Here’s the start to a new panel and chalice box. This panel of St. Timothy and St. Maura will replace the St. Mark panel and will accompany the three other panels similar to my original versions of Jesus, Mary and Archangel Michael.
To speed up the roughing-in process of the previous panels that I had carved, I made what I’ll call a 3-axis pantograph.
Do you remember “X and Y” coordinates from high school? Going back in time isn’t it? A 2-axis pantograph that follows a horizontal x and y plane is often used with a router for sign making. It’s basically a stylus and router both mounted on a pivoting arm. By tracing the stylus along a pattern, and because the router is attached to the same arm, the router will follow an identical path while cutting into a horizontal wood panel.
Now, for roughing in my 3-dimensional relief carvings, I needed a third, or vertical, axis…”Z.” Now it’s all coming back to you.
The horizontal XY was accomplished with three pieces of plywood stacked one on the other and attached with metal drawer sliders. The Z axis came about by attaching to this contraption a fourth piece of plywood with an attached router and stylus…and…hinges. The result was that the drawer sliders allowed the router and stylus to move back and forth and sideways on a horizontal plane ( XY ) and the hinges allowed it to move up and down ( Z ).
It worked great. With my previous carved panels in place beside a blank piece of wood I was able to transfer a roughed in version of the images pretty quickly to the wood. From there, it was still a matter of doing all of the detailing…but, it speeded up the process and it was just plain fun for an old time engineer.