Monday, February 15, 2010


In one week I'll head to Fairbanks for the World Ice Art Championships. This year Lars and I have decided to carve a windmill as seen through the eyes of Don Quixote. There isn't much in the text that describes how he perceives them, so we have a lot of freedom. Don Quixote calls them "monstrous giants" and says that they have many arms, so we are carving our windmill in the form of an octopus-like monster.

Inspired by the bubble bits that Steve Brice has used to great effect in past events, I decided to try making a sucker bit. I used an off-the-shelf spade bit and modified it with a bench grinder and some hand filing. With bits in this shape, we should be able to quickly carve long tentacles with many suckers.

My first test went well! While I've been working on sucker bits, Lars has done ten times as much, making improvements on various machines including the lathe, the eight-legged slab-cutting bandsaw (now known as "Sleipnir"), and "Bob the Boiler," a heat cutting tool.

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