True artists allow inspiration to come in any form and through any discipline. As an Artist (Educator), I'm thankful my family chose other career paths. This pushes my thinking and creating by discovering their ways of living and thinking. This idea came while raking my brain for a birthday gift to my brother who is an Orthopedic Doctor. Take this idea to create your own way to house a pen and business cards, that creates interest and gets people to be intrigued...rather than a simple block of wood.
Step 1: Bone: Crack/ Break
Choosing a piece of 5" x 12" holly wood allowed for the best representation of bone. Holly has this remarkably brilliant white color and subtle grain which aligns perfectly with the human bone look. The first thing was to separate the piece of wood into two sections. This is done to access the business cards that will be embedded inside and for it to look like the bone is broken. Searching Google "wavy line" I printed and cut it out to create a template. Taking a pencil I traced the wavy line onto a piece of scrap 1/4" plywood. Cutting out with a scroll saw establishes my template to use a router next.
Step 2: Bone: Routing Wave
Using a router will allow for a clean easy way to separate the wood into two pieces. Placing a 1/2" diameter x 1 1/4" length router bit will assure you can go through the 1" thick wood. Also, placing an interchangeable bushing on the router base that has a 5/8" inner diameter allows for the router to ride along the wavy template, that was made in the last step. Clamp the template to the wood and make sure the template runs the whole width of the wood. It is recommend to take three passes, each time lowering the router bit.
Step 3: Bone: Making the Crack
With the pieces separated we now need to reattach it with black tinted epoxy to give the appearance of the bone being cracked. Take two sacrificial strips of wood and glue them to the side of the two pieces. When doing this just leave a space between the wavy cut just made to the desired look of the crack. I used 1 1/4" high x 8" long pieces and kept the two about 1/4" away from each other and then adding a few drops of glue to the strips and then clamped it together. Before you walk away make sure that all the bottoms of the wood are flush. If not flush the epoxy will ooze out and you will end up wasting more epoxy. Give the glue a couple hours to set up and then take them out of the clamps to mix and add the epoxy.
Placing the wood on a flat surface with a piece of wax paper underneath, it is time to mix and add the black epoxy crack. Using 5 minute epoxy, I mixed up an even amount of part 1 and part 2 and then added a dab of black acrylic paint to change the clear epoxy to the dark black color of the "crack." It really takes barely any paint to tint the epoxy. Then with a popsicle stick (thin scrap wood) add the epoxy into the crack you just made by gluing the scraps of wood to the edge of your two holly pieces. REMEMBER! work fast you only have five minutes.
Step 4: Bone: Cut Crack
With the black epoxy crack hardened take your solid piece to the scroll saw and cut it apart. The goal is to go slow, make one fluid cut, and be in the middle to assure the black crack is evenly on both sides.
*Before I cut it apart I sanded the top to see the crack easier. With the epoxy spillage on the top surface, it hindered me from seeing the wavy line perfectly.
Step 5: Bone: Drawing
With my brother being an Orthopedic Surgeon, I asked him to send me a spare hip replacement ball to get sizing for this project. Looking on Google for "Hip Bone" I was able to print out many "Side" views of the pelvic bone. I also went to our health department in my school and borrowed their skeleton to get the best views of the bone I would be sculpting. First, I had to line up where I wanted the business card to be embedded into the wood and also where the ball would go...which will later hold the pen. Cutting out an image of the hip I was able to trace and draw the bone on the wood to fit the dimensions perfectly the way I needed them to.
*Bone is not 100% accurate it had to be elongated to make the business card work.
Step 6: Bone: Business Card Slot
This is probably the trickiest step in the whole process. How to make a horizontal cut into a piece of wood. There are plenty of ways to establish this groove. 1. Drill press (drilling multiple holes and cleaning out with a chisel in between holes), 2. Mortise Jig (using the jig you can clamp the wood and use a long straight bit in a router and slowly clean it out 3. Dremel tool (using a long grinding bit)
I used a Festool Domino XL tool. First, establish the size of hole. This tool allows you to plunge a bit that not only spins, but also move in a lateral movement back and forth. A business card is roughly 2" x 3 1/2" x How many cards you want to store. I created a 2 1/4" x 4" x 1/2" slot. Putting the two pieces of wood together I made marks on the surface to assure the slots would line up. Then clamping them to a table I plunged with the Domino tool with a 1/2 bit. Setting stops on the tool allows for a 1 1/4" deep slot on the smaller piece and 2 3/4" deep slot on the larger piece. Test with an actual business card many times to assure it will fit.
Step 7: Bone: Bowl Route
Inserting a 1 1/2" cove router bit into a plunge router, I was able to route a perfect half sphere for the artificial femoral head on the femur bone. Clamp down the router to assure the router does not move while plunging this rather large bit. You only need to go down about 1/2" even though the bit is 2" in depth. Just need a half sphere cut.
*You can achieve this also by using a Dremel or carving out the area to carving tools
Step 8: Bone: Cut Rough Shape
Using a bandsaw with a small blade cut the hip bone shape out. It is now starting to come together.
*I will explain the pen construction soon.
Step 9: Bone: Hole Est.
When looking at the hip bone you will see that there is a section that is completely removed. So with a 1/2 drill bit cut a hole through the center of this section. With the hole cut you can now insert the blade of a scroll saw through this hole. Carefully, cut this shape out to accurately represent this specific bone construction. Now you are ready to grind and shape!
Step 10: Bone: Grinding / Shaping
Before I began grinding I took another detailed look at the images I printed out and also the skeleton model I borrowed. Drawing directly on the wood I made notes of where I needed to remove and leave material. Looking at the fifth image you will see a scrap piece of wood laying on the top of the wood. The thickness of the wood is the same thickness the business card is from the top surface of the wood. This guide assure that I do not grind lower than that dimension. The only way to check that is to leave an area that will not be carved until the business card area is complete.
You can see in the third image I began with a 24 grit sand paper on a small angle grinder. Then I finished with more detailed carving with a nematic grinder with a course grinding bit. The course grinding bit left a desired texture that reminded me of the appearance of a real bone.
Step 11: Bone: Imbedding a Magnet
This added element can be omitted all together. I added it for a little more flair. Later, I will explain in the Pen Making process that I embedded a magnet in the top of the pen. The reason for that will be explained a little here.
To access the business cards, I wanted to create a way that would be different than just removing it with your hands. So, I decided by putting a magnet in the small part of the bone and the cap of the pen. You could then use the pen to magnetize the areas together and pull apart the bone to reveal the cards. (The end video will show this in action).
Using (2) 1/2" magnets was the best choice to assure there would be enough pull for the large item. Using a 3/8" drill bit I drilled two holes close to the tip and overlapping each other. Then again mixing up some two part epoxy and tinting it with white paint I was able to glue in the magnets and try to cover the holes. The reason I used a 3/8" and not a 1/2" drill bit for the 1/2" magnets is because I placed the RareEarth magnets in the hole vertical to get the largest surface area of pull. When the epoxy dried I was able to sand the excess and move on to finishing.
Step 12: Bone: Sand / Finish
Due to the desired rough look the grinder left I did not do a lot of finish sanding. Taking 100 grit I quickly knocked off all the really rough fibers. Before the finish, I quickly sanded the piece with 180 grit to reduce the likelihood my brush would get snagged. Lastly, I used gloss Polyacrylic finish on the whole piece. I put two coats on and sanded with 220 grit between coats.
Step 13: Pen: Making the Blank
Pen making is an absolute joy. The pen I was making is a Hancock Stainless Steel Rollerball pen kit you can purchase through Woodcraft.com #154186. I chose this pen for many reasons: 1. Elegance 2. Screw Cap that screws on the end of the pen when in use. 3. Fit best in Femoral hole of artificial femoral head. 4. Cap needed enough space to embed an RareEarth Magnet in the bottom. 5. Metal had to compliment the Artificial Femoral head.
The hardest choice was to create a pen that would look like a bone and also compliment the black crack in the main piece. I chose to use a Faux Bone Pen Blank from Woodcraft #154043 and another black acrylic pen blank. Cutting the black blank into small 1/8" slivers and the Fauv bone into larger sections I was able to glue them to give the appearance of a finger with the black being the joints. In each kit there are brass tubes cut at the correct size you need to create the pen. When gluing up the two blanks just be sure it is larger than the brass tubing.
*To glue acrylic blanks back together use CA glue and accelerator to speed up the process.
WOODCRAFT INSTRUCTIONS: http://www2.woodcraft.com/PDF/77D33.pdf
Step 14: Pen: Drilling / Gluing
Each pen kit comes with instructions. This particular kit you have to drill your pen blanks with one at 12.5 mm and the other is 13/32. With a drill press and clamping device I drilled the 12.5mm in the shorter blank and 13/32 hole in the large blank: following the manufactured directions. Now secure the brass tubing in the pen blanks to be able to turn them. I recommend taking 60 grit sandpaper and roughing up the brass tube to allow for the glue to adhere better. Then mix up more 5 min epoxy and spread over the tubing and inside the blanks. Insert the brass tubing and be sure to push the tubing fully inside the blank. Before the glue dries take a q-tip to clean out any excess glue (if you don't it will be hard for the next step).
Step 15: Pen: Squaring Edges
Before you can turn the blanks the ends need to be trimmed square to the end of the brass tubing. To do this I used a Barrel Trimmer set #153236 @ Woodcraft. Drill just enough to see a polished edge of the brass tubing all the way around.
Step 16: Pen: Turning / Sanding
Next step is turning the blank. Using bushings #154188 from Woodcraft and placing them on a mandrel turn the blanks down to the thickness of the bushing purchased. Looking at the images you can see these bushings just to the left and right of the each blank. (again follow the directions on the Woodcraft's website). Lastly, I used wet sandpaper and micro-mesh to sand and finish my blanks. Starting with 220 grit and going to 12,000 I was able to sand and polish. When sanding just have a spray bottle of water constantly spraying as you sand/ polish.
Step 17: Pen: Magnet / Assembly
Before you assemble your pen you must glue in the magnet if you added that step I suggested earlier. Locate the top cap of the pen. Flip it over. This is where you will embed the magnet. Using a 3/8" magnet worked and fit the best in the space. Before you glue test which side of the magnet needs to be placed down so it will magnetize itself to the end of the wood bone. If you glue it the wrong side down it repel the connection and not attract to each other. Now, mix up more 5 minute epoxy and place a drop in the end of the cap. Place in the magnet (correct side down) and then fill the space just enough to go over the whole magnet (any more might hinder the cap going on properly)
Lastly, Following the directions provided by Woodcraft.com to assemble the specific pen you chose to build.
Here it is again (Hancock) http://www2.woodcraft.com/PDF/77D33.pdf