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They say Dinosaurs were around some 65 million years ago! Yet kids and adults alike are just as interested in them now as they were probably 65 million years ago!
Making an Intarsia Dinosaur to hang on the wall, from 19mm wood, with individually cut pieces sanded and shaped, is relatively simple and with a little basic knowledge you can produce a Dinosaur that gives the impression of being three-dimensional.
The T. Rex can be made to any size (your only restriction being the size of your scrollsaw) and any colour, that’s why we decided to make ours purple! What colour would yours be?
First select your 19mm wood, we have chosen Pine as we plan to use colour, not solid colour as we like to still see the grain of the wood beneath, you could of course use natural woods in varying colours/shades the choice is yours, please note whichever wood you choose to obtain the best results the underside must be completely flat.
Once you have decided on the size of the Dinosaur you have two options on how to get the pattern onto the wood.
02. The second option is the tracing method which we prefer mainly because enlarging the pattern also enlarges the thickness of the lines, which then offers quite a bit of room for error and as we want all the pieces to fit snugly together, a heavy black line is the last thing we want, whereas using the blue carbon paper to transfer the pattern, any cutting errors can easily be seen and corrected with the next adjacent cut.
To obtain a good fit when making any intarsia project, there are three important things to remember the first as mentioned above, is to use only wood that is completely flat.
The second is make sure the the blade is taut and set at exactly 90 degrees to the table, a small square is helpful, but to doubly check, cut 1 or 2mm into a scrap piece of wood, then place the piece behind the blade (without turning it over) if the blade runs freely up and down within the cut, then the blade is square.
Thirdly the blade it's self, always start a new project with a new blade a dull blade will labour through the wood giving you a distorted out.
Continue to cut all the remainig pieces accept the tail, which can be cut through after sanding.
There are some pieces that need to be cut, but are best left until after being sanded and the tail is a good example, as it is a piece that needs to be of a continual shape and the only reason for cutting is to add a different colour.
Sanding and Shaping
Sanding down the parts of the Dinosaur to different height levels and rounding over the outer edges will help give the figure a three-dimensional appearance.
Start by using a Dise sander to roughly sand down the pieces which appear the furthest away.
Once you are happy with the rough sanding of the varying heights, change to a drum sander to refine the shapes and remove the scratches left from the disc sander, sand with the grain rounding over the outer edges, be mindful not to sand below your pencil lines on the adjoining pieces.
37. Use a thick black marker pen to draw all around the top edge and to trace over your pencil lines, also fill in the small areas where the backing will be seen between some of the pieces i.e. letters and left foot/forearm.
Using black in this way will make any gaps less noticeable and generally give the piece a more finished look.
Our first choice when adding colour to wood is nearly always acrylic paints thinned with a little slow dry blending gel medium (which allows the excess paint to be removed easily), we find acrylics have a lot in their favour with a wide choice of vibrant colours, no odor, quick drying and the brushes wash out in just soapy water.
38. To begin set the pieces out into groups of colour, have to hand a dry brush for removing the build of paint from the cut lines, and a small piece of cloth to wipe away the excess paint to reveal the grain of the wood beneath.
Allow lthe pieces kof dry completely, lightly nib each piece taking care not to remove any of the paint, apply a coat of acrylic matt varnish and / or clear wax polish.
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39. Working on a flat suface lay the pieces out in order for gluing, have to hand an old artists brush and a slightly damp cloth for removing any excess glue that may ooze out.
Apply glue to each piece in turn and position firmly onto the backing wiping away any excess glue as you go.
Allow to dry completely.
Attach a hanger (D hook) to the back, to establish the correct position hold the Dinosaur between your thumb and forefinger until it hangs the way you want, mark the position with a pencil and then attach the hanger.