Small Sculpture Ideas

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Small Sculpture Ideas

Postby John » Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:50 am

Hi All--

Conventional woodworking wisdom dictates that you don't need to work to tolerances closer than 1/64". Hogwash.

The smaller the project, the tighter the tolerances. This project was conceived first to appeal to my needs (it is a play on "thinking outside the box"), but also to push the boundaries of the tolerance stack. It required square stock of uniform size, accurate setups and careful assembly. No juice and no sanding--more important, I had fun.

There are a few things I will change when I do this again in another form, but otherwise it was very rewarding.


The setup to make the stock is pictured below. Plane was outfitted with skid plates and the stock was ripped oversize and planed to .187 square. Total deviation with this setup was .0015".

The JMP setup was nothing fancy.

The joints were light tight after setup completion.


This piece repeated three different lengths of stock for a total of 35 pieces and 70 joints. The maximum variation in length was never more than .002". As most of you now know, the endgrain was glassy smooth from the JMP crosscut blade. Not including design time, the piece took approximately 20 hours to complete--5-6 hours to cut the joints. My setups were meticulous--I did not want to deal with any downstream pollution during assembly.

Each of the six faces are unique and it is fascinating to play with--little discoveries occur that spawn further ideas...

Variations on a theme are dancing in my head and I will share subsequent efforts as they evolve--I can't wait!

Like all art, the objective is to evoke emotion. Once in hand it excels at putting smiles on faces--and one of them is mine.


PS: There is a detailed post on my blog if you desire more construction info.
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