Stuff made for Christmas 2002.

Christmas 2002 was busy busy busy. There was an important project at work (with the obligatory overtime), and gifts to make. But a fun time was held by all the little gnomes in Santa’s Little Sweatshop … so long as your idea of fun is a drop-dead deadline, too much to do, and too little time to do it in. Every year I vow to start earlier, and every year I fail. But, as the wise old saying goes, if it weren’t for the last minute nothing would ever get done. And it is very satisfying to be creative. I can even look back at it as “fun” … after it’s all over, and I’m vegetating in front of the fireplace after a few large drinks.

This is a nifty scrollsaw project … notice how the panther’s shape is actually made out of the word “PANTHER”! It’s about 12-inches long, made from pine (the original plans suggested hardwood), and finished with tung oil. I got this from the magazine “Scroll Saw Workshop”, and it’s from the clever mind of Jim Sweet … he calls these things “woodimals”. I made one last Christmas as well that was a fish that spelled the word “BASS”.

This is a carving of a puma made from mahogany and finished with tung oil. Surprisingly (at least to me), the oil didn’t really change the colour of the wood, but added “depth” to it. Rather than using a solid block of wood, the designer (not me!) suggested using three 3/4-inch pieces glued together. This allowed each section to be scrollsawed to rough shape prior to carving. Clever idea!

Here is pair of wooden train engines I made for a couple of my co-workers. There are a number of plans out there, but I rather liked the look of this one. Not too simple, not too hard. The original plans called for a half a dozen cars, but all I had time to do was the engine. I made it out of fir (the boiler), pine, and baltic birch, and painted it using acrylic paints (the original was stained hardwood). Sorry for the poor picture quality … it was done using my webcam. The black thingie in the foreground is a floppy disk.

Here is a closer view of a single engine. The “cowcatcher” at the front is actually formed on the solid base with a compound mitre cut. Tricky … I ruined the first one. The black thingie to the right is a floppy disk.

Another widely distributed gift was the oil lamp candle. Each was turned on my little Taig lathe. It was a lot of fun, but something of a challange since I’ve never turned anything like this before, and it pretty much maxed out the capacity of the little lathe! I made up several of these, each made from maple, finished with tung oil. Time consuming, but enjoyable. Almost makes me lust after a larger wood lathe.

I’m rather pleased with this gift, since I developed the design myself. It’s a business card holder, with the word “duh” scrollsawed at the top. The card holder is my own design, and I got the idea for the “duh” from a magazine that featured it as a large, standalone project. The card holder is made from 1/2-inch baltic birch plywood, and consists of 2 parts. The base has a couple of 1/2-inch dadoes, and has is shaped to have 6 sides for esthetics. I finished each of the several I made in a different colour of acrylic paint. The “Get Out of Hell Free” cards were something I picked up off the web.

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