About a year ago I started noticing ampersand (“and” symbol) decorations appearing everywhere. Thousands populate Pinterest and it took me while to figure out what this trend was all about: it’s like a heart or cupid. A symbol of togetherness.
I made this wood ampersand as a unique wedding gift for a couple soon getting married. It’s made out of walnut and maple. I added the wedding date on the front.
This would also make a great Valentine’s Day gift. Just the ampersand alone makes a great decoration or you could replace the date with names or initials.
I wanted it to stand on its own without easily tipping over, so I sandwiched a 3/4″ (19mm) piece of hard maple between two 3/8″ (10mm) thick walnut boards. I love the contrast between these two species of wood.
After printing out and attaching the cutting template (need help?) I cut out the inside holes of the ampersand with my jigsaw. I cut out the outer shape using my bandsaw, but using a jigsaw for this would work just as well.
Then it’s all about sanding. And I mean lots of sanding. I was able to get a lot of the curves with my spindle sander and disc sander, but mostly a lot of elbow grease with a sheet of hand sandpaper.
Rounding over all the edges is important to give the piece a much softer look. I used a roundover bit in my router. The bit can’t reach into tight corners, so I rounded those over with a file.
I cut out the date numbers using my scroll saw and a piece of very thin maple. About 1/8″ (3mm). Don’t try cutting these with pine or any other soft wood: they will break too easily. Sanding these took a long time, but it is important to give them a finished appearance.
Finally, I glued the numbers on using wood glue and no clamping. After an hour of drying, I applied several coats of spray lacquer.