Monday, January 31, 2011

Double Door Noah's Ark - Continued

Not much time spent of the Double Door Ark today. You can see the size and design of the double doors. Leather hinges will be used on these doors. These larger doors are necessary because little hands will be reaching in and out placing pairs of animals into and out of stalls.
Note the rough bow trim piece. This piece too, is from reclaimed wood. In this case the result of dumpster diving. This piece still has some paper glued on it. The piece was from a stack of pine boards that were samples of various stains and finishes. The furniture store had thrown them out.
Tomorrow. maybe I can spend more time. Now, back to carving Gnomes.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Double Door Noah's Ark

This next Noah's Ark will have "Double Doors". These doors will let one place animals in stalls within the arks hull. This type of ark presents some different challenges in its design and construction; but that's some of the fun part of making them. More tomorrow.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Small 10 Inch Noah's Ark

It was time to use up some scraps, left over from the larger Arks. The larger arks use wood left over from trimming houses, the left overs keep on getting used. The arks just get smaller and smaller. This ark measures about 10 inches long and 10 inches tall. The animals are in the range of 1 inch to 2 1/2 inches.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Larger Noah's Ark Completed

Here's two views of the finished ark, with a few animals. Perhaps you can see how much fun I can have designing on the fly. The door in the hull opens down and becomes kind of a ramp. When not being played with, the animals can be stored in the hull. The roof with the leather hinges opens up, and there is one of the other side too.
I don't know what the next Noah's Ark will be. If there is any suggestions as to design, or colors, or anything else; feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Larger Noah's Ark

Opps! I forgot to get some photos from the actual start. This will happen when I'm doing an Ark without plans, and just letting it develop. I get into the "Zone" and forget everything else. Maybe that's why I like doing this so much.

The first photo is of the basic flat sided hull with the bow and stern pieces. The deck is also done and inserted into the dados that were cut into the inside surfaces of the bow and stern pieces. The sides are 1/4th inch birch plywood, that has cleats attached to the inside for the deck to sit on. This ark will have a door for the animals. When opened, the door will be a ramp.

This Ark cabin has three openings on each side, and on the ends, so the animals can be placed inside.

This photo is just another angle. The animals are placed so that one may get a better idea of the Ark size. The elephant is about 3 inches tall.

Well, I thought it needed another cabin. The only place for it is on top of the other one. I also found some old salvaged OGEE molding that I used over the windows and doors, as well as at the top of the first level cabin..
Next we'll do the roof(s), copula, and the door.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fun Noah's Ark!

It's time to get a bit more creative with the Noah's Arks. As I have mentionned; I use no plans. Following plans might make the effort more like "work". Right now it's fun. The next Ark will be the ultimate in fun for me. I'll just start out with a basic hull and build up from there. Maybe one story cabin or maybe 4 stories. Don't know; it'll just evolve as the spirit move me.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Crown Molding Noah's Ark

The next Noah's Ark will be one made with Crown Molding for the Hull. Crown molding can be very expensive to purchase. But If you know a builder, or a trim carpenter; ask them for some end cuts. To start this ark, I make 22 1/2 degree cuts at the ends of the each piece of 17 inch crown molding.
I next determine how wide I want the ark to be, and cut 3/4" wood to that width. The length is usually about 1 1/2 inches taller than the crown molding. Use a compass to mark a curve to be cut off each end piece. Scroll down to see the "assembled" ark.

Next determine where the deck should be. I use a table saw to make a groove that will hold the deck. This cut is made at the same level on both ends and the hull sides. If you do not have a table saw, you can glue cleats on the inside of the end pieces and the sides that will allow the deck to sit on top, and provide a surface for glue and brads.

Here's what the Ark hull will look like.

Next start on the cabin. The cabin is made of salvaged 1/4 inch birch plywood. Make the cabin any size you wish. Mark and cut two cabin ends, and two cabin sides. Nail the ends together, and nail the sides together. Mark the door on the end piece, and the windows on the side pieces.

Use the scroll saw to cut out the doors and windows. Since the ends and the sides are matched/stacked and nailed together, you cut both the windows and the doors at the same time.

This is what the Crown Molding Ark will look like with out the roof pieces.

Here's the painted and assembled Crown Molding Noah's Ark. Notice that I added the bow and stern pieces. I'll have to cut and attach some leather hinges to the roof sections and attach the roof. But this is basically the completed Crown Molding Noah's Ark,

Completed Table Top Noah's Ark

Here's the completed Table Top Noah's Ark with a few pairs of animals.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Noah's Ark Animals

I have found most of my animal patterns in children's coloring books. I transfer them to 1/8 inch fiber board or plywood and cut them out on the scroll saw. I can then easily trace them onto the wood for cutting out.

Here's an example of a cheetah and an elephant pattern in use. Starting at the left is the pattern. Next the cutout and the finished painted animal.

I generally use the rotary tool with a 1/2 inch sanding sleeve to shape the animals. I have found that the sanding dust from Redwood and Cedar can be a bit toxic, so I use a good dust collector to pull the dust away from me.

In these photos of the cheetah you can hopefully see how I use the rotary tool and the sanding sleeve to shape the cheetah. After I cut the blank out, I start at the neck area and lay the 1/2 inch sanding sleeve on the wood and make a concave "cut". Then I do the exact same thing of the other side of the blank. Next, I remove wood to shape the tail. After the tail I generally move to the legs. Remove some wood in front of the rear legs and then behind the front legs. Then you can just round off the areas between the tail and the neck cut. Finally, use the sanding sleeve to make the cuts that define the cheetahs face.

You can put as much detail in as you wish. But remember, children may not notice, and too much detail may tend to break off when played with. Experience has told me not to separate the animals legs, as they tend to break off.

After shaping the animals with the sanding sleeve, I dip the animal into shellac and let dry. After the shellac is dry, I use acrylic paints for the color.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ark Animals

Some information on making the pairs of animals for the Noah's Ark will be a starting point. I use Redwood when I can get it, and if I cannot get it, I use Cedar. In either case, the wood is either salvaged from house decks, picnic tables, outdoor furniture, or fence boards. If I have to purchase the Redwood or Cedar it's in the form of fence boards. These boards are between 1/2 and 3/4 inch thick. I do try to use thicker wood for the thicker animals like the elephant.

I also use a rotary tool (Dremel) with a 1/2 inch sanding sleeve to achieve the desired animal shapes. I will post a series of slides that show the sequence of sanding sleeve cuts to carve the animals.

I hope to have ther animal series posted in the next few days....

Monday, January 17, 2011

Making A Table Top Noah's Ark...continued

The first photo shows attaching the cabin to the ark hull. Do this before attaching the roof.

Cut pieces of leather to serve as hinges to open one side of the roof . I fold the pieces of leather and preform them by squeezing them between two blocks of wood, over night. Use tacks and glue to attach the hinges to the roof sides. Be sure to leave about 3/16 inch between the tops of the roof sides, when attaching the hinges. If not, the roof sides will not lay flat against the cabin when closed.

After the hinges are attached to the roof sides, they can be attached to the ark cabin.
Remember the water, rainbow, storm cloud, lightening, and sun that we made. Cut and attach blocks of wood that have a short dowel attached to the block of wood, to the backs of these pieces. Drill receiving holes in the ark hull to receive the dowels in the back of the water.

Attach the lightening to the storm cloud. Drill a hole in the roof side to receive the dowel on the backs of the storm clouds, the sun and rainbow.
The reason for the attaching dowels on these parts is so that children, when hearing the story of Noah, and follow along and attach the storm clouds when Noah is told about the coming storm, and add the water when the flood comes.
Our next steps involve making the animals......

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Making A Table Top Noah's Ark ..continued

Use wood glue and 1/4" wire brads to connect the ends of the cabin to the sides. I use a pair of small needle nosed pliers to hold the 1/4" brads to start them with the hammer. The two strips that were ripped are installed as shown in the second photo. Be sure to attach them flush with the bottom of the cabin. These two strips will provide room for screws to attach the cabin to the Ark hull.

Attach a third squarish piece between the tops of the cabin ends as shown in the third and forth photo. This piece will provide flat surfaces to which we can attach the roof.

Meanwhile I am still laboring over the rainbow painting.....I hate painting between the lines....

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Making A Table Top Noah's Ark...continued

I usually paint the individual pieces before assembly. This is done so that I don't have to be real careful when painting a different color right next to another. For me it's just easier to paint then assemble. Another thing that my laziness dictates, is not to worry about sanding the raw edges of the plywood. This is an ol' time toy, and I like some appearance of wear on it. It generally sand the edges after painting. Additionally, the paint I use is "OPPS" paint. "OPPS" paint is the paint that is mixed wrong, or folks return it. It is generally priced at about $1.00 a quart.

Here's the Ark pieces painted.

This is one of the cabin sides, with some of the trim painted and unpainted. I decided to use a piece of salvage ogee trim above the window and doors. I still have to paint some of the trim. Now maybe you can see why I paint the pieces before assembly.
I seldom purchase any wood for the Noah's Arks that I make. Friends that are builders and carpenters, save left overs for me. That and I've been know to stop and pick through waste lumber at building sites.

The Ark cabin ends with the door.

The rainbow is by far the most work in this Table Top Noah's Ark. I never did learn to stay between the lines.

Tomorrow we'll assemble the Noah's Ark.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Making A Table Top Noah's Ark...continued

Now is a good time to decide if you want to have some contrasting trim around the windows and the doors. The pieces to the left are the trim pieces I have ripped. You can see in the Ark photo how they are installed around the windows, as well as a band around the Ark cabin. The other two pieces are to be installed within the Ark to provide attachment to the hull and for the roof.

Mark and cut the two sides of the roof so that they over hang the Arks cabin, on all four sides.

Draw a lightening bolt, cloud, rainbow, water, and a round sun on a piece of scrap 1/4" plywood. Opps, forgot to draw the sun. About a 3" round disk will do.
Cut the lightening bolt, cloud, rainbow, water, and sun out, and lightly sand the edges.
Tomorrow we'll paint the pieces prior to assembly.