Over the last few months I’ve had the opportunity to do some work for a cool new ramen noodle restaurant in Carmel Valley down in San Diego called WOKOU Ramen. This particular project called for two dozen custom branded check presenters…in other words…little mini clipboards 🙂 It was something I hadn’t done before so of course I was excited to get started.
After doing a little research and coming up with a game plan I got to work. The restaurant has a touch of red and black throughout, and the owner wanted the main color scheme of these clipboards to be red and black, and after brainstorming a bit it was decided the edges would have a charred/burned look and the WOKOU logo would be rubber stamped in the center.
I ended up using birch for these check presenters. I thought about using a basic Minwax stain, but the only red color I could find was a color called Sedona Red, which was a great color but had a bit too much brown for this project. It’ll great for something else, but it wasn’t red enough for this one. I ended up trying something new (new for me) and picking up some Transfast Cardinal Red Dye which is actually a powder that you mix with water. Wiping it on didn’t give it the coverage I was looking for, so I ended up pouring some of the dye into a plastic shoebox and submerged each clipboard into the red liquid, where the color soaked into the wood and was a richer, more vibrant red that I ever expected! Thumbs up!
For the charring/torching effect along the edges I got out my Bernzomatic Self Igniting Torch and hit the edges with the flame. While the look came out great, the heat caused the thin wood to warp pretty quickly. So it was a no-go on the torch technique and I ended up going with a simple spray paint and was able to achieve the same effect. Next I used the rubber stamp and carefully stamped the WOKOU logo in the center.
After making a simple little jig to accurately place the holes, I gave every piece a few coats of Minwax Spray Lacquer and mounted the black clipboard clips. Now these awesome check presenters are ready for business! So when you get a chance, head down to WOKOU and grab some lunch or dinner. When your server brings your check out to you, be sure to think of me when you’re signing your name on the line 🙂