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Segmentation/Intarsia Challenge Oct2010 - Climbing Santa - cord climber toy

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  • Segmentation/Intarsia Challenge Oct2010 - Climbing Santa - cord climber toy

    Hi folks - Last Christmas I posted a 'Climbing Santa Toy' which was real fun to make and I'd like to resurrect it now as Challenge for anyone wishing to try it in either Segmentation or Intarsia scrolling styles. Whichever way is chosen you will end up with a cute functional toy which will definitely get attention at Christmas, especially from younger members of the family.

    For any newcomers to Segmentation or Intarsia reading this post
    - please don't be put off by thinking this Challenge may be too much for you. I can assure you that it won't be, neither will you need lots of fancy tools to make it although I strongly recommend you use a rotary tool such as Dremel to help you to shape the pieces. If you are completely new to these craft styles this Challenge will introduce you to the techniques, tips and tricks to help you break the ice plus you'll get lots of help in the thread from other more experienced scrollers. Most importantly you'll have fun!!!

    If you are unfamiliar to how Challenges work check out this thread You'll also find examples of previous Challenges in the sticky threads

    For those folks who haven't seen him before, my Climbing Santa will look something like the guy in this short video from last year. Climbing Santa Note that my new pattern is somewhat larger than the Santa in the video to make the cutting and shaping a little easier

    I've made two Santa's - shown below - to give an idea of what a finished Santa could look like. The first is a Segmentation project using acrylic paints on top of pine to give colour, the second an Intarsia one where I used a little alcohol based wood stains to enhance the colour of common woods such as mahogany, maple and pine. I've also produced a very extensive 34 page ebook showing all the stages in making the Segmentation project and various tips to assist in making the Intarsia one. I suggest that all newcomers and relative newcomers to this art form go through it as it should give a very good idea of how to progress.

    Remember, my Santa models are guides. Feel free to change the finished appearance, add adornments or even modify the original pattern if you wish. Almost anything goes but, in the interest of decency and in line with board policy, please keep Santa's pants on - although I guess we could allow Xmas themed designer underwear!

    Finally, this Challenge is not a competition. There are no winners and no losers. There is no strict deadline as to when to begin or when to finish although you ought to plan to have your Santa climbing sometime before Christmas - you can choose the year - LOL!

    Segmentation style Santa

    Intarsia style Santa

    Santa's vital statistics

    Height =9" /23 cm
    Width - mitten tip to mitten tip 10" /25.5 cm
    Waist - 2 belt notches more than me!

    Here's a small Flash slideshow showing close up shaping and finishing photos of the Intarsia Santa. If the show doesn't play when you click on the link, then right button click on it and download the file, then open the file in your internet browser from the main File menu

    Intarsia Santa shaping closeups

    Update at Nov7

    Around about post reply #200 you'll find a design for a decorative pivot bar to hang Santa from
    Last edited by jim_mex; 11-07-2010, 09:54 AM.
    Jim in Mexico

    Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
    - Albert Einstein

  • #2

    Below is a list of all the members who to date have signed on to the Challenge . All these members should have now received a private message which includes a link to download the pattern and the guidelines. Please leave a reply in this thread saying you have received the files or asking for help if you haven't. As I receive confirmation of receipt of files from members I'll edit this master list to change your name colour to blue text to show that you are ready to go and I'll delete your confirmation reply to tidy up the thread

    If your name is not in this list and you wish to join the challenge please make a request in this thread and give me a couple of days to reply to it.

    The comments after the name indicate the progress shown by the latest WIP posts on the Santas - not the optional decorative pivot bars

    50 Participants at 16, November, 2010

    Cutting Cathy
    - shaping
    Hobbyhorse - Finished
    Wood Dog - Finished incl. pivot bar
    medic_149 - Finished incl. picture stand
    Jan - Finished
    saw dust
    Fran1942 - Finished
    tony coleman
    Lou - finishing
    ufgator - Finished incl. pivot bar
    KtownScroller - Finished incl. pivot bar
    palladin - Finished incl. pivot bar
    Terry Jay
    KarenC - cutting
    scrolling_grandma - Finished
    mtnman - Finished
    rippersmom - Finished
    Daddy's scroller - cutting
    Ghornet54 - cutting
    journeyman - Finished
    markdavd - shaping
    Badger - finishing
    Last edited by jim_mex; 12-14-2010, 09:27 PM.
    Jim in Mexico

    Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
    - Albert Einstein


    • #3
      The flack has started! - In our chat session on Sunday evening a group of 'ladies' - and I use the word more out of courtesy than conviction - were making spurious remarks about the facial expression of my Intarsia Santa. The ringleader, a celebrated intarsia artist with a pechant for furry felines, suggested my Santa had been - well I won't use the word cos I'm not sure if its allowed but it loosely translates into being - 'poked from behind by an aquatic game bird! What's good for the gander I suppose......

      Anyways, I have to agree that he does look a bit startled - but he did grab the attention of this mischievous gaggle of females so all was not lost

      So the rub is this - actually there are two rubs:

      1) What do you think gave Santa his expression? - I'll include all decent answers in a master reply below just for fun. One answer per person so make it your best shot!

      and more seriously,

      2) What can you do to change Santa's expression? In other words lets be seeing some eye-dears in your Santas! How about eye lids, eye brows, spectacles, Ski goggles, an eye patch, two eye patches and a white cane ... ok you get the scene. Feel free to give your Santa his very own special look. Meanwhile, ol' blue eyes will be watching out for you

      ************************************************** ******
      What do you think gave Intarsia Santa his facial expression?

      Mick - journeyman
      Santa's delight, - "Wow Rudolph, I knew we could find a use for that stupid nose of yours."
      Geoff - Geoff3
      "Please use finer sand paper,, you left some splinters in my rear!".
      WD -Wood Dog
      "**** those cookies always give be diarrhea at the wrong time!"
      Jim - JimSawyer
      "The Elves are in the Bahama's........?!? ....We've got 2 weeks til CHRISTMAS..!!!!!!"
      Teddy - Medic_149
      Mrs Claus just handed him the credit card statement from last Christmas.
      "Oatmeal PRUNE Cookies!!????? You're on the NAUGHTY List now!!!!!!!!!"
      Jim - jim_mex
      For the last time! I need a chimney, not a stupid central heating duct. Will you get it through your thick heads that I suffer from Santa Claus-trophobia!!!!
      Nancy - rippersmom
      "Jalapenos in my cookies? You put jalapenos in my cookies??? Aaaaacccckkkkkk!"
      Don - jowshu98
      he saw the law coming after the reindeers ran over grandma!
      Last edited by jim_mex; 10-19-2010, 08:46 AM.
      Jim in Mexico

      Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
      - Albert Einstein


      • #4
        Wow, it looks like I'm first out of the gate! Now that's a first. Probably a last too.

        Since I have the woods available, I decided to go all natural with my Santa. I chose bloodwood for the suit, aspen for all the white parts, wenge for the boots, jarrah for the mouth and nose, maple for the face, yellowheart for the belt buckle and Douglas fir for the mittens.

        The first thing I did was resaw an almost-one-inch-wide piece of bloodwood. I don't need it a full one inch thick and it would be murder to cut. I can use the 1/3 inch remaining piece to cut bird ornaments. Virtually all the white pieces should be thicker than the suit and I won't need to use shims to thicken them since I thinned the red suit instead. I just saved myself a whole heap of sanding by resawing the bloodwood thinner. I'm also using thin stock for the mouth (jarrah) and belt buckle (yellowheart). It's what I have on hand, it will make cutting easier, and the shims won't show since they're all inside pieces.

        I used a #7 hook toothed blade for all the cutting so far. It handles the thick aspen easily, almost too easily, and cut the thinned bloodwood like butter. The moustache and face quite tough to cut. (Jim, you're a sadist!) I'll be very careful sanding them because those could easily break. Using thinner woods and shimming would have made cutting easier.

        I haven't cut the holes for the eyes because I haven't yet decided what I'm going to do there. I do know that I won't be making Santa look like he's just been slapped in the belly with a wet fish .... well, that's not my plan, at least! (apologies to JohnB, but it's such a great line)

        Well, that's it so far, and so far, so good.

        Attached Files


        • #5
          Great start Lou! - you really did want to get away from the birds for a while!

          Picking up on your comments I did say the moustache and face were going to be the tricky part!

          Newcomers to cutting fiddly pieces should first try cutting the moustache and face pieces a couple of times on scrap wood.
          If you really struggle to cut around the pieces with a flat blade you can always try using a spiral blade to literally rasp out the shapes- When sanding the moustache I sloped the tips back fairly strongly to make them less likely to be damaged
          Last edited by jim_mex; 10-23-2010, 04:17 PM.
          Jim in Mexico

          Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
          - Albert Einstein


          • #6
            Yes, Jim, I am indeed tired of birds and needed a change. Also, I knew perfectly well that if I didn't get right at it that I probably wouldn't at all, and that just wouldn't do!

            LOL! Nope, your red-lined pattern didn't get shredded, I just printed it with a black and white printer! I know lots of people like the red lines, but I've never had any problems with the black ones, so I've just never gone there. I use an old laser printer for most of my printing and it doesn't do colour.

            Well, I thought I was done for the day, but when you're on a roll, you better keep rolling. It's all cut but the nose. I had second thoughts about whether Santa's nose should really be jarrah red. Rudolph's, sure, but Santa? I'll decide tomorrow.

            I cut a shim and glued it to the mouth to raise it to beard level. I'll also need to cut a shim for the belt buckle. Obviously some pieces need quite a bit of sanding or resawing. The belt needed to be cut from thick wenge (the buckle and beard should be the thickest parts, I thought) but the boots, well, I could have resawn the stock thinner before cutting. Whatever. I'll probably just cut the white cuff areas thinner with the scrollsaw. I could also use the belt sander.

            I'm not sure whether time will allow me to start sanding tomorrow or not, but I sure hope so. That's the fun part!

            Attached Files


            • #7
              Wow Lou you certainly are on a "go", looking good so far, and I like that band saw set up you've got there with the feather board. Threads like these sure give all kinds of information. Thanks for the photos.

              @ Jim........nice slideshow, it helps for sure.
              Last edited by Wood Dog; 10-18-2010, 11:37 PM.
              Gloria ............... Two memorable things to say in life, "Hello" for the first time, and "Good-bye" for the last.


              • #8

                Below is a link to a small Flash slideshow showing close up shaping and finishing photos of the Intarsia Santa
                Intarsia Santa shaping closeups

                If the show doesn't play when you click on the link, then right button click on it and download the file, then open it in your internet browser from the main File menu
                Last edited by jim_mex; 10-19-2010, 09:06 PM.
                Jim in Mexico

                Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
                - Albert Einstein


                • #9
                  Wow Lou you got off to a flying start and it's looking great too. I haven't made a start yet but I have downloaded and printed the pattern, so I suppose that's a start. I don't have the choices of wood that you guys have so I'll be either using pine or English oak. I'm undecided on weather to use acrylics or spirit stains. That's part of the fun making the decisions.
                  I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught. Winston Churchill


                  • #10

                    If you can visualize the thickness your Santa components pieces are going to finish up at after shaping you can probably cut some of them from thinner stock

                    Stock thickness decisions for cutting and shaping pattern components

                    If you decide to make a Segmentation Santa all your pattern components will be cut from the same thickness of stock. If you go the Intarsia route then you have the option of cutting the components from different thicknesses of stock to save some time in shaping in the same way as Lou as described.

                    I don't normally go this route except that in the case of my Intarsia Santa I did cut the beard from slightly thicker stock and this decision came from having made the Segmentation one first where I realised that it would be beneficial to have a thicker beard part rather than to lift it up with a spacing shim.

                    Why don't I follow Lou's route. The truth is that I never really have a clear vision of what any of my new projects will end up looking like since they sort of evolve as I work on them. This makes it difficult for me to decide exactly what thickness a piece will end up at and I prefer to play safe and start thick and work down to the finished size, even if this does make for more shaping and sanding. In the case of the Intarsia Santa I could have used the experienced gained from the Segmentation one and deliberately used thinner stock for items like the boots and mittens but these pieces are fairly small and it was no big deal to cut from the same stock thickness as the other parts.

                    A second reason is that my shaping technique uses more of a sweeping approach when changing heights between different components rather than the more dramatic step down that Lou's project shows. If you look at my Santa slideshow you can see this in the way the jacket arm sweeps down from its maximum height to the lower shoulder point and also to a slightly lower point at the elbow and then sweeps back up to the cuff whereas in Lou's piece there is a fairly dramatic drop from the cuff and beard parts to the jacket. I admit to being a bit idle with the Intarsia piece as I was in a rush to get it finished and didn't shape it as much as I could have. The shots of the Segmentation jacket part in my guidelines show a more pronounced sweeping effect.

                    There is nothing wrong with either Lou's or my approach, they are just a little different and it will be interesting to compare Lou's finished shaping with my original. I suspect that Lou will produce a more rounded realistic looking Santa than my somewhat chunkier 'edges rounded over' version which was deliberately made this way to make it easier for participants who haven't tried excessive shaping before. Also, as this is meant to be a toy, I think that making it chunkier will help it last longer!

                    I'd also like to add that Lou is a real pro at Intarsia and has oodles of shaping experience and knows instinctively where she's going. I wouldn't expect newcomers in this challenge to be anything like as accomplished although it always amazes me how well many of you perform.

                    Once Lou has finished her shaping I'll suggest she throws in a similar slide show of 'all round views' of her piece to see how her Santa compares with mine and to give the rest of you folks further info on shaping approaches.

                    Go Lou, go!!!!
                    Last edited by jim_mex; 10-19-2010, 09:07 PM.
                    Jim in Mexico

                    Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
                    - Albert Einstein


                    • #11
                      can I get in on this challenge?

                      would a smaller version work?

                      I've been tring to figure out what to make for the girls at work, this would be cool hanging from the shelve next to their desks...

                      Last edited by Trout; 10-19-2010, 03:21 PM.
                      Hawk G-4 Jetcraft
                      Fish are food, not friends!


                      • #12
                        Hi Trout - good to have you on board! A pm is on its way

                        Ref the size - my original Santa was about 80% of the existing pattern size. I made this one bigger to make the cutting and shaping a little easier for less experienced scrollers. I'm sure you could go even smaller so long as you get around that moustache twirl - which shouldn't be any problem for you

                        If you need a vector based drawing to play with the size just let me know
                        Last edited by jim_mex; 10-19-2010, 03:56 PM.
                        Jim in Mexico

                        Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
                        - Albert Einstein


                        • #13
                          If we choose not to make him a climbing Santa is that allowed? I have the pattern printed and looking for wood.
                          "Still Montana Mike"

                          "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
                          Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC


                          • #14
                            If we choose not to make him a climbing Santa is that allowed?
                            No problem Mike - no strings attached to this Challenge pal - LOL!
                            Jim in Mexico

                            Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
                            - Albert Einstein


                            • #15
                              I'm currently unemployed and have been doing a lot of cutting, etc. in my free time.

                              I needed a 'different' project to get me out of a rut, and this fit the bill. It's my second intarsia piece.

                              For the woods, I chose Red Cedar, Walnut, Aspen and yellowheart for the buckle. The face is actually heartwood from the Cedar. I used a small piece of bloodwood for the lips (the piece I have is too small for the suit.)

                              Here is a series of pictures showing the progress. I used my camera phone and unfortunately they're not as clear as I'd like. I'll use my regular camera for any more pictures.

                              The picture shows the wood cleaned with mineral spirits to see what the colors will be. I'm planning on doing a little more shaping before I glue it together.

                              I haven't decided if I'll string it or not.
                              Attached Files
                              Last edited by markdavd; 10-19-2010, 07:17 PM.


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