The Rocking Alligator #3: Construction Notes

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Blog entry by BentheViking posted 08-01-2011 04:38 AM 8791 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Getting Wood Part 3 of The Rocking Alligator series Part 4: Construction is almost done »

The main body of the alligator is a box. My problem has been that I don’t have a planer or joiner so making a box with tight joints is rather difficult. I sanded them out a little bit, but ended up having to make the joints a bit rough and then puttying them.

Puttying has become a big theme on this project. I had originally wanted to make this project super perfect with tight joints and whatnot. My problem is that with my impending move, I am having to rush through things. It kind of breaks my heart because I really love this project, but I really just don’t have the time to do it that way. I know that someday I may have the opportunity to remake the project the “right” way.

One of the biggest questions I had on this project was how to make the tail. I wanted something that portrayed shape and movement across multiple dimensions. I ended up kind of making a torsion box kind of idea. I made a “swooping” shape with the top and bottom boards. I added a back section to give me the pitch of the tail to taper from the height of the box to a point where the top and bottom of the tail were touching. I added a few support pieces inside and then clad the outsides 1/8” MDF using titebond and brads. I rough cut the MDF and then used a flush cut router bit to even it all up. I finished it off with a good amount of putty (obviously). I think once painted it will all look great.

I have a few more pieces to manufacture and hopefully by the end of next weekend I will be starting to assemble and finish. I think all said and done the project is going to come out looking great, it will just take a bit to get there.

Also I could use some help with the scroll saw on this project so if anyone knows anything about scroll saws can you maybe help me out on my forum thread.

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

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