Build the large or small version of this dramatic project for an eye-catching sculpture with a floral theme.
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This project requires patience and a steady hand. Many biscuit layers rest almost unsupported on the layers underneath, so allow glue to dry thoroughly between steps. Otherwise, the biscuits you applied earlier will shift or fall off.
Avoid exposing the finished project to rain, snow, or heavy dew. Even when painted, biscuits readily absorb moisture -- even from the air -- and swell from their original size. That can be enough to break the glue holding the project together and damage the medallion.
Find the center of the 18-inch pine round. Set a circle compass for 5 inches and draw a 10-inch-diameter circle around the center.
Remove the ball finial from the post cap and remove any hardware attached to it. Drill a 7/64-in pilot hole through the center of the pine round with a countersink on the back face. Drill another pilot hole centered on the flat bottom of the finial. Glue and screw the finial to the pine round.
Glue wooden buttons to the upper third of the finial, working from the top down.
Begin placing #20 biscuits tip-to-tip around the penciled circle with the tips on the line. Add two additional layers offset from each other. Just inside that circle, lay a single layer of tip-to-tip biscuits.
Glue #20 biscuits around the rim of the pine round at a slight angle. To help stabilize the biscuits, use a loose biscuit under the raised end until the glue becomes tacky. Remove the loose biscuits and let this layer dry thoroughly.
In many of these steps, you’ll alternate between adding biscuits to the center area and adding them toward the outside edge. This gives the glue in one area a chance to dry before adding additional biscuits.
While the outside ring dries, gather 30 #0 biscuits into 10 groups of three. Place two in each group tip to tip. Apply glue to the third biscuit, press it down centered on the other two, and let dry.
Glue the 10 three-biscuit sets evenly spaced around the finial with the tips touching the pine round snug between the inner circle of biscuits and with the undersides resting against the buttons.
Begin connecting the three-biscuit pieces by gluing #20 biscuits in between with the tips touching the buttons. Add another offset layer, this time slightly closer to the pine round. Let these dry before continuing.
Add a third layer of #20 biscuits around the outside offset from the ones below. Then place a ring of tip-to-tip biscuits on the inside half of the third layer of biscuits.
Angle the fourth and fifth inside layer of #20 biscuits around the center so they’re slightly more vertical. This will require you to hold each biscuit in position until the glue becomes dry enough to support it. Let these dry completely before continuing.
Cover the flat ring of biscuits on the outside with an angled row of #10 biscuits. Point their tips out from the center like the other outside rows. (Be sure to position them so they conceal the flat ring of biscuits.)
Add a sixth layer of #20 biscuits around the finial center, this time connecting the rows below to the base of the pine round. Again, hold each biscuit steady long enough for the glue to begin to set.
Add a layer of #10 biscuits to the outer ring so that the inside tips begin to tilt down toward the pine round. Each biscuit needs to be carefully held in place and the glue must dry completely before adding additional layers.
With #10 biscuits, begin adding additional outside layers that gradually move toward the center. As each outside layer dries, add additional biscuits between the finial center and the middle ring. Use loose biscuits as needed to prop up angled biscuits until the glue dries.
Glue a ring of nearly vertical #20 biscuits around the finial center with the tips lightly supported by the stacked ring of biscuits around the center. Let these dry for at least 20 minutes.
Continue until you have all of the rows filled in, then look for gaps you can fill with your remaining biscuits. By adding these at random, you duplicate the natural look of a flower.
Once the glue on dries on the final biscuits, you can add optional coats of spray paint or clear finish.
To turn the 20-inch medallion into a 38-inch decoration, find the center of a 36-inch pine round and drill a 1/8-inch pilot hole through it. Remove the center screw from the small medallion and screw the small medallion to the large pine round. Drill and drive two additional screws on both sides of the center screw to support the medallion’s weight.
Lay the outside row of biscuits flat around the edge of the large pine round with the ends hanging over. Move the next row inward about 1/2 inch and lay this circle at a slight angle over the inside ends of the first row. Repeat with additional circles until you’re able to slide the tips of the inside biscuits under the tips of the biscuits around the edge of the small medallion. Fill in with additional biscuits as needed.
You can mix biscuit sizes between rows and even within them for a more natural look. Experiment by first laying circular rows of biscuits in place without glue.
Screw a pair of D-ring hangers to the back to hang it on a wall. To suspend it from chains or ropes, drill and drive screw eyes into the outer edge of the pine round at the 10 and 2 positions.