Progress Update

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Blog entry by stefang posted 01-28-2013 06:50 PM 2822 reads 0 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I managed to get more of the black filled in. Some of the fingers, the whiskers and a few other African Blackwood infills. I also put in the middle leg with Ash.

The whole project looked so grubby from glue residue and smudges that I finally cleaned it up a little. It isn’t easy because many of the infill pieces are slightly proud of the background. I have been whittling these down with sharp chisels a little everyday. My intention is to handplane it when everything is finished. You might notice that most of the belly on the bottom is missing. This will be done tomorrow, I hope.

Here is a photo of progress to date.

I’m getting close now to getting all the backgrounds finished. I still have the eyebrows the mouth, fire/tongue, eyes and the top and bottom belly pieces. I am hoping to get some of that done tomorrow.

For me, the most fun part will be when I start adding the details. These will be added to many of the already infilled areas, especially those with black infill. I think they will bring the picture to life and make it a lot more exciting. I am also hoping to find additional opportunities for more detail, but only where the will make the image more lively.

Cutting the African Blackwood has gone well but the swarf can’t be entirely blown away as the cutting proceeds. It kind of balls up in front of the blade making it a little difficult to see the pattern line. I tend to look a little ahead of the blade anyway, so no big problems encountered.

A rather pleasant aroma is released while cutting the Blackwood. It is a familiar scent, but I couldn’t place it at first. After a few days I realized that it smells just like Bazooka bubblegum! Of course I haven’t had any for more than 35 years, so it took me awhile to remember!

I’m still looking for a good material for my thin pattern attachment. I found some 1/16” birch plywood used for airplane models that would be ideal, but it costs an arm and a leg. Please let me know if you have any ideas for me on this point. It should be strong and stiff.

Thanks for looking in.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

20 comments so far

View SPalm's profile


5334 posts in 4362 days

#1 posted 01-28-2013 07:03 PM

Bazooka Joe. What a memory. I do believe chewing gum technology has improved since then.

Looking good Mike, what a ride.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View shipwright's profile


8357 posts in 3278 days

#2 posted 01-28-2013 08:19 PM

Excellent !

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3783 days

#3 posted 01-28-2013 08:28 PM

oh steve you have blasphemed bazooka joe….lol…i bet i could get big bucks for they still make it..i have no idea…well mike its looking great, ive been waiting for the belly side, is that saving the hardest for last…or how do you feel it will go…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View stefang's profile


16717 posts in 3814 days

#4 posted 01-28-2013 08:37 PM

No worries about the belly work Grizz. I just haven’t done more on it yet. The part I did came out fine and I don’t expect any problems with the other two parts.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 3414 days

#5 posted 01-28-2013 08:43 PM

It’s looking better and better Mike.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Brit's profile


7789 posts in 3323 days

#6 posted 01-28-2013 10:59 PM

I was in the Bazooka Joe club. I can taste it now. I really admire your patience Mike. I can’t wait to see the end product with some finish on. That wood is going to pop.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Roger's profile


21010 posts in 3284 days

#7 posted 01-28-2013 11:50 PM

It’s surely coming to life.

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

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)


16183 posts in 3098 days

#8 posted 01-28-2013 11:54 PM

275 pieces for under $30US!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Dave's profile


11432 posts in 3320 days

#9 posted 01-29-2013 12:06 AM

Mike it is coming right along. You are moving at a good pace.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View kiefer's profile


5671 posts in 3147 days

#10 posted 01-29-2013 01:59 AM

Mike you have the patience of a Saint .
All I can do is admire your work and have high expectations for the finished piece ,it is just wonderful to watch your progress .

-- Kiefer

View littlecope's profile


3072 posts in 3982 days

#11 posted 01-29-2013 02:52 AM

Still along Mike, and enjoying every installment!
I’m remembering how hard the gum used to get, if it wasn’t fresh… and that it wasn’t possible to blow a bubble with only one piece…

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

View stefang's profile


16717 posts in 3814 days

#12 posted 01-29-2013 11:38 AM

Thanks everyone for your kind comments. Patience has nothing to do with this project. I am enjoying it so much that I don’t really want it to end. I’ve decided to frame the finished picture and I have a great idea for the perfect frame. It will also take some time to make, so who knows when I will be able to post the finished project? I’m just glad I don’t have to do this for a living. If so, I would have been bankrupt a long time ago!

Smitty Thanks for that shopping tip. I really love your byline and I also agree 100% with it. Handplanes love to work, so that’s what they should be doing! My hats off to Superdave and others like him who are making this happen.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View justoneofme's profile


777 posts in 2960 days

#13 posted 01-29-2013 03:35 PM

Bazooka bubblegum is a great childhood memory for many of us Mike!!

Giving thought to your pattern … I have used arborite (kitchen counter top surface material) as a template for repetitive design cutting. Hardware stores or kitchen manufacturers usually have scrap pieces which are very inexpensive. Extremely thin, strong, stiff and easily cut on the scrollsaw … but make sure to use the smooth rather than ‘pebbled’ surface. If you decide to try this for your pattern, I hope it works for you Mike. The only downside is that while cutting … it doesn’t smell as sweet as bubblegum!!

Looking forward to your next blog!

-- Elaine in Duncan

View stefang's profile


16717 posts in 3814 days

#14 posted 01-29-2013 05:58 PM

Thanks so much Elaine. I’m not sure what this, but we have some kitchen manufactures in our area, so I will ask them what they have. It sounds just like what I’m looking for.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View shipwright's profile


8357 posts in 3278 days

#15 posted 01-29-2013 08:52 PM

Arborite is a Canadian name Mike, You might know it as formica.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

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