I love Saturday

Day 11

Another quiet Saturday. Biked in. That’s right – I got a bike last week. Pityu finds them abandoned by the river so he loaned me one for the duration of my stay. My fisrt attempt riding it was fairly disastrous in that I got so lost that I ended up doubling back on myself and instead of following the river north (which leads to home) I went south and after about 40 mins of biking I realized I was almost back where I started. So I abandoned the river and just biked north until I recognized something. After that things got a lot easier. But I digress.

I like Saturday in the workshop because it’s so quiet. Most people take the weekend off, but I’ve got nothing else to do in Calgary, so I’ll stick to my 6 days/week. Honestly, though, I really like it – the shop is quiet. I can just do my own thing without worrying about getting in anyone’s way. Time and space to take pictures as I go. It’s great.

Today I had one specific task: build hoofs for the reindeer knight. Yesterday I left a couple of blocks clamped and glued so they’d be ready for me when I got in, I traced the outline of the hoof shape, rough cut it on the bandsaw and got to work. It really is amazing how long carving takes. A hoof isn’t a very complex shape, but each one still took about an hour.

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Seriously. An hour. Each.

After that I decided to try making a head of my own. I have a few hands, why not give a face a go? What’s the worst that can happen?

So here’s the whole process:

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Measure and cut. My head was going to end up about 8″ square, so I cut off 2 feet of board.

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Plane it. Bought stock is never actually square, so you plane it flat to make sure there’s a solid surface for laminating.

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Cut again. Now you can cut it down to the actual pieces. I made that mistake earlier int he week when I cut first – I was lucky enough that the boards were still just big enough to go through the planer.

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Line them up. Even after planing, there’s still a little warp, so I mixed and matched sides until I found the best fit. Please excuse my bad measuring.

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Glue. Pretty self-explanatory. Put the glue on the wood.

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Clamp. I used 4 clamps – one at each corner.I might have been able to get away with just 2, but I wanted to do it by the book.
Now we wait 30 minutes. I did all this before starting the hoofs, just to give myself some drying time.

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Draw the face. I tried to get the proportions somewhat realistic while also have a real character. I’d say this leaned toward charactery. Which was a choice. Sure.

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Cut out the basic shape with the bandsaw.

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Carve! I had to get rid of a lot of wood and ended up COVERED in sawdust. This was mostly done with a die-grinder because I needed a bit more power than the dremel.

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Ta da! Not done. Not by a long shot. But after an afternoon of carving I was ready to leave it be for the day.

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