Monday, April 12, 2021

Slide of the Month Extra - Philmont Carson Meadows (Red Cross)

   April 2021

   Time to make: 1.5 hours

   Finishing: 1 hour

   Original design:  Philmont / Bill Macfarlane


So shortly after I did my concept slide for Carson Meadows, I found this version and it impressed me both in it's simplicity and elegance. 

Carved from maple, it is a simple raised cross but it feels like so much more on the grey background. Painted with hobby paints, lettering with waterslide paper, and finished off with a couple coats of poly.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Slide of the Month Extra-Philmont Baldy Mountain


April 2021

Time to make: 3 hours

Finishing: 1 hour

Original design:  Bill Macfarlane


What an amazing canoe program at Baldy Mountain! It reminds me of the story told to me by Clarke Green over at Two penguins are in a canoe in the desert (or mountain) and one penguin says to the other, "Where's your paddle". The other reply's, "Sure does"

OK, this all started with teaching wood carving merit badge virtually over Zoom. The project was carving a birch bark canoe and when I was done carving, I had a one ready for finishing. The canoe hung around my desk awhile then I came upon a thought for an April fools day slide.  I next I carved the penguins and finally the oar.  I painted the penguins and shellacked the canoe.  Next, I glued the penguins to the canoe and the oar to one of the flippers. The lettering is done with water slide paper and the whole slide is coated with a couple coats of poly.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Slide of the Month Extra-Philmont Carson Meadows


March 2021

Time to make: 3 hours

Finishing: 1 hour

Original design:  Bill Macfarlane


Carson Meadows is known for a few things. First it is know as one of the newer camps at Philmont built in 2004. Secondly, the meadow has one of the finest views of the Tooth of Time. Carson Meadow is also know for it's program of search and rescue. My concept slide for Carson Meadow is a rescue basket.

After cutting out the basic shape, I hollowed out the the the inside of the basket and sanded the shape smooth. Next I painted the basket with hobby paints and applied the water slide paper decal before  sealing the basket with a couple of coats of polly. The handrail is made from some stiff wire and the connector are stainless steel wire wound around the handrail and the ends placed into holes drilled into the basket. The wires are secured with super glue

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Slide of the Month Extra Tutorial -Everything else Loops


In the last of this tutorial series on loops comes everything else I've used to make a loop.  The reasons vary from it was part of the design to experimenting with something I had on hand.


Webbing is an interesting material to use because of it's flexibility and the weatherproof nature of the material.

Webbing attached with pop rivet


Lightweight and strong, bamboo can make some quick and easy loops for slides. (Besides, I had some leftover from making bamboo slides.)
Bamboo glued to Rocks and Mineral slide


While not my favorite, foam is an interesting material to work with. It's lightweight, easy to work with (think Cubs) and can be sewn or glued with contact cement. Maybe a possible alternative to leather but certainly doesn't have the same strength.
Foam loop glued


Pipe is another material I've experimented with and 3/4 inch clear or PVC pipe works well

Clear pipe epoxied to Circuit Board slide


Quite honestly, I don't do much with fabric when it comes to slide loops.  In the case of the slide below, it came with the mascot.
Fabric loop


Wow, I really liked doing this beaded slide which is basically a 360 design. It's a MacLaren Tartan I did for Woodbadge.

Rainbow loom loop

Something fun to try and after I saw one of my Scouts with one of these I had to try it

Rainbow loom loop

Cardboard loop

Not a material I use often because of the strength of it, but a versatile material to work. Considering all the online ordering going on right now, there is a lot of cardboard available. (Which give me another idea for a slide.) 
Cardboard Loop

Well, that's my primer on loops so far (thanks Walt Whitman for the suggestion) but I reserve the right to come up with some other far fetched ideas for loops...

Monday, March 15, 2021

Slide of the Month Extra Tutorial -Strings, cords, and shoelace Loops

 What strings, cords and shoelaces as loops? Sure why not! Using these can be simply functional or decorative depending on what suits you.

In the Bowie Knife slide, the cord loops I used are simply functional so I wasn't taking away from the knife and sheath. It was also simple to attach.

Cord loop

In the case of the Shovel and Pick side, I wanted a loop that would add something extra. In this case I used mason's line to fashion a Solomon's ladder woven loop.

String loop

When making the Fusion Knot slides I thought, why knot (sorry) use the excess cord to form loops

Paracord loops

Speaking of Paracord, in my updated survival kit slide, it would have been a crime not to incorporate a loop into the design.

...and let's not forget the age old tied and true (sorry again) the Turks head woggle. I've tied countless amounts of theses and every year a Webelo scout receives one of these during the cross over ceremony with their first troop neckerchief. So where does shoelaces come into this? Well, shoelaces (the round ones make for boots) have made for some of my most interesting designs.

Shoelace Turks Heads

Friday, March 12, 2021

Slide of the Month Extra- Philmont Dean Cow


March 2021

Time to make: 3 hours

Finishing: 1.5 hour

Original design:  Philmont / Bill Macfarlane


I'm told that Dean Cow was an amazing climbing and repelling camp at Philmont. Sadly, all the buildings at the camp were destroyed by the Ute fire in 2018. 

Admittedly, I was fascinated with the thoughts of trying to create this slide. I laid out my plans and redesigned the plans several times before I started. I started with southern (pallet) pine and decided the climber and emblem would be the top level. The background (sky) was carved first followed by the rock face so it would give me the room to work on the climber. My focus on the climber became my next priority because if I could not carve the climber, there was no sense continuing. As you can see, I was happy with the climber and went on to sand the slide. The only part un-sanded was the rockface  because I wanted to keep it rough. Thinking ahead, I drilled holes for the rope then painted the slide with hobby paints. Next came the emblem which was printed on waterslide paper and then I sealed the with a couple coats of polly. Lastly, I took some mason's twine  passed it through the holes, tied a figure 8 knot and ran the lead of the rope above the rock ledge. Both the knot and the top of the rope were secured with some crazy glue.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Slide of the Month Extra Tutorial -Thru Loops

I call "thru loops" any slide that either naturally has a hole in it or a slide that I have drilled or carved a hole through. There are quite a few Whittlin Jim and others who had designs in the round that encompassed a 180 to 360 degrees which required having a hole down the middle of the slide.

Natural hole loops 



Cow horn


Drilled holes

Drilled as part of the slide

Drilled as part of the slide 2

Drilled as part of the slide 3

Drilled but in the background

Holes carved 
 (Neckerchief goes through the mouth and out the gills)

Carved 2

Carved 3
(OK, carved and glued)

Natural and Carved


Monday, March 1, 2021

Slide of the Month - Bow Legged Cowboy

March 2021

Time to make: 3 hours

Finishing: 1 hour 

Boys life: May 1983 p. 67 

Original design:  Fritz Hines 

When thinking about what to write about cowboys, I came across a couple of interesting quotes. 

The first is from Gary Benton.

The second is from, "Cowboys were mostly young men who needed cash."

With the neckerchief passing through the arms of the cowboy and back threw the legs, I knew right away that the wood for this slide was going to need to be tough. I chose maple because it would take the outward force of the neckerchief without splitting.  Once the shape was roughed out, I used a drill and bit to start the holes for the arms and legs. Then it took a fair amount of whittling to get the holes looking somewhat normal for the character. After sanding, the slide was painted with hobby paints and given a couple coats of poly.

The one thing I didn't carve was the face. I have two reasons for this. First I didn't think I could capture the real identity and soul of a cowboy and secondly I don't like to carve faces. (My carved faces never look right to me!) 

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Slide of the Month Extra Tutorial -Metal Loops

 Metal loops take on so many different forms depending on your needs and imagination

Metal Strip

Metal strips can be made from just about anything from aluminum flashing to and old tin can. The tools I've used to make the cut range from tin snips to a sturdy scissors. 

Pop rivet attachment


Wire is great because it has so much flexibility (pun intended? you be the judge). No really, I can shape it any way I want and can attach various ways.

Copper wire soldered

Steel wire glued

Steel wire friction fit

Stainless steel wire wrapped around wood
(hidden by thread wrap)

 Steel wire - Free form 
(the wire holds it's form while floating in slide)

Copper electrical wire - In the body of the slide

As a part of the slide

The first of these have extra length "ears" that form the slide.

Aluminum metalworking

Iron - Blacksmith style

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Slide of the Month Extra - Philmont Amateur Radio Association

February 2021

Time to make: 2 hours

Finishing: 1 hour

Original design:  Philmont / Bill Macfarlane


Did you know Amateur Radio enthusiasts sometimes operate at Philmont?  There is even a station at the Tooth of Time Traders and the club's call is K5PSR. Hear is my concept slide for the Philmont Amateur Radio Association.

Carved from southern (pallet) pine, it is the the standard Philmont arrowhead shape and color. I designed the slide using some clip art and lettering printed to waterslide paper. I finished it off with a couple coats of polly.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Slide of the Month Extra Tutorial -Leather Loops

Leather loops are used in about 3% of my slides and the kind of leather I use varies based on what I have on hand. The other factor that plays into what I use is how it is going to be used. That being said on to how I use leather in slide loops...

A simple loop

 I cut a 3 to 3.5 inch long x 1 inch wide piece leather and then I stitch the ends together. If the leather is thin, like from a golf glove, leather sample. or from a old wallet/handbag, I can simple sew the ends together. If the leather is thicker, like from belt,  dog collar or other scrap, I'll punch holes into the leather before stitching it into a loop.   

Loop Attachments:

The first kind is as a part of a leather slide. In the example below, the leather slide had ears cut into the design to form the loop.

Glued loops to slide:

Physical connection to the slide (screw, pop rivet, ...etc):
 In this case, the slide is the compass slide and the connection is a friction fit through the leather loop to a piece of plastic.

Half leather loop

A half loop sewn into the slide is another method I use.

Leather Lacing

The last kind of leather I use (so far) is leather lacing. The lacing is not only the loop but a part of the slide. For example, the pine cone slide has leather lacing threaded through the pine cone forming the loop in the back and decorative pieces in the front. I can adjust the loop in the back by simply pulling the lacing in the front  which tightens the loop in the back.


Friday, February 12, 2021

Slide of the Month Extra - Philmont 2016

February 2021

Time to make: 3 hours

Finishing: 1 hour

Original design:  Philmont / Bill Macfarlane


I like the compass feeling of this slide and the fact it was probably the last time our council had a successful contingent go to Philmont. (2018 - Ute fire and 2020 Covid-19)

Carved from southern (pallet) pine, it was a challenge to whittle the levels of the compass while trying to keep the segments even. I painted it with hobby paints and used waterslide paper to create the scenes in each segment. A couple of coats of poly finish it off.  

Friday, February 5, 2021

Slide of the Month Extra Tutorial -Wire Coat Hanger Loops


Ode to the coat hanger. A staple in homes when I was growing up to hang clothes, to reach for that thing behind the couch, a toy fishing pole, large bubble wand and the ever popular "Oh crap, I locked my keys in the car. Now a days they are harder to find as the most folks have plastic coat hangers or really nice wooden ones. But all is not lost, look in the back of your closet for something you had dry cleaned or perhaps at your grandparents house. (Worst comes to worst, you can buy stiff wire from a home improvement store.)

When making Whittlin' Jim's slides, sometimes the slide called for a loop made from a coat hanger and I found these loops make a great alternative in places when the wooden loops just didn't work. Currently, wire loops make up about 10% of my slides but on with the tutorial...

 Using a pair of needle nose pliers I carefully unwind the coat hanger and cut a length for the loop. Then, using the pliers again, I can shape any style loop I want.

One thing to notice is how I finish the loops with a couple of ears at the end. These ears will fit into a couple of holes I drill into the slide I'm working on.

The nice part about the rings is even if the hole I drill don't exactly line up, the wires can be bent to fit the holes. To hole the loops in place I can use any kind of glue or epoxy that will stick to both the loop and the material I'm working with. Most often I use a super glue gel and an accelerant to harden the super glue. 

Bonus Tip: I've have a few kinds of accelerant from spray kinds to baking soda. The spray ones are great to flow into areas I cant reach. The down side is they can be pricey and the smell can be a bit offensive if you use a lot of it. Baking soda is cheap and gives the glue a bit more strength. It can sanded and it will even hole a screw. Best of all, no additional smell! Down side is if you put the baking soda in the area you want to fill first, the glue must fully penetrate it before hardens else you will have a cavity of dry material.