Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mr. D's Earl

Clinton Detweiler's sterling reputation in our vent community is well-known. So when he made a figure from one of my Kenny Croes Collection heads, I was naturally very pleased.  Clinton purchased the head from Braylu Creations and built the old feller pictured on the right. 

Along the way, Clinton passed along some great advice for me.  I planned to make some revisions on my jaw designs and Clinton's observations have been very helpful.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

On the move

Sometimes we must disrupt our own lives on purpose.  Such is the case now.  We're in the process of buying a new home in Bandon, Oregon.  Though it will be a smaller home (ah... a chance to downsize!), I will have a much larger workshop for my dummy making.  I can hardly wait!

Meanwhile, a question and answer...

Q: I bought a "Cheeky Boy" head from Braylu.  I can't for the life of me figure out where to drill in the jaw to set the thing so it will open and close correctly. I read your blog (OK... I skimmed through it quickly) and didn't see anything about my particular problem.  Can you give me a pointer or two?  Thanks.

A: I’ve posted a photo with an arrow pointing to where the hole should be drilled to insert and mount your axle tube. As you will see, the place to drill is the upper back corner. I use a 1/8” drill bit. I insert a length of 1/8” inch brass tube. I file the holes to make sure the axle tube is straight across. I use Magic-Sculpt to epoxy the tube in place.

Then... after the axle is solidly set…

• I insert a 3/32” brass rod (cut 3-1/2” long) through the tube for the axle. I put the jaw with the brass axle in the head and place the jaw in its closed position and well-placed as I can. If the brass axle is a little long, thus preventing the jaw to move far enough forward, I trim the axle length.

• Holding the jaw closed in place, I note and mark where the ends of brass axle touch the interior sides of the head. (I like to use a Sharpie to make the marks).

• I remove the jaw and make slots for the axle on each side of the head with Magic-Sculpt, placing it approximately where I marked.

• I put a little Vaseline on the ends of the axle ends and re-fit the jaw in the head so the axle ends sink into the Magic Sculpt to form slots. I try to “massage” it into the best position for the jaw to open and close. It may be a little tight or loose, but you can always file, sand or fill for the smooth movement and good fit later.

• Making sure the slots I’ve formed are open enough so the jaw and axle can slip out easily (thus the Vaseline), I leave them in place until the Magic-Sculpt firms up (about an hour). Then I remove the jaw and axle to continue the finish work on both the jaw and head. The Magic-Sculpt will harden completely overnight.  (See photos below)