Saturday, December 10, 2016

Who doesn't want a gatling-gun inspired decanter set for Christmas!?!

When a local airman wandered in my shop and asked me to make a gatling-gun inspired liquor serving set, I thought... game on! 

He sent me this image for some inspiration, explaining that he wanted to use a large casing in the center, which would be chromed and hold liquor. 

The outer six holes would hold smaller chromed shell casings, as shot glasses. I'd seen something similar to this on Etsy a while back, and thought it was very interesting. And did I mention... I love a good challenge!?  

A phone call to my partner in crime (Denny) and in just a few hours, he came up with some sketches for his CNC. 

The goal was to lower the center area (so that the 30 mm cartridge would sit a little lower) and raise the outer six posts, so that the outer shells would be elevated. This way, all of the pieces would be closer to a similar height.

After a few test cuts, we were ready to clamp some 8/4 (that's roughly 2" thick lumber) walnut into the CNC table and let the router do its magic. Umm.. well, that was the plan, but the walnut wasn't cooperating. The first round of test cuts was horrible - with chipping and blowout. 

And splinters. 

But we managed to come up with two workable pieces. 

It would be just about impossible to cut these without the CNC, and Denny is getting better with it every day. 

Still, there was a great deal of sanding to be done after all the router work. 

And more sanding. 

And still more. Until it was time for oil.

As the bases dried, I turned my attention to the tips of the casings; he'd requested some wooden stoppers to mimic the appearance of a live shell. 

And while I don't consider myself as skilled a turner as most of my students, I can get by. 

So these tips were made in wood matching the bases. 

One down, one more to go. 

And just like that, this piece was coming together nicely. 

We added a lazy-susan at the bottom, allowing the base to spin freely, and just like that - another great commission was in the books. Pieces like this are extremely fun to build - they're challenging and push me to do things I wouldn't normally attempt. This was a terrific one!

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