Olympic torch in wood..
The Olympic Torch section has all of the finished photos, take a look
This posting shows how it was made
Olympic Torch in wood
A few months ago, I was asked by the headmaster of Catshill Middle School, Paul Essenhigh, if I could make a wooden version of the Olympic torch for some sports events they will be having at the school in July, to celebrate the Olympics.
Of course, I said yes..
I had done some research into the torch and started marking out the template on the day that the flame was lit in Greece the other day. I already knew that the torch is 800mm long and weighs 800 grams, so this was a good starting point. After looking on the Internet for dimensions and being unsuccessful with finding any, I looked at the scale of the torch compared to the people holding it. The torch handle was around 40% of the overall length, and the top looked around 115 mm (4 1/2") from the middle of one corner to the other rounded corner of the triangular shape.
and here it is.
Click on the pictures to enlarge
The finished torch, in wood, with an Aluminium tube in the centre, with a shaped Aluminium piece on the top
Thursday 10 May 2012,
Olympic flame lit in Greece ahead of torch relay across Britain before the 2012 London Games
So today I started marking out the Olympic torch onto some waste fibre board. Using all of the pictures that we see on the Internet. On the day that the flame was lit in Greece, I started marking out the template, I had done some research into the torch and already knew that the torch is 800mm long and weighs 800 grams, so this was a good starting point. After looking on the Internet for dimensions and being unsuccessful with finding any, I looked at the scale of the torch compared to the people holding it. The torch handle was around 40% of the overall length, and the top looked around 115 mm (4 1/2") from the middle of one corner to the other rounded corner of the triangular shape.
So 60% is tapering to the top, there are more and more pictures in the media now. But when I did this I was really uncertain about the top width or diameter. I had a few attempts at the size and marked the options on the board. After checking one more time, that was it, I'm going for it.
The timber for this torch will be Medium density fibreboard and pine reinforcement in the corners, painted in gold, using an Aluminium tube down the centre with an Aluminium plate bonded onto the top.
Here is the master pattern for marking the height, width and shape.
I cut out the shape and planned it to a smooth finish
From a piece of 6mm MDF measuring 12220 x 600mm, I cut out seven rough oversize shaped pieces, I kept the off-cuts for trials on the painting later.
Here I am routing all seven from the master pattern. I always had at least two cramps on the timbers at any one time to ensure that their was no movement.
I also made a section of the top that I thought was about the right size..
Fortunately for me, one of the teachers at the school has handled one of the real torches. Brilliant, it's just a matter of getting on the phone to see if he can have a look on his way home after school.
Mr Hewitt, the games teacher came over to look at the template and the section of the top that I had put together to give an idea of what it will look like. He said it looked great, success, now I can really get stuck in.
Two hours worth of marking out the drill sizes and hole positions
So if you wondered why I had made seven sides, one was for marking out all of the holes.
The other six will make two torches, one for Catshill Middle School, the other will be given to Chloe after she plays her part in the opening ceremony.
Friday 25th May
Before I could drill any of the holes, all six of the MDF pieces had to be glued together with paper joints, this will keep them tightly packed together, and make the holes much tidier.
Today I took the Torch into school to get some assistance from some of the school pupils and teachers. Mr Essenhigh and I had discussed this at a previous meeting and decided to get some of the children involved and the best way to do that was to let them drill some of the holes. So I set the drill press up with the correct bit, set the torch in place and after the headmaster had explained to the students, a little about what was happening, the queue formed. Each child drilled at least one or two holes and some of the teachers and teaching assistants joined in. Together we drilled about 30 holes...over six rows, a good start.
Lots more to do though...
Lots more to do though...
I shaped the one corner of the top piece and marked out the holes around from one face to the other to see how the holes lined up... pretty good
Over the next couple of weeks I went and used my pillar drill to get some more holes done, two hours worth on a Sunday, while Lynn and the girls went walking with Clive and Sheila. Then I went to finish them of on a wet Monday, done.
The next thing to do was to fix the sides together using some off-cuts of Pine I had from the Garden room.
Here I have dry fitted the MDF together to see how it's all working out
If you read my Blog you'll know that I don't have a workshop yet, and try to get my work done while the sun is shining...I love this picture
This is the last dry fit, just checked that all was looking good
Planing down the corner joints to ensure flat across the two surfaces
After painting in two parts, ready to glue together
5th July 2012.
Today, the big day.
I attended the school assembly at Catshill Middle, for the handover of the Wooden Olympic Torch that I had made for the school to help celebrate the Olympics.
But it was so much more than that, Paul Essenhigh, the Headmaster had arranged for a local torch bearer Dawn Bayliss, who had carried the torch through Droitwich a few weeks ago, to be there as well.