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Where'd you get that tie? The workshop.

Where'd you get that tie? The workshop Impractical but delightful, wooden neckties bring a twinkle t the eye this season. Who cares if they're not too flexible, limited to natural colors, and heavier than almost any cloth cravat? They're easy to make and fun to give.

We made a cheerful polka dot tie and a more earnest striped one from wood scraps. If there's a woodworker in your family, you may already have most of the necessary supplies on hand.

Both styles have elastic bands (3/4 by 17 inches) with 2-inch strips of hook-and-loop (Velcro) fasteners at each end to hold the tie in place around the wearer's neck. We used a glue gun to secure the fasteners to the elastic and the elastic to the ties. (You could use epoxy.)

The bow tie sports polka dots cut from doweling. Start by drawing the bow shape on a piece of 1/2-inch-thick mahogany (or any dark hardwood) that's slightly larger than the 2-1/4-inch-high, 5-1/2-inch-long tie. Then randomly drill 3/8-inch holes through the wood inside the outline. Cut and glue short lengths of 3/8-inch hardwood dowel into the holes. Cut them flush, and finish the tie with a shaper, rasp, and sander. Seal with clear varnish or polyrethane.

The straight tie gets its traditional look from diagonal stripes of different hardwoods. We used strips from a square of oak parquet flooring and mixed in narrower bands of black walnut and zebrawood (these were ripped on a table saw to match the thickness of the parquet, then cut into 1/4- and 1/2-inch-wide strips).

Draw a full-size pattern; extend the bottom, side, and center lines beyond the tie shape to use as a guide when cutting. Set up a repeat pattern for the stripes and arrange the pieces on the pattern. Completely cover the pattern with wood, marking where the tie's "knot" should appear. At this point the stripes change direction. Draw a horizontal line at the bottom of the knot, cut across these pieces, and reverse their direction.

Before cutting out the tie, gue on 1-inch cotton backing tape to hold the pieces together. When glue dries, cut along the pattern, sand the wood's edges, and seal.

Obviously the tie cannot be adjusted for length, so remember to consider the heights of the potential wearer. Ours measures 18 inches long, good for an average adult, but taller men may need a longer tie, and children shorter ones.
COPYRIGHT 1989 Sunset Publishing Corp.
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Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Dec 1, 1989
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