Sunday, May 22, 2016

"The Downhill Winer"

Pluto has no trouble at all traversing the slopes even with his celebratory choice of wine close to his heart!
"The Downhill Winer" was a fun piece to carve. The recipient (thanks to the information from  a friend of his) loves wine, travel and skiing. He is also especially close to Pluto thanks to working directly with the colorful pooch early in his Disney career.
We have Pluto schussing wildly down the slope over a mogul eagerly waiting to par-take of some of his favorite wine in front of the fireplace.  
Here you have the imagery and pieces ready to begin. To the right is the clamped pieces for the "mogul."
The wine bottle with attachments to be hung around Pluto's neck.

The skis were simple but like some of Pluto's features I had to think about just how thin I could make them so they'd be strong enough to take some handling.
The "roughing" begins.

The side view sketch is removed and used to help as a template.

The "mogul" could be aggressively roughed out due to it's simple shape.

Pluto is beginning to take shape. 

At this point I begin to concern myself with just how thin I can reduce his ears, neck and scarf.
I left "bridges" between his ears and lower jaw to his neck to prevent breakage as I handled Pluto.

Pluto has an extremely thin neck for the size of his head and scarf so I decided to leave the scarf thinly attached for extra strength at the middle of his upper back. 
The "bridges' to his ears were the very last supports to be removed just before the final finish sanding with burrs.
The three main pieces needed to be worked up together to fit Pluto and the skis into the ski cuts in the "mogul."

Fitting the pieces together had to be completed before I can really begin to
detail Pluto.
1/8" dowels will be used to fasten Pluto to the skis and to the "mogul."

At first, I used temporary short dowels to hold Pluto in alignment until the ski cuts were cut into the "mogul." Then, once all holes for all three pieces were in alignment longer dowels are needed.
Finally, all the pieces are ready for sealing and color application. The pieces were each painted individually before gluing them together.
Pluto's tail is a thin crafts rod, glued and pushed into Pluto's rear then painted.

I printed a photo of the wine label that the recipient enjoys, shrunk it and glued it to the bottle.


Monday, May 2, 2016

The Cowgirl, Jethro and Oklahoma

This piece started out innocently enough. It quickly grew into three pieces and the base was to be the outline of the State of Oklahoma. The recipient for this piece is a die-hard country western lover who's home state is Oklahoma, and she loves her pet Weimaraner, Jethro.

As you can see in the photo below I had no intentions to throw out the seat from the stool I used to mount my dust collector motor/bag on. (It was too good a piece of wood!) First, all I had to do was center the OK state outline on an unmarked/drilled section of the seat. I mapped it out on the reverse side to help make sure I'd cut the best section of the seat.

I gathered the tupelo, photos extra wood and started out with the base.
  The base was simple to cut out on the band saw... as long as I took my time!
(For the record, I did correct the north east corner where MO makes a 90' angle into the shape of OK.)
Next on the band saw is the Cowgirl. 
 The Cowgirl will be standing (originally) on a hay bale. I quickly changed my mind to a steamer trunk because I needed a flatter top to inlay the Cowgirl's right foot into the trunk lid.
If I can, I prefer to thinly cut my front view drawing off of my pieces to help as a template/guide as I begin to reduce the bulk of the piece.
Jethro worked up quickly however, his ears (and most notable feature) of the Weimaraner gave me the most problems. You can also see that I glued a piece onto the body for the front legs and paws.
Taking shape! 
Getting there!
The photo I was following has the Cowgirl holding a pistol in her right hand. I decided to put the pistol in its holster behind her.
My biggest concern was to maintain her stance so her boots will fit properly on the trunk and the base.
 The extra wood on her feet will become the gluing surface for mounting her on the base and the trunk.
 So far I'm still on track
  I needed something easy for a break and took a burr to the trunk! 
I'm getting close. I have to pay close attention to the amount of wood I remove for gluing her into the base at her feet. I had to make the base closely match the wood below her boots other wise you'd see the cut out in the base.

  Back to Jethro! The poor pooch ended up with a few "corrections." I broke his right front leg and had to "re-set" it (read: glue it).
Then, I snipped off too much of his tail! So, I had to "re-set" it as well!
Then I realized I cut his ears too low! So, I had to "re-set" them!
I was careful to leave his legs thicker than they really are for strength. A Weimaraner's legs are very thin.
    Finally, poor Jethro is ready. The trunk is ready along with the Cowgirl.
The pieces are fitted into their positions and their positions marked on the base for mounting.
I set the trunk and Jethro on pegs for strength and glued each one in place.
Below, the State is stained and the three pieces are sealed with Natural stain for painting.
At last they are ready....
  I enjoy personalizing each piece with the ideas I receive from the friends of the recipient.
Our Cowgirl's home town is Oklahoma City and she's most proud to call Oklahoma her home state.
She happens to also enjoy FSU here in FL.
  The Cowgirl, Jethro and Oklahoma is my most ambitious piece to date. It's the first piece that taught me that sometime you just got to get away from the piece for a day or so and regroup!

But I do like the results!
I hope you do as well.