Saturday, November 26, 2011

Vintage 1940's miniature skis

 This is a re-post from a few years back, on my first blog, but I thought I'd post it here too.  


 1:12 scale vintage skis

I thought this was going to be easy, but the original idea I had morphed into one of the most intriguing projects I've ever done. I thought, carve the skis, even with their contouring and grooved bottoms, easy enough, put some metal for boot bindings and done. No way!! It became evident early on that this was woefully inadequate, certainly not something I'd like to be represented by. Even as I went along, I kept pushing myself. Get more detailed, figure out how it works. As luck would have it, I dragged home these very skis (full size- circa 1947ish) from a junk sale. I was annoyed at myself because they were cumbersome and kept getting in the way, but now, I'm so grateful to have them! See, like I always say, the junk I drag home ALWAYS comes in handy!
**selecting the wood**
First I cut my wood to size then rough shape. Here are some prototype and cast offs.

I went through my metal stash and settled on this .016 brass. I didn't like the idea of shiny brass so I "aged" it in ammonia fumes.

***forming the top of the boot bindings***
I used these pliers as a bending brake and made the first part of the boot bindings. Then I drilled the holes for the nails.

***the finish***
I painted the skis with brown acrylic, then rubbed them with a piece of paper bag. For added realism, I waxed the bottoms.

***making pins***
These pins are where the sides of the bindings will adjust for boot width.

  ***making buttons***
I used this thin brass tubing to make the pins and also  the "buttons" that the back straps fasten to.

The  boot width, adjustable, these are the sliding
sides of the boot bindings, with the straps buttoned and all slots cut.

The straps are made with real leather. Not having any really thin leather, I used an ordinary piece and "shaved" off a thin layer. Then I cut the strips for the 4 straps and used hide rejuvenator to make it soft and dark.

For the tiny buckles on the top straps, I used .002 shim brass. The buckles are movable, with the leather going through the sections, not glued.

To assemble the bindings, I pinned them in place on some cardboard to insert the top straps.

They're done!
I've used tiny brass nails to nail the binding tops. I made the poles from thin dowel and turned the hand grips, then wrapped the grips with black thread. The points are made from brass tubing and rod, and the discs are carved from wood.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Canada geese

This is a 1:12 scale hand carved hand painted wood depiction of a scene that played out many times at the farm where I worked for 6 years as caretaker. I never missed one day, ever, I had to be there for the animals. In late winter and early spring, the Canada geese moms would pick there spot for their nests. I would take a bucket of corn to each nest to make sure they got fed. As a result we all got to be great friends. They totally trusted me. This one mama made her nest right in a wide open field. I wasn't happy about it but daddy was right there to protect her. Well one day, I was exhausted so I went out to the field to take a break and sit with her. As soon as I sat down, she stood up. Out from her nest tumbled two freshly hatched peeps! They ran right up to me! Then I kid you not, they climbed into my lap!!! I did not put them there. I asked mama if this was ok and she said yes! As though she needed a break too. It was magical. I looked around. Nobody was there. I thought "oh great no-one will ever believe me". Just then I realized I carried a small disposable camera in my fanny pack. I very slowly unzipped it and took out the camera. I leaned way back and got these pictures!
Then I started to worry that mama wouldn't take them back. Well as if on cue, they scrambled back to her! It was such a wonderful experience! Thank you mama, you made my day.