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K-9’s Head Evolves

April 19, 2009

As you can see from the pictures, I’ve made good progress on the head.

head-closedhead-open

You may have noticed that, unlike the base, I didn’t model the head in order to determine exact dimensions. I didn’t have to. The Lespacelie plans include scale drawings for each component of the head (except the sides). I printed out the templates, laid them on the wood and cut away. For simplicity, I did straighten the curves on the sides of the top and bottom pieces. This minimized the amount of bending required to attach the sides of the head.

You can see I replaced the temporary supports in the last set of pictures with a full interior skeleton. I cannot stress how important this is. REINFORCE EVERYTHING. Between the curves of the top, back and sides there’s a lot of bent wood that wants to be straight. You can’t really tell from the pictures, but the side of the head curves in fairly significantly from the eye opening to the back. The rear of the head also angles in from the bottom to the top. So the side has to be really flexible. The first time I attached the side, I didn’t kerf it sufficiently. A few minutes later I noticed the eye opening was badly distorted. As the wood that made up the closed side of the head tried to straighten out, it pulled the open side apart where the eye met the top of the nose – neither the glue nor the nails held. It was ugly and I thought I was going to lose the whole head. I had to pop off the side, do some fairly extensive repair work, reinforce the eye opening (and several other areas) and then kerf the side again – more deeply and more widely. The second time, it held.

Next up…. the neck and attaching the head.

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From → K-9

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