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Thread: This little Elf is finally done with Santa's orders :)

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    This little Elf is finally done with Santa's orders :)

    So some will know I put my foot in it by volunteering to make Band saw reindeer for Linda for Xmas presents. As I have said before I don't do production so 5 was a big ask. Well five grew and grew to a final total of 11.
    About time I thought I posted some pics. These are not the easy BS reindeer version , post cutting processing is a fair bit of work and has risk attached to it.

    I also had the usual suspect come out of the cupboard and give me a hard time just to make life more interesting...NOT.

    1) Bought two new bs blades for the job and both broke on their join line. one was 3/16 and the other 1/18. Ended up having to make a run to LV to get their version in a hurry to keep production going. Got some issues to bring up in relation to blades but will do another post some time.

    2) Finish. Oh boy my nightmare. Rule no1 from now on dont store finish outside where it gets really cold in winter. Rule no 2 dont buy any more than you need at the time regardless of percieved saving or how I am being gouged. Still not sure what went wrong but time was more valuable than debugging old finish.

    So here are some pics

    My reindeer was the Woodgears.ca version, its a lot more work than the one we can sand on a rigid. But it looks cute. I finished them off with a $ store bow and a brass bell.
    For the nose Staples has push pins in two sizes which happen to work for nose and eyes. Eyes are a mission to get balanced so dont look to hard at the herd.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The initial cherry herd. All made up of cherry laminated together to get the right thickness. Had i been thinking of it and had my jointer been working at the time i might have gotten my wood such that the split line was down the center but that will have to be next time. Wait what am i saying there will not be a next time for these.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Presentation box and reindeer. We did not know this at the time but when Linda and i popped into a dollar store closer to the time of need to get the packaging we happened to come across these containers made up to look like a rudolf the red nose reindeer. What luck so we bought as many as we needed of course that was before the order grew, so i had to make a second run to get more and ended up getting the last they had.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Some tips to related to making these.

    1) I started with a 3/16 bandsaw blade but i really preferred the 1/8 blade. LV has a 3/16 that they recon can be maneuvered like a 1/8, i disagree.

    2) Make up some sanding sticks to be able to remove the saw marks its a nightmare on cherry. You want to keep the sanding flat and I remember a lesson Mr. Ambassador told me about putting sandpaper on a block of wood. So i used some thin pieces of offcuts of all sorts of shapes.

    Now my trick is to take very thin double sided tape i have and turn ordinary sheets of sandpaper ( I used 100 and 150) into self adhesive sandpaper. Then cut strips to fit on my wood bits, dowels included, and boom you have a great sanding stick where you can focus on the sanding and not the securing of the sandpaper in a task like this.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The last stick you see in the picture above is something i have to date bought two packs of ( from LV) and i cannot say enough about them. They are pre profiled maple made for mounting sharpening sandpaper on to hone carving tools. But i have found them exceptional for an application like this where there are curves you wish to maintain while sanding. They really cheap in my view, really smooth and nice and accurate. The double sided tape i use holds the sandpaper but when done you can easily peel both tape and sandpaper as one off the stick which is finished so it comes back to being clean and smooth. I quickly got set up with cut strips made to size and a sandpaper change was no big deal. Sure made the sanding easier.

    I have to confess i started out with "that will do" and when i made pine ones i started getting real picky and it extended the time to make one.

    Then I noticed after cutting out that there was quiet a bit of wasted wood and i hate waste with a passion so i came up with a use for it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The profile on the left in the images above is left over so if you put your fence up on the bandsaw and hold the flat (what is the former blocks outer edge) against the fence and cut off the curvy bits you have another reindeer that can be hung as an ornament or stuck on a background. Have not used the ones i salvaged yet, (hey there is another Xmas coming no? ) so guess what they getting this year.

    Lastly I converted from doing the reindeer in cherry to doing them in pine only because I did not have stock on hand thick enough and when i did a run to century mill lumber they had nice thick wide clear pine boards on hand at a reasonable price. Everything else in thick stock and wide was way to expensive for this exercise. I did pick up some mahogany which i am going to try out cutting some from and see how they come out but did not want to risk bandsaw blades at a time when i needed to get finished.

    Here is a pick of the pine reindeer unfinished. I had thought i had taken a pic of the finished pine ones but sadly they with their owners now and i have no pic. You can see the size of the big pine version I made when you look at the cherry one next to it. Was going to make all the pine ones that size but found out in time that they would not fit in the tube packaging so reverted to the smaller size.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    All in all it was a fun project. These are real cute items when finished. Recipients were totally delighted with them and one person wanted to order 6 and i told Linda in my best NY accent Forget about it. Then i added i might consider at $40 or $45 per reindeer.

    Word of caution. If you make these be gentle when you sand the horns and dont drop them or you will be gluing horns back on and the lines show so you end up making more. Dont ask how i know
    Last edited by Rob Keeble; 01-07-2014 at 02:56 AM.
    cheers

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    your pictures are not showing up rob.
    Human Test Dummy

  3. #3
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    Cannot imagine why i can see them on my end. I even checked on Tapatalk and they show up there Allen. Anyone else not seeing the pics?
    cheers

  4. #4
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    I can see the pics...enough to know you put in a lot of work and made some cool looking reindeer. Good job Rob. Don't you know not to volunteer

  5. #5
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    now I can see them.
    Human Test Dummy

  6. #6
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    They're showing up a-ok now, but weren't when I first looked.

    Those came out really nice Rob. Looks like a fun project.

  7. #7
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    .

    order yourself an ellis blade, 1/8, 3/16, or 1/4, haven't had any problems with this brand. I resawed a bunch of Spanish cedar today, soft for sure, but I left the 3/16 blade in to do the job.

    next year youll knock them out 3 an hour, have the bandsaw all set up and all your blocks glued up with patterns glued on, youll be mass producing them.

    I know making suggestions here usually go off as an insult or condenscending,(anyone can correct my poor spelling, doesn't insult me at all) but having made a ton of those little things,both that design and the other design, I would suggest making them big enough that you can make smooth turns on all inside cuts between legs and antlers, makes the process a lot easier and less tedious. The small ones I made took me a lot more work, had to keep turning and taking blade out to recut.
    Last edited by allen levine; 01-07-2014 at 07:47 PM.
    Human Test Dummy

  8. #8
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    Allen caught you in the middle of the creative process. I knew that first time I saw the post it was too short!

    Great job Rob! I'm sure they were greatly admired!
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  9. #9
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    Your REALLY CUTE reindeer made my day. You put a great big smile on my face and that is still pretty hard to do.

    Enjoy,
    JimB
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Very cool, Rob. I'll bet those were very popular gifts.

    Curious to know more about the broken blade saga. I can't help but wonder if perhaps there was too much tension on them? The only times I've ever had blades break were when I had them too tight, or I tried to cut too tight of a curve.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

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