A Special Unicorn Project #4: Sanding with a New Horn

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Blog entry by William posted 10-02-2010 06:05 PM 1122 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Starting To Look Like Something Part 4 of A Special Unicorn Project series Part 5: The Rocker Assembly »

Anyone who is following this series or just happened to read it knows I was highly disappointed in the horn I had made that was pictured in the last installment. I really had no idea what I was going to do about it though. I was really discouraged with it all. I’m not great at the lathe, pretty inexperienced to say the least. Chips, a fellow lumberjock, visited me and gave me some tips to acquire the results I wished for. Above all, his visit and conversation on the horn matter, if nothing else, renewed my determination to create something better. So, the above photos show the fruit of my labor in that attempt.
I won’t even try to quote Chips on the method he recommended. To make a long story shorter, as I’m not a wood turner, I’m also not a carver. Even after sharpening my chisel (I only own three), it was plenty sharp enough to mess my horn up even more than the original design. Something had to give. My determination was still strong on this one though. I started to thinking how I could use his suggestions with the tools I have on hand and get the job done to my satisfaction.
In the end, here is what happened. First I turned a new horn on the lathe. Well, what I mean is that I turned the general shape of it anyway. Then I wrapped a string around representing the spiral and taped it off on the ends. Then I carefully, to not move the string, marked the spiral with a pencil. Next, I slowly went around the spiral scoring it with a hand saw. Well, for my lack of a good hand saw, I used a hack saw. Then I followed the score that went around the horn in a spiral with a triangular shaped file I had on had. It was a file that came in a set I bought long time ago that I had never, before now, actually found a use for.
You can see in the photos the end result. While it still may not be exactly what I had in mind, I am really happy with it. KTMM was by the shop yesterday evening and seen it. He also seemed happy with it. So all is well again and I can get back to the work on it that I need to be doing.

After all that, the day was spent sanding and shaping. All the corners of the body and legs got rounded over on the router with a 3/8” roundover bit. Then the legs get actually glued into place and all screw holes plugged and sanded smooth. Then it was a matter of just smoothing everything out and shaping things to look good. For these types of tasks, I use pretty much whatever in my arsenal that will get the job done. On this one I used a belt sander, rotary sander, jitterbug sander, detail sander, and a few different profiled files and wood rasps.
The head and tail does not get rounded over. The detail of the hair on the tail and head prevents this at this time. Instead, the detail pieces will be sanded on the edges to give it more of a profiled look.
So, it is moving along. I will probably throw a coat of paint on this, build the rocker assembly, and then I can get started on my favorite part, the detail work.


3 comments so far

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2946 days

#1 posted 10-02-2010 06:13 PM

Looks great, William! Your determination really paid off. The horn looks nice and I also like it much better than the other one you showed. Overall the project looks like it is well on its way to being really cool!

Great job! Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Chips's profile


199 posts in 3739 days

#2 posted 10-03-2010 01:46 AM

Looking good William

-- Make every day the best day of your life. Chips, Mississippi

View grosa's profile


1004 posts in 2855 days

#3 posted 10-03-2010 06:37 PM

It looks grate so far. Can’t wait to see the finished product.

-- Have a great day.

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