A friend of mine was looking for a good corporate gift to give to the attendees at a conference. She started describing what she was looking for and as I started to picture it in my head I mentioned that I thought I could do that. It would actually be a pretty straightforward project, it just needed to be done 230 times. Of course, that means jigs!!
The walnut boards were jointed, thicknesed, and ripped to width with a bevel all at once and then crosscut. That created the blocks on which to work, they were then sanded and then the fun started.
Each block was set into a jig which held it in place and at an angle so that the slot in the top would be leaned back by about 10 degrees.
|Slot Routing Jig in Action, Toggle Clamp to Hold the Work in Place|
|Half Way Done Routing the Slots|
After routing the slots I added the rubber feet to the blocks and sprayed them with lacquer. Also, I ordered some custom stamps from Infinity Stamps. To get them I sent over a drawing for each of the stamps and they sent a proof of what the stamp would impress. Once given the ok it took a few weeks to get them manufactured and shipped over.
|Spread Out and Ready to Lacquer|
|A Few New Stamps Ready for Use|
Due to the bevel on the front I couldn't hammer the stamp directly so I made a jig to try and align the stamp with the bevel on the blocks of wood. I turned out to be a massive failure. The pressure required to impress the wood was too great for the jig to hold secure.
|A First Failed Attempt|
Once I stopped and thought about it a little more I realized that there was a much simpler way. I had received a patternmakers vise for my birthday and realized that this was an awesome opportunity to put it to use. I rotated the vise to vertical and cut a block of wood to hold the beveled face horizontal and then pressed the stamps using the vise. Much more consistent pressure and fewer dropped items hitting my feet.
|Second Times a Charm|
|Stamped and Ready for Packaging|
The slots in the walnut bases are designed to hold a halved and polished ammonite, it was kind of exciting to unwrap so many fossils. They are so beautiful. It took 4 of us a short evening to wrap up all of the bases and ammonites in bubble wrap and box them up.
|A Selection of Ammonites Ready to Go|
|The Finished Product, One of 230|