Hello, world. Speaking of it, the one-and-only Russ Morin departed from it on September 17, 2015. Cancer. Russ spent the last of his 52 years living the exact life that he wanted, creatively, and–in some very specific ways–inspiring others to equal courage and integrity. He will always be missed. It is a unique comfort to know that his instruments will remain long after even those of us who carry his memory are gone away, too. Love you always, Russ Morin!
I didn’t want to say much about this instrument until it was actually done. This is a soprano ukulele with a koa body, sycamore neck and dogwood fretboard.
This is one of my first efforts at clay sculpture (not counting Play-Doh).
He kinda looks like a Zombie Pilot but I think a little paint will help things.
I was going to use the whole body but I’m not sure he’s gonna fit. He’s just a torso for now – arms will come later but probably no legs.
I made some progress this morning.
I used an old sawsall blade and sharpened it like a parting tool. I added the handle and rough shaped it on the lathe. A necessity tool – not a beauty queen.
This is exactly what makes this hobby fun.
I’m not sure how many people know this, but I am a gun geek. I know, I know, it’s the wrong thing to say. I’ve killed plenty of conversations by dropping that bomb. But, dag-nabit, it’s true!
I adore old, mechanical things and old guns are splendidly old and mechanical. You can also shoot a projectile out of one and make a can at the end of the alley jump about. Unfortunately, I don’t live out in the country so I don’t often get a chance to shoot. Our good friend Mike McMillan treated me to an hour of range time just recently and we had a delightful time. Gun ranges can be really swank or horribly stank. Mike and I went to Sharpshooters on Rutherford Road and it was totally swank! Very classy operation. But I am wandering….
Since I much prefer to shoot outdoors, I have recently restored my interest in airguns. They are beautiful mechanical machines that can be safely and responsibly shot in the city. I’ve been having a some very satisfying and relaxing afternoons sitting in the back yard plinking at rocks and tin cans. Great fun but I want to build some interesting and challenging airgun targets. I made a few in the past and really enjoyed myself.
So let’s try to make a target box with swinging knives.
I saw this online and it looked solid, easy and cheap. Those are soup spoons with bent handles.
It is a homemade copy of this:
I went to the thrift store and all they had were knives and forks – no spoons. “Hmmm, seems to me that these knife handles would take a beating just fine. All I need to do is bend the blades.” This is what I came up with:
It actually works well! The knife handles are heavy enough that the knives don’t spin all the way around.
I was using this Tau-7 Standard .177 CO2 pistol.
Time to build an engine. Everybody ready?
I wish I had the ability to build a detailed model engine out of scratch like the one above. For my purposes, though, I only need to roughly simulate the look of a radial engine. I used this photo . . .
to make this drawing . . .
Looks pretty good, doesn’t it? I’m pretty pleased. Once it’s painted, it should resemble the real thing.
Please don’t look at this next photograph if you are squeamish.
I am turning my attention back to my Fokker D8 model. I am building two ukuleles and airgun targets right now but I need something that my chemo’ed brain can handle. So I started this wing.
Now that we are all safely in our cockpits it appears that we are missing a pilot. I happen to know where he is.
He looks a little drunk, doesn’t he. Well, he is and he’s our new pilot. He lacks hands and a head but he’s coming right along. He will become Leutnant Theo Osterkamp, a highly decorated WW1 Luftwaffe ace with 32 victories. He was quite the badass and went on later to destroy 6 enemy aircraft during WW2. Very few pilots could claim victories in both world wars.
I am building his mount as well: the Fokker DVIII (or D8). I made templates this time so it can be reproduced more easily in the future.