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I'll start off by saying that I like Dragons, and one that can balance on the tip of my finger is interesting enough to post as a new project.
The back story to this project started a number of years ago when I met up with a superbly talented Scrimshander, named Clay James, at an arts and crafts fair. One of the carvings that I had on display was a balancing Dragon, and it caught his attention. A quick discussion led to an exchange of my Dragon for a piece of his Scrimshaw, and we both were very happy as we took our new treasures home after the fair. Recently, Clay's Dragon somehow was damaged, so a replacement was created to take the place of the original, and this is what it looks like.
I have no idea where the original design came from, but the concept is to create the carving in such a way that the balance point is under the chin of the Dragon. This does involve being very careful as to how much wood you carve away in each area as you work towards achieving the desired balance. One hidden detail is that the leading edges of the wings, near the tips, are a bit thicker because there are some small embedded weights which help to give the Dragon a look of "that shouldn't balance".
Photos 1 and 5 show me balancing the Dragon on the point of a pin so that I could find the final balance point. Once this was determined, I inserted a short section of a pin for the Dragon to balance on (just visible in photo 4). Photos 2 and 3 show it with the pin sitting on the top of a dowel. Any breeze in the room will usually bring motion to the carving.
Photo 6 shows the 3 sections, which were cut out using a scrollsaw, prior to glue up.

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Very cool mate,
I also like dragons.
Haven't made one yet but have the plan started for an Intarsia beast.

Bob.
 

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I just love this. It is amazing! :)

Sheila
 

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Great Project John!!!! Balance is a fascinating subject….it seems to be at the very basis of life in many aspects.

I also like Dragons.

Regards,

Cliff.
 

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Kudos. Great caving. I can attest to the fact that this is no easy feat; did a similar project with my step-son back in the 90s for a physics project … with a Texas Longhorn! Good work!
 

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Hi John,
Very cool dragon!
 

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Very interesting project .
Now I know who made the dragons for Game of Thrones . LOL
I used to build model gliders and the same idea applied as we needed to get the balance point just right
using weights .
BTW : I treated a set of old files with vinegar and they work much better thanks for the tip .

Klaus
 

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That is SO COOL! I love dragons too, European and Asian and the various feathered serpents of Central America. Great job, thanks for posting.

John (My high school mascot was a Dragon)
 

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John,
Your projects are always so amazing! What patience you must have!!
 

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You did a fine job on this dragon. It must have taken a lot of patience in trying to get the balance just right and keep the look and quality exactly right. Very nice work!

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com
 

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Brilliant John!
 

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Thanks to all for the positive feedback. :)
Klaus - Glad that the vinegar worked well for you.

Since I mentioned Clay's skills at Scrimshaw, here is a piece that I am now the proud owner of.
It shows the American Navey, The Randolph, done on Narwhale tusk. Actual size is 3 1/8", and includes detail right down to several crew members in the rigging, and on deck!
 

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Two nice projects, one wood, one tusk!
 

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Thanks to all for the positive feedback. :)
Klaus - Glad that the vinegar worked well for you.

Since I mentioned Clay s skills at Scrimshaw, here is a piece that I am now the proud owner of.
It shows the American Navey, The Randolph, done on Narwhale tusk. Actual size is 3 1/8", and includes detail right down to several crew members in the rigging!


- Druid
That's beautiful
 

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Jeff - Thanks. It's really amazing to see Clay's work up close. As I mentioned, he's superbly talented.
 

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Just arrived in Michigan last night and have wi fi to check out projects, Well done on your precise work and getting the Dragon to balance. I have a sister that loves dragons too, she is a painter. You can check out her work at http://www.trishamclean.com/
 

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Your dragon is amazing, but so is the scrimshaw - looks like an even exchange to me.
 

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Your dragon is going to make me like dragons too.
I like the smooth flowing look and that fact that it balances.
 

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Brian - Thanks for the comments. I just had a look at Trisha's site, and I wonder about you carving some dragons then she can paint them? ;)

Leafherder - Thanks. Here's the piece that I received in exchange for the original Dragon . . .

It's a Mid Coast Eagle - Pacific Northwest Coast
Very good exchange as far as I was concerned.

oldnovice - Thanks. Dragons are fun.
 

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Dragons are fun (and nobody can ever say you did it wrong.)
 
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