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How I make my mini snowman

ripjack13

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ok, so I'm no expert at this, but this is my set up, and this is way I make them. I have only made about 50 of em, and this way seems to work the best for me. YMMV

These little guys are all scraps from acrylic pen blank cut offs. You can make em out wood too, but seeing as how I have so many little cut offs, I use them up making these guys. Being so small, They also stand out with the different colors they have to offer. The majority of the bodies are no taller than an inch and a quarter. Add in the hats and they can be about 3 inches tall. I try to make each one a little different. Some may have 2 segments some have 3, and some have bases, and some do not. I like the look of 2 different color combos on the hats, If I have a little bit of blank left over on the wood mandrel I use, I'll flatten it out and glue a block on it and use that as the brim of the hat.
Sanding them with sucsessive grit sandpaper is important, if you don't and miss a grit, when you shine them up the little scratches will stick out like a sore thumb. (DAMHIKT)
The starting grit is up to your turning skills, how smooth of a cut when you're done shaping is the determining factor, after that I just go up to 1500 and then use a product called "One Step Plastic Polish" that I get from PennState Turning. My sandpaper is actually sanding sponges, It gets in the crease of the body better than paper and does not leave any sanding lines on the work. These are 2 links from Amazon of the kind that I use if you want to check it out.
link one
link two
After it's polished, I use some wax to shine it up nice.

Roughing out the blank I use a rounded diamond shaped carbide, and then a pointed diamond carbide to get the body crease nice n sharp looking. Once in a while there may be some material build up from the blank getting too warm, so I just turn the lathe off, and spin the chuck slowly by hand with the carbide just touching it, to remove the build up.

Ok....with all that said, let's move onto the picture show....


This is my threaded wood plate mandrel and 60 degree live center

1230201122_HDR.jpg


Here's the blank glued up onto it.
1230201123_HDR.jpg



roughed out...
1230201125_HDR.jpg


Body of the snowman sectioned out with sharp point diamond carbide.

1230201127_HDR.jpg


shaping the body and head

1230201130_HDR.jpg


Starting to sand the crease of the body with the thick sponge.

1230201138_HDR.jpg




1230201138a_HDR.jpg


Then I move onto the next grit but use a soft sponge
1230201138b_HDR.jpg


Then when it's nice enough to finish, I use the polish and a rag.
1230201141_HDR.jpg


All polished up nice.

1230201143a_HDR.jpg
 
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ripjack13

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Here's after I remove the live center and turn the nub on the head off

1230201145_HDR.jpg
 
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ripjack13

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Here is where I go in at an angle to part it off

1230201146_HDR.jpg
 

ripjack13

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Make sure you hold onto it lightly, without getting caught in the lathe, when you part it off...


1230201147_HDR.jpg
 

ripjack13

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This is a rubber sanding wheel on my dremel I use to smooth out the parting tool nub off the base.
1230201148_HDR.jpg
 

ripjack13

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Then I twist sand it on the corner of the hard sponge to smooth it

1230201150_HDR.jpg

1230201150a_HDR.jpg
 

ripjack13

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Now that the body is done, let's move onto the hat....

1230201156a_HDR.jpg

(I had already made another hat so that's why this one is different.
 
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ripjack13

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Shaping the hat with the carbide.

1230201158_HDR.jpg
 

ripjack13

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I forgot to say sometimes I use a radius square carbide to get a smooth profile on the hat. It also works good to smooth out the brim of the hat as well....

1230201203_HDR.jpg
 

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Now lets get to sanding...

1230201205_HDR.jpg
 

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Wet sand with the 1500 micro mesh pad....

1230201209_HDR.jpg
 

ripjack13

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Here's where I am smoothing out the top of the hat, after I removed the live center....

1230201215_HDR.jpg
 
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