Roland Rolson

Saw-toothed skull

I had to download a template for this project and resize it to my needs. First I transferred the middle part to the board and only using a jigsaw I cut out the shape. Even the nose was entirely cut with a jigsaw. The only thing worth highlighting is that the selected blade had the teeth pointing down, so they cut on the downstroke producing a cleaner edge on the top.

Once the middle parts were cut I spaced them apart a little and transferred the right hand side part from the template to the board.

Flipped over and traced to make a left hand side one, then adjusted in one place as it wasn’t perfectly symmetrical.

All the cutting was done now. It looked a little funny, like a baby face. I changed the jaw position up and down but still wasn’t happy with the look. I decided to keep all 4 parts spaced, just like the template, and to do that I simply nailed them to a couple of mouldings. Some of those mouldings were exposed a little more than the others and those were … teeth. They played 2 roles – visual and structural.

But before that I gave them a decent sanding using my sanding drums and a drill press. A 3/4″ drum worked well for the most of the curves, it was also long enough to sand the entire surface. For all other tight corners I used a 1/2″ drum, which was also shorter and it was only able to go a half way through the piece. Nonetheless, I eventually managed to have it done. And of course the easy part was to sand the front and the back with an orbital sander, easy peasy.

I cut the mouldings with a handsaw and eased sharp edges with sandpaper. I used a lot of nails to make sure the connections were quite strong. To get an uniform spacing I used some scrap plastic strip as a spacer. I installed a picture hanging plate bracket and next I applied 5 or 6 coats of spray lacquer.

Once it dried I checked the wall with my wall detector, drilled a hole and installed a rawlplug and a screw. I did some experiments with placing rubber feet to the back in 4 spots, also some felt squares, but eventually I removed everything, cleaned the surface with white spirit to remove any glue residue and left the back as it was. That way it wasn’t too far from the wall but close enough to produce a nice shadow.

The skull is surrounded by the other projects I made in the past. A bedside table, my very first project, made with pallet wood using only a mitre saw, simply put together with screws, finished with wax but still serving well after all these years … Of course there’s also a lamp I made not so long time ago. I left some space on the wall for future projects. I’m very happy with this project, especially with a couple of details, like the visible zigzag joint on one of the teeth.

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