Just for Fun... #66: A New Shrine for St. Francis...

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Blog entry by littlecope posted 10-31-2012 01:05 AM 3067 reads 0 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 65: A Woodworker's Prerogative... Part 66 of Just for Fun... series Part 67: A Mitered Box? »

For many years my Parents had a small statue of St. Francis in their yard as a garden ornament.
As I recall, my Mom picked it up about 15-20 years ago at a neighbors moving/yard sale and it had been staked out there ever since… Before that, the neighbor had it out in her yard for many, many years, so it’s small, wooden enclosing Shrine was in pretty tough shape…An Old Garden Statue of St. Francis...
Today I finally got a chance to make old Francis an updated home…
The Good Saint was a very pious believer in the “holiness” of poverty and the evils of worldly wealth.
So I decided to make this intentionally un-fancy, using some fairly rough Douglas Fir that even had some live-edge on it…
I saw no real reason to change the design. After all, this one had been around very likely for longer than I have!
But I did want to replace the small pedestal piece that had vanished over the years…
I began by removing him from the old one. Imagine my surprise, when I discovered that the Statue had been carved from Wood!!A board for the back...

The Backer Board was cut first. The piece that I had was a little wider than the original, so I just tapered it down from top to bottom…
Next was the small, mitered Roof…After cutting the backer board and the mitered roof...

My hat is off to all you folks who make flawlessly mitered boxes!!
I don’t have the precise tools for that so I had to just tilt the Scroll Saw table and cut away.
After the two sides were cut, I pinned them in place with wooden doweling…Projects 018

The Bark was gone, but you can see where I used what was left of the “Live-edge”...
Next, was the small pedestal…
I began by marking and cutting a circle, who’s diameter was slightly smaller than the width of the backer board…Cut a quick circle to replace his "perch"...

Then I cut that in half and chamfered one of the halves on one side.
This will be the shelf the Good Saint will stand on…Cut the circle in half...And chamfered the bottom edge...
After a quick check for size, I quartered the other half, and chamfered both round edges…
This will be the support bracket for the shelf…After cutting the other half in half, and chamfering both roud edges...

With any luck, maybe this pedestal won’t fall off…
At any rate, the two pieces will look like so…Like so...
The only thing left is some finishing.
I’m going to use Polyurethane on the “New” wood, but I’m undecided about whether I should give St. Francis a fresh coat of white paint…???
I had originally planned on mounting him back on his steel stake, and putting him back out side in our yard, but we’re kind of fond of him…
I think he’s going to find a place on one of our walls… :)Still have to apply finish...
30 October 2012

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

19 comments so far

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 3528 days

#1 posted 10-31-2012 01:21 AM

Very nice restoration of the Good Saint Francis. A better idea of making miter and champering method using tilted table. Thanks for posting.
God Bless,

-- Bert

View patron's profile


13694 posts in 3947 days

#2 posted 10-31-2012 01:29 AM

wonderful michael

keep him close
where he can help
not out in the cold

looks like he came through the years
in decent shape

only lost some hair
from that open peak
dripping on his head

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23759 posts in 3712 days

#3 posted 10-31-2012 01:30 AM

Great job on that new home for St Francis, Mike. In the first pictures, the backer board wood looks like Osage Orange. Is that what you made it out of? that will last 100 year in the ground.


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3296 days

#4 posted 10-31-2012 01:41 AM

Mike, You did a great job here. I’m amazed that a wood carving would last that well outside. I’m with David: he definately deserves to live indoors where he can keep an eye on you. Miters on the scroll saw? You never cease to impress me with that scrollsaw!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Woodwrecker's profile


4239 posts in 4182 days

#5 posted 10-31-2012 02:07 AM

Nice job Mike!
The whole thing is cool, but I really like the chamfered pedestal on the scroll saw.

And I’m with those other guys. Time to let Saint Francis come in.

View littlecope's profile


3076 posts in 4108 days

#6 posted 10-31-2012 02:14 AM

Bert: Thank You!!
David: He does look pretty good for having been out in the elements all these years… I’m leaning toward not painting him… Sure he’d be nice and white again, but there are fine details in the carving that might be covered over, even with spray paint…
I really thought he was clay (or alabaster or something) until I saw the back side…
Jim: I’m pretty sure it’s Doug Fir, but I got it from shipping crates back in the “90’s so I’m not positive… I had piles of it at one time, all with great grain like that… Now I’m down to one 2’ length, and a few scraps of it… :-(
Andy: Thank You too my Friend! Scroll Saws are versatile machines. I wouldn’t want to build a house with one though… unless it was a very, very small house… :)
Eric: Good to hear from you again and thanks!! I’ve already thought of a place, hopefully Debbie will agree… :)

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View littlecope's profile


3076 posts in 4108 days

#7 posted 10-31-2012 02:17 AM

Hey, thanks a whole bunch for your contribution… juliearsonko… ??? lol

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View lew's profile


12936 posts in 4362 days

#8 posted 10-31-2012 02:27 AM

St. Francis looks pleased with his new home, Mike.

Hope you and Debbie were not affected too much by the recent stormy weather.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View littlecope's profile


3076 posts in 4108 days

#9 posted 10-31-2012 02:42 AM

We lost power for about five hours last night Lew, and there were downed branches and trees all over the place… The Wind howled for most of the night, and we are about 300 miles from where Sandy hit! My Prayers go out to those that were (and still are!) directly “in the line of fire”...

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18784 posts in 4282 days

#10 posted 10-31-2012 03:00 AM

Looks as good as new, Mike! He is set for another 40 years.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3715 days

#11 posted 10-31-2012 04:00 AM


You are a constant inspiration. I would be hard pressed to name another woodworker who utilizes every opportunity to practice his craft and who can see such potential in just about any raw material imaginable. Your blogs are always a pleasure to read.


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3797 days

#12 posted 10-31-2012 05:36 AM

Good to see you dodged the storm somewhat, St Francis, looks good. I vote for keeping the old paint as it adds to the antiquity of the piece. I love the back story and think it is nice that you have something of your mom’s to appreciate. It looks pretty good in your shop with the old brick and mortar as a back drop.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View ellen35's profile


2746 posts in 4039 days

#13 posted 10-31-2012 10:45 AM

Nice work, Mike. You mom would be proud.
We can all appreciate the dedication to the poor that St Francis represents.
I can understand why you want that inside the house.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Lenny's profile


1645 posts in 4133 days

#14 posted 10-31-2012 12:20 PM

Great job Mike. You’ve re-created a great piece that has a wonderful tale behind it.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3410 days

#15 posted 10-31-2012 12:33 PM

You’ve brought St. Francis back to life. May he watch over you & your family. Hope he’s watching over all the folks effected by these super storms we seem to be getting more & more of.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

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