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A Balancing Dragon

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Project by Druid posted 09-18-2017 07:04 AM 885 views 2 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ll start off by saying that I like Dragons, and one that can balance on the tip of my finger is interesting enough to post as a new project.
The back story to this project started a number of years ago when I met up with a superbly talented Scrimshander, named Clay James, at an arts and crafts fair. One of the carvings that I had on display was a balancing Dragon, and it caught his attention. A quick discussion led to an exchange of my Dragon for a piece of his Scrimshaw, and we both were very happy as we took our new treasures home after the fair. Recently, Clay’s Dragon somehow was damaged, so a replacement was created to take the place of the original, and this is what it looks like.
I have no idea where the original design came from, but the concept is to create the carving in such a way that the balance point is under the chin of the Dragon. This does involve being very careful as to how much wood you carve away in each area as you work towards achieving the desired balance. One hidden detail is that the leading edges of the wings, near the tips, are a bit thicker because there are some small embedded weights which help to give the Dragon a look of “that shouldn’t balance”.
Photos 1 and 5 show me balancing the Dragon on the point of a pin so that I could find the final balance point. Once this was determined, I inserted a short section of a pin for the Dragon to balance on (just visible in photo 4). Photos 2 and 3 show it with the pin sitting on the top of a dowel. Any breeze in the room will usually bring motion to the carving.
Photo 6 shows the 3 sections, which were cut out using a scrollsaw, prior to glue up.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada





21 comments so far

View BobWemm's profile

BobWemm

2304 posts in 1708 days


#1 posted 09-18-2017 09:13 AM

Very cool mate,
I also like dragons.
Haven’t made one yet but have the plan started for an Intarsia beast.

Bob.

-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9217 posts in 2702 days


#2 posted 09-18-2017 09:46 AM

I just love this. It is amazing! :)

Sheila

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

View Cliff 's profile

Cliff

1131 posts in 1505 days


#3 posted 09-18-2017 09:52 AM

Great Project John!!!! Balance is a fascinating subject….it seems to be at the very basis of life in many aspects.

I also like Dragons.

Regards,

Cliff.

-- Cliff Australia : Snoring is good. It blows away all the Sawdust.

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

1595 posts in 429 days


#4 posted 09-18-2017 10:36 AM

Kudos. Great caving. I can attest to the fact that this is no easy feat; did a similar project with my step-son back in the 90s for a physics project … with a Texas Longhorn! Good work!

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

2793 posts in 1770 days


#5 posted 09-18-2017 11:17 AM

Very well done

View llwynog's profile

llwynog

288 posts in 2360 days


#6 posted 09-18-2017 01:25 PM

Hi John,
Very cool dragon!

-- Fabrice - "On est bien bête mais on sent bien quand on se fait mal" - my grandfather

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

5532 posts in 2449 days


#7 posted 09-18-2017 01:28 PM

Very interesting project .
Now I know who made the dragons for Game of Thrones . LOL
I used to build model gliders and the same idea applied as we needed to get the balance point just right
using weights .
BTW : I treated a set of old files with vinegar and they work much better thanks for the tip .

Klaus

-- Kiefer https://www.youtube.com/user/woodkiefer1/videos

View leafherder's profile

leafherder

1228 posts in 1734 days


#8 posted 09-18-2017 01:44 PM

That is SO COOL! I love dragons too, European and Asian and the various feathered serpents of Central America. Great job, thanks for posting.

John (My high school mascot was a Dragon)

-- Leafherder

View lew's profile

lew

11757 posts in 3537 days


#9 posted 09-18-2017 02:11 PM

John,
Your projects are always so amazing! What patience you must have!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

28213 posts in 2648 days


#10 posted 09-18-2017 02:22 PM

You did a fine job on this dragon. It must have taken a lot of patience in trying to get the balance just right and keep the look and quality exactly right. Very nice work!

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

7717 posts in 2580 days


#11 posted 09-18-2017 02:27 PM

Brilliant John!

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

View Druid's profile

Druid

1612 posts in 2577 days


#12 posted 09-18-2017 06:50 PM

Thanks to all for the positive feedback. :)
Klaus – Glad that the vinegar worked well for you.

Since I mentioned Clay’s skills at Scrimshaw, here is a piece that I am now the proud owner of.
It shows the American Navey, The Randolph, done on Narwhale tusk. Actual size is 3 1/8”, and includes detail right down to several crew members in the rigging, and on deck!

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View John's profile

John

902 posts in 1052 days


#13 posted 09-18-2017 07:12 PM

Two nice projects, one wood, one tusk!

-- John, Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.

View woodchuckerNJ's profile

woodchuckerNJ

1235 posts in 1416 days


#14 posted 09-18-2017 08:23 PM



Thanks to all for the positive feedback. :)
Klaus – Glad that the vinegar worked well for you.

Since I mentioned Clay s skills at Scrimshaw, here is a piece that I am now the proud owner of.
It shows the American Navey, The Randolph, done on Narwhale tusk. Actual size is 3 1/8”, and includes detail right down to several crew members in the rigging!

- Druid

That’s beautiful

-- Jeff NJ

View Druid's profile

Druid

1612 posts in 2577 days


#15 posted 09-18-2017 09:27 PM

Jeff – Thanks. It’s really amazing to see Clay’s work up close. As I mentioned, he’s superbly talented.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

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