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  1. #31
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    sweetness thanks for the info, keep it coming just went out to get some more brass tubing; working on a couple custom tools now as well! thanks again!

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  3. #32
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    Wow... it made it sticky. I feel as if I've become somehow immortalized.

    Anyway, I stopped by the Dentist's office today to pickup whatever they had for me, and they gave me five tools, free of charge!!!

    Pretty good find. Check around your area too. I'm thinking I may call a few more and see what they got.

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    Last edited by molemansd7; July 19th, 2007 at 01:38 PM.
    "You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." ::c.s. lewis
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  4. #33
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    MoleyMan
    I'm jealous! I like that gold handled one! Is it flexible or rigid?

    Ray

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  6. #34
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    The smaller end (right side of the pic) is rigid, but the other, wider end is rather flexible.

    "You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." ::c.s. lewis
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  8. #35
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    I made a couple tools today.
    I do a lot of stuff on impulse so I just kind of decided I'd make em at 3 in the morning... I didnt have dowels or nice stuff like that lol
    so here's how I did it..
    economical.. effective. good enough for me =)

    Making Sculpture Tools

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  9. #36
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    I just got a brilliant Idea..

    I didnt wanna find my camera..
    so I scanned the tools themselves =)

    Making Sculpture Tools

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  10. #37
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    You can make reallly fine wire loops by buying a stiff wire brush (the kind with steel bristles). Take a pair of pliers and pull one of the bundles of bristles out of its socket. I then shape a loop with a single bristle and mount it in a brass tube usng a crimper as shown above.

    "Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it."
    -- Goethe

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  11. #38
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    Way to go Twitch and Dan!!!

    That's the kind of critical and resourceful thinking of a creative artistic mind that I like to see!

    Per Dan's website, I was eying some old toothbrushes I have here in the studio......................they could make great handle material.

    Ray

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  12. #39
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    Rschader
    I have a question!!!

    Making Sculpture Tools

    what is the use of the tool that's just a straight needle.. and the one shaped like a hook. they seem to me like they would be really harsh on your sculpture. especially the hook one.
    so yea =)
    answer my question?

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  13. #40
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    I know the needle one could be used to put details onto the model. Meaning, you can make a little piece of clay to be a tongue, and insert it in the tiny mouth of a character using the needle point. It lets you into the tiny places your fingers can't go. Or, you can poke tiny holes in things to give texture to them.

    The hook one I'm not positive about, but could be used for the same thing, just allowing you into areas a straight one can't. I'll wait to see what RS has to say about it.

    "You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." ::c.s. lewis
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  14. #41
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    Twitch

    Both the straight and curved needle tool have so many use’s that I could not possibly list them all. Fine detail work, texturing of all kinds, wrinkles.......etc,.

    Remember this.................your assuming that the needle point is the only working aspect of this tool and that it would be used straight on! You never have to employ any tool in a preconceived manner! Look at it and visualize it’s possibilities!

    When I made these tools I was searching for an easy way to create fur or hair texture. I paint as well as sculpt. When I paint fur, I use fine pointy brushes and apply each hair stroke one at a time. I needed a sculpting tool that would allow me to do this in clay.

    A 1 Here are the tools in question with a clump of SS Firm.

    Hair or fur if done properly, starts wide and tapers to a point!

    A 2 If you lay the straight needle tool perpendicular to the clay and drag it backwards and up, you get a nice tapered trough. Combine this with several more troughs of varying lengths and directions, and you get something resembling hair or fur. This process can go VERY fast!

    A 3 When the angle is not right for the straight needle tool, use the curved one! Again, dragging the tip backwards and up. I probably use the curved tool way more than the straight. It’s angle to the clay is much more anatomical for my hand position while sculpting. Once you have your fur texture the way you want it, drag out the turpenoid and clean it up!

    A 4 Here is an Owl face I was commissioned to do that was to be many resin cast and painted Owl broaches for some Owl activists. The feather texture was created using the needle tools.

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  16. #42
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    Okay, so I saw something in the sketchbook threads about attaching images to posts for archiving purposes. So, I went through and attached pics to my posts, but it makes it look really chaotic. Do you all have a preference on how they're displayed? What are the advantages to attaching vs. using img tags if you have your pics hosted on imageshack or something? Should I change it back?

    "You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." ::c.s. lewis
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  17. #43
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    Moleman

    I learned from experience on another forum. That's why I have been managing my attachments through this site from the beginning. It does look chaotic and unorganized. The reader has to to read instructional information from above the photos and by alphanumeric photo reference.

    Here's my explanation as to why it's safer to do it this way. By allowing this site to host the image it will never be lost. Not all, but most off site or online image hosting (especially free) has never been trustworthy. They are poorly managed and rarely backed up. They have a tendency to shut down altogether without transferring images to another site or suffer server failure resulting in lost imagery. This method is risky for valuable threads that rely heavily on images.

    Some forums offer two ways to post images. One is like the file manager we have here. The other is a forum based image uploader that gives you a URL that you can use to tag images to your post like you have been doing. The difference being that the forum acts as the image host and images are archived. I prefer this method but this is not an option here.

    Ray

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  18. #44
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    Thanks Ray,
    I'm going back and changing each step of the tutorial into seperate posts, so the images are with the text. Hopefully that'll be the safest and most appealing. So they may disappear for a while. Be patient, I'll have them back up shortly.

    Any advice yet on how to apply the polyurethane to cyclinders?

    Last edited by molemansd7; July 19th, 2007 at 01:45 PM.
    "You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." ::c.s. lewis
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  19. #45
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    Alright, so here's what I got so far for my tools. I'll explain the process a bit too as I go. To start, here are my supplies for getting to where I am now: pen, ruler, dowel rod (whatever width feels comfortable to hold. I used a 1/2" rod, 36" in length), Dremel tool with cutting blade and sanding bit, and 220 and 320 grit sand paper.

    It goes without saying, but do be careful when playing around with these things...I don't think a Dremel would make you lose a finger with just the cutting wheel, but it could rip off a nail or something.

    The first thing I did was mark out six inch increments onto the dowel rod. (A)

    Then I used the Dremel tool to cut them at the mark as best I could. The actual blade was too small to cut through cleanly, so I had to make several cuts. It was kind of ugly, but we'll be sanding down the ends inevitably, so it doesn't matter. This left me with six, 6" rods as the base for the tool. (B)

    *Edit...I found a better way to cut the dowels. If you roll the dowel rod while keeping the dremmel relatively stationary, you can make even, concentric cuts into the dowel. Eventually, you can just snap the remaining bit of wood and then sand off that middle bit. Makes for much cleaner ends if you need a flat end for something.

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    Last edited by molemansd7; July 24th, 2007 at 12:40 AM.
    "You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." ::c.s. lewis
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  20. #46
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    I then made two cuts on opposite sides of one end of the dowel rod, to bring it to an end, looking like an "A" frame from the side. (C)

    I then did the same on the remaining sides, to square off the end, bringing it to a point. (D) All the cuts were pretty rough, but like I said, its just a starting point from which we'll bevel it down more later. These cuts also begin to dictate the taper the tool will have. You're basically roughing in the tools shape.

    *Edit: You may even want to simply put the sanding drum on the Dremmel and start shaping it from the get-go. But its up to you.

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  21. #47
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    Here's a quick look at the Dremel tools I'm using: the cutting wheel, and Sanding Drum. (E)

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  22. #48
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    I then used the sanding drum to begin to smooth out the tip. I started sanding at the bridge, where the cylidrical rod begins to slant into the tip...the parts I cut off before. Once I established the width I wanted there, I backed down the rod from there, moving it along its length. I was just eye-balling the shape. This would be easier with a lathe, but I have yet to get one yet, so this will have to do. Once I finished that, I ended up with six tapered rods that were still pretty rough. (F) Don't worry, we'll smooth them out next.

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  23. #49
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    Then I took my 220 grit sand paper (G) (the rougher of the two) and sanded down all the ends so that I couldn't feel anything rough as I moved my fingers around it. After I gave all of the rods a once-over with that, I went back over with the 320 grit paper just to make sure they're all as smooth as possible. Finally, I was left with what you see in (H).

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  24. #50
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    I intentionally tried to vary the width and taper of some of the dowels, because I've never really used sculpting tools before, and I wanted to see what I'd like. Also, I figured they'd suit different uses better. Meaning, larger ones will be clay cutters vs. smaller ones as needle tools.

    Hope this helps get you started.

    "You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." ::c.s. lewis
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  25. #51
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    OK, so here's the second part of the tutorial: Making Loop Tools.

    Exciting stuff, eh? As I was working with this, I figured out a couple different methods for working, which I'll explain below. You can try both and see how they work out for you.

    For my first technique, you'll need some kind of pliers, wire cutters, screws of varying widths, a board of some kind, and a screw driver. (I) And, of course, wire, but I'll show you that once we get there.

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  26. #52
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    Now, for the board, I was actually picking a friend up and somebody was moving out of his sub-division and was throwing out some old shelving, so I picked it up. You really

    just need something to drive screws or nails or into. I took a screw and drove it partially into the board. (J)

    I didn't care what width it was, since I didn't know how it was going to affect it. BUT, if you want to know how big the loop at the end will be, look at the diameter of the screw, NOT counting the threads. If you make it as tight as you can, it'll be that width. If you don't make it circular, like my first piece, it'll be that wide at its widest point.

    I actually came to like working with the screws, because with the thinner wire I'm using, it fit nicely in between them and helped to keep the wire in place.

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  27. #53
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    Then, I took some K&S .025" music wire (K) and cut a 4" piece from the rod with the wire cutters. (L)

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  28. #54
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    This was one little trick I came to figure out while working with these. I was having trouble getting the wire to wrap around itself initially, so I bent the wire in half, and then each end outward a bit so that it would resemble an a-frame roof. Then I could just cross the two pieces, interlock them, and they would actually hold themselves together in place. (M) Then I could get a good grip on them to begin twisting.

    So, do that to start with, and then loop the end around the screw on the board and start twisting the other end with the pliers. You can see the process in (N). Part 3 is the wire after twisting with the pliers, but still loosely on the screw.

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  29. #55
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    I had a lot of trouble trying to twist though, because the screw was too far toward the center of the board. I should have put it nearer to the end so I could freely rotate my

    wrist. You may even put it near the end, and drive the screw all he way in, holding the end of the wire. I didn't try it, but it may work. When I was finished, I was left with an oval loop tool.

    It was oval, partly because I wanted one, but also because I couldn't get it wrapped much tighter using this technique. RShrader mentioned he used .015 guitar wire, which would be a little easier to twist I'd think.

    My other method that I found allowed me to wrap the wire tighter was to take the screw out of the board, put it in the loop, hold the opposite end with the pliers, and then simply twist the screw around, holding the plier end stationary. (O).

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  30. #56
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    As I continued twisting the wire, it would come to a point where I couldn't keep the end stationary. The whole thing was rotating as I was gripping it. So, I gripped the wire closer to the screw, where I was twisting it, and it allowed me to make the wrap tighter. Compare the two loops in (P). The one on the left was made using the first method, and the one on the right with the second method.

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  31. #57
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    Here's another loop I made with a really big screw using the second method, and a comparison of the three loops thus far. (Q)

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  32. #58
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    Finally, I wanted to try using an automatic screw driver to see how tight it could wrap it. The one I was using was nearly out of juice, so it wasn't turning as strongly as it could have, but it seemed to work. I made the top loop of (R) using the same technique as before to get it wrapped initially, but finished it with the drill once the wire was wrapped enough for the drill to hold it securely. I drilled a thin-diameter drill bit into the same board as before, and left it in there as the post to wrap the wire around, in lieu of the screw.

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    One thing I came across in doing this, was that the drill had a hard time holding onto the wire the whole time from afar. The wire would twist rather oddly at times, or 'click' as the drill tried to turn it but lost its grip. So, I cut the wire that had been wrapped down to be really close to the end loop (the current length it was in (R), so the drill could grab it and twist from up by the loop. You can see how far the wire was in the drill, in (S).


    Hopefully this gives you all some ideas and some more direction. Let me know if anything needs more clarification. Thanks!

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  34. #60
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    So, I was working on my handles and tried to stain them before sticking the wire ends in, and I was going to show how to do that...but there was a slight mishap, and I gotta go back and re-sand them again and start over. So, I'm going to attach the wire, then coat the handles in Polyurethane (PU). I'll post that as it comes.

    RS: any good techniques on setting the dowels to dry once you PU them? How can you get an even coat, without having one side resting on the ground?

    In the meantime, I made the wire end loops for some rake tools. These are similar to ones you can buy from Sculpture House for like $15 a piece.

    Tools: Pliers, .04" music wire, .025" music wire (See "I" and "K" below. I used a needle nose set on the left for the small detail-oriented stuff, and a wider ones with the blue handles to get a better grip while I twist the wire.)

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