Monday, December 12, 2011

Carving a hood form #2

A few weeks ago I started on my new hood form (or hood last) which I hope to use to make better-fitting hoods. This should help especially on hoods made of heavier leather, which can be stretched a bit over the form to take on the contour of the head.

Just like a shoemaker's last, the form will allow me to get shapes and contours out of the leather that would be impossible any other way. The bad news is, just like a shoemaker's last, I will need to have a range of sizes to fit the range of hoods I hope to make. This means I see a lot of woodchips in my future. I previously made one in a small size. This one will be made to fit my (extra large) head.
I start by tracing the pattern onto my block of glued-up planks. There are 8 layers measuring a total of 6 inches high.
Fortunately, the maximum depth of cut for my bandsaw is 6 inches.
Unfortunately, I discover that although my bandsaw has a capacity to the right of the blade of 6 inches, the blade guard to the left of the blade will only clear about 5.75 inches! So at some point I have to flip the workpiece over to complete the cut from the other side.

The hard part was aligning the outline of the shape I am trying to cut out on the other side of the wooden block. I was sweating bullets for a moment. Fortunately, it turned out OK, and the cuts aligned pretty well...

It's like the world's thickest jigsaw puzzle.
I was actually surprised at how well the saw went through such a thick piece. I definitely would be worried to try this with harder wood. The pine I am using is pretty soft.
This could make a nice bookend or something...
Next up: much planing and filing ensue.

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