When I first started thinking about this project, I knew that I wanted to experiment with making more Miter Joints, especially since the last ones I cut for the Joinery exercise weren't cut at the proper angle and didn't sit perpendicular to each other. I started by 3D modeling some of the ideas for shapes that I had. I originally liked the idea of the cube with the inverted pyramids missing from its surface. However, when I created a pyramid, copied it, and flipped it over, the resulting shape was far more interesting to me! The shape I chose to make was a Triangular Pyramid, with smaller pyramids jutting out from each side.
Since the smaller pyramids were exactly half the height of the larger pyramid, I needed to split the pieces of wood that I had accordingly. This meant that with only 5.5" of width, my larger triangles had to be 3.5" and the smaller triangles were 1.75". In total, I needed 4 large and 12 small triangles. I really wanted to focus on the contrast between the pieces of wood we had, so I planned on cutting half the triangles out of the Alder, and the other half out of the Pine.
I first split my wood panels as I had planned in my 3D model. Although I only needed 2 large triangles, I had enough material to cut 3, and I figured that spare pieces would be helpful. After I had cut the larger triangles and was laying them out in front of me, I realized that the small triangles were going to be too small to Miter properly and safely. At this point, I decided to ditch the plan for the smaller pyramids and instead focus on creating the large pyramid first.
I used the Table Saw, with a 35 degree angle, to create my mitered cuts. It just so happened to work out that these triangles were the perfect thickness, so when they were mitered, all the sides met perfectly together at the center point.
After the 6 triangles were mitered, I figured that it would be smarter for me to make 2 triangular pyramids, both missing one face, than making only 1 triangular pyramid with extra wood leftover. I used a trick that I saw on YouTube to keep the pyramids together as the glue was drying. The triangles are all held together with tape on their front faces, which provides enough even clamping pressure to ensure the wood glue does its job. After the wood glue had set, I took the tape off, and used Wood Filler to smooth over all the ugly seams.
When I was Mitering the Pine pieces, I had a corner break off of all 3 of the triangles, and I saw it as an opportunity to create a way of connecting the two pyramids together. I sanded the top part of the Pine triangles, cutting out the shape of a tiny inverted pyramid that the tip of the Alder pyramid slots into. The resultant shape resembles an hourglass.
I had some extra pieces of scrap wood, so while the wood glue was drying, I tested out different stains on the scrap. I really liked the color of the "Moroccan Red" stain, but it was too dark and obscured the wood grain too much. After sanding my pieces up to 220 grit, I ended up staining them using Linseed oil. I think the oil does the best at creating a strong contrast and bringing out the natural differences between the two types of wood.
My favorite part about these pieces is the fact that they can be combined in different ways! The pyramids can take the shape of a wooden hourglass or that of a rhombus-like crystal. I'm extremely happy with how having the flat edge on the top of the one pyramid works so well as a display stand. The fact that the pyramids aren't closed on all 4 sides is a nice aesthetic feature as well. The open side is the one that features the end-grain of the wood, and I aligned my pieces such that the end grain follows from one side of the pyramid to the next. I'm very happy with how these pyramids came together, even though the final design differed quite dramatically from my original plans.