I finished it up with rice paper and polystyrene for the lampshade today. I designed it myself from scratch and constructed it from mahogany and walnut wood scraps and cutoffs (bought for almost nothing on Craigslist). It was made mainly using a @portercable scrollsaw, @dewalttough table saw, @makitatools sander and angle grinder with carving wheel from @kutzall, and a @boschtoolsna router. It’s lit with a #phillipshue white ambience smart bulb. Also, I can control it just by telling Siri on my iPhone what to do, which is more handy than I expected (and works really well). Thanks to my amazing wife @tam_a_ryn for letting me disappear into the workshop far too many nights and weekends for such a simple thing!

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This pile of mahogany is gonna be a lamp base. I hope.

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Lampshade panel 1 of 5 cut (just the interior. The perimeter edges aren’t done).

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Scrolling #scrollsaw

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I often find that the hardest part of a project is just getting my ass off the couch and starting. Especially once it becomes cold and gray here in Pittsburgh. But I succeeded in at least that much today after work. This is the very early beginnings of a bedside table lamp (which I desperately need). Step 1 (not including the initial design in my head and computer) was actually acquiring the wood, which I did a few weeks ago when I majorly scored a carload of mahogany offcuts for $15 from a cool dude who does much more serious furniture work. Step 2 is what you see here. I resawed (very slowly and carefully) the wood into 1/4” strips to glue up as panels. Obviously it won’t make sense yet. You’ll see…

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Trivet – Daniel D. Brown, 2017, Wood

I had a really old dry branch of what I believe might be Osage Orange (or perhaps locust or something completely different). I decided to make a little trivet/serving board out of it so I can eat from hot dishes in my recliner. Most of its creation is detailed in the multi-image instagram post below. It turned out very functional and fairly beautiful – especially with the live edge.

I had to wait for some glue to dry today on the lamp project. And the wife is out for ladies’ night. So I decided to make a hot plate/serving tray/cheesboard/whatever out of an old log I picked up out of a neighbors yard almost a year ago. The log looked old and gray when I found it and I’ve been wanting to see what it looks like inside for ages. Now that I built a straight edge jig, I had a way to give it flat sides so I could run it through the table saw. I just made a bunch of 0.5” thick strips and glued them together. That grain is poppin! I still don’t know what kind of wood it is. Thought? Maybe Osage orange. Or locust. Or something completely different. There’s no stain – the wood just has a beautiful yellow/orange hue after finishing with walnut oil.

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Cypress the Screech Owl – Daniel D. Brown, 2017, Wood Intarsia

I have been accepted into this year’s Wings & Wildlife Art Show at the National Aviary for the third year in a row. Thus, I decided to creat a piece specifically for the show. During last year’s show, the staff brought around this cute little screech owl around to my booth, where I got some great photos of him (see below). I based this piece on one of those photos.

You can purchase this original wooden artwork here.

If you are interested in making your own version of this piece, the plans can be purchased here.

The following instagram post contains a bunch of photographs going through the entire process of creating these intarsia pieces. Click through to see how it’s done:

Making these #intarsia projects is a long process. Step one is digitally drawing the design. Then I print a bunch of copies, cut out each piece of paper, pick out and purchase the lumber based on color and grain pattern, arrange all the pieces on the wood to get the patterns I want, spray glue all the pieces to the wood (and cover with packing tape to help keep the paper from peeling and lubricate the scrollsaw blade), and then begin the long arduous task of cutting out each piece on a scrollsaw (going through a handful of blades with each piece). This one is gonna be special (and the most complicated one I've made): this is "Cypress" the screech owl, whom I photographed as his handler brought him near my booth at last year's Wings and Wildlife Artshow at the National Aviary.

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Ruby – Daniel D. Brown, 2017, Wood Intarsia

SOLD!

  

 

Butcher Block Kitchen Island Cart – Daniel D. Brown, 2017, Wood

We recently bought a new home that has far too little kitchen space and storage. My wife wanted a kitchen isand with a butcher block, so I built her this. It was my first piece of actual proper furniture, with mortise and tenon joints, a drawer, a hanger for pots and pans, and a shelf for storage. The butcher block top is also removable for cleaning. The butcher block was constructed from ambrosia maple, with the base also in cherry and walnut.

Note: this first instagram post has many different photos (click the arrow).

Butcher block kitchen island on casters. I did it! I finished my first piece of proper furniture, complete with first attempt at mortise and tenons and a butcher block top. (Not counting the hastily slapped together keyboard stand). I made this for my wife @tam_a_ryn to add a little much-needed kitchen workspace and storage space in our new home. I first deigned it from scratch in SketchUp on my computer. The base is constructed from cherry (#brooksidelumber) while the butcher block top, drawer face, and bottom shelf slats are ambrosia maple (@rockler_woodworking). The drawer handle is walnut (from a nice guy on Craigslist) and the drawer itself is poplar. The hidden drawer support pieces are pine from a shipping pallet. This was also the first time I'd used a router (for the mortises and all the edges) and I'm particularly happy with the routered drawer face. The top is removable for washing and serving, and the shelf is also removable. The butcher block was soaked in mineral oil and conditioned with oil/beeswax (@bedillion.honey.farm) and the base was finished with 3 coats of polyurethane. The pots and pans hang from S hooks attached to an aluminum rod installed underneath (also my first time cutting metal). I was pretty shocked to find that everything fit pretty snugly and is level, despite plenty of errors (luckily my ugly tenons are hidden inside the mortises). This was such an educational experience! Even making my first trip to an actual lumber yard was intimidating at first (what's a "board foot"? lol. Kidding. I studied before I started). I definitely have a newfound appreciation for professional woodworkers and carpenters – and why real furniture is "expensive" compared to particle board Ikea crap. This took me a month on and off to finish.

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Wedding Ring Box – Daniel D. Brown, 2017, Wood

     
 

The Original piece of Ambrosia maple