Tinkerin Day

Here on the South Shore, we had a snow day on Tuesday. I love snow days, though shoveling is getting old, especially now that I feel it more. Snow days are family days for us. Whenever I can, I like to get the kids exposed to woodworking. I was recently talking with a friend of mine saying that I am always looking for something quick to carve for the kids to play with. He asked if I had seen the gnomes. Nope, I haven’t.

We went outside and found a stick about 3/4″ diameter, it happened from an apple tree. “Much too big.” He said. Typically one would look for something about the size of your pinky finger. He brought it into his shop and cut a couple of 6″ to 8″ lengths (enough to hold on to while carving). And showed me how to do it.

Suniya and I went out the night before the storm to gather a few sticks. We found one from a maple, one from a mulberry bush and a pruning off our pear tree.

IMG_0842

Start out about 1/2″ down by cutting around the circumference at 90°. I do this by pinching the work between my thumb and knife and rotating the top away from me. Just go through the bark a bit.

IMG_0843

Then cut a notch out about an eighth to 7/64″ (please note the sarcasm implied). This will define the brim of the gnome’s hat.

Now shape the hat. It can be a straight up point or you can at a notch to make the hat have a bend. It’s up to you on the character of the gnome, be as crazy as you want it’s only a few minutes out of your day if it doesn’t work out. Besides it’s a tinkering day (rainy or snowy).

Cut in the gnome’s beard simply by making a swooping cut about half an inch down from the brim of the hat. Utmost control of the knife is required as a slip would take the brim of the hat clean off.

Lastly cut the gnome from the stick. Take care when doing this making sure you are cutting him square off. You don’t want a drunk gnome, they are a bit ornery.

The most fun part is allowing the kiddos to be creative in coloring these little things. They love it!

IMG_0856IMG_0857

The only problem is, they add up quick.

IMG_0863IMG_0864IMG_0865IMG_0868IMG_0869IMG_0870

We’ve used oil paint, sharpies, watercolors, colored pencils and crayons to color these things with.

Happy tinkering.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s