Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Atlast Alittle Atlatl Advance

Do you realize that it has been 2 years since I started this atlatl?
Two years!!!!

Where does the time go?
In those two years I have picked up the atlatl exactly 4 times.
Pretty sad. If you had asked me, I would have said I first got the itch to make an atlatl about a year ago.
I was shocked when I searched backwards through PF to find it was TWO years ago.
Do I sound shocked?
I'm telling ya, ... I was shocked.

Sunday was one of those days where I just stayed home and "piddled". Mostly, I worked in the shop on two outstanding projects ... the atlatl and Junior's John Longclaw Shield that he needs for his extremely cool persona at the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire this weekend.
He tried on his stuff last night and let me tell ya, he's going to top out at around 9.8 on the swoonometer ladies.


As for the atlatl, I started shaping the gator face from a blocky "It might sposed to be a gator" to "Oh, it's gonna be a gator."
No real detail yet, just getting the contours of his face and roughing out his eyes. The painstaking, drive you insane, stuff is coming up ... jaw line, teeth, nostrils, eyes.

This stick has some challenges though. There are spots here and there with weak, black, crumbly wood where small branches once connected with the Persimmon tree. They are small and mostly cosmetic, but one sits right between the eyes of the gator.
That's a bit of a bugaboo, but I have a plan. It will involve a bit of carveable, stainable wood epoxy tucked in the cavity.

Moving to the opposite end ...
I'm going to inset this raccoon tooth into the tail end of the atlatl. It will serve as the notch to hold the end of the dart ( a six foot fletched arrow really).


It was pretty groovy to be carving wood again. I fine-tuned my finger grip grooves some more so it feels right in your hand.


It fits!
Lots more to do of course, but I've got the bug again so that is good. God only knows if it will chunk a spear when it's done ... I may just wind up with a cool stick.
The Longclaw shield has to take priority this week though, since the fair is this weekend. It just needs a final coat of paint, something to accent the relief carving, and straps on the back so it can be used.
I'll try and get a picture up here when it's done.
Heck ... I'll get a picture of Junior all kitted out so you get the full effect.



15 comments:

Felicia said...

That already looks plenty cool to me--I love the smoothness and precision of those finger grips. Your post makes me want to take up woodworking, too!

Sandcastle Momma said...

That is really going to be cool when you finish! We went to a jousting tournament this past weekend and now my daughter has caught the medieval bug. There is a faire coming in March and she's already planning her costume. We're looking forward to seeing Jr's outfit.

Anonymous said...

Hi FC,

Can't wait to see the finished project. Way cool! I was going to say to leave the dark spot and say it's an Indian gator....but the spot would be above the eyes. Oh well.


There are a group of Medievalers (sp?!) who meet at the Veterans Park off of Tower Rd each Sunday. When I lived in Greenleaf I used to watch them.

I went to a seminar on fruit trees at our extension office last week, He touched on blueberries and I thought about you. I can not wait for blueberries!

Later Gator.....Patio

threecollie said...

Can't wait to see junior! I'll bet he's a 9.9

Nancy Ortiz said...

Good start on your piece. But, I warn you, do not put epoxy of any kind on or in a wooden object. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-d9btPTImIind in a wooden object! See link. Forget the brand of burn-in stick. Any one will do. This is how you do it. May not come out as a link, but the address will get you there. Very useful for a lot of your projects. Nancy Ortiz

Thunder Dave said...

"The years grow shorter not longer...."
I hear ya! Can you believe I've almost been back in the US a year and I've only brewed 2 batches of beer?

robin andrea said...

That's going to be a very fine gator when you're finished. It's got nice lines already. Time flies.

Corinne said...

atlatl- AKA spear thrower- a rigid device for increasing the speed and distance of a spear when thrown, usually a flat wooden stick with a handhold and a peg or socket to accommodate the butt end of the spear.

I learned something new today!

Floridacracker said...

Felicia,
Careful, it's addicting.

SandCMomma,
And so it begins! I thought at some point he and his buds would outgrow this, but it's too much fun.
He got chain mail for Christmas.

Patio,
Maybe they are creative anachronists! You should grow blueberries, they are easygoing and kind hearted plants.

3C,
I didn't want to give him a big head, hence the 9.8. :)



Nancy,
This epoxy is a product made for wood. I've used it for years and it not only acts as a filler, but it is strong and hard. It doesn't take stain as good as the wood even tho the package says it is stainable.

Dave,
Only brewed two? You are slipping!

Robin,
Tempis fugits faster all the time!
Thanks for seeing the gator!

Corriney,
It does my heart good to know I can still help ya learn stuff!

Caroline said...

My social sciences major for my BA was anthropology, atlatl was a favorite vocab word for one of my professors on every test...it and trepanning would guarantee extra credit if you knew it. You'd have gotten an A+ for this one. :o)

Floridacracker said...

Caroline,
Hey! I knew both of those! :)

lisa said...

that is beautiful, my son has gotten the carving bug (from grandpa). Can't wait for the finished product!

Robert V. Sobczak said...

A commendable project. I need more of those. These days I'm having trouble just keeping the garage clean!

Dani said...

2 years?! Lordy! This time flying thing is just not right.

amarkonmywall said...

When I read the first post about the atlatl, I sort of skimmed it and thought it was for chicken whacking (you know, cuz of the visuals). More recently, I went to the amazing South Florida Museum, compliments of our friend Cathy, and learned all about atlatls. So now, I would like to see you finish this and start spear chunking down by the pistol range. (You do go a long way to keep this blog happily pc, fc. I like that.)