Introduction: Wall Bacon
See Da bacon on Da wall? Cedar bacon. There is no purpose to this build other than to make a giant piece of bacon to hang or display. However, bacon is one of the, if not the best substance in the world. Yes I'm talking to you sliced bread. It also happens to be my last name, so I'm kind of fond of the idea.
Before I get to the tool and material list I must talk about working with cedar. Cedar can be very dusty when sanded, sawn, joined or planed. Especially with this project, there will be tons of dust generated. It also is one of the few woods that can cause nasopharyngeal cancer after repeated or prolonged exposure. I.e. Don't breathe in the dust. Wear a dust mask. If that's not enough of a deterrent for you. If you decide not to wear a dust mask everything will smell like a hamster cage for a week. Now onto the tool and material list
Tools and Materials:
Grinder with sanding disk
Step 1: Choosing Your Aromatic Cedar
Looking at rough aromatic cedar there are two distinct colors, Red-ish (heart wood), and white (sapwood). The red part will ultimately become the meat of the bacon. The white will become the fatty parts. When choosing your cedar try to get a piece that is all red on one side and all white on the other side. This will give the final piece of bacon a much more natural look. If you glue two pieces together that is not all the same on one side you will see very distinct joint lines. Leading to uglier bacon, and we can't have ugly bacon hanging on the wall.
Step 2: Cooking Prep. Putting the Bacon Together
Joint the two edges of the cedar that will be glued together. There is no need to joint both edges of a board, or even plane the wood. You will see why in the later steps. It doesn't even matter if the jointed edges line up all that well. As long as there are no gaps it will be fine. Now glue the pieces together and do what all carpenters do best. Wait for glue to dry *yawn*.
Step 3: Make the Bacon
After the glue has dried cut out the shape of your bacon. I draw a pencil line to the general shape I want. Then clamp it to a table or workbench, and use a jig saw to cut it out. Don't worry if you miss your pencil line for two reasons. 1) It's bacon, it really doesn't have an exact shape 2). You're the only one who will know if you missed cutting the line exactly.
Step 4: Massage the Bacon...with an Angle Grinder
This is the dusty step. I mean really, really dusty. I turned the entire shop pink with a layer of cedar dust. So dusty I could write a message in the dust on the floor of the shop. It's been a week since I made the bacon and my shop partners are still busting my chops about it. I digress.
Looking at a cooked piece of bacon, it is all crinkly and wavy on the edges and vertically down the middle. Using the grinder with sanding disk, clamp the bacon down on a workbench, and go to town on one of the edges. After doing one side, rotate and repeat. Also get rid of that nasty glue line down the middle. Careful though. Cedar is a very soft wood and the grinder will tear through the stuff in seconds. Use a light touch until you get a feel for it. Once all the edges, ends, and the front face is wavy enough to your liking, flip the bacon over. This time just do the edges and ends. Since this is the backside, no one will see it so don't waste the effort.
Step 5: Sanding
What? You thought there might not be any sanding? Sorry there is, but not much. The sanding disk will leave some very heavy gouge marks in the wood. Using a random orbital sander (or an old fashioned piece of paper if you are a glutton for punishment) with and 80 grit pad, smooth out the gouge marks and possibly any sharp corners left by the grinder. You can increase the grit and smooth it out more but I do not find it necessary.
Step 6: Cooking the Bacon
Now we add the shiny grease to the bacon. For this step use specifically glossy polyurethane. Polyurethane gives the nice deep meat and fat color to the bacon. I have tried other water based finishes but have not been able to achieve the same results. With the water based finishes, I always end up with raw shiny bacon, and who wants raw bacon? Cedar will soak up the first coat and sometimes the second coat of poly like a polyurethane camel. So multiple coats, I did five, are necessary to get that nice greasy look. As always follow the application instructions of the product you use. Sanding between coats helps a lot as well. You end up with a much smoother shinier surface. Now enjoy your bacon with pride. However I am not responsible for any hunger cravings you might have while admiring your bacon. If you enjoyed this instructable, I would really appreciate your vote in the wood working contest!
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