01
Feb
15

Bust O’Mama

Block of wood, roughly drawn cut lines.

Block of wood, roughly drawn cut lines.

Since the passing of Mamacat back in Oct, my spare hours have been committed to making a cat shaped container to hold her ashes while travelling. It has to be light, durable, fit into a backpack and of course it has to be black.

Otherwise, I will be twiddling my thumbs here in Singapore, while waiting for my US residency application anyway…. who knows how long that is.

Looking more like it.

Looking more like it.

Starting with a block of wood, which I just happen to have laying around in the house… yeah right, that’s part of the laminated Jelutong wood that was going to be Calliste’s bowsprit, but we never used it because we got the perfect Sitka Spruce in 2008 while in Vermont. So the whole 10ft length was just sitting on the floor in the foyer.

Covered mold with resin, then vinyl over.

Covered mold with resin, then vinyl over.

1st saw off 16″ from the 10ft length, then angle sawing to roughly the right shape, then chiseling and sanding to get some of the details. This is just the mold for fiberglass work, so details are not that critical here.

Ready for laying on the fiberglass and resin.

Ready for laying on the fiberglass and resin.

Jelutong wood is soft, but I wanted to make the mold durable for making more fiberglass shells in future, so I coat it with 3 coats of resin 1st. I found that the mold release wax is too non-releasing, so this is my 2nd time using vinyl stickers as release agent and I know it works.

There we have it. Fresh off the mold.

There we have it. Fresh off the mold.

After 3 coats of fibreglass and resin, its time to peel it off while its still rather flexible. The ears make it hard to come off the mold, so I had to break it near the neck, knowing that its easy to repair. While pulling, some vinyl may come off the mold and stay on the shell. No problem, just remove it.

After many rounds of resin and sanding.

After many rounds of resin and sanding.

Once its off, time to repair the breaks and add 3 more coats of fiberglass and resin. Get it to a good sturdy hardness, to handle the stress of backpack travelling.

I found some areas that I was not happy with, so I went back to rework the mold… particularly trimming down the ears and adding more curvature to the back. So molding is easy, if there is anything you don’t like, quite easy to change and make another shell.

Adding base.

Adding base.

Pictured here is the 2nd shell, after many coats of resin and sanding. I am happy with the shape, now working on the face details.

And then adding the base, with the hole made with old Spam can. A container shaped just like the can of Spam, will hold the bag of ashes.

Alright, still ways to go before I can bring Mamacat with me.

 

 

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Sailing 2015: Port Townsend(WA, US) -> Costes Island (BC, Canada)

Sailing 2013: Singapore -> Okinawa -> Kobe

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