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Project by Stephen Mines posted 03-05-2011 08:46 PM 2086 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a sperm whale (roughly 5.5” dia X 22” long) done in Birch from a log section. The 2nd photo tears away the vale and shows four sperm whales cleverly concealed as logs. Approximately 20 minutes later they were ‘roughed out’ whale ‘carvings’

Some points: I am only one person, but in order to stay on this planet I’ve figured out I’d better work as smart as I can. The four up setup is my rather complex addition to a Albus Hapfo 140 hydraulic tracing lathe. The lathe as it came from the factory is a great turning machine with 13” swing and 51” between centers. I bought it (off of the exhibit floor in Los Angeles 1981) expressly to change it to the four up copy moulding machine that you see. All I had to do was add three more spindles, create a copy holding setup that can rotate, time all four of the spindles and the model holder so they work flawlessly together and push the on button. Well, it was a bit more than that, but that’s a real long nosebleed, not for this project post.

The back story (my tag: there is always a back story!) came a few years later. I’d been a member of the American Cetacean Society (SAVE THE WHALES!) and had made a few little donations to help the cause for some years when my accountant called and said I needed a BUNCH of deductions to keep from owing another $15,000 or so in taxes that year. Our solution was to run the shop for a full week making whales, which were donated to the ACS, giving me the tax parity I so justly (I thought) deserved. Everybody glued up, most of us carved, and it was like a week off from building furniture. Damn, we had a lot of fun! I had a tax deduction carryover. The American Cetacean Society transformed the carved whales into a lot of donations=$=saved whales. WIN/WIN/.

-- Stephen Mines ([email protected])

4 comments so far

View peteg's profile


4435 posts in 3306 days

#1 posted 03-05-2011 09:30 PM

That’s a “whale” of a story Stephen, nice job on the piece. Trying to get my head around your very intreesting copy machine

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14181 posts in 4466 days

#2 posted 03-05-2011 10:03 PM

beautiful work and fun read

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View SMSTEVE's profile


3 posts in 3103 days

#3 posted 03-25-2011 07:47 AM

Woot! I own one of these bad boys. Thanks Dad, hehe.

View flyingladyblue's profile


5 posts in 2382 days

#4 posted 07-28-2019 04:52 PM

Hi Steve, I still have a couple of the blanks in my garage if you would like them to finish.

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