I almost didn’t write this.
I worried that it would expose a weakness in me, and reveal just how bad I am at thinking things through. Just kidding. If you’ve read my blog before, you already know that I am allergic to any “planning” or “thinking through” of things.
This was how it all started. I had an urge to cut hexagons and make the edges beveled, so I did.
I didn’t really have a project in mind, I just kept cutting hexagons, putting them on the ground, and staring. (I stared at them a lot.)
At some point, I thought I should probably decide what to do with the hexagons before going any further.
So… after taking breaks to stare at them, and over 451 cuts later, I came to the conclusion that what I had here- was probably art.
First of all, lets talk about hexagons.
I like them because they are easy to cut on a miter saw.
The saw can be set at 30° the whole time, while the wood is turned after each cut.
(In the following images, I use plywood scrap to explain this process.)
It’s important to have a hexagon template to trace onto the wood, so I Googled: “printable hexagon” and printed it out to the size I wanted. (6 inches.)
To make the cuts, I needed one edge of the hexagon to be lined up on the true edge of the wood. (Above image.) That ensures that the following cuts will be lined up correctly.
I numbered the edges in order- number “1” being the first true edge I showed above.
Next, I made sure the blade was lined up with my pencil line. (It may be slightly off from 30°.)
After making the cut on edge #2, I rotated the wood once to the left, placing that #2 edge along the saw guide.
The following photo collage demonstrates how each side is cut, then rotated in order.
After I had my hexagon, I used my table saw to bevel the edges.
Disclaimer: The next step is NOT for beginners. It’s downright stressful.
(I used one of the actual hexagons from the art piece in the following images.)
The saw blade is set to 45°, and the hexagon is rotated to bevel each edge.
This part was a little intense, because that’s a saw blade there, and it’s sharp.
The fact that the blade is angled so far, also causes a “tug” on the hexagon as you feed it through, so there’s that too.
If you add those facts to each edge that has to be beveled, that’s 6 passes on the table saw, and a lot of stress. Plus, that’s only one hexagon! (Stress.)
A much safer way would be to sand each edge, but that may take a while…
Speaking of sanding, once all of the edges were beveled on the table saw, I sanded the tops of the hexagons.
I spent a lot of time playing around with grain direction…
Next, I wiped the dust off with mineral spirits, then wiped the clean hexagons with tung oil.
(This is kind of an older can of tung oil.)
The next morning, the tung oil was dry so I began gluing the hexagons onto the plywood backing. (Not pictured.) I used heavy objects to clamp them down and I only did a few at a time, so that means it took me all day to finish that step.
I used half-pieces and mess-ups to fill in around the edges, but I kept the edge of the plywood backing clear. The straight edge of the backing piece will run smoothly along the guide fence of the table saw.
The table saw cuts off the excess around the edges, and leaves me with a rectangle-shaped art piece. (That is actually made up of hexagons. ha ha)
I needed help to run it through the table saw, so my husband acted as my second set of hands. I moved the guide fence to the left of the saw blade (is that legal?) and trimmed the edges.
After trimming each edge, I began work on the frame.
I laid out four strips of wood like so….
…then marked the ends so I could cut them to size.
Is anyone still with me? This post is getting long.
To secure the frame to the art piece, I used my Kreg Jig to drill some pocket holes along four thin strips of wood.
The strips were secured to the back with my Airstrike, making sure the edges were flush. (See images below.)
When I flipped the art piece back over… AHHHH!
After I fixed that brilliant mistake, I attached the pieces of frame via the pocket holes.
To secure the corners, I used a counter-sink drill bit and wood filler.
When the wood filler was dry on all four corners, I sanded and wiped the frame down with tung oil.
And that, is it.
This concludes my tutorial on what to do with a bunch of hexagons.
Thanks for reading!
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