Thursday, February 09, 2017

Lions and Tigers and Bears.... Oh My!

I'm not a veterinarian, but I play one sometimes... not on TV, but in the woodshop. 

It seems like there are a lot of animals in need of help, and they've been making their way to my door, in need of repair. 

This poor giraffe needed tail surgery - someone in the TSA line at the airport broke the tail off, and the owners were heartsick. The giraffe had made the long trip to Las Vegas all the way from Africa, sent as a gift, and the tail was splintered and torn. 

A little bit of glue,

 some tricky clamping, 

and my customers were thrilled. 

Wood It is - 1
TSA - 0

Seriously, I made these two very happy;  which made me pretty happy, too.  

But when this next beast found its way into my shop, the task was a bit more complex. (Not sure why jobs like this come in pairs, but they do.)

This bison was in a world of hurt - 

a missing horn, 

a snout that was missing one whole side,

and a broken tail.


The tail was fairly easy - some epoxy, and some filler, and a few well placed 23 gauge pins, and well...

 the repair was complete, although the tail was a bit shorter than its original iteration.  

The horn was another story - this was a bit tricky, and the best way to attach it was using a small dowel. With the dowel in place, 

I shaped the horn, 

and then pulled out a small sander for some detail work. Since the sculpture was rather crude, the shaping was easy. 

 I roughed it out, and once I had the shape in place,

 a little spray paint made it match its mate.

 Drilling the hole  wasn't difficult, 

but it took a bit of blending to make the horns match. 

Finally, I pulled out some detail carving tools and cleaned up the snout a bit. I've never carved a bison nostril before, and frankly - I hope it's something I don't have to tackle again anytime soon.  

I also promptly sliced my thumb open, so a bit of first aid was necessary before staining the snout to match. 

And just like that - another animal healed! 

1 comment:

Julie @ followyourheartwoodworking said...

You fix giraffe tails and bison horns? LOL You really can do anything!