Friday, October 3, 2014


Paddington Bear 

lives in our basement family room and has done so for years.  He arrived for a visit on Christmas when my Brother was small and stayed. Our Grandchildren currently use his chair but as they out grow it he will surely get it back.

  I have been working on a companion for Paddington as a surprise for the family room, now my brother's Man Cave, it has used up shop time but I couldn't share the progress at the risk of ruining the surprise.

  Yesterday I delivered the Bear.

  His job is going to be to hold a beverage glass while my Brother watches television in the evening.  Standing on his rock Bear is nearly three feet tall.

I began making Bear by cutting out the basic shape from a 2 x 9 inch poplar slab on my band saw

 The arms were cut out separately and attached with glue and long screws. That was a task requiring four hands, thanks Sweetie. You can see the right arm is just a bit lower than the left, if I do this again I will attach the arms before I do any shaping of the bear's body making the arms easier to align and clamp. I would also make the arms longer than needed and cut them down to be flush with the ears once they were attached. 

  With the tail there was no good way to lay the bear down to to extra shaping and sanding. I used files, rasps, and power tools to smooth the edges and give the bear a bit of shape. So, I would add the tail very last, even after the bear was glued to the rock.


I am pleased with the way the feet turned out, though I realize they probably don't look like real bear feet.  Cut me some slack, he isn't a real bear. To attached the bear to the rock base I used two part plumber's epoxy, I mixed up a pretty good sized lump, smeared in onto the stone, to try and create a flat surface and then clamped the bear's feet down for 24 hours.

  Ultimately the bear will be painted, have eyes either painted on or attached and I don't know if he will get clothes or not.  That part of the project is not my department.

  If you are thinking of this project here are three hints, from my experience.

 1.  Since it going to be painted away, use pine or spruce, they are softer and easier to shape than poplar.

2. Glue the arms onto the body before doing any shaping, it is easier to shape the shoulders than to fit arms to a shaped body.

3. Do all the body shaping before attaching the tail or the muzzle, it is easier to clamp flat stuff.

  If I could find a purpose I would make another bear quite happily.


*foot note:
  I stained the shoe shine box with the boiled down walnut stain.  It isn't any darker, the time spent boiling it down was time wasted.

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