Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Dementor hands how to part 2.

Okay so this is part two of how we made our dementor hands, this is basically the decoration of the models I'd made, it's really easy to do and has worked quite well.

Here's where we left the hands -

On to decoration.

The first thing I did was to build up the back and the palm of each hand, I used masking tape for this as it's easy to tear into pieces and it can be painted over and such like.

Masking tape applied - 

Now for some tissue paper.
We decided that tissue paper would be a good substitute for skin because you can make it look wrinkly and it's easy to apply.

Holding the hands in a craft vice (not essential) we began gluing torn up strips of tissue paper to them, making sure to not smooth things out.

Hand ready - 

These vices are 'handy' as they can be moved about.
Tissue paper ready - 

The strips don't have to be neat, in fact the rougher the better.

To stick the tissue paper to the hands we used pva glue and applied it using a brush, we also found that a fairly stiff paint brush allows you to sort of pucker the tissue paper and gives a more wrinkled effect.

Applying the tissue paper - 

It is a bit time consuming.
It did take a while to cover each hand and we also had to let the glue dry, in the end we covered the hands a couple of times in tissue paper to add to the effect and because one layer was a little too thin.

Starting to look a bit like skin - 

Ready for another layer.
To make the nails I cut out a piece of a plastic milk bottle and drew some rough nail shapes onto it, a blunt pencil or knitting needle works well to mark the plastic, then I cut them out using scissors.

Nails drawn out - 


To fix the nails to the end of each finger I used one of my small carving chisels to make a curved cut on the end of each finger, this could be done with a sharp knife, or you could glue the nails onto the wood.

Finger ends ready for nails - 

Now to fix the nails.

Here's the chisel I used (you can buy sets of these for under £10) - 

Useful for a variety of jobs, not just carving.

Nails glued in place - 

They look like nails so I'm happy.

Both hands almost done - 

We used some black tissue paper to colour them, but you could just as easily use some black paint, I'd suggest using a mat emulsion or poster paint if you do paint them mainly because it doesn't have a shine to it, which is the one thing that bothers me about the ones we've made, they are perhaps a bit too shiny (it's the glue) 

So this year I plan to modify them a little, and we also have some gauze we might use on them for added effect, and that's the good thing about them really, they can be modified easily and even with the tissue paper and glue they can still be posed differently, there's not a great deal of movement, but enough to change the finger positions and such like, and best of all they cost about £4 to make and will last a while.

Not the greatest picture, but here's a close up - 

They do look like they might grab you.

Thanks for reading, and happy Halloween.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

I've been making tealight holders again...

It's well known that I will attempt to turn any old bit of wood I can mount on my lathe, recently I turned a couple of bits of pallet (there's a surprise) into tealight holders.

Here they are (all fourteen of them) -

As you can see they have cracks and nail holes and various other faults, some people like this kind of 'character' others don't but each to there own and I guess that's my point when it comes to turning.

I've been turning for a while and I've come across a certain shall we say snobbery when it comes to wood and turning, there are a lot of people who'll only turn stuff bought in as blanks, and then only certain types of wood, usually the more decorative stuff, like Zebra wood or Bubinga.

But I say all wood (no matter how depressed) deserves a chance, and I think that even the roughest piece of wood can look great if treated with a bit of care.

So here is what the tealights looked like before I started - 

Not the best pieces of wood in the world.

This a good starter project if you've just started turning, all I did was measure the width of the wood, and then measure out lengths the same size as the width, which gave me cubes of wood to work with, and I then marked the centre of each cube.

Wood marked, ready for cutting - 

You can just about make out the marks.

Once I'd cut all my blocks (I had fourteen to play with in the end) it was on to drilling out a hole so I could mount them onto my chuck.

Blocks cut and marked - 

More of the faults are visible after cutting.
Now on to mounting the blocks for turning, if you have an expanding chuck this is easy, using a 35mm forstner bit I cut out a small hole in each block, and then it's just a matter of sticking the block onto the jaws and tightening the chuck, you could also use a small screw chuck.

Mounting hole - 

Time to turn.

Block on the lathe ready for turning - 

Nice large crack bit of character in this one.

Now before I start turning I should point out that I've left the hole in the bottom of each tealight and turned out another hole for the actual candle, you could however just use a forstner bit or a spade bit and make a hole large enough for a tealight (around 40mm) and use that to mount the block, but sometimes I like to leave the mounting holes and such like on a piece, again this is something some people frown upon. 

And rather than leave just a hole in the bottom of each tealight holder I've turned a small three ringed detail into each one, I started adding three concentric rings to things I'd turned years ago for no other reason than it seemed like a good idea and now it's kind of stuck, and so I try to incorporate three concentric rings into every thing I turn where possible.

Here's a before and after type picture of a block and a finished tealight holder - 

I think they look good.

And here's another picture of the finished tealights again, the reason (in case you are wondering) why two are different from the rest is because one piece of wood split and a chunk came out and there wasn't enough wood left to turn a ball shape, so I made two straight ones, the perils of using gnarly bits of wood.

All done - 

And before I go here's a picture of a pen pot I made for my wife, from the top part of an old newel post, all I need to do now is figure out what to do with the rest of it.

Pen pot - 

It works well as a pen pot.

Any ideas ? - 

I have a few ideas.
Lastly here a short video of me making a tealight holder, some parts are sped up - 

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Chuck recycling...

I'm a habitual hoarder of things, I actually have a small three drawer unit in my shed that's full of stuff that 'might be useful in the future' so basically I keep a lot of crap stuff with potential  lying about, and needless to say I have a few old chucks that needed new purpose so I made handles for them and turned them into tool holders for turning wood.

Finished tool holders.
It's pretty simple to do really and you could easily do this without a lathe, all I've done is to turn handles for the chucks from the legs of an old stool.

Making the second one - 

Removed the bits I didn't need.
The black chuck is from a flexible drive shaft, I mainly use them for sanding pieces on the lathe, but every now and then they break and I tend to keep the chucks for things such as this.

Once I'd removed the old bearings (which I kept of course) all it needed was a handle, this was made easier because of the piece of drive shaft left on the back of the chuck, all I did was to turn a handle from an old stool leg.

I found a piece that was a nice size for my hand - 

That'll do nicely.

Handle turned roughly - 

I left the old pegs in, it adds a nice feature to the handle.

Now to fit the chuck - 

First hole drilled.

Fitting the chuck into the wood is an easy task, all I've done is to drill two holes, the first matches the smaller section of the shaft left on the chuck, the second hole matches the thicker part of the chuck.

The chuck up close - 

Note the handy hole.

I made the respective holes slightly smaller than needed and then with the lathe spinning I pushed the chuck into the wood the friction causes the inside of the holes to burn slightly and this helps to keep things nice and tight.

This chuck also had a useful hole in it, this I've used to push a split pin through so that the chuck won't spin inside the wood.

For this tool holder I used a piece of 22mm copper tube to make a ferrule for the end, to stop the wood from splitting, this was done by cutting a piece of the pipe and sliding it onto the handle.

Ferrule cut, needs tidying - 

A bit wonky, but we can clean that up on the lathe.

Ferrule fitted and tidied up - 

Looks much better.

And that is about it really, I used some two part epoxy glue to hold the chuck and the ferrule in place, although I've kept things quite tight so I could have not used the glue but I figured it wouldn't hurt.

I drilled through the ferrule on both tools holders so that I can use a split pin to stop any twisting as these make handy screw driver bit holders as well as turning tool holders.

Here's one and some of the adapted Allen key turning tools - 


I've found these little tool holders to be quite versatile, handy as a screw driver as well as a turning bit holder and all from stuff I had lying bout, I have used this tool recently to turn some captive rings which you can read about here - captive ring tool (opens in new window) the plan now is to make a few more bits for turning, small scrapers and such like.

These could easily be made without a lathe and if you're like me you're bound to have enough bits lying about to make something similar, so why not give and old chuck a new lease on life?

Thanks for reading.