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Building Two Baptismal Fonts #1: Design and Modeling

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Blog entry by CharlesA posted 08-25-2015 05:27 PM 951 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Building Two Baptismal Fonts series Part 2: Learning the three-way half lap joint »

I am in the process of building two baptismal fonts. One for a chapel for the Presbyterian Center in Louisville and one for my local congregation. I’m a theologian by training and a woodworker for fun. I sort of stumbled into these projects. This will be a long process, and I’ll try to keep up some blog entries, but it will a bit irregular.

I’m starting with the one for my local congregation. Here is the basic model I am working with:

I need to make some changes to my sketchup models to fit the actual bowls (the two bowls are different).

Here are some pics of the bowl:

You can see that the bowl is not a smooth shape but has a deeper middle with a lip.

I asked for suggestions on LJ, and so I am making a model of the bowl out of insulation foam. The first thing was to make a template for the bowl shape. The bowl is not uniform, but is close:

I sculpted the foam with a wire brush on a drill, a bandsaw, a drywall saw, sandpaper, and a Surform Shaver.

After getting it in good shape, I covered it with joint compound. I will then sand that down to get as close as possible to the bowl shape. This way as I construct the rather complicated interface between the bowl and the stand, I don’t have to have the very expensive bowl in the shop!

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson



6 comments so far

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1430 posts in 1649 days


#1 posted 08-25-2015 05:47 PM

I like the triple symmetry of your design and I very much understand the desire to keep irreplaceable items out of the shop. You’re off to a good start.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3019 posts in 1258 days


#2 posted 08-25-2015 06:04 PM

Thanks, Dave.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View SuperCubber's profile

SuperCubber

868 posts in 1745 days


#3 posted 08-25-2015 07:28 PM

Love the design. Looking forward to the blog and the finished piece!

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3019 posts in 1258 days


#4 posted 08-25-2015 07:29 PM

BTW, this one will be made of QSWO, the second one out of Jatoba (a variation on the design).

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View parsonpaul's profile

parsonpaul

29 posts in 704 days


#5 posted 08-26-2015 04:50 PM

Charles it looks like you are off to a good start.

I am a retired UM pastor and a part-time sawdust maker. I am surprised you haven’t added any baptismal symbols. Perhaps that is beyond what sketchup can do…

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3019 posts in 1258 days


#6 posted 08-26-2015 04:53 PM

Paul,

I wanted the sumbolism to be carried by the water, visible in the glass bowl, the three-ness of the legs and shelf, and the chi-rho evoked by the three-way lap joint. I want the simplicity of those symbols to carry it.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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