Blue Woman build 2

I’ve done a lot of engineering in my head since the last post. I had to understand how to assemble this, whether or not and how it would dis-assemble for transport, what sort of attachment hardware to use, and the devising of support-attachment brackets to hold the sections securely together. As usual, I depend on the advice of a few good friends. One idea offered was that the assembly method should be true to the nature of plywood construction generally, as in furniture for instance, and that the whole thing could be “flat-packed”, disassembled for transportation. Really, it could be no harder to do that than making permanent fixed connections, so I’ll try.

The two halves of the body bolt onto a supporting rail which is glued to one half.


This is the bolt pattern.






I’m using these “Tee nuts” everywhere for this project, which makes a clean installation I think. They get pounded into the wood. I used a ton of these when I built my climbing wall, and they work well. They’re strong and simple. I’m using all stainless steel hardware –live it up.


A brace to help out. It could be done a lot of ways. This is easy and it works.


The wedge shaped brackets which support the limbs to the body are designed to match the feeling of the whole sculpture, and are made from the same plywood material. This is an unglamorous part of sculpting, but this blog is meant for my own notes, and for the interest of other sculptors and makers.


Cutout 12” circles with the excellent Bosch saber saw.


Per design, mark for cutting the inner corner angle. The amount of angle has been measured from the model. There are 4 brackets for the limbs, one 90 degrees, two 65 degrees, and one 115 degrees. This is detailed work, but not too bad since the 90 is easy, there’s two 65’s and only one 115. This is the 90.


It’s hard to run a circular object through a table saw. If I was stupid, I’d run it through freehand and risk an accident. But also, the accuracy is not enough. Better to construct a jig to hold the piece in the right configuration to go through the saw straight and safe. Also, I have her watching and reminding me not to mess up.

best shop cat




Turn the piece over in the jig, and cut the second angle.



Cutting the angles for the 65s is a different orientation on the table saw because the angle of the blade won’t go over 45 degrees. Actually, this is easier than the last step.


A better way is to clamp it to a second piece. this keeps your fingers farther away from the blade, and it slides more smoothly through the saw.


I’m using the famous West System epoxy to glue these together. It will be super-strong, the joints don’t have to be perfect, and it is fast.


Also, cut out some semi circle wedges to give support to the brackets, per design.


Epoxy applied, clamping not necessary. Firm in 5 minutes and cured overnight.


There’s a fifth bracket for the attachment of the head at the angle where the two halves of the body meet. It also support the body parts. The small model doesn’t have this, so I don’t have a plan. Instead, I freehand with the saw from a cardboard template and measurements of the angles directly off the sculpture.




Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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 )

Connecting to %s