Wood Carvings by Mark Sheridan

Archive for the category “On The Road Again”

Back to Wood Carving

The clay hounds have been left behind now and I’ve moved on to their wood versions.

I didn’t take a photo of it, but what I did was hold the clay figures up to a piece of paper and outlined the side view shape onto the paper.  This takes a bit of eye-balling as you want to make sure that the lines that you draw are accurate and as close to a 90 degree angle to the paper.  With a little practice and some measurements from the clay to the paper just to check that everything is true, you end up with a side view that you can take to the bandsaw.

If you’re careful, you can do the same for the front view by holding the clay figure now up against the profile that you just sawed out on the bandsaw.  This is a bit trickier as the saw pattern left on the figure is contoured and not a flat plane.  Again, with a bit of practice it’s possible to get a nice pattern developed.  Just remember that when you take this to the bandsaw you will not have the flat plane that you originally had to rest on the bandsaw table.  What I did was to lightly glue onto the back a portion of the profile that I had cut off, so that I now would have a flat surface to cut against.

At that point, out came the Typhoon bits and the Foredom tool for some rough shaping followed by the chisels and knives.  Here’s where I am at this point.



Clay Figures Completed

This is about as far as I’m going to need to go with the clay figures so that I’ll be able to use it as a model for the wood carving of the little racing hounds.

The driver is leaning forward pretty nicely as he cuts through the wind, while the passenger/navigator seems to be just enjoying the motion and the breeze while howling away!  The driver’s left hand will be on an external handle while his right hand will be perched up on top of the steering wheel.  Both dogs will have their ears blowing in the wind…and, I just reminded myself I wanted to have them wearing scarves…so, I’ll need to add that quickly to the clay sculptures.

Next stop is cutting the blanks out on the bandsaw.  Although their arms will be well supported, I’m pretty sure that I’m going to do their arms separately so that I can ensure that the wood grain is going in the strongest direction.


Some Clay Work

I’ve done enough detail on the car to know where I’m heading with it.  Now I want to position the driver and passenger so that I get a sense of where their bodies and paws will be positioned before I start the additional details of the clutch handle and steering wheel.

So, out came the clay today.  I used the Foredom tool and a cylindrical Typhoon bit with a rounded head to carve out the cockpit.  There’s enough room for the tops of the back legs of these little guys to just fit under the dash and make it look like they’re well extended beyond the dash.  I also ended up carving the backrest of the cockpit even further back because I wanted a nice curvature to their backs and I wasn’t able to get that with the shallower cockpit that I had carved originally.  That curve of the back allows me to lean the dogs forward and make it look like they’re fighting the wind a bit more.

This is the very first stage of the clay sculpture and once finished it’ll give me a terrific 3d model of what the wood carving has to look like.   Lots more to come this week.  Emily is on March Break so she’ll be visiting.  While we were at the Hamilton Carving Show, Emily got interested in wood burning, so she’ll be trying her hand at wood burning and I’ll do some clay sculpting!





A Quieter Racer

I sketched out a plan view ( bird’s eye view ) for the shape of the pipes by just putting the car on a piece of paper and outlining where the pipe should hug the contour of the car.  I then cut that piece out on the bandsaw making sure that I left a little extra wood for the details of a heat shield and a tail pipe extension that I wanted to add.


Then, by holding this wavy piece of wood up against the sides of the car, I traced in the lines where I wanted the pipe moving up the side of the car and over the rear wheel.  Then that got cut out on the bandsaw…very carefully.  When I don’t have a flat surface to rest on the bandsaw table, I make sure that I’m very aware of where the wood is going to get pulled by the blade…and I always use a push-stick so that my hands are well away.


With a bit of shaping, it all fits in pretty nicely under the chassis and over the rear wheel.

This next photo shows the progress that I made on the rear suspension leaf springs as well.  I made the rear axle assembly, epoxied it into a recess that I made and then made the leaf springs ( it actually looked a lot like a clothespin at one point ) and glued them to the axle assembly.  An Engineer at GM wouldn’t be happy with my design…but I think that most carvers would be ok with it.




Some Fast Wheels

This little roadster is in need of five new wheels…four on the road and one on the trunk.

I started out by cutting a thin slab of basswood…about 3/8″ thick to mimic the skinny tires that 1920’s roadsters would have had.  Then, with a hole saw I cut out the blank for each of the five wheels.  I actually cut out a smaller blank of thinner material ( happened to be cherry ) and glued it onto the centre so that I’d end up with a disk hub for the brakes…not that these two characters ever touch the brakes on their joy rides.

I then put these on a small hobby lathe that I have and rounded them out and added a few line for treads and whitewalls on the tires.

The whole thing was followed by the start of the front end of the wheel assembly.  More detail to come, but you can see the drive mechanism and the suspension coming into shape.  It’s also going to have a crank for engine starts, as well!

Lots of fun.

Click on the photos for larger versions…

On The Road Again

Well, at least on the road again with a new project.  This one is going to return us to our Basset Hound theme but, for a change of pace, add in a bit of motion along the way.

Here’s the start to a vintage race car piloted by a couple of fun-loving Bassets.  I’m looking forward to including lots of detail in this one like panel lines on the car, horns ( no, it won’t actually work ), lights ( won’t work either ), clutch handle ( nope ) and I’m even thinking about a spare tire on the back.  One hound will be driving and the other will be trying to hold the map against the wind.

I started this one with clay.  Now you might ask why I bothered with clay but the car actually has a lot of interesting contours and I want to make sure that it has the shape of a vintage car but that it will fit two little Bassets side by side and still look “right.”

After cutting the outline out on the bandsaw, I used a Merlin tool to do the rough contouring.  This little tool is handheld and basically has a little circular chainsaw blade at the end that spins and removes wood pretty quickly.  I followed up with the same tool but with a coarse disc that looks much like a Foredom Typhoon bit.  The two allowed me to make some pretty quick and very straight flat planes that you would expect as segments of  a car body.

Just click on these photos and you’ll see bigger versions.



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