Hello, I am going to show you how to make a wooden heart pendant or necklace. The wood I used for this project is sapele, I really like this wood because it polishes up really nice, it's cheap and easy to work with but there are many great woods to work with, woods with tight grain are probably better but i have used walnut in the past and it looks great, it will take more finishing to get a good result though.
Time To make: 45min-3hrs
Step 1: Tools Needed
A coping, Piercing or Scrollsaw (there may be other possibilities).
A drill (hand or electric)
A finish or some kind (I prefer beeswax and mineral oil)
The ones that make it easier:
A dremel or rotary tool
A belt sander
Needle files / rasps
A sharp knife
various grits of sandpaper 80, 120, 240, 400, 800.
Wood, I used sapele but there are many great choices, heres a few i have used in the past, cherry, walnut, white oak and olive wood (im sure theres more, anything with a nice grain pattern). I start with half inch strips I ripped down to size but you can use thicker to begin if its all you have, it'll just be a bit more sanding depending how thick you want the finished product.
A necklace of choice, I use leather here but again there are loads of choices, i like leather because its a natural product the same as the wood and finish i use (less the mineral oil).
Step 2: Marking Out Your Heart.
Simply using a pencil is what i find the easiest here but you could print something out and spray glue it on or use carbon paper for a more accurate design, I try not to get to stuck on the symmetry here as I find it easier to fix with some files or the belt sander later on.
Step 3: Cut It Out
Again try not the go crazy with accuracy here, you can clean it up as you go or later on, I use a bench pin to rest on which is essentially a thin piece of wood clamped to the bench so I can use the saw vertically without the bench getting in the way.
Step 4: Belt Sander.
Here you can begin to get some symmetry and thin the piece out a bit, try and keep it flat ready for the next step of drilling.
Step 5: Drill a Hole for the Necklace.
Nothing special here, using a drill press would be easiest but its no big deal, try and keep it as vertical as possible, i find it helps to draw a central line but having the hole in the corner could look great, its whatever you feel looks best, GO NUTS!
Step 6: Back to the Beltsander.
Go back to the beltsander here to round off the edges and thin the piece out a bit more, be gentle as its very easy to take off to much with a belt or disk sander.
Step 7: Rotary Tool.
Here you want to further round the edges with the lighter touch of the rotary tool, again taking it easy and slow you might want to start going with the grain here as it can be hard to get some deep scratches out by hand sanding.
Step 8: Filing.
By this point you should just have one rough area, at the top of the heart in the center, it can be annoying to get to this part but a needle file should do the trick, smooth out and extra material you have to take off either with the dremel, file or sandpaper.
Step 9: Hand Sanding.
This is the worst and most boring part or the project as with most woodworking projects, sanding sucks, as usual you move up the grits spending the most time on the first and last, be sure to give a wipe between each grit so you don't clog up the new grit with dust from the last, wear a mask or you'll have wood dust up your nose and a sore throat the rest of the day. PROTECT YOUR LUNGS.
Step 10: Finishing.
I use a mix of mineral oil and beeswax. I like to use the because at the end of the day this will be in contact with skin a lot so you don't want to use anything that will irritate the skin, I suppose you could swap the mineral oil for almond oil if you don't like the petroleum aspect of it, i use about 2 parts beeswax to 3 parts mineral oil and boil it up,. wait for it to set and you have a great finish which is foodsafe so can be used for chopping boards and pretty much anything you want, it even lasts a pretty long time as the oil from your skin just seems to reinforce the finish (gross bonus).
Rub a big lump on all over leaving the excess soak in for about 10 mins then wipe it off and you're done.
Step 11: Tying the Knot.
A simple slipknot from the middle of your cord goes through the hole so you know its no going anywhere unless the cord breaks. the knot I use for securing the pendant around the neck is called a Chinese sliding knot, which seems difficult but is actually very simple once you have learnt in once, This website explains it very well and is where I learnt how to do it.
Step 12: Thanks.
Thanks for reading, hopefully this has been informative and easy to follow, if you have any questions please post them down below.
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