Recently, I read a blog by littlecope entitled Make Something!. Apparently Mike, on occasion, does something just for the spirit of it, just to have fun (whatever that is). It has been a hectic week and haven’t had much shop time, but I did find a few hours in the middle of the week in which I could do a little something. So I thought I might see what this “Fun” thing was all about.
I have a vast collection of scraps, parts of branches of trees, broken furniture, basically anything that has wood in it. The pile gets larger all the time, but for some curious reason, it never whittles down. I suspect it might have something to do with the fact I rarely make anything out of the mess. I found a piece of spalted birch that I cut from a tree I helped an uncle of mine take down a few years ago. Pretty much just a partial branch I thought might be useful. I tried awhile back to make a little owl out of another piece and thought I might just give it another go. Just for fun…
I have three rotary tools in my shop. One of these being a cordless version that you has a nice little T shaped grip that gives you a fair amount of control. Not bad for small work and I haven’t had much practice with it. I don’t have an extensive quantity of bits and I have been pretty ignorant over what most of them could do. I pulled out one of my steel cutters, a small diamond bit, and the smallest stone bit I had.
I didn’t have a good roughing burr, so I stuck with the steel cutter. They are not bad little bits on the small scale. Heavy handed, they can rough out a good deal of wood in a hurry. Lighten up on the cut, and it can leave a fairly smooth surface. The cutters are angled so they work much like a helical planer blade. It didn’t take long to rough out a shape of a horned owl. No patterns, just a picture I was looking at.
I hollowed out the area for the eyes and some of the area for the beak. Took a shop pencil and just laid out the position of the wing, where the feather textures will go and the area for the beak. No real detail in the markings, just scribbles where things will go
I took the small diamond bit and carved out some of the feathering and hollowed out the beak area. Worked on the eyes some and undercut the wing. I took the stoning bit and just roughed up some texture. No real formula, just looked at the pic and tried to make the texture look like feathers, as adverse to something hacked out by Freddy Krueger. I have a collwood wood burner that I have never used. I put a bent tip on the handle and burnt the areas that were textured to give it some color. I had some old pine stain and worked it over the piece and topped it with a clear matte coat. Not good by any means, but I kind of liked the little guy -
I got to hold on to the piece for approximately 15 minutes before it was scooped up. Not sure I understand my family. I have bowls that I spent hours on that I can’t give away to save my life. I make one simple little owl and I couldn’t keep it even long enough for the finish to dry ;)
So here it is, a project with no pretensions, concerns, or harsh judgments with the critical eye. Just something to teach me about a tool and give a go at some free hand power carving. Something to do just for fun. My thanks to Mike (littlecope) for his lesson on approaching a project without apprehensions, expectations, or worries.
-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.