Saturday, January 30, 2021

Slide of the month tutorial - wooden loops

 And now for something completely  different...

(que Monty Python theme)

A friend and fellow whittler asked me about doing a brief discussion on the loops I use for my slides if I wanted to take a break from making slides. Well, I'm always whittlin, painting, or thinking about my next slides. There are times I might have 4 or 5 in process at any given time. But "it's a fair cop" and it is long over due that I should talk about the loops. (My thanks to Walt Whitman for suggesting this series and you should check out his amazing neckerchief slides too!)

Nearly 85% (figures made up on the spot) of my slides have wooden loops I make up ahead of time and stored haphazardly in a zip lock bag.  I most often use 1/2 inch poplar board  I can get from the big orange home supply store. Until recently, the size of the board was 2 and 1/2 inches wide and 3 or 4 feet long finished on all four sides. 

The black section yet to be cut out

Now this morning when I went to look for a piece to make some for this tutorial, it seems it is no longer carried. No matter, I just use a larger or smaller piece of this same kind of board and use one of the layouts I have at the end of this. The basic size of the loop is 1.25 in wide by 1.75 inches long and .5 inches thick. The sides are 3/8 of an inch which leaves a 3/4 inch  by 1 inch opening for the neckerchief. I normally have a template (made from thin cardboard like a cereal box) to draw the cut lines out on the board. Next I cut the lines using a bandsaw or scroll saw. Once I'm done cutting out loops, depending on how pressed I am for time, I will sand or carve the edges of the loop. (Admittedly, it doesn't always happen.) Before you know it, I have a large amount of loops ready for slides. To attach the loops I normally use a good quality wood glue and let the loop and slide dry overnight. One thing of note, it is best to keep the slide level during the gluing process. I've been known to stabilize the slide I'm working on using pieces of cardboard, folded paper or even other spare loops to keep the slide as level as I can.

Here are some patterns I'm going to try depending on what piece of poplar I can find next.

  (Each square is 1/8 of an inch)

DISCLAIMER: This is the way I do loops. It is not the only way to do them but simply the way I currently make them. (Subject to change on a whim, fancy or when the dang thing wont fit!)

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