As time goes on, I see less and less of the conventional stands at shows with legs. I have some of my own but, well … they seem rather dated at times and only suit a particular tree.
When slices started to become popular I was immediately drawn to their sleek and natural design, and yes, I really do think they look beautiful with a tree displayed on them.
I am certainly not in a position to be able to afford these wonderful Walnut, Oak, Beech slices; I have seen what they cost and for me that is sadly well out of my reach. So, I thought what have I got that I could create for next to nothing?
I started with some 7mm plywood which had found dumped by the roadside; just a few small sheets so nothing to loose. I first sealed the base with PVA glue watered down to four to one. I then cut a random shape out using my jigsaw on an angle. Then a two part epoxy resin with hardener was mixed and applied to the edges, mostly to hide the look that it is plywood.
Once dry, I used a variety of carving tools attached to my dremel and carefully shaped it to look like a bark edge. Next up was the weathering process which consisted of a variety of modelling/weathering powders mixed into a liquid and applied randomly.
Finally I prepared the thin veneer surface working my way up to 3000 grit wet and dry paper. You need to be careful because it is easy to go through the veneer.
Then ten coats of Liberon finishing oil which dries rock hard. In-between each coat I nipped back with 5000 grit paper.
Finally when complete it was left to dry and fully harden. I then used my vehicle detailing polishing machine with 3M pads and a variety of cutting polishes, each less cutting until finally applying a coat of wax by hand.
I have a few to make soon (when the left shoulder is repaired after the surgery of Monday) so will do a full image step by step process. In all I suppose they cost me a few pennies. I displayed for the first time last weekend and the consensus of opinion was they were very impressive for what they are.
I’m going to see if I can source a really nice quality plywood that has a better veneer. Please bear in mind these were really cheap and nasty boards. I feel certain it can only get better. I may play around with a grain filler next time to get completely smooth.
These vary from Accent sized to 70cm for the larger ones. The black looking one was for the Procumbens.