I will be showing how to carve miniature wood animals, make miniatures, and some giveaways too!
P.S. The American penny shown with many of my pieces is just under 2cm (3/4") or the same size as a 2 cent euro.
In the 1960 movie "The Time Machine" with Rod Taylor, he was given a scale model of the real time machine, in a beautiful tantalus box. I was recently commissioned to make a scale model of the scale model! It was quite the mental workout. But it was alot of fun and I got to work with lots of different materials.
Here is the little time machine, made of pear and walnut wood and brass. The tiny seat has turned legs, and I got to turn brass for the gizmo that hooks to the screen behind the seat.
The tantalus box is incredible. As you lift the lid the front of the box folds down. It is attached to the lid with hinges.
The box is mitered but the two sides are made in two pieces and attached with piano hinge.
The sides then fold out to reveal the contents. The lid is also attached with piano hinge.
The box I made from cherry. It is completely hand painted.
Below are a couple photos I worked from of the real model:
I have found the most wonderful tool! It's a dental lab handpiece and mirco motor. It is amazing, you can't even feel it running. Absolutely no vibration. It goes forward and in reverse. You can crank up the speed as needed.
The handpiece has a 3/32" collet. One twist of the middle section releases the bit for incredibly quick changing. And one of the best features of all is it has a foot pedal!
And I already had so many great 3/32" shaft bits, some actual dental bits I got some 25+ years ago.
I had these tiny drill bits but I was so glad I found a 3/32" shaft micro chuck! I also bought some micro drill bits with a 3/32" shaft.
I can do things with this excellent tool that I can't do with a Dremel or flex-shaft!
I bought this on ebay and while there was some price swing, you should be able to get one for under $200.00
I've been wanting to do some oil paintings. It started a while back when I needed to clean out and move all my paints to a more easily accessible location. (Everything had been crammed in a small toolbox for 35 years!) I work mainly in acrylic, painting the wood animals and, well, everything that is not stained is painted in acrylic. Much to my surprise, my oils were all still good! I did buy a new set over the summer too. So here is a floral still life, the result of many hours of work.
The painting measures 2" x 3". I am sending some paintings and other pieces to Chicago. My work will be on th IGMA Gallery of the Guild table.
Here is a fully functioning chip-carved 1:12 scale antique fireplace bellows.
It is carved from pear wood, real leather gusset, and turned brass nozzle. I made sure to carefully drill the hole all the way through my brass rod before turning the nozzle with the intention of making it work... but I didn't really believe it would...Imagine my delight when I put it up to my lips, pumped it, and felt little puffs of air!!!!!! That means it is perfectly sealed and the valve in the back is functioning :)
The air intake
On the inside of this hole is a valve that when the bellows are opened it takes in air, and when pumped, the valve closes, forcing the air out the nozzle, thus fanning the fire!
This is a copy of an antique chip-carved tray. I'm guessing the original is well over 100 years old. I carved it out of pear wood. Each one of the tiny squares in the border takes 30 separate cuts. It took at least 25 hours to carve the bottom, not counting drawing the pattern on the wood and putting the piece together.
The tray measures 2" x 1-1/4" That is large enough for it to carry a teapot, 2 cups and saucers and sugar & creamer. However.... when not in use it would look fine displayed as a piece of art, perhaps on a shelf or mantle.
It became painfully obvious that I was going to need a way to get really thin boards for my miniature accessories. My planer, even with the auxiliary table to raise the bed and do thinner work was not adequate.
I knew I needed a thickness sander. I have been wanting to build one for about 25 years now, ever since I saw plans in one of my woodworking books. The time was not right back then but it is now!! I searched the internet for plans, copied a bunch and settled on this one. The exploded view scared the crap out of me and the instructions were like reading Japanese at first. But I stuck with it, and soon everything made sense. Well...sorta....
Here is the frame constructed and in the clamps.
I added 2 casters to the back figuring I'd not have room for a permanent home for him and he's be getting wheeled about.
I've got the table in place with the elevation control and the drum assembly with the pillow block bearings. I had to cut 18 plywood discs for the drum.
Here I've got the motor wired and installed. I was so scared!! Was it going to work or explode??? I cut a cord off a power strip that died to use for the power cord. The wires in the motor come coded but they assume you know what the numbers mean and what goes where.Well after phone calls to Harbor Freight and some internet research I learned that black was hot, and turns out, the numbers are kinda standard! So I figured out how to wire it, BUT, not only did the switch on the motor not work (typical) but I needed to mount a switch on the tool. I've mounted switches before, not rocket science, but this motor had all those coded wires and I didn't know what went where... Enter dear friend Catherine who found a schematic online and BINGO there was the answer! That's why I surmised that the code numbers were standard. The first time I flipped the switch I was literally shaking ...success!
I've got the switch mounted, the drum trued up and wrapped in velcro then sandpaper. (not fun)
Here's a close up of the dust shield.
Well there you have it, a home made thickness sander.....finally!!!
(insert screeching violin from shower scene in Psycho)
I WANT YOUUUUUUUU.......
Oh I dream of the day........
HAHAHAHAHA (sinister laugh...)
Oh perfect timing my friend! I was home visiting in Cleveland a mere few feet away from my Patti Play Pal in the attic when I heard her calling me. Actually she was calling YOU! She is apparently very upset about the infamous finger incident!!!
Even though we are past peak, the leaves on the trees driving through Ohio are just stunning! It doesn't matter how many times I see the leaves change it is just as beautiful and breathtaking as the first time.