Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Atlatls and Party Animals

Some of you will remember when I posted about making an Atlatl.

Like many of my "projects", I dove into it initially, then parked it. The delay was caused by a little inertia combined with lots of other things to do.
A really big part, way bigger than mere inertia, was the cluttered condition of my small barn shed that functions as USTORE-IT warehouse, garage, occasional chick nursery, and workshop.

For my birthday, Junior gave me a whole list worth of completed chores that had piled up and gotten the back burner treatment.

He repaired the canoe rack that a Tropical Storm flung branch had crushed.
He repaired the stand holding up a chicken pen that Bear had crushed.

He cleaned out and reorganized my barn and even added a new shop light. In doing so, the atlatl blank that had sat covered in debris came to the surface.

I had forgotten about it.

So, Sunday, I laid out my carving gear and picked up the neglected atlatl to be. Surprisingly, no little carving gnomes had worked on it during my absence and it appeared just as I had left it ... a slightly curved shaft with one large blocky end and one slightly flaired end.

It was the blocky end that I focused on. I took the shaft in my hand as if I were spear chunking. It felt pretty good, but needed to fit the hand better, so I grabbed a pencil and traced around my fingers.

I carved out my finger grooves, stopping to test the fit from time to time. When the grooves and my fingers agreed, I turned to the end of the shaft handle.

I wanted to carve some critter at the very end of the handle and a gator head seemed to be present in the rough block, so I started removing waste wood until I had it to the point you see in the picture above.

It's a long way from done, but now that I have light and some space to work, I think I will be returning to it more often.

When it is complete, I will share it with you.

(ABOVE: Bear and Jr... Jr is the one in shorts)

Since y'all left so many kind comments about our Bear's birthday, I thought it would be rude not to share some birthday party pictures from last night.

He was a wild and crazy guy.

Things calmed down a bit after the cat juggler left, but Bear was up late into the night munching on his rawhide birthday bone.


threecollie said...

That is one great kid and one great birthday present! In fact I can't think of a better one.....I always tell my kids, don't buy me anything, just do me up some chores.
And the atlatl is wonderful

Sharon said...

"Good Lord - I've heard about this - cat juggling! Stop! Stop! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Good. Father, how could there be a God that would let this happen?" ~ Navin R. Johnson

:) Glad the big guy had a happy birthday. And that's quite a good man you've raised. Wish there were more like him in this world!

Sayre said...

Wow - can I borrow your son? I have a lot of stuff to do around here that I just can't seem to get to... What a terrific present!

Good, Bear!!!

SophieMae said...

Here's my tardy slip... oops, the dog ate it. 8-} Anyhow, HAPPY MIRTHDAY, BEAR!

Funny, I was just a couple days ago thinking of you and your atlatl. Can't remember why... something I saw somewhere. It's looking GREAT!

Ya know, you could hire JR out and retire. ;}

Florida Beach Basics said...

what a handsome young man - must take after Mrs. FC :) gotta love a fellow with marketable skills that can repair things and loves dogs. he's a keeper, that's for sure.

enjoyed reading about atlatls - new learning for me - thank goodness for Wikipedia!

ChrisC and JonJ said...

Cats like to play football.That's what our youngest has taught his cat to do(He's a Gator-what else can you expect?).Glad Bear had a fun birthday.
And now I have to go look up "atlatls."

ImagineMel said...

YAY for Bear! That other kid just walked through my living room. Have you seen those geese looking creatures at the retention pond on the highway? I noticed them yesterday and did a double take. Then, this morning on the way to work, they were all walking in a little line around the edge of the pond. I kept thinking about the ducks in Aristocats for some reason. Not that you'd ever watch a movie about cats...

Anyhoo...they are so cute! Much better than the other email I forwarded you!

robin andrea said...

That was quite a nice birthday present from Jr, the very best kind too.

Anonymous said...

Great son, great dog. Great females in your life!!

Lucky man!


Cathy S. said...

Cat Juggler. Too funny.

Laura said...

That is one of the best birthday presents a parent could get! Priceless, indeed.
I forgot to wish Bear a happy birthday! What a beautiful looking lab he's grown into, and always fun to read about!

FC, we lost our beautiful Buddy last week. I just wanted you to know, as you've been a long time visitor to our family site. It's been a rough week for sure, but we'll be ok. So give your doggies a hug from me, just...for some reason. :)

edifice rex said...

Your boy looks just like you in that last photo. ;) quiet handsome.

Oh, Bear's a cutie too!

Nancy Ortiz said...

I wish I had known Bear was having a birthday party. Cat juggling is ok, but I know a company of singing and dancing bunnies and anacondas that work cheap. Let me know if you're interested. eom

Floridacracker said...

Thanks y'all!
Too funny.