Saturday, August 21, 2021

Slide of the Month Extra-Philmont Gateway (Boots)


August 2021

Time to make: 3 hours

Finishing: 2 hour

Original design:  Bill Macfarlane


Well it's late in the season and probably the last treks of the summer season are on their way to this glorious monument of the Philmont experience. But why throw your hiking boots over the gateway? Some say it is because your hiking boots are worn out after 14 days on the trail in the rough terrain of Philmont. Other say it's an old military tradition of a "short timer" who retires or is leaving a post.  I've even heard some overseas Scouts bought there boots when arriving in the States and don't have the room in their bags for the return trip home.  It is my belief that after the Philmont experience, you want to say goodbye while still leaving a piece of yourself there.

I got an idea and it just took off...this is one of my larger slides. The base is carved from some reclaimed southern pine from a broken pallet. The poles are from dowel material and the sign is made from a popsicle stick. The bands are made from aluminum flashing distressed by soaking the pieces in white vinegar overnight to give them a weathered steel look. The boots...ah the boots, how I struggled with these. After trying different materials, I cut the boot pattern out of thin leather using an x-acto knife. To give you an idea of the boot pattern, imagine a lower case d and b with their backs together so when you folded them together along the spine it formed a boot.  I super glued the sides of the pattern together with a thread inside and on the other side of the thread another boot. Now with all the parts ready I first assembled the poles by gluing them together and, after they had dried overnight, glued the aluminum bands to them.  Next came the shellac to give the poles and sign (with bands attached) the finish I was looking for. I glued the poles to the base before attaching the sign to the poles so everything would line  up correctly. At this point I painted the base, using hobby paints, being careful to not get paint on the poles or the sign. I used waterslide decal paper for the lettering on the gateway and applied it before adding the boots. To hang the boots, I used a layer of thin super glue and had to work quickly as the thin super glue dries fast. A couple of coats of poly finish it off.

When I say this slide is big, it takes up two levels in my storage system (top and bottom) and when worn it certainly makes itself known. I don't if I'll throw my boots over the gateway when I go, but maybe just maybe there could be a couple of slides hanging there...

No comments:

Post a Comment