Wooden Bow Tie - Chevron Pattern

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Here's a great way to add a little personal touch to your suit. Let the whole place know you're a woodworker and a snazzy dresser all in one.

Step 1: Materials:

  • 2 species of contrasting woods. - I used Red Oak and Walnut
    • 12 strips of each wood - Minimum size: 1/8" x 1/4" x 12
  • 1/4" plywood - 2" x 6" is plenty
  • 1/2" elastic material
  • 1/2" wide adhesive backed velcro
  • Wood Glue
  • Epoxy
  • Sandpaper 120-400
  • Spray Poly
  • Spray Adhesive

Step 2: Tools I Used

Here are the tools that I used. You may be able to substitute some:

  • Band Saw
  • Table Saw
  • Planer
  • Palm Sander
  • Quick Grip Clamps
  • Scissors

Step 3: Find and Sort Your Stock

I made this project out of scrap. As a shop teacher, there is a lot of scrap to choose from laying around the shop. I have also worked wood for over 20 years and have small pieces of wood squirreled away all over.

I dug through the scrap bin, looked under machines, and checked some shelves in the storage room for scraps. Once I found a bunch of pieces, I sorted through them and picked two species that offset each other. You don't need much material, less than a board foot of each.

Step 4: Rip Wood Into 1/8" Strips & Glue

Set the table saw fence for 1/8"

Rip each board into 12 1/8" strips. I left mine 1" wide to make the glue up easier and so I could resaw it into three boards later.

Alternate the boards and glue together. I use a roller to spread the glue but you could use a squeegee or your finger.

I should have staggered the ends of the boards to approximately 45° to cut down on waste.

Lastly, I clamped them in some bar clamps.

After the glue dries:

I ran the boards through the planer to smooth them but you could also use a belt sander or something similar.

I then resawed the 1" thick board to 1/4"

Step 5: Crosscut at 45°

Attach a long fence to the miter gauge

Set the angle to 45°

Use a stop block to produce consistent 1" strips - I used a block clamp but you could also just screw a block to the fence.

Being careful of the blade, rip the board into strips. Once the board got short and my fingers were uncomfortably close to the blade, I used the eraser on a pencil to hold the board.

Step 6: Glue Up the Pattern

Flip every other piece so that you end up with the chevron pattern

Apply glue to both edges of the pieces.

I used some Quick Grip clamps to clamp the project but use what you have. Be careful not to put too much pressure on it and cause it to buckle.

Allow the glue to dry

SAND

Step 7: Cut Out Pattern

Print out the pattern (.pdf at beginning of the Instructable. Also attached the .dxf file if you'd like to make adjustments or use a laser to cut it out)

Cut it out with scissors

Use spray adhesive to attach it to the blank

Cut the tie and knot out with a band saw. You could also use a scroll saw or a coping saw. If you have access, you could get fancy and cut it out with a laser

I cut multiple "knots" and arranged them different ways to see what I liked the best

I used the disc sander to clean up the bow tie once it was cut out but you could just use a palm sander, a file, or hand sand it to shape.

SAND all pieces and edges to 400.

I also attached the pattern for back pieces to 1/4" plywood with spray adhesive.

I cut those out with the band saw too.

Step 8: Glue the Knot on & Apply Finish

If you made multiple knots, decide which one you like the best

Use a dab of yellow glue to attach the 2 pieces. Don't use too much glue, you don't want any squeeze out.

Use the spray poly to apply 3 coats, sanding with 400 in between. Remember, 3 light coats looks much better than 1 heavy coat.

Step 9: Glue the Pieces on the Back

I used epoxy to attach the back pieces. You could also use yellow glue but it would take longer for it to dry. I would not use CA glue. I don't believe this is the proper application for it. It doesn't have enough shock resistance.

Step 10: Make Elastic Band for Around the Neck

Measure the distance around your (or the intended recipient) and add a couple of inches for overlap.

Attach adhesive backed Velcro to the ends. I used a piece approximately 2" long to allow for some adjustment.

Step 11: WEAR IT WITH YOUR BEST SUIT

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    Penolopy Bulnick

    6 months ago

    This is great! Wooden formalwear is fun and it looks even better with the chevron pattern :)

    1 reply