PLANS BY AL FORTE
WOODESIGNER ASSOCIATE EDITOR
Keep in mind that these cutouts are just examples of different animals that you can make when woodworking. Though reindeers are associated with the holidays, they are not here for that. These plans are to give you ideas of wooden animal construction.
I started out with plans from Ryobi. The plans were on the Ryobi website but I could not find them when I went back to link to them. You can email me at email@example.com if you want and I will send them to you.
AL FORTE: I started out by cutting out the plans and taping them together so I could trace them onto the 15/32” plywood. The original plans call for just gluing them down and using a jig saw to cut the deer out. I wanted 8 deer so I made wood templates out of thiner plywood that I used to cutout my final pieces. In the future I am going to try to use a router and a template bit, hopefully to speed things up. I might even use the existing reindeer that I have as templates.
The plans have makings on them so that you can just tape them together as I did. I really like blue painter’s masking tape. All I had to do is print out the plans at 100% and put all the papers together. It was lots of fun.
You can see from the picture on the right the outline I drew in pencil on the thin piece of plywood that I then cut to form one of the legs. Below are both the front and real templates for the legs.
Here is my helper
I actually started using the pieces I already had cut since they are thicker it worked out better than the original thinner plywood and I should have just cut these out directly and not even bothered with the thinner wood.
I tried using different types of pencils. The blue one is a cheap one that is actually throw away once you use the lead in it. It work ok but the regular wood and lead pencil worked the best although I had to stop and sharpen the tip from time to time.
Of course clamps really help but are not necessary to hold your template down.
The original plans call for using a jig saw to cut the pieces out. It sounds like a good idea. When it came down to it I just could not do it. There was too much detail that I really was not able to cut accurately. I just ended up cutting each piece out roughly so I could cut the details and various curves out on my band saw.
It really did work out well I was cutting the details on the reindeer pretty well. I do have to admit that for a band saw over 60 years old it was doing a good job. The blade was a little dull but none the less it got the job done, UNTIL the blade broke. It has a weird size that I have not been able to find locally. I did find one on the internet that a company would charge me about $30 dollars to make and ship to me.
I did not really want to wait. I had been over the past few weeks been looking at band saws. New ones, used ones in pawn shops. I found them priced anywhere from $60 to $100 pretty much what the 9” models were selling for in the local stores. If I was going to invest in a band saw I wanted it to serve me well as many years as my ole shop master did me (someone else and me).
So I broke down and got a 14’ Portal Cable band saw that was on sale at the local lumber and all other sorts of stuff place here in town. You probably have one in your town too. To top the deal off it was on sale, so I purchased it and took it home and assembled it. I also made a video showing how I assembled it. That though is a story for another day.
I made the rougher cuts on the band saw for all the pieces and tried to cut as much as I could get to with the blade I had at the time which was a ½ inch blade. Needless to say it was too wide to cut the small detail properly.
To the rescue the scroll saw. It allowed me to get the details cut out nicely. The original plans have one using an Oscillating tool, which I don’t have. I really enjoy the scroll saw. I will be doing some projects on it in the future.
So after cutting some bodies legs hips and antlers it was time to rough cut some more parts again. I was planning on cutting enough for 8 reindeer, unfortunately It was taking me longer than I planned (doesn’t it always)? So I settled on completing 4 deer. You can see the detailed parts in the background.
That Jig saw made quick rough work out of the rest of those tracings. Then, the band saw and scroll saw did “their thing” as you can see from these two photos.
Between the band saw and the scroll saw there were a lot of pieces getting cut and there was a lot of scrap waste too. Infact so much waste that I had to get a bigger garbage can and cleaning the shop is always fun with all the saw dust even though I have a vacuum cleaner hooked up to the band saw.
Remember always use a respirator and eye and hearing protection (you can never be to safe or careful) .
The hearing protection that I was using actually is also a wireless headset that I have connected to my laptop via bluetooth so I can listen to my favorite woodworking, computer and electronics podcasts. Gee I wonder who those might be? If you have some favorite podcasts that you listen to or watch feel free to turn me on to them. If you want to know which ones I listen to just email me at the email address above.
Here are all the pieces for 4 reindeer. Can you see the pencil marks on the top deer torso where I did not detail the piece? If you look at the final four deer after I paint them you can also see the anomaly. I will trim it out so they match and touch up the paint on them. The shot below show the 4 deer with and without paint. I will also put lights on them so they can been seen at night.
DO YOU HAVE a woodworking project or tip that you would like to submit to WooDesigner and get it added to our site? Then go to the contact tab below OR at the top of this page and let me know. Just make sure you are able to give us step by step instructions on it, as well as images as you see here, and we will put it on this site just like you have read on this page! As long as it is clear and concise like you just saw, it will go up. Your name will be credited to the project, as where you live. (Please include that.) Also include the type of lumber you use for the design. We look forward to hearing from you! (Take note that the tip and images and instructions have to become ours. I do hate that so much but in today’s society so many will sue, and yes, you can sue for a lot of money over images.) The tips will need to include YOUR IMAGES that you take. They can’t be images from somewhere online. Remember, we have to go through these images and if they aren’t your own, we will not be able to use them. This is illegal and it won’t be tolerated and you will be banned from this community by being blocked. We can get sued for this, and just one bad apple can ruin our community.
Ted Leger –
Comments or questions are welcome.