Sunday, September 15, 2019

Slide of the Month extra - Philmont

September 2019

Time to make: 3 hours

Finishing: 1 hour

Original design:  Philmont / Bill Macfarlane

Yes, I'm headed to Philmont as a part of a Council Continent and I thought I would come up with a series of Philmont inspired neckerchief slides. Depending on how of these I decided to make, I may be posting more "extra" slides during the days leading up to leaving for Philmont.

So one of the most recognizable images of Philmont is the Philmont name itself and the special font used. What better place to start this series! While I'm not a fan of carving letters, this Philmont font just screamed out to use maple for this slide. Working slowly and carefully, I was able to come up with my best attempt of replicating the font. The slide is painted with hobby paints and finished with a couple of coats of poly.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Slide of the Month - Cartoon Fish

September 2019

Time to make: 2 hours

Boys Life "Slide of the Month"

Oct. 1994, page 65

Original design:  Jeff Springer

Of course, when I think of cartoon fish I can't help but think of the yellow submarine in the sea of green. 

An odd design for a slide I think but also an odd bit of satisfaction to carve. I really like how the tail and top fin came out. Made of maple, painted with hobby paints, and sealed with poly.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Slide of the Month Extra - Stormbreaker

August 2019

Time to forge 1 hour

Sanding and filing 1 hour

Time to carve: 1 hour

Finishing: .5 hour

Design: Brainfoo

Modified as a slide: Bill Macfarlane

Made from mystic Uru metal on the neutron star Nidavellir, homeworld of the Dwarves, the Strombreaker was wielded by Thor in the battle against Thanos. (At least that is my understanding of Infinity War in the Marvel universe as I'm more of a DC comics guy.)

I had a great time making the Bowie Knife slide and decided I try my hand at making another miniature sharp implement of destruction. Enter Brainfoo's YouTube video for making the Strombreaker and in short order, I was off to the hardware store to buy a large bolt.  I heated the bolt with a propane torch and began to shape it with a hammer on a small steel anvil. Once I a got the basic shape, it was off to the sander to finish roughing out the shape. Next, I used a file to make the edge of the ax, the back of the hammer, and round the edges. The line down the center was made using an abrasive disk on a rotary tool. Fine sanding with fine sandpaper and then I used polishing disks to give the ax head a great shine.

The Strombreaker's handle was next and I carved it from scrap maple. Once I got it to the shape I wanted with a slot for the ax head, I left it in rough unsanded shape for a realistic look.  I stained the ax handle with some wood stain and when it was dry, it was time to attach the ax head. Using some hemp twine, the ax head was lashed to the handle and hide the top neckerchief slide loop attachement. The lower loop attachment was also hidden by the middle knot of twine and the final knot at the bottom of the ax.

To finish off the slide, I used a couple of coats of CA glue (super glue) to seal the wood and secure the knots.

Saturday, August 3, 2019


Why Google why?

While I don't normally get involved in different movements, I find the recent censorship by Google and YouTube of historical channels repulsive. Please share by using the hashtag #HonorOurPast

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Slide of the Month - Puzzler's Cube

August 2019

Time to carve: 1 hour

Finishing: .5 hour

Boy's Life -October 1981, page 51

Design: Tell and Don Gubler

When I first became an Assistant Scoutmaster in Central Bridge NY, the Rubiks cube was all the rage.  I always marveled on how many Scouts could solve the puzzle in a couple of minutes when it took me hours to do. Fun fact, you can frustrate one of these whiz kids by exchanging a couple colors labels before handing them a mixed up cube to solve.

Made from a square piece of maple with a 3/4 in hole drilled through the middle. The lines are v-cuts which have been sanded smooth. The sides and lines are painted using paint pens.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Slide of the Month Extra - School Spirit

June/July 2019

Time to make: None (This is a no brainer)

Original Design: Bill Macfarlane(ish)

So a funny thing happened when I went to post this month's extra slide, I realized last month's never got published so this is a two for one month and it involves school spirit in the form of mascots.

My son recently graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology which is an excellent University; majors like Engineering, Computer Science, Digital Media and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf to name a few. (Hey who knew Packaging Science was a degree one could earn.) They also have a D1 hockey team with amazing fans (Yes, I'm looking at you Corner Crew). You see their mascot's image RITchie all over campus. But pay no mind to the "new" (smiling) mascot (whose unofficial's nickname is Tony duh tiger)  as no one likes him and we are convinced the stole the dots out of RIT.

My daughter goes to Champlain College which, while smaller, gives my daughter the chance to excel and follow her own path. Currently, a double major (and maybe a minor too?) with a specialization to boot. That's a lot of work but I'm so proud of her for making it her own. From International Business to Game Design there is a lot going on there. Also of note, the college's sports teams remain undefeated at home (inside joke).  The college's mascot is Chauncey T. Beaver. (Hey Woodbadge beavers, you can get him here.)

Ok, these slides couldn't have been easier to make. Both of these were key chains and I simply removed the key chain part. Each has a velcro sweater on that has some give to it so the neckerchief passes between the sweater and the mascot. Easy peasy

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Slide of the Month - Comic Neckerchief Slide

July 2019

Time to make: .5 hours

Finishing: at .25 hour

Boy's Life - May 1999

Design: Jeff Piasky

Need a slide in a hurry? Got some comics and glue? Well you can quickly make slide by taking a strip from the comic pages spreading some glue and rolling it into a tube.

 To make this slide I wanted to use some of the most iconic comics from my childhood - Bazooka bubble gum's Bazooka Joe. (Must resist breaking into camp song.) But as had as I tried to find some of that jaw busting little rectangles of hard bubble gum, I could not seem to find it anywhere around me. Enter a Google search only to find Bazooka discontinued the comics back in November of 2012. (Dumb marketing move in my opinion.) So another Google search let me find an Bazooka Joe strip from the past that I printed with a color printer. I cut a strip longer than the comic and used rubber cement to glue the tube together.

And just for giggles here is what the strip says...

  Bazooka Joe:   I ordered Apple waiter. This looks like Peach!
  Waiter:   What does it taste like?
  Bazooka Joe:  I'm not sure.
  Waiter:   Then what difference does it make?

Monday, June 3, 2019

Slide of the month - Prospectors Poke

June 2019

Time to make: 2 hours

Boys Life "Slide of the Month"

Mar. 1965, page 70

Original design: William Poese

I quite enjoyed making this slide because it brings together an old Scout skill (which I was never very good at as a Scout) and the pleasure of crafting a slide. Making a fire with flint and steel is a bit of a lost art but you can see a good video here or here.

So lets start with the steel striker. The striker here is made from an old file I had around which I but in a vice and broke if off into smaller pieces. Using a grinder, I rounded the corners and ground one of the side edges smooth.  The "flint" is a couple of different stones starting with a piece of agate and then a piece of flint from Florida. I have tried quartz and "Johnny stone", (not shown), but I can produce more sparks with flint or agate. Also shown is some char cloth I made and you can see some instruction on making it from old cotton scraps here and some better ones from cotton rounds here

The bag is made from some spare leather I had around and the cord/bead make up the drawstring. 

Monday, May 20, 2019

Slide of the Month Extra - New Shepard

 May 2019

Time to carve: 1 hour

Finishing: .5 hour

Thingiverse June 16, 2017

Design: chemteacher628

Try it yourself  (I only printed the capsule)

The New Shepard capsule is a 6 person craft being built by Blue Origin (owned by Amazon's Jeff Bezos and businessman Rob Meyerson). It is named for the first American in space Alan Shepard. If all goes well, the first manned mission of New Shepard will be in 2019.

Another easy print and the body was spray painted with white primer. The painted details were done with a paint pen and the lettering with water slide paint.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Slide of the month - Wood Canteen

April 2019

Time to carve: 2 hours

Finishing:  1.5 hour

Boy's Life - August 1975

Design: Wayne Mason

I do apologize that I don't have great pictures of this slide so here is one with and without a flash.

Coming off making the wooden bucket slide, I knew I wanted to use Oak so the grain would make the canteen look weathered. Lots of v-cuts in this slide! The spout is made from an un-crimped pop rivet and some UV glue (to keep the chain in place). The chain is from a cheep jewelry necklace and it is anchored on the other side with a wire loop. Two additional loops are in place for the leather strap.  The wire bands (not shown) are beading wire. The wood is stained with dark walnut and the metal pieces are painted with a black paint pen. The only metal not painted black was the chain since it was an antique brass already. U.S was also painted on the canteen with the black paint pen. Poly seals the canteen. The shoulder strap is made from a scrap golf glove of really thin leather.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Slide of the Month Extra - Circuit board slide

April 2019

Time to make: 1 hours

Original design: Bill Macfarlane

Something a little different. I was cleaning out some old electronics I came across a circuit board the was interesting so why not make it into a slide.  I carefully cut around the area I wanted to use, sanded the edges and then glued the board to a piece of 3/4 inch plastic pipe. Maybe next time I'll make a working circuit board with a crystal radio or randomly blinking light or something else. Where's my soldering iron....

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Slide of the month - Acorn

 April 2019

Time to carve: 2 hours

Finishing:  1.5 hour

Boy's Life - January 1987

Design: Bill Fleming

It's funny to me how many of these bloody things I rake up in the fall only to find more in the spring. Did the squirrels remember where they buried these things?

 I seem to remember eating a survival stew made of acorns and some meat in Wilderness Survival Merit Badge. I know the acorn were boiled several times to remove the tannins (which will make you sick). I've heard that once the tannins are remove, the acorns can also be roasted and eaten or ground into a flour to make a kind of bread but I have never tried that.

Carved from maple and painted with craft paints. Its finished off with a couple of coats of poly.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Slide of the Month - Dragon 2

 March 2019

Time to make: 4 hours

Finishing: 2 hours



Try it yourself

The Dragon 2 space capsule is designed and built by Space X (owned by Elon Musk). It carries a possible crew of seven and originally was planned for a vertical "propulsive landing". In July 2017, it was announced the "propulsive landing" project had been halted and the capsule would use traditional parachutes for the landings. If you follow the news, this week  (March  2nd - 8th, 2019)  mission SpX-DM1was a huge success for the Dragon 2 as it launched into space carrying "Ripley", docked with the international space station, and successfully splashed down.  If all goes as planned, the first manned mission will be in July 2019 marking the first time astronauts have gone into space in an American built spacecraft since the retirement of the Space Shuttle.

I really like the details of this model and it was a quick print on the Ultimaker 2. I used white spray primer on the slide and paint pens for the rest of the details. The lettering was done using water slide paper.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Slide of the Month - Checkerboard slide

 March 2018

Time to carve: 1 hour

Finishing: .5 hour

Boy's Life -November 1980, page 66

Design: Not named

Interesting fact there is a difference between a checkers or draughts around the world. In America we play checkers on a 8 x 8 square board with 12 pieces per side. The Canadian checkers are played on a 12x12 board with 30 pieces per side while the Thai and Slovak draughts are on a 8x8 board but only have 8 pieces per side.

An easy slide to make (in theory) as it is a checker board pattern glued to a piece of 1/8 in plywood board with checkers made from a small dowel. The checkers are painted with craft paints and glued onto the board with super glue. A wooden loop is glued to the back. The hard part of this slide is keeping the pieces stuck to the board because the checkers popped off very easily. (I should have used wood glue!) To finish off the slide I put a lot of heavy coats of Poly on the slide to help keep the checkers in place.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Slide of the Month - Rainbow Loom slide

February 2018

Time to make: 15 minutes

Original design: A. C.

This design was created by one of my Scouts (who's name I can't use because he is under 18). Back story, it was memorial day and we were gathering before the parade. A.C. came to the parade wearing a slide like this one. Being a slide guy, I was fascinated by the slide and had given him several compliments about it. He admitted to me he had built it about 10 minutes before having to leave for the parade. I asked how he made it and he told me about his sisters Rainbow Loom. A few years latter, after the fad had died down, I was able to find a few deals on a loom and supplies.

This literally took about 15 minutes to learn and I had a slide ready to go. Made from dark grey, dark green and white bands, I made the strip and then tied the ends together. Quick and easy! With so many colors out there, this could be a great Cub Scout project.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Slide of the Month - Mess Kit

February 2018

Time to carve: 1 hour

Finishing: .5 hour

Boy's Life -August 1989, page 79

Design: Bill Andrews

Oh boy, when I saw this slide in my notebook I was taken back to my days as a Scout trying to clean the remnant out of the fry pan after questionably cooked hamburger. From the Second Class requirement at that time;

" 10c  . . . . cook—without utensils—a
meal from raw meat (or fish or poultry)
and at least one raw vegetable. "

I don't remember how I ever got that black charred cement like substance out but I do remember it took a long time.  I carried the official aluminum mess kit all through my Scout time and still have it less the red cover.

Carved from a 1 and a half inch dowel it's an easy tapered cut on both sides with one being more tapered at the center line. This gives the slide the look of two different pans which made up the outside of the closed mess kit. The metal fry panhandle is a piece of cardboard cut and glued to the wood. The slide is painted with a silver handicraft paint and a coat wire loop finishes it off.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Slide of the Month - Orion Space Capsule

 January 2018

Time to print: 4 hours

Finishing: 2 hour

Thingiverse - NASA


Try it yourself

Having finished the current manned spacecraft, I go forward with some upcoming capsules starting with the Orion. The Orion is NASA's next generation spacecraft for deep space missions. It's first unmanned launch was on December 5th, 2014 splashing down in the Pacific Ocean after a successful mission. The first planned manned mission, if it survives budget cuts, will be in  2023 through the team working on it hopes for a launch in 2021.

Printed on the Ultimaker 2 (The Orion CRM was out of service) and touched up with some UV glue this was an easy model to print. Spray painted with white primer, the other painted details were done with paint pens and the lettering done with water slide paper.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Slide of the month - Canoe Paddle

January 2019

Time to carve: 1 hour

Finishing: .5 hour

Boy's Life - January 1991

Design: Terry Gilbert

I had some time to kill one night while waiting for a call so grabbed my knife and a scrap piece of maple. An hour later I had a canoe paddle slide. I coated the slide with polyurethane and attached a leather loop with some glue.