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  1. #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.
    "You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." ::c.s. lewis


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  3. #47
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    Here's a quick look at the Dremel tools I'm using: the cutting wheel, and Sanding Drum. (E)
    "You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." ::c.s. lewis

  4. #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.
    "You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." ::c.s. lewis

  5. #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).
    "You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." ::c.s. lewis

  6. #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

  7. #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.
    "You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." ::c.s. lewis

  8. #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.
    "You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." ::c.s. lewis

  9. #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)
    "You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." ::c.s. lewis

  10. #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.
    "You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." ::c.s. lewis

  11. #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).
    "You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." ::c.s. lewis

  12. #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.
    "You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." ::c.s. lewis

  13. #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)
    "You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." ::c.s. lewis

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

  15. #59
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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!
    "You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." ::c.s. lewis

  16. #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.)
    "You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." ::c.s. lewis

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