Lasers, water jets, arduino's?. ? The heck is that? Culinary skills? C'mon! I can reheat coffee in the microwave and I keep recyclable periodicals in my oven. Raspberry pi?!??...o.k.. I get pie. So anyway, here go's.. this humble caveman presents to you, the amazing instructable community.. my blood sweat and tears, shed on the sun, the moon and the stars...
Step 1: Long Time Comin'
So, I've had had a crush on this cute girl, turned beautiful woman, since high school. But as we learn, life is strange and slips by when you're not lookin'... I somehow landed back in my "hometown". And in her arms as well. What's the opposite of instant karma?
She didn't know I had talent. I didn't know either, till my mid 30's. Anyway, I noticed she had the sun and moon motif here and there and over there in her house, and outside as well. Anyway I had a canopy with a bench to work outside, and a shed full of tools (he said jokingly). So I set out to impress the pants off of her... um... it started with a simple sketch P-2, actually drew this sitting on her balcony one day, fall 2013.
Materials are where you find them. Luckily my friend found them. He gave me some old red cedar shutters. Bird crap n all! P-3. Hell, I aint scared. That gave me a basic size and the ambition. (hell I was already motivated!)
# safety glasses
# jig saw
# table saw
# belt sander
# orbital sander
# kreg jig www.kregtool.com Love this tool.
# magnifying glass
# in/outdoor spar urethane
# various other stuff I cant think of right now
Step 2: Roughing It
Used the best color matching two shutters (four boards).
Belt sanded the face with 50 grit to remove paint and bird poop.
# dust mask! Preferably NIOSH approved. Don't want to breathe bird poop dust. (Had to say it one more time!)
Then 80 grit, that's as high as it went for now. It's an outdoor piece and open grain absorbs finish better.
Traced an old tire, a bucket and a little freehand for the sun and moon shapes. Gave the moon an under bite, cause I am not a fan of assembly line/ cookie cutter symmetry.
Once all my pieces were roughed out with the jig saw, (including the sunbeams) P- 1,2. The disc and crescent were Kreg jigged together from the back.
Then glued and nailed and screwed to some scrap plywood as well. To add strength and offset for depth, wanted it to cast shadows. Used some old leather for padding and bricks/ blocks to weigh it down, instead of clamping, till the glue dried.
I used 3/4 inch plywood on the back of the sun, 1/4" on the moon, P-3. When the glue dried, I hand /beltsanded everything to the line, P-4.
# titebond 3 waterproof glue
# air compressor, 16 gauge brad nailer
# deck screws (various lengths)
Step 3: Let There Be Light!
Wasn't sure how to connect the sun beams at first... like everything I make, the design constantly morphs (too many grateful dead concerts?).. So I commenced with the solar pyrography as I puzzled over this predicament. P-1: a peaceful pyro propagating permutations of cosmic proportions. As you can see it's not documented well, I get rolling and forget the camera. More wood burning later.
Finally decided to lap the 6 wavy sun beams onto the face of the sun.
Made a jig to cut a slot in the end of each sun beam on the table saw. Made two passes each to end up with 1/8 x 1 1/2 inch slot. Leaving 1/4" to rest on top of the sun disc. ...O.K. didn't understand that bit myself. So I drew a picture. P-2 Cut the 3/8 by 1 1/2" scrap out with a coping saw.
# coping saw
P-3 The 6 beams glued and screwed in place.
SAFETY FIRST!!! I will always take time to make a jig for any procedure that will keep my nine and most of the tenth finger away from a cutter! I suggest you do the same.
At this point I joined the sun to the moon by cutting flat shims between the wavy sun beams and the moon P-4,5. Glued and nailed from the back. Then put on three coats of Minwax wood hardener, as the cedar was old and a bit soft. Good thing I left the grain open huh?
# minwax wood hardener
Step 4: Wild Wild Life
Sorry no P- of the straight sun rays. They were cut when roughing it all out, then clamped together: flush on top, belt sanded, flipped, flushed up and sanded again.
Hand sanding.. The whole freakin' piece was hand sanded and then hand sanded some more... till I was tired of it.. (not the piece, the sanding.) And then some more. I did bump up to 100 grit paper, because I had it, and am poor. But the result was some truly nice um... sawdust boogers!... And that ah... that sun n moon thing... anyway the pic is a walking stick that dropped in, totally unannounced.
Step 5: AT THIS POINT!
I would like to ask... is there no way to delete a step? Added an unnecessary one and the instructables on instructables were too many & too much for me. I know I'll find it eventually.
Anyway... that's her.. in the mirror w/me. The one I made this for.. too f*ing good to me.
Step 6: AD/HD... Its So Much Fun... and Look!! a GROUNDHOG!!!
The solar pyrography was a constant throughout the project. P-1-5. Took advantage of clear days as even wispy clouds slow you or stop you, so yeah I relaxed in the sun with loud music and a cold beverage whenever possible. What an excellent summer it was. I have several magnifying glasses I've collected recently: because I thought a groundhog with a monocle fetish stole my favorite one P-6... but that's another story.. also since I was a youngster burning unsuspecting insects. But soon realized that was just plain wrong! They were so much better stir fried... I'm just kidding! I've burned stuff in things since the summer of '77? (thanks Mother Earth News).
So I ask you? How would you express that fire lost, then found again? I mean that soul fire! That.. that same kinda' crazy as me! Fire? That.. stand up next to a mountain.. and chop it down with the edge of my hand! Fire!.!.! ?
"Let me stand next to your FIRE!"
I used bubbles! Like bubbling lava! Yea! And I pin wheeled "flames".. also a radiating effect on the wavy sun beams.... And then the stars... man you can't forget the stars! You can not give someone you love like that the sun and the moon and leave out the stars!... . . . . But I digress...
I made the magnifying glass in P-1, after the groundhog incident, from a cheap pair of binoculars. It's actually two single convex glued into a bit of ergonometry (yeah, I make up words too).
Step 7: Now.. Where Was I ?
O.K. Took my meds.. I've got this... Had the wavy sun beams connected. The moon and sun joined. The straight sun beams worked up... And wood burning my heart (and liver) out.
So I canted the straight beams in between the sun n moon P-1, had left about a 7/8 inch lip to put threaded brass inserts P-2, and cut wedge shaped shims P-3,4 (using a complicated mathematical formulae) to support them on the moon crescent. The 3D effect is excellent! (O.K., I just scribed, cut, sanded to fit.)
The brass inserts make the straight beams removable for transport. It's a bit fragile assembled. Then it was just skip my meds and finish the pyrography...
Wait... forgot the four coats of exterior Helmsman Spar Polyurethane. Sealed. Dry. Safe to sit outdoors for at least three or four years before a recoat. And done.
Wait!The most important step! ...Installation! ..And done.
Wait!Thee most important step of all! ...reap the rewards.... ..never done..(sinister French guy laugh)
I don't recommend (or remember) following ALL steps if you make your own.. It's more what you'd call "guidelines"...
Disclaimer: don't skip your meds!
Step 8: a BONUS INSTRUCTABLE? NO WAY!
Last word.. Have not written anything for others to read in 24? years.. I sometimes write notes to myself and half the time cant understand them myself.. But I kind of enjoyed this, was thinking about writing more, but DAMN it took forever. So I'll include my next, and maybe last instructable here.
Sawdustbooger sculpting! (no P-) aren't you glad?
1. Make something out of wood
2.5 Don't use a dust mask
3. Pickem, stickem, sprayem w/clear lac.