Tricky double mitre joint

The first time I tried this joint, I ended up in all sorts of bother. Having a saw that cuts true and straight is a must if you plan on doing a lot of these joints, which is why I ditched my not so old Ryobi compound saw, and replaced it with a new Makita LS1040. So precise, and a joy to cut with. Provided my measuring is spot on, the saw cuts 45’s like a dream.

double mitre joint.....tricky little sucker!

double mitre joint…..tricky little sucker!

my new baby

my new baby

 

My first cascade stand

A few months ago, I put the word out locally to see if anyone knew of a good supplier of nice affordable bonsai stands….. replies came back with a few leads, but nothing too reliable, so I thought I would investigate the option of making my own. I have limited wood working experience, but like anything, if you seek good advice, and know how to follow it, you may have a chance. I have turned my hand to many things I have no formal training in over the years, and have had success with most I’m proud to say. I turned one into a 30 year professional career strangely enough. Anyway, as it turns out, a few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a blog from a fellow bonsai nut from Fresno, California, who also makes his own beautiful bonsai stands and has been incredibly generous with sharing his knowledge and skills on how he goes about making these bespoke pieces. Referring to his tips and using some of my own skills, I embarked on my first project…. this cascade stand.

A few years ago I began making “one off” longboard skateboards using exotic hardwoods, such as Mahogany, Birch, Maple, Black Bean, Ebony & various others. I bought a few slabs of ”hairy oak” which is a she-oak (Allocasuarina inophloia) from dry areas up in Queensland, and this is what I chose for my first project. It has amazing grain patterns and I know some purists out there will say it’s too flashy for a bonsai stand ‘cos it will distract from beauty of the tree….. I couldn’t care less about that to be honest, as I also have stands I display purely for the beauty of the stand. It doesn’t have to have a tree on it to be admired. Anyway, here it is….. the dimensions are 3.5ins x 3.5ins x 11ins tall.Image

Top detail… the top is a solid ”one piece” with routed profiles and the internal border was carved by hand. My new projects have a central ”foot print” piece plus boarders, following the traditional methods, however I will still work on some designs using a solid one piece top.

Image

Image

I thought I would show the incredible variety of grain patterns in this amazing species. These pics are all from the one 6ft. piece of Hairy Oak, from both sides of the piece.

Hairy Oak-3

This is why it got its name.The bark literally looks like aYetti.

This is why it got its name.
The bark literally looks like aYetti.

Hairy Oak-6 Hairy Oak-11 Hairy oak-10 Hairy Oak-9 Hairy Oak-8

These next few pics are from the one 4ft length of Silky Oak. This is sold in the USA¬†under the name ” Australian Lacewood” .

Silky Oak-4 Silky Oak-2

 

Silky Oak-7

More storm damage

 

This majestic old fig is believed to be around 150yrs old according to my neighbour who has run cattle on this farm for over 50 yrs. Last week during non stop rain, the entire back half of the tree split away leaving barely half of the original form. It now lays dying on the ground, trampled by the cattle that once took shelter under it from the heat of the sun. Huge figs like this are splitting in half and dropping massive limbs all over our shire due to the relentless rain over the past weeks. Everything is waterlogged and roots are rotting by the minute, leaving these giants vulnerable, and without much hope of survival. Sad days for us….:(

ImageImage