#81: SpectraPly Ember Glow

Bird number: 114
Date: November 18, 2012
Wood: SpectraPly Ember Glow
Source: Woodcraft store

SpectraPly is a laminated wood product made from premium yellow birch veneer and “color wood material,” whatever that is. It’s commonly used for gun stocks, although why anybody would want a psychedelic gun stock is quite beyond me. I’ve also seen many turned objects (pepper mills, kaleidoscopes, pens, etc.) made from this stuff. There are many different color patterns available. I thought it would be interesting to make a bird from one of them.

I know, it’s not a natural wood, but it’s my game and my rules. One is a curiosity. More than one? That would be cheating.

I find it interesting, if nothing else. I had a pretty good idea of how it would look before I carved it, so I can’t say that I’m surprised. I am a little disappointed, though, by the finish. I suspect there’s a trick to finishing this stuff that would make the colors “pop” a little more. I won’t worry about it.

Carving this stuff with the Foredom power carver was no problem. I’ve tried to carve laminated product before with a knife, and was not happy with the result. This stuff is similar to plywood, with the grain on adjacent sheets not necessarily running in the same direction. In addition, the glue between sheets is somewhat hard and brittle. It’s nothing I noticed with the Foredom, but quite evident when trying to cut it with a knife.

It was a fun experiment, but I’m glad that I bought only one sample of this stuff.