Wood animals are shockingly easy to make! (with the right tools) - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-20-2006, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I just went to a Waldorf winter fair and they had these lovely Holztiger & Ostheimer wooden figures - animals & people - and they were soooo expensive. I came home, found some on ebay for $.99 - nobody knew what they were - and then missed bidding in time. (Somebody had a GREAT find out there!)

In frustration, I bugged the husband to show me how to use the scroll saw, and found some wood scraps. Do you know, it took me about 15 minutes apiece, once I had a pattern, to cut them out and sand them? The paint was just watered-down acrylic I had on hand - actually, I used floating medium rather than water, which seemed to keep it from absorbing too quickly. My sanding technique is a little odd, since I was using a really wide belt sander clamped to a table (that's all that's working at the moment). But a wide sander like that allows you to do things like sand the snouts narrower. And I totally cheated and copied from the Holztiger figures - I ought to be more creative. But anyway, it's SOOOO easy! Oak turns out nicer than the pine, at least the extra heft feels nicer.

Here are pictures:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/25995446@N00/?saved=1


Anybody have suggestions for a finish that won't take off the acrylic? People say beeswax, and I have pounds of that, but how would I convert it into a finish?
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Old 11-20-2006, 01:12 PM
 
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Very cool figures.
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Old 11-20-2006, 01:41 PM
 
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Those are just beautiful!
We are making wood animals for our kids for Christmas as well- but ours we are not adding detail to and just adding an oil finish.
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Old 11-20-2006, 01:46 PM
 
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I can't see the photos but they sound wonderful! Congrats!

For the beeswax you just rub it in, similar to oiling a cutting board and whatnot. Unless it's an unusual type of beeswax, you shouldn't have to adjust at all.
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Old 11-20-2006, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ours we are not adding detail to and just adding an oil finish.
What's an oil finish? Like tung oil? That's about all I've used before, that and shellac.

How can you keep them secret until then? I want so badly to show her every time I get one done. :-)
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Old 11-20-2006, 03:43 PM
 
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sorry, yes I think DH is thinking of using tung oil- but now I am thinking of using a beeswax polish called "beeeautiful" that I found in Nova Natural Toys.
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Old 11-20-2006, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For the beeswax you just rub it in, similar to oiling a cutting board and whatnot. .
Thanks for the info! I rubbed a piece of beeswax on one, and buffed it with a cloth - I didn't expect it to be so shiny! And I also learned - don't buff it with a dark green rag that sheds lint.

I've got a dremel I was using for sanding, and its little buffing wheel works well to bring out the shine. I wonder if a shoe buffer would work equally well?
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Old 11-20-2006, 04:21 PM
 
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I LOVE them! And I am so inspired. I have a scroll saw and nieces and nephew! You are multitalented. I have been to your pix befor from other threads.
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Old 11-20-2006, 07:23 PM
 
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those are beautiful!

i was just talking to my dp a few days ago about making wooden toys. he carves lots of thing ( bridges for instruments, instruments..furniture ect..) so im trying to convince him to make toys. im going to give him carving tools for xmas! ill show him these, i thinlk he will be inspired! i know i am.. if he doesnt, maybe ill take up carving

 

 

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Old 11-20-2006, 07:26 PM
 
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Wow, how cool! Where did you find the patterns for them?
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Old 11-20-2006, 07:53 PM
 
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those are awesome!!! can you tell us where you got the patterns... or maybe share them?
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Old 11-21-2006, 03:12 AM
 
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Those are awesome! Thanks so much for sharing!
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Old 11-21-2006, 08:32 AM
 
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Those are really cool. They turned out beautifully

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Old 11-21-2006, 10:03 AM
 
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Those are beautiful.

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Old 11-21-2006, 10:22 AM
 
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Amazing! My dh and I were talking about how we might do this. His Dad is a carpenter, and my Dad has a lot of tools, so I think I might be able to do something like this.
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Old 11-21-2006, 10:22 AM
 
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Old 11-21-2006, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For patterns, I cheated and copied from pictures of Holztiger figures from the web. I've got some books on heirloom wooden toys on order from the library; if I find any good books, I'll post them up.

I did a few more last night; these are really addictive! Especially when you have lots of things to do that are more important. :-)
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Old 11-21-2006, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Pam_and_Abigail View Post
Amazing! My dh and I were talking about how we might do this. His Dad is a carpenter, and my Dad has a lot of tools, so I think I might be able to do something like this.
You absolutely can! I'd done a bit of woodworking before, but I'd never touched a scroll saw before. We have a bandsaw too, which would work, but the blade's missing at the moment. If you have access to either one, you'll find that it's really easy - all you do is steer the wood into the blade. It's remarkably like using a sewing machine, really, only you push a little harder. And you just need something to sand with - a dremel works pretty well, and I really like the floor sander clamped to the table; it's nice to have a wide sanding surface. A sander is all you need for shaping; they aren't carved or anything.
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Old 11-21-2006, 06:04 PM
 
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wow! your animals are really beautiful!!! And so is everything else in your pictures. I love the fairy house too!
Wish I had a saw, I'd love to make some.

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Old 11-21-2006, 06:22 PM
 
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Wow!!! Amazing work... Now to get my husband to get going... He has at least an hour each morning where he needs to be making toys!

Warm wishes,
Tonya - Mom of 5 - Natural Fiber Crafter

Simple Living, Joyful Homemaking, Homeschooling Mom of 6
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Old 11-22-2006, 01:37 AM
 
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Those are beautiful. I want to try!
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Old 11-22-2006, 08:12 AM
 
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Those are really nice!

I peeked at some of your other photos and love the fairy house. I've bookmarked the site that sells the pattern, although I don't own a sewing machine so I might just have to wing it myself one day.

http://findinggaia.com - a novel about romance, shifting gender politics, and environmentalism

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Old 11-22-2006, 12:30 PM
 
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Wow or wow! You're very talented. I love your animals. Hmm... you can totally start a business selling those. I have no woodworking experience, but I know what I want for the holidays.
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Old 11-22-2006, 06:30 PM
 
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Very nicely done! Those are wonderful. Absolutley beautiful--cheers to you!!

BTW, in the past I made my own beeswax finish by grating pieces of beeswax and melting them in a hot water bath with mineral oil from the drugstore. When the mixture cools it becomes a solid again and you just wipe on, wipe off with a soft cloth. It's really cheap, totally nontoxic and leaves a nice finish.

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Old 11-22-2006, 09:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Rowdypea View Post

BTW, in the past I made my own beeswax finish by grating pieces of beeswax and melting them in a hot water bath with mineral oil from the drugstore. When the mixture cools it becomes a solid again and you just wipe on, wipe off with a soft cloth. It's really cheap, totally nontoxic and leaves a nice finish.
That sounds like precisely what I need! I'll go try it whenever I'm done trying to find a pan big enough for the turkey...
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Old 11-23-2006, 01:06 AM
 
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Old 11-23-2006, 02:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am sorry, but I don't believe mineral oil is non-toxic.
The bottle I have of mineral oil says "Adults and children over 12, 1-3 tablespoons at bedtime. Acts as a non-irritating intestinal lubricant for relief of occasional constipation."

Not that I'd use it - yech - but it sounds pretty non-toxic to me.
The amount you'd get from chewing on an animal wouldn't even work as a laxative. Heck, might make them more regular.
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Old 11-23-2006, 03:12 AM
 
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Old 11-23-2006, 02:36 PM
 
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You could probably use another oil, something a little more food-grade. At least it's not varathane (spelling?)!
What about linseed oil? I know it's made from flax, but I don't know if it's different than the food-type oil. I see it in the hardware store and wonder about
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Old 11-23-2006, 03:06 PM
 
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sunanthem, You don't need a power saw. I simple keyhole saw will work. Just clamp wood down first.
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