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Life sometimes throws you unexpected challenges, but in a good way. Back in August, our friend Lorien observed that our mutual friend, Becky (who has attended at least one momentous occaision at Dodger Stadium), liked the game of mah jongg, and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. She further suggested that she, Helen, and I should all team up to make a Buffy-themed mah jongg set. This slideshow records the results in a hopelessly clumsy and woefully unprofessional way. Did you expect consistent color? Good lighting? Forget it. I tried to color correct the photos in this slide show using the Gimp, but all I proved was that I haven't the slightest idea how to make it work.

Regardless, Becky was far more pleased with the results than I was, but all concerned were grateful that two months without weekends (other than working on this) have come to an end. In general, we're happy with the results, but as the creators of this all-consuming set, it definitely left behind a trail of nits that we wanted to fix.

Wood species: The exterior rim of the case is made of bloodwood, a gorgeous deep red hardwood, using 4x1/2 planks, sized down from a 8'x10"x1" board using a DeWalt 13" planer. Side panels are 1/4" Baltic birch plywood.

Joinery: I joined the bloodwood panels using dovetailing cut with Porter Cable's deluxe 12" dovetail jig; I spent one Saturday playing with it on some scrap wood to figure out how to actually use it and get all the cuts the right depth and thickness. Once you get everything set up, you can really whip through the cuts on this rig. Side panels were just a simple dado cut using a quarter inch router bit, though I ended up having to trim some of the plywood corners because the extreme ends ended up deep into the dovetails -- and I lost a substantial portion of two of the tails that way.

Finish: General Finishes Arm-R-Seal oil and urethane, sanding with 400 grade sandpaper between coats.

Hardware: all the hardware came from Rockler in Orange. I love Woodcraft, whose nearby location and sound advice saved this project several times, but Rockler has a far better hardware selection.