Logo 1 #topThe Poor Man's Fix-it shop.[not for the proficient craftsman] . . . .Logo 2


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    Have you ever wanted to do something just to see if you can? I'll bet you have, and that's why you're bothering to read this page.

    How do you whittle a chain? And more importantly, is there a quick and easy way to cheat and still have whittled a chain all by you're lonesome? For me, if there's a way to slip around the edges of doing it right, I'll find it. I found it, and I'm showing you where you can find it too.

    Take note of the chain I whittled. No, I didn't whittle each link, break it, and re-glue it  so it becomes a chain. I cheat, but I don't cheat that much. Almost, but not that much.

    What I wanted to find is a way to get the bulk of the carving out of the way the quickest and easiest way possible, something I suspect all whittlers would like to do if at all possible. Here's how to do it.




    If you've ever looked at a chain from the end, you've noticed that it's shaped like an "X" or an equidistant cross. This is important to keep in mind because what we're going to do is create the cross before we start whittling.

    Cut the wood you're going to use (preferably a straight grain wood that whittles well, sugar  pine is my favorite, but I can't find it anymore). Now, cut the wood so it's square, such as to become a 2x2 or whatever thickness you want it to be. On one side of the board mark the thickness you want your chain to be. You should have a board with two parallel lines drawn at the end. Mark this thickness on one end of your board. What your trying for is to draw on the end of your board what you see when looking at the end of a chain. Got that? Ok, now for the cutting of your chain, chopping away the waste parts that you don't want to bother with.

    Set your table saw so the  fence and the blade fit that waste section of your drawing. You're purpose is to cut away what you don't want to whittle away, yet leave the part that will be your chain. You may have to make a few stabs at this, so prepare several boards ahead of time. You'll want to have a few extra on hand anyway just in case you take to this kind of thing and you wished you had cut more. I only made one chain, but I have several pieces cut that I'll never use, one you're looking at here.

    I'm assuming you've made your cuts and you now have a workable piece of wood that can be made into a chain. Now you want to make the links in the chain. In the photo you'll see that I've marked off the individual chain links, making sure to alternate them, one side of the board representing links that will fit into the links on the other side of the board (I know this is confusing, but that's the reason for the photos).

    Using a saw of your choice cut through at the end of each link until you have what appears to be some similitude of a chain. Keep in mind that you're going to have to allow space where the links come together to get your knife or Dremmel tool or whatever between them in order to separate them. So don't cut away too much material between the links.

    If you don't understand what I'm saying here (and how could you it's so obscure and expressed so poorly), you will understand after your first few mistakes.

    More cheating: Where the links come together, in the space you just cut away, drill a hole about a quarter inch or whatever, depending on the size of chain you're making. This gives you the beginning of a completed chain. From this point on you're on your own. Expect to make mistakes, even to breaking some links. Glue is not cheating when something breaks by accident. Even china plates can be glued when broken legitimately.

    Finish your chain to whatever stage of completeness you desire. Once I accomplished the major part of my chain, I was satisfied. I wasn't competing with anyone, nor was I intending to show off my expertise as a whittler, so I left my chain semi-rugged, dipped it into some varnish that already has stain in it, and let it go at that. You might want a chain somewhat more polished. God to it, and good luck.



    I made this set of antlers turned gun rack out of something that had been given to me. Then I added the board that the skull mounts on, and painted the unit to resemble something out of the past. A gun rack without a gun seems rather ridiculous, so I set out to get myself a gun, in this case a an antique rifle.
    In my search for a rifle I ran into two particular problems. One I didn't want a gun for fear of shooting myself in the foot or some other part of my anatomy I wish to keep intact, and two I didn't have the funds to buy one even if I found one that doesn't shoot people in the foot. So I did this instead. I taped several pieces of paper together, entered the local gun store, and asked if I could see a gun for a moment. I then laid the rifle on the pieces of paper as they lay on the counter top, and traced the rifle. Now I had the beginning of what I needed to complete the gun rack I made.
    Next comes the gun stock. This was easy, I just used an old 2x6 and whittled away what wasn't gun, until I ended up with what I had seen in the gun shop. For the gold metal fittings I etched the outline of such things as the butt plate (and the compartment in the butt plate, as well as the compartment in the side of the rifle stock) and the side plates. These I painted gold. Wherever there was a screw, I used brass screws as if they were actually holding on the plates they're attached to.
    For a barrel and the ramrod I used wood dowels (in fact, if I recall correctly, I used a broom stick for the barrel, but this is only speculation, the result of a faulty memory). The rest, as they say, is history.
    The result of my effort is a cheap imitation of what I wanted to hang on this gun rack, yet something that people think is real until they hold it in their hands. An added blessing is that I not only lack the fear of shooting myself, but the gun is so light that if I drop it on my foot, I should be able to hobble away unscathed.  



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