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Uncle Jake

As of early morning on Wednesday the 29th, I became an uncle. My sister gave birth to a little baby boy, Kaiden. He's adorable.

So that's my first news. 

In terms of functional stuff, this week I experimented with wood staining. I have no idea what I'm doing, but that's never stopped me before. Let's skip straight to the results:

That's Crowquill, one of Ben Hatke's October Wizards. I think it looks quite cool, with the light color of the wood cut out from the black stain. 

The problem is that I don't really know what I'm doing with the staining. I stained the front of the coaster on Tuesday in the early afternoon and it just didn't ever dry. I re-read the directions and apparently you have to wipe off the excess stain after about a minute or else it doesn't dry properly. Knowing this, I tried staining the back side and...had slightly better results? On Wednesday afternoon it was kind of dry, so I just tried it as-is in the laser to get some results I could work with. 

The whole thing is still, like, damp, I guess? If you touch it, there are various spots that will leave black stain on your fingers. Not good. Definitely not something I could sell right now. 

What I do know, however, is that lasering stained wood works beautifully. It's just the staining process I don't have a handle on. The plan, then, is to order wood that's professionally stained and finished by someone else, then simply do the laser work myself. It's more expensive, but I don't think I'm prepared to stain wood like this on my own with the resources and space I have available.

That leads me to the next thing I plan to offer in my store: Photo engraving! Soon you'll be able to send me any photo you want and I'll be able to laser etch it into dark-stained wood like this. I have a few friends-and-family projects I'm working on to prototype photo-engraved wall plaques and I'm looking forward to sharing the results soon. 

That's it for this week.