It happened not so long ago when I saw the rug contest. I dismissed it at first but then, on one of the nights that i was going over all of my different projects in my head, and I thought, I wonder if I could make a small rug out of wood.
I started brain storming and looked for some inspiration that night. The next day I dug out some wood and got to work.
This was a very tedious little rug but totally worth it in the end. There are 136 individual pieces of wood that makes up this rug. Each one of those pieces had two holes drilled through it and the edges sanded over. About half way through I was tempted to abandon the project due to the tedious steps involved but I stuck with it and I'm glad I did. Thanks so much for reading and I hope you enjoy my hardwood rug.
Step 1: What You Need
3 feet of 1x8 walnut
" " Cherry
" " Oak
30 feet of twine or other natural fiber rope
These are all of the tools that I used but they are by no means a necessity. This can be done with simple tools it just isn't quite as easy.
Step 2: The Wood
These scraps were different sizes and different thicknesses. I ran all of the wood trough a planer to make sure that it was the same thickness so it didn't feel uneven while walking on the rug.
Step 3: Join, Cut, Cut, Drill
Once they all had a flat side I ripped them with the table saw. I set my fence for 1.5 inches and ripped 20 pieces.
I had varied amounts of the wood. I cut a lot of cherry and had less of the walnut and oak. When you have all the strips cut you can decide on what length to cut your individual pieces. I went with 3 inches. I'm not sure why, I just thought this looked proportional.
What would have made this really easy is a cross cut sled but I don't have one of those yet. I have been meaning to make one but... Well I really don't have an excuse i just haven't done it. Anyway, I clamped a stopper to my miter saw so I could get consistent lengths of block. This took a long time to cut. I ended up using 136 pieces but i cut, drilled, and shaped around 180 just so I made sure that I had enough.
After cutting comes the most fun leg of this journey- drilling. If you choose to tackle this project I really hope you have a drill press. If you don't please go to someone's house to use theirs. You do not want to do this step with a hand held drill.
In my shop I set up my fence and stopper so uncoils drill in the center of the block about .5 inch from the end. I used a 7/32 drill bit. This was not super fun. For one when you are drilling 180 pieces, you are drilling 360 holes! Take your time and try not to get burned out. Also be very carful because your drill bit will get very hot while doing this job.
Just to be clear I drilled before i sanded so I had square edges. I wanted the holes to be as even as possible.
Step 4: Sanding
I don't know if it would have made a difference but that is not the route I went. So instead I sanded each and every one individually. That was a lot of work. I put some 60 grit sandpaper on the wheel of my bench sander and 80 grit on top. I wanted to round the pieces over fast and then I smoothed them with the 80 grit.
This really wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I had a nice little system going and it didn't take too long to finish.
Step 5: Making a Long Needle
I needed a needle about two feet long so I cut the wire to that length. Then I put a blunt point on the end so it would go through the holes better. Then I needed to attach the twine.
My first attempt was to use ca glue to glue the twine onto the needle. That did not work. I got through half of my first run when it came off.
Next I decide to cut a small slot in the end of the needle and crimp the twine in the end. This worked great. I used my angle grinder to cut a small slit. Then I crimped the twine with a pair of channel locks. This worked the whole time and it never came out.
Step 6: Weaving??
I made sure to pull a lot of extra twine out and I started to weave. I carefully suck my needle through the first block and then the next and the next. Because I was using one piece of twine, I pulled a lot of extra through. I kept weaving the pieces together back and forth until I got through the whole thing. When all the twine is through, you can go back and pull everything right.
Step 7: Secure the Twine
Step 8: Pads and Finish
I finished the top with some 120 grit sandpaper and then some boiled linseed oil. The linseed oil really brought out the color and the grain of the wood. I just wiped it on with a cloth, let it sit and then wiped dry.
Step 9: Enjoy