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Project by KnickKnack posted 09-12-2012 05:15 AM 5278 views 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

No, it’s not a small cat feeder, nor a feeder for a small cat.
I had this small bit of maybe mahogany, maybe sapele, which I thought it was about time I did something with. So I sat for several hours staring at it, and eventually I came up with this. Well, strictly speaking I came up with a square thing, but I measured thrice, and then moved 2mm the wrong way and ended up with uneven sides. And that just seemed really really dull, so I stared for a few more hours (there was a lot of staring in this project, which was something I’d decided to do – too often I just “want to get on” so I push forward with something that’s just a little (frankly sometimes a lot) off), and then those thin strips of ash popped into mind, and I thought that wasn’t off. Normally I’d dash to the 3mm router bit (the smallest I have) and start cutting a slot, but that was going to be too thick, so I paused. Due to the butt joint, I was able to cut an arbitrarily small slot by just “knicking” a slice out. I went with 1.5mm – yep, a measurement including a half – 1 seemed too small and 2 seemed too big. This did, of course, leave me with the problem of how to make a 1.5mm x 4mm strip of ash, 4 times. A few more hours later I came up with the (pretty cool, I think) idea of cutting a slot in a piece of wood – like the groove of a tongue and groove. 10mm wood, 7mm slot in the middle – bingo 2 bits of 1.5mm width just for the cutting off.
Some glue later, there was a vessel with no base. Looking good, I thought – subtle and restrained yet stylish too. More hours pass, and I make a base that’s much bigger than the one you see. Which somehow didn’t seem quite right, so I made another one designed to reflect the shape rather than to be a shape in its own right. Ideas of reflecting the ash lines with mahogany lines in the base were, rightly I think, discounted.
So it’s done. Or is it? I’m looking thinking there’s something not quite right but I can’t quite put my finger on it. And then it strikes me – the top is too, wait for it, chunky. So, with rasps and a bunch of sanding I contour the inside of the top, wishing I’d done it before I put it together when it would have been pretty easy.
So, after all that work, most of which was, it must be said, thinking non-work, what did SWMBO have to say?...
”Not a terribly inspired design, but beautifully done”. I think her fan club subscription is on the wane.
Me. I like it. Not perfect but, I think, showing a certain amount of hope for a brighter future.

Mahogany(?) and ash. Oil finish. 78mm x 94mm x 135mm high.

Thoughts, comments, ideas for improvements, gasps of awe, cries of “still too chunky” – all are welcome.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

10 comments so far

View majuvla's profile


13835 posts in 3140 days

#1 posted 09-12-2012 05:22 AM

Whicheever purpose it has, looks beautiful.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Hawaiilad's profile


3326 posts in 3293 days

#2 posted 09-12-2012 05:22 AM

I think you did a great job of “saving” this one…looks very nice

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View balidoug's profile


495 posts in 2751 days

#3 posted 09-12-2012 06:01 AM

Sounds like most of my projects! But a much cleaner result. Good save. From the photos, though, I think you may be wrong about the cat – looks like the committee has already met.

-- From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. Immanuel Kant

View Karson's profile


35158 posts in 4673 days

#4 posted 09-12-2012 11:51 AM

It looks like Sapele to me/ We use a lot of it in the Toy workshop. Scrap from a window and door mfg.

Beautiful job.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4490 days

#5 posted 09-12-2012 01:44 PM

Obviously, the cat also thinks something is not quite right. :-)

I really like it. (stifled gasp of awe) I’m also glad someone else has a wife who is routinely unimpressed with brilliant design.

Seriously, though, it would be impossible to critique style or proportion in any meaningful way from your photos. While they are very good in quality, they are either too close or at too severe an angle for the viewer to get a true sense of the shape.

Regardless, you ended up with a very nice cat feeder.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10439 posts in 4324 days

#6 posted 09-12-2012 03:16 PM

By the look of that cat, it sure looks like a cat feeder to me! Nice try…

Great job!

Now, all that cat needs, is some food! LOL

Really, a very nice piece!

Thank you.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 3185 days

#7 posted 09-12-2012 04:40 PM

I like It! I think you did a wonderful job on it!
Great work!!
Thanks for showing it to us and for the great little story of how it came about.

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

View Stormy's profile


164 posts in 2469 days

#8 posted 09-12-2012 06:01 PM

Sometimes the wood just lets you know what it wants to be. It will usually be a nice thing-a-ma-boob when it does this.

-- Stormy: Sometimes the wood just tells you what it wants to be.

View Roger's profile


20971 posts in 3076 days

#9 posted 09-14-2012 01:58 AM

Very beautiful, whatever purpose it serves.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View rance's profile


4267 posts in 3433 days

#10 posted 09-14-2012 02:28 PM

Roger, I’m stealing this design. :) It is both an inspiring design AND beautifully done.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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