Introduction: Highland Cow From Scraps on a Woodlathe
In this instructable I show you how I used some wood from my scraps bin and an old cushion cover to create a cute Highland Cow - known in Scotland as a Heilan Coo!! Follow along and see how I made him, the full video of the creation is on YouTube and can be accessed from the link in this Instructable!
I used wood from my scrap bin. A section of Scottish Elm for his face - rather appropriate?!, and some Douglas fir for his body. I had the cushion cover from when I changed the colour scheme of my living room and couldn't part with it, I am happy that I didn't. I had a section of scrap leather that i used for his ears. The only thing that I didn't salvage were his two eyes - I did think about taking them from an old teddy but decided that was a step too far!!
Step 1: Getting the Wood to Round for the Body and Head
I started by making a tenon on the chunk of wood I would use for the body of the cow. The tenon is the section that allows you to hold the wood in a chuck on the wood lathe ready for you to form a shape.
once I had the wood to round, I could start to cut the shape that I needed for the cows body.
Step 2: Now That the Wood Is Round We Shape the Body and Head
Now I have shaped the chunk of square wood to round, I begin to form the shape of the body. I wanted the cow to have a nice wide shoulder, so worked at it until the shape I wanted emerged.
When I had sanded the shape of the body it was time to repeat the process with the head. The head section is marked with the cross and is significantly smaller than the body to give, what will be a cartoon look to the cow.
When I was happy with the shape of the head, I sanded it up through the grits to get it nicely smooth, that last step of this process is to use some Yorkshire Grit, a paste used by woodturners to get a smooth finish on the wood.
Step 3: Drilling Holes for Eyes, Ears, and Neck
Now that I have the body and head, its time to drill holes in them (sounds scary!) The holes are for the ears, the eyes and a larger hole at the back of the head in to which I glued a dowel when then glued in to a hole in the body section of the cow too, but for now, I just do a dry test fit.
Now on to making the ears.
Step 4: Making the Cute Leather Ears
With the scrap leather, I mark out the shape of a large ear with a sharpie and then cut it out.
I dab some CA - superglue on the end of each ear, curl the ends slightly and grip them in a clamp to dry. Here you see the ears starting to take shape.
Now it's time to attach the fur.
Step 5: Attaching the Fluffy Fur
In this step I cut out a section of fur from my old cushion cover, this couldn't be more Highland Cow like! When I had cut out a head and body section, I took them outside in to the fresh Highland air and sprayed the sections with spray contact adhesive. The budget range glue did just fine.
I then rolled the fur around the body and head - separately, and used my hands to carefully mould the edges down on to the wood until I was happy with the coverage.
He really started looking like a cow at this point. I was getting pretty excited by now!
Step 6: Making the Horns
I roughly sketched out the shape of the horns I wanted. I then stuck tape to a piece of scrap wood and then spray glued the paper template on top of the tape - this ensures that once the shape is cut, the template peels off with the tape easily.
TOP TIP!(Some people spray glue the template directly on to the wood but this makes for messy removal later)
Now I have my shape I take the wood over to the bandsaw and cut out the outline shape. You could do this with a hand coping saw easily enough.
I then peeled off the template and got to work forming the horn shapes by gently carving them with my Dremel rotary tool.
Step 7: Cutting the Fur Back for the Ears and Eyes
Now it's time to cut the fur back from around the holes I drilled earlier so that I can glue in the eyes and ears. I glued them all in with the CA glue.
Step 8: Attaching the Head to the Body
The final step was to use an awl to re discover the holes I had drilled, now under the fur, and then glue in the neck dowel and glue in the horns. Now he is fully assembled, it's time to meet him!
Step 9: Here He Is - Welcome 'Angus' to the World
So this is him, say a big hello to Angus the Highland Cow. This morning he was lumps of wood in the scrap bin and a fluffy old cushion cover - now, as a newbie woodturner and crafter, he's the cutest thing I have made so far!
I hope you love him as much as I do, he is going to need some brothers and sisters - I'd better get making!
First Prize in the
Scraps Speed Challenge