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Belted Kingfisher...a-building.

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  • Belted Kingfisher...a-building.

    I'm working on a Belted Kingfisher for a friend right now. I'm well along but, as usual...much left to do.

    I thought you might be interested in a facet of the process. Nothing revolutionary, but it involves clay modeling on a small scale. I am more convinced that I don't use clay enough to work out details of the bird before beginning on the wood. However, this time I used some clay modeling of the perch branch to work out shapes of my branch segments.

    Here's the overall look so you can see the branch with its 3 segments. The bottom segment has been rough carved.



    The segments are hot glued together at this point so I can rough carve before final glue up. For information, I am past this point and have glued up the segments (2 brass rods in each joint going into the adjoining surfaces). I use 5-min epoxy for the glue. After that sets I come back to each joint and grind out a groove, smooth the edges up and down from the groove and fill with bondo. That way I get a pretty seamless and strong joining of the segments.

    Here's a pic with all three segments rough carved and I've drilled the holes in the branch and the bird so I can set him up on his "feet" for a pic. I confess to using pewter toes on this guy.



    Back to the clay... I got excited about the base, which is cut from a larger piece of Bigleaf Maple burl. I positioned the cuts to leave a up/down, left to right "gully" in the base block. See the pic.



    Getting the complex shape of the bottom segment for cutting out a piece of wood made me think of the clay. I just took some and "molded" it into the gully. From that clay shape I could sketch a rough pattern on my scrap wood and get a decent cutout on the band saw. Here's a pic showing the clay model and the wood product after rough shaping for the gully.



    I've run out of allowance for photos so I will finish in the next "reply".

  • #2
    Re: Belted Kingfisher...a-building.

    Once I got the bottom segment adequately nested in the gully I drilled two holes down through it into to the burl base and inserted brass rods. These allowed me to takes hands off that piece so I could fiddle with the clay for the next segment. That will also be my final attachment technique. The clay modeling was repeated for the top segment as well. This gets a bit more tricky now because I wanted to get as close as possible to having my lengths and compound curves come out to the right height and level for my bird to perch properly. It takes some eyeballing to get close, but you can fine tune later.

    This pic shows the bottom segment pinned in place (all is still temporary) along with the next segment (hidden somewhat behind the base, and the top segment with the clay model lying next to it.



    If the curves need some adjusting, I do it at this point by changing the angles on the joint surfaces. That requires a revisit to the band saw or, if small adjustments, rubbing the surface on a piece of sandpaper laying flat on a table. Then I hot glue and get on with the rough carving. The clay goes back into storage at this point.

    So, that's a lot of words for a fairly simple process for figuring out the shape of a branch.

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    • #3
      Re: Belted Kingfisher...a-building.

      Very interesting process. Thanks for sharing and thanks for the very clear photos. I have used clay to model a few of my carvings and found it very helpful. It's nice to get an idea of something in 3D before you start cutting.
      Terry

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      • #4
        Re: Belted Kingfisher...a-building.

        Great bird, you have a real talent. That wood for the base is so beautiful, it could stand alone as an accent piece...superb piece of wood!! Great photos, and interesting to see how you do your work.

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        • #5
          Re: Belted Kingfisher...a-building.

          Looking Great Randy!
          oscar

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          • #6
            Re: Belted Kingfisher...a-building.

            Nice bird, thanks for sharing the way you constructed the base.
            Charlie
            Charlie Wolfe [email protected]
            Website:
            http://charleswolfe.weebly.com/

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            • #7
              Re: Belted Kingfisher...a-building.

              waouuuw

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              • #8
                Re: Belted Kingfisher...a-building.

                Nice carving and info. Randy, keep posting. I wish I could find a source for burl around here.

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                • #9
                  Re: Belted Kingfisher...a-building.

                  Randy

                  Did you use your own pattern or a commercial one? I have Cam's pattern and really like it but your's has a nice neck that I'd like to incorporate into a future Kingfisher carving.

                  Rick

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                  • #10
                    Re: Belted Kingfisher...a-building.

                    That base is going to look amazing and I really appreciate your process with the clay. Outstanding as always Randy, can't wait to see him finished.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Belted Kingfisher...a-building.

                      As always, thx for the kind words everyone.

                      Rick... I want to say I used my own pattern. I cut this bird out 2-3 years ago and set it aside. When I wanted to begin carving, I could not find my pattern. I always store them and other ref material in a big envelop so I usually can lay my hands on them pretty quickly. I must have set this one in one of those "out of the way" places...nothing harder to find than a misfiled file. Anyhow, I just went alhead on it using reference photos and some basic KF measurements.

                      BTW... all priming is done. Painting begins today.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Belted Kingfisher...a-building.

                        Great work --- a joy to see.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Belted Kingfisher...a-building.

                          What kind of clay do you use, Iwould like to try it,but have a problem finding suitable clay.Thanks fot sharing.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Belted Kingfisher...a-building.

                            Cool bird and base keep it going .
                            Mitch

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                            • #15
                              Re: Belted Kingfisher...a-building.

                              Originally posted by Old Scout View Post
                              What kind of clay do you use, Iwould like to try it,but have a problem finding suitable clay.Thanks fot sharing.
                              My clay is just a basic oil base clay that never dries out. When finish using it on a project I just deconstruct whatever the subject was and put it back into a plastic container to await next use.

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