While we’re talking crafts…

The last few days of MikeDiDonato.com have been peppered with crafts. This is unusual, because I’m not really that crafty. That said, I might as well continue the trend with an update on my latest project: the Jimi Hendrix portrait made out of nails.

As you may recall, Mr. Ryan Schenk was kind enough to half-tone a picture of Jimi for me (post about it here).

First, I applied a thick black acrylic with a putty knife to my board. Then I needed to create a grid to help guide my nail placement. Mom D came up with the winner idea: Thread + Double sided tape

I laid double sided tape around the border of my board. And then, roughly every 0.200 inches I laid down a strip of thread at the necessary angle. I did it mostly by eye, but regularly measured to make sure I was keeping my lines parallel.

Almost half the thread in place

Once the first rows were complete, I switched directions and completed the grid.

Grid complete.

Next up, I color coded the picture of Jimi Hendrix to simplify my nail placement. To do this using MSPaint, I brought the picture up on my laptop and slowly bent the screen away from me. The change in angle resulted in a loss of contrast. As each progressive dot size disappeared, I colored the new layer of my nail topographical map.


Finally, I began nailing.


I started in the upper right hand corner slowly progressing nail by nail. Unfortunately, the board soon started to split.

So now I have to pre-drill every hole. Mind you, there’s something like 2000 holes that need drilling. This is a huge pain in the butt, but I expect the end result to be pretty sweet. I’ll post my progress in a few months once I get all the holes drilled.

Totally worth it.

6 thoughts on “While we’re talking crafts…

  • 1/11/2011 at 10:56 am

    This would be pretty fast if you had access to a CNC drill press…
    Does a nail go at every string intersection?

    • 1/11/2011 at 10:57 am

      nay, any of the yellow sections on my topographical map are void of nails

    • 1/12/2011 at 4:31 pm

      A CNC dress press.. or maybe a printer..

      • 1/12/2011 at 4:32 pm

        “Dress press”

        I meant drill press.

        Awesome freudian slip.

  • 1/11/2011 at 12:45 pm

    Looks like its going well buddy!

  • 1/11/2011 at 7:41 pm

    “roughly every .200 inches… mostly by eye”
    Your concept of and ability to maintain tolerance is astounding. Sorry


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