Continuing the Rocket for the Orrery

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   Posted by: Joy Alyssa Day in art, astronomy, sculpture
Turned Rocket & Raw Stock

It's finally stopped storming, so I can continue to work on building my rocket ship today. Why does it matter if it's storming? Some of my equipment (lathe, drill press among other stuff) is out on a covered deck. The covers keep them protected when it rains, but I'm not too good with my hands when it's cold and wet. I have very low blood pressure, so if my hands get cold, they don't work very well, and that's not something you want happening when you're working with a high speed drill press, or have a large gouge aiming at a huge piece of rapidly spinning wood on a lathe.

So when my hands start giving me trouble, I choose warmer, indoor work, which I certainly have enough of.

But I WANT to get this rocket done! And today is warm(er) and dry, so I'm going to take advantage of it!

Turned Rocket & Raw Stock

Turned Rocket & Raw Stock

You can see in the picture the carved rocket body next to a spare turning block in case I screwed up the first one (and it still isn't too late to do just that....). These pieces are 20 inches long and 4 1/2 inches wide and weigh about 10 pounds each. Pretty massive, really. I drilled the holes for the arms and weights into the top pieces before I turned it (cause once I turn it, I don't have a flat surface to go perpendicular to anymore). I also routed out the channels for the fins before I turned it. You can see the channels at the base of the rocket. There will be 4 fins that I am going to start carving today. Oh, and I'll also sand the top of the rocket to a nice cone.

The rocket and the fins are carved from solid Cherry, a hard and beautiful wood. One of my favorites to work. Once I get the fins carved and fit and make sure that the rocket stands like it's supposed to, I'll start doing more tooling to the rocket body itself, but that's for another post. One thing at a time!


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