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Thread: Project: Urn for Silas the Senegal Parrot (RIP)

  1. #1
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    Project: Urn for Silas the Senegal Parrot (RIP)

    When we lost our beloved Senegal Parrot Tosca (RIP) last year at only age 24, the administrators of the Senegal Facebook group we belong to gifted us a wonderful painting in remembrance of our bird. One of those folks is a good friend and she lost her Silas (RIP) a couple of months ago unexpectedly, too. So in a "pay it forward" effort, I've created and gifted her a cherry urn for Silas's remains. Naturally, my CNC did the work as it's pretty much become my "go to" for almost anything. You know...that "to a hammer, everything is a nail" kind of thing.

    This project is a two-sided cut with two components that are stacked. The material is 50mm (2") thick from material off-cuts from a cherry dining table I constructed last year. I'm a pack rat and keep stuff like that. The field at the top uses TR's linen effect...a very fine version of it with a .0625" tapered ball nose at 51% for both 35º and -35º. The edges of the lettering were cleaned up with a tiny 1mm cutter. The finish is just Tried and True polymerized linseed oil and is very silky to the touch. There was a bit of tear-out because I had to use a .25" shank relieved long cutter for the cut-outs as I had buggered my .375" long cutter on a previous project and the replacement wasn't yet ordered...chatter and the inability to do a full depth final pass made for a lot of sanding. But I love the end result and the young lady will undoubtedly love it, too.

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    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  2. #2
    Very nice project and another eye opener on the capabilities of CNC.

    Sorry for your family's loss and for your friend's too. You mentioned your parrot died at "only" age 24. What is the typical lifespan for that species?

    Edwin

  3. #3
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    Edwin, the larger the parrot, the longer the typical life span. Senegal Parrots and similar sized birds typically live well into their thirties and I know of sever in their forties and one in its low fifties. The really big birds can live 80-90 years. Bird are one of those pets that you need to commit to long lives and sometimes put provisions in place for their continued care in your, um...untimely absence. Thanks for your kind words about our Tosca (RIP) and our friend Jiulia's loss of Silas (RIP).

    For reference, this was Tosca...the same photo that is my wallpaper on my phone. Silas looked almost identically except he liked to do a peculiar squint. . Birds are like having a 3-4 year old human toddler...for many decades. Really. Trust me on that! Both in communication skills and social demands.



    What I really like about my CNC is that I can envision something and create it virtually first, including some pretty complex things that would most certainly be a challenge for me to do using other methods. This is similar to physical prototyping but I find it actually more advanced because one doesn't burn a lot of material creating test cases for unique things. That's not to say I don't sometimes cut something out of inexpensive material first to be sure everything is just so...I've been doing that with some of the guitar work, for example, to make sure certain metrics are not messed up by my "creativity".
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    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
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    Tosca was a beautiful bird Jim! And your urn is nicely done, thanks for sharing. Mark

  5. #5
    Since your piece of wood is fairly thick, why wouldn't you remove all but one 1/4" thick layer at theh bottom of your oval cuts as a last pass type of thing to make removal from the blank easier?
    Lee Schierer
    USNA- '71
    Captain USN(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Schierer View Post
    Since your piece of wood is fairly thick, why wouldn't you remove all but one 1/4" thick layer at theh bottom of your oval cuts as a last pass type of thing to make removal from the blank easier?
    The urn bottom needs to fit tightly so it has to be cut from a separate piece. That's why the "bottom" layer is completely hollowed. A ledge is cut for the added bottom to slip in. Two tabs were used to keep the pieces "in" the source material, but otherwise the cutout pass was full thickness of the material...you can see that in the first photo. The tabs are 15mm long and 3mm thick. The cutout was done with the "bottom" side up which is why that photo appears the way it does. I wanted to do the hollowing first to keep the chatter down, and the top was cut first.
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    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #7
    So how were the final cuts made to remove the pieces from the blank.
    Lee Schierer
    USNA- '71
    Captain USN(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  8. #8
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    A small hand-saw. It takes about 5 seconds or less to cut through a 15mm wide tab that's only 3mm thick in the middle. (3D tabs look like a double-sided ramp) For flat sheet goods, I cut tabs with a sharp chisel and mallet while the material is still on the machine.
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    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  9. #9
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    Nice job, Jim. I grew up always having birds in the house...mostly cockatiels and parakeets. They become a part of the family. Sorry for your losses. I watched a video recently of someone going through the steps to program his CNC. Made my head hurt. Had to stop watching half way through (Ha!). Congrats on the skills you’ve developed to make such nice pieces.

  10. #10
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    Phil, thanks for your kind words. Sammula the Cockatiel, who no longer plays second fiddle to Tosca (RIP) has taken over giving us orders...you don't own birds...they own you.

    I don't do any "programming" for CNC. I draw what I want to create, define the toolpaths with mouse clicks, test things (repeatedly) in the software virtually and the Vectric software creates the G-code to send to my machine when I am happy with the expected end result. No coding is required. Watch some of the Vectric training videos on YouTube for a clearer picture of what I just said. "Normal Humans" can do this!
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    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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