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Totem Poles- Yeah, I Make Them Too

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Ulma Doctor

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Dicslaimer:
I am NOT of Inuit , Eskimo , or , American Indian decent , this totem is not meant to be disrespectful or appropriating of their cultures respectively.
Instead this totem is meant as a tribute to their cultures- past and future- (oh yeah and i'll be the first guy on my block with a totem pole in front of their house :grin:)



i saw a totem pole last week in a movie, so i decided to make my own from discount lumber.
my local home box store, has a bin that contains distressed lumber.
anything in the bin is 70% off, a substantial savings.

i found construction fir lumber- a 4x6x8 , and a 2x6x10 that were both badly checked at the ends
the 4x6x8 was checked almost 3 feet on one end, the 2x6x10 was checked about 4 ft

i stabilized the checks by using wood screws to draw the splits together in 4" intervals
i cut both pieces to 6'-0" and sent one face of both boards through the planer to make a mating surface on both hunks of lumber.

i laid out the basic design of the features and used a HF chainsaw blade attachment for my 4-1/2" angle grinder(see below)

1564275572896.png

i cut all the features in with the saw attachment.
it goes through construction fir like a hungry beaver !!! :grin:

after i got the cutting done on the 2x6x6 face piece, i screwed it to the 4x6x6 to create the pole
i cut the relief cuts on the sides shortly after

i took the remaining piece of the 2x6x10 which was 4' long and whacked a foot off, the 3 foot section will become the wings
i coped the wing form and attached it to the pole

I'm a horrible artist, so the painting looks like a child did it.
i can say that it was done 100% by my hands, for better or worse!

so without further delay, the totem!

IMG_3514.jpg

you can't tell by the picture, but the face piece is 3 dimensional, the reliefs were cut with the chainsaw attachment.
each color is on a different plane


i attached the totem to my fence for stability!



as always thanks for looking!!! :grin:
 
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C-Bag

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LOL, my reaction was more like how on the world did Doc find the time to do this? I think you are your worst critic (like I'm my worst critic). I don't know how many times I've seen stuff that is in museums and galleries that is called "primitive" with big price tags. Ain't no kids I know who could pull that off.
 

Ulma Doctor

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Looks like someone had too much time on his hands ----
unfortunately , just the opposite :(

i do this kinda crap to keep (what's left of) my sanity
i peck at it when i can't sleep or when it cools down after dinner.
this project has taken about 12 hours total (including getting lumber)
 

Ulma Doctor

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LOL, my reaction was more like how on the world did Doc find the time to do this? I think you are your worst critic (like I'm my worst critic). I don't know how many times I've seen stuff that is in museums and galleries that is called "primitive" with big price tags. Ain't no kids I know who could pull that off.
Thank you C-Bag,
primitive is definitely a word i'd use to describe the abomination ;)

you are giving me waaay too much credit, i made it much harder than it looked :congratulate:
 

mikey

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You have this creative streak in you, Mike. I think it came out cool! Using that buzz cutter attachment is not as easy as it looks, especially as an artist's tool. You done good!
 

MarkDavis

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Nice project!

As a former builder of log homes, I can attest to the wonderful ability of those saw chain wheels to cut.
They seem especially eager to auger into the hand that holds the tool. Glad there was no blood loss.
 

C-Bag

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unfortunately , just the opposite :(

i do this kinda crap to keep (what's left of) my sanity
i peck at it when i can't sleep or when it cools down after dinner.
this project has taken about 12 hours total (including getting lumber)
I know exactly what you are talking about Mike. There is the stuff you gotta do and then there's creative stuff that just bubbles up. I always have a couple of those on the side that my mind goes to to take me off of the "gotta do". For most of my life it was playing music, it was creative, it was my passion. That went away and machining projects now fills that void. It is not what my job is so its my happy place when slogging through doing the rote production work I do during the week.
 

Latinrascalrg1

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Is there any significance between you/your family and the different images like a true totem or are they just snippets from the imagination?
 

Ulma Doctor

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You have this creative streak in you, Mike. I think it came out cool! Using that buzz cutter attachment is not as easy as it looks, especially as an artist's tool. You done good!
Thank you very much mikey for your kind words! :grin:
it took a few minutes to get the feel of how the saw attachment worked in operation, but it works very well
 

Ulma Doctor

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507
Nice project!

As a former builder of log homes, I can attest to the wonderful ability of those saw chain wheels to cut.
They seem especially eager to auger into the hand that holds the tool. Glad there was no blood loss.
Thanks Mark,
i had an instance when i was aggressively cutting into the space between the bird's head and the shoulder,
the blade gave a hint of binding, and i had a minor kickback.
luckily i was wearing gloves, and even more luckily there were no injuries- just a oh-shinola moment
 

Ulma Doctor

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I know exactly what you are talking about Mike. There is the stuff you gotta do and then there's creative stuff that just bubbles up. I always have a couple of those on the side that my mind goes to to take me off of the "gotta do". For most of my life it was playing music, it was creative, it was my passion. That went away and machining projects now fills that void. It is not what my job is so its my happy place when slogging through doing the rote production work I do during the week.
i sure can't think of a better happy place than in the shop! :big grin:
 

Ulma Doctor

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Is there any significance between you/your family and the different images like a true totem or are they just snippets from the imagination?
no, there is absolutely no significance to the creatures of this totem
i'm not exactly sure what 2 of the animals were,
i (poorly) copied the idea from a highly pixelated picture
one appears to be a penguin- but penguins live in the south pole, the Inuit live in the North
one appears to be a seal or walrus- but it lacks definition in the present form to decide
the Eagle was the only intelligible animal

thanks for looking!!
 
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