Ideas for a Quick Wedding Gift from WoodCentral
The traditional season for weddings is fast approaching -- and, for woodworkers, that means crafting some wedding gifts from wood. Granted, you'll usually have more notice than the poster who began this thread searching for suggestions, but it brings up the question: what are some additional ideas you rely on for quick gifts from the woodshop? - Editor
"My wife's niece decided to get married in two weeks. They have been engaged for forever, but they've never told anyone their plans (included the mother and father of the bride). So: I have a week to make something reasonable. I'll still make them the dresser that I've promised them, but I want something to take to the wedding." - J.L.
A few suggestions from the posters on the forum. - Editor
"Turn a holder for their wedding candle." - A.Z.
"If they like coffee, turn a box to hold coffee filters. Flat-bottom filters take a 5 x 3 interior diamter box. Cone filters take an 8 x 2 interior diameter box. I fill the box with filters and get a package of premium coffee to complete the gift. Never fails to please." - John V.
"End grain cutting board. Even a flat grain board is usually well-received. An end grain board is always special and something they will use for a very long time.
Its also something that can be put together fairly quickly, seeing as time is short.
Don't forget to sign and date it in permanent laundry marker." - Paul
"Cup holder [or] a paper towel holder has been a popular gift." - Bill T.
"A picture frame or hall mirror could be quick and easy and always appreciated. Maybe for their marriage license or wedding photos." - Yonak
"Salt and/or pepper mill. I've turned a couple of these in different sizes. It's an eminently practical item for everyday use, and a very permanent gift. We've used ours for a dozen years or more. I made ours from laminations of birch and cherry, and another pair from walnut and butternut." - George
Polishing the Brass from WoodCentral
Woodworkers spend a lot of time trying to get the finish right as they apply stain to their woods -- but it can be just as important to clean and maintain the hardware on a piece. How do you do that? This discussion looks at the options for brass hardware. First, the question. - Editor
"I've got some brass hardware I want to remove the tarnish from and coat with something to prevent, or at least slow up, retarnishing. This would be on an exterior door.
I plan on buffing with buffing compound first, and am wondering about leaving a residue, what to clean that off with, and what is the best product to spray on." - James R.
Those who responded to this thread had suggestions for quite a few products. - Editor
"Nevr-Dull® Wadding. It leaves behind an itty bit of oil to protect until the next time. No further coating needed. Just rub on it every other month or so. Easy. I think a coating scratches or gets icky after time. Then ya' gotta strip it off. BLAH!" - Steve M.
"Polish with Brasso® or other high quality polish, clean with naptha or acetone, spray with clear lacquer, and put in a vacuum chamber to dry and remove air bubbles. Or send it out and have it done!" - Barry E.
"I restored several of my exterior doorknobs and finished them with Staybrite. I cleaned what lacquer was left on them with lacquer thinner and elbow grease. I polished with a metal polish. Cleaned them up real good and sprayed them with Staybrite. They have held up very well for several years. I think the Staybrite is better than the factory finish (these are low grade hardware)." Tony
"You might consider Everbrite® for exterior brass. I've not personally used it, but have known metalsmiths who put it on sculpture. Jewelers who work in base metals often use ProtectaClear™, from the same company, as a skin-safe anti-tarnish coating, although many prefer Renaissance Wax." - David B.
And, there were also some suggestions for cleaning with regular shop or household supplies. - Editor
"There are several ways to clean the polished brass. You can use strong soap and water. However, it gets tricky drying the parts without touching them, which would leave some body oils on them. The easiest way to clean is lacquer thinner and paper towels. You may need a second or third cleaning until the towels show no buffing compound residue. Then, still holding the piece with the clean piece of paper towel, slip a handling wire through one of the holes in the piece. I use a piece of a metal hanger that things from the laundry come on. Now you have a way of holding and moving it without touching it. Spray a coat or two of clear lacquer, and you're all set." -Ralph L.
"Plain old white vinegar. It works for me." - George
"Besides a jug of white vinegar, another thing I keep in my shop is a bottle of concentrated lemon juice. Both are excellent at cleaning tarnish from old brass. I've had occasions where a bit of a soak was in order before cleaning was effective. I also use the vinegar when I need to disassemble an old joint glued with hide glue. I heat a cup of vinegar in the microwave and brush the hot liquid over the joint until it softens the glue. Water works, too, but I have had better results with the vinegar." - David Y.