After much cutting, the body pieces are cut. Some of the larger pieces I just ripped out on the band saw. The more detailed pieces, like the head and tail, are done on the scroll saw.
In the photo above, I wanted to show the the general positioning of the one and a quarter dowel rod that runs through the inner body pieces. Remember that this is based roughly on the carousel horse plans. Whether building the carousel horse or something like this that I’m doing, it is very important to be positive the dowel is running straight and true. This is the base upon which everything else falls. If the pole is not level sideways and forward looking, then by the time you start adding detail later, the mistake will start to stick out like a sore thumb. I learned this the hard way when I built the carousel horse. Also, when I built the last one I did not have use of a drill press. I do this time. It made a world of difference.
As the title of this entry suggested, it’s starting to look like something besides a pile of wood now. This is the basic shape of the animal. There is of course still a lot more detailed sanding to do. You may notice the holes drilled in the legs. These are countersink holes that when final assembly is done will be plugs and sanded smooth. After painting, it’ll be hard to tell they were ever there. At this time though, everything is being assembled only to line up everything. All this will be disassembled later to sand, shape and round over corners.
I never claimed to be great on a lathe. Actually, the only reason I own one is that I want to be good at it one day. As I have time, I’m still learning. I won’t even try to explain what I’m trying to do in this photo. I had this excellent idea in my head how I wanted the horn to look. In the end though, I became disappointed in the horn and myself. After making three different fancy sticks for the fireplace, I wound up settling for a much simpler horn than what I originally had in mind. It was still fun to get some lathe time though.
Here is the final horn, the much simpler version. I know, a unicorn horn ought to be sharper than that. We have to remember though that this is a child’s toy. Have to think about safety here, folks. Then I had a time getting it mounted on the head. With my first attempt, it wound up just a hair crooked. So I had to taper the end that goes into the head to get it straight. This problem arose because of my lack of a good drill press table. At the present time (just got a drill press) I’m just clamping things to the metal table as best as I can. As soon as I can find the T-track I need, I have got to build a good table. Problems such as this could be eliminated with a good straight table with a tall enough (square to the table) fence to clamp things to.
So we’ll end today where we started with the title, it’s starting to look like something. Luckily for me, it’s starting to look like a unicorn, since that’s what I’m supposed to be building.
Towards the end of today, one of my son’s asked what I was building. Now this was after seeing the horn held up to it. I tried to tell him I was building a hippo. Can someone please get that boy a sign?
Anyone who has to ask what I mean by getting him a sign will just have to do an internet search for Bill Engvall and his “Here’s your sign” jokes.