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A Custom Christmas Gift For My Dad

For the longest time my dad, Mike Holmes, has been saying to me: “You build these beautiful custom woodworking projects for the homeowners – how come you’ve never built one for me?” * What better time of the year than Christmas to surprise him with a custom piece by me?

I had originally planned on making him a piece of wall art that was inspired by the river table I built for the Suburban house on Holmes and Holmes. However, when I got to the shop and started designing the piece of wall art for my dad, I was feeling inspired and went a completely different direction. I decided I wanted to build him a landscape out of Mappa Burl and Eco Epoxy. Using the live edges, the bottom part contours to look like a body of water and on the top, I cut out the Mappa Burl to look like mountains. Then I decided that it was missing something, a moon! So I used the Bandsaw to cut a circle out of Canadian Black Walnut.

I chose Mappa Burl because it has a lot of unique knots and grains in it, as well as a really unique live edge that I thought would work well for this application. As for the Canadian Black Walnut, I chose this for two reasons. One, it is probably one of my favourite species of wood, two, once I put a coat of white oil on it, the dark will pull through as well, looking more like a moon.

Through the process of designing this piece, I wasn’t exactly sure how I wanted to lay everything out. So instead of marking up my pieces and having to worry about sanding labels off, or something bleeding through the oil later on, I decided to use Post-it® Extreme Notes to label each piece so I could get a clearer vision of what I was trying to accomplish. Also, if I changed my mind, I wouldn’t have to sand down my mistake, I would just have to replace my Post-it® Extreme Note with a new one

So far, I am really happy with how this is turning out. I have never used colour pigmentation on epoxy before, and by having the blue for the water has really made the piece pop. The combination of the blue water, and the black sky is really working so far. Let’s hope when I sand it down and prep it to oil, my plan will come together perfectly!


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