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!)