Meet “Arty” my little articulated friend.

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Project by LittleBlackDuck posted 05-30-2016 03:15 AM 2000 views 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

“Arty”, is instalment #3 of my foray into the wonders of T&J model construction (Articulated Tractor #95). The build itself was a regular orchestrations of draw, cut, sand, glue, curse, unglue, re-draw, re-cut, re-sand, re-glue, curse again, unglue again… I think you get the picture.

While building this model I thought to myself, something I regularly do as I cannot think to someone else, “Construction vehicles are driven by nuts and rather than build a wheel around an acorn, why not put a nut on the wheel , rather than on the drivers seat”… , it was a long thought. Then I forgot about it, till the next day.

After doing a Google search I discovered that nuts had 6 sides and concluded that even I could do that. I must admit I’ve seen a 4 kernel peanut but never one with 6 side. Bottom line, I finally found an exquisite set and I downloaded the plans for a hex nut and ventured forth into a nut building adventure.

I tried on the bandsaw and realised it was too big a machine (even after replacing the 1.5” band). Tried the table saw initially with a 1/8” kerf blade and then with a thin kerf blade and even a stacked dado… nope. The router was not much better. The scroll saw refused to do such small work. Why couldn’t nuts have 5 sides as it was always the last cut (the 6th.) that caused issues. Not wanting to sacrifice digits, limbs or even decapitation, I established that the answer did not lie in the workshop (no bed or hammock).

Having abandoned the idea, I was walking around the house… well actually in circles inside the house not around the circumference of the house as bushes and shrubbery would impede my progress. Suddenly something rolled onto the floor and under my laser, I yelled out “NUTS”… (though not too many people believe that part of the story… the language… or lack there off). Instantly, I slowly remembered my quest as I crawled under the laser and while searching, noticed some small nuts on the bottom of the machine and thought rather than dismantle the laser just to cannibalise a few small nuts, why not try to cut some on the laser. I designed some small 4mm nuts in Sketchup and the rest is history (just like everything else that happened in the past). I cut the nut, sanded it, mounted it on a spindle, drilled the rim and attached it to the wheel.

As I sat back and admired my creation, the wry smile slowly dissipated from my face as I started to realise that 1 nut on 1 wheel didn’t look that good and I would need another 4 or 5 to make up a circle of nuts (… PER WHEEL). The mind started to race and the adrenalin levels soar and I shifted into top gear.

After a good night’s sleep I finally made some nuts after getting inspiration from sprinkling almonds on my breakfast cereal. It did look a tad better and with the nuts the wheel were sure not to fall off.

For those of you saying “not fair”, laser is not woodworking… I agree that’s why I compromise and have it sitting on a wooden base… Furthermore, to emphasise my woodworking skills, I routed my name, address and phone number (including my mobile and my tag) on the bottom of each nut. Unfortunately no one can see this marvel of woodworking as I inadvertently carved it on the glue side of the nut which is hidden and the detail was far too small to immortalise on pictures, so you’ll just have to take my word for it… honest!

I’d say more about the actual build but I have run out of both time and I’m starting to have trouble reading my computer screen because of all the white-out on it that I used to corrected all my spelling mistakes for this article.
You may catch up on the addendum to this on my blog .
Good night all, peasant dreams (or dream of fortune and riches).

How it all started and finished…

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

11 comments so far

View bushmaster's profile


4147 posts in 3563 days

#1 posted 05-30-2016 03:49 AM

|I always admire, the time and craftsmanship of the people who make these toys, very well done.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View htl's profile


5597 posts in 2439 days

#2 posted 05-30-2016 04:05 AM

Outstandingly funny and now i understand, what I do not know but I’m sure I understand it completely.
And one out standing project too!!!
Bruce #4

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View Pjonesy's profile


435 posts in 2106 days

#3 posted 05-30-2016 05:58 AM

Great job and I love the story to go with it.

-- Don't tell me it can't be done.

View bruce317's profile


404 posts in 2103 days

#4 posted 05-30-2016 01:23 PM

Great Model. I did enjoyed how the Nuts came to be. Wonderful write up.

-- Bruce - Indiana - Sawdust is just, MAN GLITTER!

View Pointer's profile


465 posts in 2391 days

#5 posted 05-30-2016 02:32 PM

This thing is way to cool. Very nicely done. I think your nuts looks good. :)

-- Joe - I am not entirely worthless, I can always serve as a bad example.

View PaulDoug's profile


2652 posts in 2984 days

#6 posted 05-30-2016 02:51 PM

You have a masterpiece there. Awesome work and thanks for the humorous write-up. As for the use of a laser machine, one could argue any power tool is “cheating”. I look at the lasers as just another tool that is/has been added to the arsenal if available tools.

You might want to consider making these nuts available to the model building crowd (for a price, of course). Most do not have the means to make them.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


8223 posts in 2101 days

#7 posted 05-30-2016 04:46 PM

... I think your nuts looks good. :)

- Pointer

Thanks, greatly appreciated, however, I must put some weights in the hem of my kilt.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View lew's profile


13442 posts in 5035 days

#8 posted 05-30-2016 04:56 PM

Yours is much nicer than the one I made-

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

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4147 days

#9 posted 05-30-2016 07:19 PM

Your work is so realistic. This is a wonderful piece.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


8223 posts in 2101 days

#10 posted 05-30-2016 10:10 PM

Hi Lew, You a native Indian? You speak with forked tongue. Yours looks just as good as mine and is just as “bent”. OK, I have the laser, however, that doesn’t build the model. I will admit the nuts give it a nuttier look but “much nicer” is loco-weed talk.

PaulDoug, thx for those words of encouragement. Making the nuts available has been discussed before on another forum with inconclusive results as I’m not interested in making any profit and where do you stop doing favours. For a retiree the worst thing I can do is undertake an ad-hoc commitment.
With a bit of lobbying, I’m sure that T&J could be persuaded to consider stocking them as the costs would be minimal especially for a bulk order.
The cost (to me) to make them is in the high “point decimal” of a cent (in other word’s bugger all). What I’m getting at is, for say 100 4mm nuts, the timber used is about 5c worth (and even less from offcuts), laser work would probably drag out between $0.50-$1 (at a guess), however, the shipping costs from Churchill would be murder. Without pre-empting an upcoming blog, my laser has never been a money-making venture so I’m not fully aware of costing actual. Armed with a 100mm x 100mm piece of 1/16” to 1/8” timber laminate and a “Corel Draw” (or similar.. Inkscape is similar and a freebie) drawing, which I could easily provide in case you don’t have the software, you probably could find a local laser cutter that might surprise you how cheap it might/should be. With a professional high wattage laser the job would take only seconds. Most of the costs would be in the setup but with a drawing and material supplied that would be minimal. Hope this has helped.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


8223 posts in 2101 days

#11 posted 05-30-2016 10:37 PM

..., one could argue any power tool is “cheating”....

- PaulDoug

Sorry PD, I was a tad slow on the uptake in my earlier come-back… After all it is early am. here and I haven’t had my morning shot of tequila, Jim Bean and tabasco.

Power tools”???? What are they? I do all my woodworking by whittling with a small pocket knife. Those machines you see in the background are just props for affect.

As for the laser.. That’s whet I call the wife and she’s the one that does all the fine detail work by hand.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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