Friday, August 31, 2018

Why do I like torture?

Well making progress on this cutting for the State Fair. Man I sometimes wonder why I choose these hard fret patterns to do? I must like to sit and be tense as I cut. This is working out so far so good. But if I make a mistake I am going to be devastated after all these hours.

People ask all the time do you sell these things you enter into the fair? I am like no. If I told what it would charge your mouth would just drop open and you would stare at me like I was crazy. Thus why it is a hobby. Every now and then someone will ask me to make them something and I will. But they have always been somewhat simple stuff that I could do rather quickly. Not one of these portraits.

Someday I just hope my daughter will want to hang one of these in her house. That to me would be success in my hobby. She has already taken one of my dragons I cut 3 years ago. I always loose the dragons. I did manage to keep one of them. I need to make more dragons! I love dragons. The problem is after the State Fair is done I will be starting on Christmas presents! When do I have time? In January I will but then it is too cold outside in my wooden shed. Then come spring I start thinking about what to do for the State Fair. Never ending cycle the State Fair.

If it all works out I hope to be either nearly done or done by Monday night. I want to finish the right side Saturday. The Sunday try to finish the beard area. Monday do the mouth. It would be nice to be able to cut the frame next weekend. We will see if I can manage the time to get it all done.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Yet more done on the Lion

The saying "when going gets tough, the tough get going" Man is that ever so true on this cutting. It is starting to get tough and this is just the beginning of the hard part!

These very fine lines are all being cut with a spiral blade. There is nothing but shear will power not to mess these up. Some of the power of a spiral blade is it cuts in 360 degrees. You push in any direction and it cuts. It is so hard to cut these fine lines with a spiral. But I also feel they would be near impossible with  straight blade also. With great power comes great responsibility! Control is everything here. Just one slip and the entry is toast at this point.

Anyway here is a larger shot of it. I did not get much done due to the fine lines I am making at this point. I don't even think I am on the hardest part yet.

Thanks for looking

Sunday, August 26, 2018

The Lion Roaring so far......

More progress. It is getting there. Still some difficult cuts remain. So far it has been nerve racking with some really thing wood being left behind. That left tooth and that large piece on the left side still remain. They will be difficult to do with out breaking things.

Progress so far

Thanks for looking!h

Sunday, August 19, 2018

More progress on Fair entry

I have mode more progress on the Lion I am entering in the NC State Fair for 2018. This one has many difficult cuts in it. There are many lines that are less the 1/16" wide. This is turning out to be by far more difficult then the bully I believe was to cut. This is less then 800 cuts but the narrowness of the wood remaining is really thin! I am using spirals so just a nudge in the wrong direction and goodbye wood.

I sometimes have to stop just because I am so nervous I am going to goof it up. The tension alone I think could cause me to go off.

I have put some perspective onto this picture rather then blur it. I just hope it is enough to protect the image. Trying my best to show my progress without enabling someone to take the pictures and make a pattern from it. Very much dreading the fangs and the left side where the large piece needs to come out.

So far this is what is done

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

NC State Fair Entry continues.....

Some more has been cut for the State Fair entry. Slow going but I have learned don't rush and don't cut when you are not feeling it. Not when you have to get it right no do overs on this one.

There are some hairy scary sections on this to cut out. Very fragile pieces are there. They will be the last to most likely be cut. Dreading that time.

Anyway here is another picture of it with more cut out. Blurred again since people actually take photos and make there own patterns from them. It is absolutely ridiculous that they do that. The patterns are cheap. The wood, blades, and saw are what costs the $$$ not the pattern.

It will be tight as I have family coming in next weekend so no cutting then. I also have a carving class I am taking next weekend. Double whammy. The carving class is 9am to 5pm. I am hoping to expand my wood working abilities and put my fathers carving knives to good use.

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

And it begins......

NC State Fair 2018 is just around the corner. It is in October as always. Needless to say I am way behind. Best laid plans as they say right. Last year I was done by now. Today I am just starting.

I found a nice large thin piece of cherry this year. Klingspor's has thin wood and what is nice about it is that you can see it before buying. You may pay more locally. But when you buy wood on-line you have no clue what you have till it arrives.

Needless to say I usually cut these portraits from plywood. I wanted to use a solid piece of wood this year. Now I am worried about the pieces that will have only thin connections. With plywood the ply's are in different directions so you don't get weakness from the grain as much. Now I have to worry about the pieces breaking along the grain. It is a risk but each year I make it harder on myself then the year before.

Before cutting it was 15" x 24". It is not a glued up piece of wood either. It is a single piece of wood. So today I was able to accomplish cutting out the piece of cherry and the backer. I drilled 740 holes. Now all I have to do is cut out the 740 pieces with my scroll saw.

I was able to cut a few today before I had to stop. I was just not feeling it tonight. When ever I feel that way and I keep going I have learned that I eventually will goof something up.

I have purposely burred this image so that it will be very difficult for someone to take this and create a pattern from it.The pattern designer has stopped selling patterns so I don't want someone to just take it and make one from this image. I don;t know the actual reason he has stopped selling his patterns as he is one of the very best at this.

Anyway it is a lion roaring. It is 15 1/2" tall and 13 3/4" wide. This is the size of last years frame. So it is just a bit larger than last years entry.

Last year I cut The Bully A pattern of a Bull Elephant that was over 1,000 cuts.

Thanks for looking!

Friday, August 10, 2018


I was asked to cut this symbol out. I puzzled over how to do this as the cutting itself is rather simple. But how? Should I angle cut and pop the symbol out so it would be 3-d? Should I paint the backer?

I ended up with this design when done. Rather then use a square piece of wood and cut the symbol out. I decided to just put it in outline shape and then have the actual symbol removed. I then cut the backer out of 1/4" oak ply slightly smaller then the outline. I made it 1/4" smaller. 

It is just finished with Natural Danish Oil.

The saw tooth hanger is just epoxied to the back since it is way too thin to put the relly tiny nails on. They would have stuck out. Due to the shape the hanger is off center since it is was centered it would hang at a slight angle since the is more wood to one side then the other.

Name Plate done

The name plate is done. All glued up and shellac is on it.

Name plates are fun to do. They are easy to design and most are simple to cut. The inside cuts are minimal. It is just the gluing and finishing that take time. I like the way the shellac came out. I am always hesitant when using shellac on name plates/ Since these are not flat it would be hard to remove the shellac if I mess up. So it is always just one shot to get it decent or you have to cut everything again.