more putty

i should call the mckenney dolphin ‘bondo.’  i’m sincerely tired of spending every day mixing epoxy and smoothing it on with a finger.  my fingers are bruised, abraded, raw.  oowie.

oh by the way.  i ran across an interesting problem the other day.  this dolphin is an employee.  he’s got a badge.  he actually worked on the aquarium project along with the other guys.  nobody noticed because he was dressed just like everyone else, with a hardhat and workboots and a badge.

trouble is, the badge.  my fiberglass dolphin has a badge.  a nice retractable badge that goes on his belt so he can swipe the front door at work.  but as yet it doesn’t have a name.  so i put it to my main crew at mckenney’s and they decided they’d have to come up with a name for me.  they’ve got maybe two weeks before i start getting close to painting that badge, which has a name and a picture.  i’ve got a good model for the picture.

i believe they’re going to run a contest.

so, let’s run one of our own.  what would you like to name the mckenney’s dolphin?  for that matter, what would you name the home depot dolphin, since his apron has to have a name on it, too?

mckenney’s              home depot
sapper dolphin          diy dolphin
scotty dolphin           painter dolphin
engineer dolphin       helper dolphin
dan dolphin               goto dolphin
dave dolphin              fixit dolphin

vote early and often.  add your own suggestions – please.  i’d hate to have to put my name on them.

this morning i went to see my friend nelson and buy some more two part apoxie sculpt from him; saw the wife, had a great talk.  then i spent 2.5 hours in home depot, going from shelf to shelf down every aisle until i couldn’t stand it any more (oh well interior design, lighting, and gardening).  you never know where you’re going to find stuff.  you never know what you’ll find.

i found the perfect nuts for the pressure flanges – tiny hex crown bolts.  i rolled out some putty using my brayer and some cornstarch to keep it from sticking (works great, but don’t forget to wet it off before trying to stick it to your model), and used a carving tool to cut long strips that i wrapped around the pipes that attach to wavelets.  there are 15 flanges, i just counted.  wait a minute.  okay, 14.  that’s better.

and a good thing i went and counted, too.  because i found a junction that i had failed to flange.  i had to stop, anyway, halfway around one of the 2″ pipes, because i ran out of crown bolts.  you can’t push crown bolts into cured putty.  i’ll need two packs now.  i forget if i cleaned the store out entirely or left them a pack of crown bolts, thinking i’d have enough and didn’t need to be greedy.

gee, a trip to home depot.  how unusual.  but not tomorrow, please god.  i went there today, as the ice was finally melting in earnest, and it was so crowded there weren’t any shopping carts.  no, wait, that was kroger a day earlier.  never mind.  it was crowded, tho, but i didn’t pay any attention because i had my sculpture head on.

i finished building the 1/4″ tubes.  the tube from the pump now runs to the upper body of the skimmer, and the tube from the top of the skimmer drains to a pressure junction with a wavelet.  yay.

so i did my best to use putty to tie them to something.  i repacked the skimmer top with putty and stuck it back on the screw i’d embedded in the green cap, and then attached a bunch of putty to the cap and the first inch and a half of pipe.  then i built up the areas between the his leg and the skimmer cap, and the pump line attachment and its elbow, and joined the two sets of pipes to each other at the hem of his pants.  i stuck the piping over his flipper down to both the pump and the flipper, building a long row with a bend.

and i can see in the picture where i missed covering the bottom end of the pipe nearest the pump.  hang on a minute.  nope; it’s too hard.  i’ll cover it with molding paste tomorrow.

i’m worried about the long upright tube coming from the skimmer.  it’s relatively unsupported.  if i’d noticed its vulnerability before putting the pipes on permanently, i would have used a few elbows to keep it close to something i could tie it into.  i may have to do that anyway.

i could use four elbows, cut the long pipe at the top, and build it back in a sideways u shape toward the skimmer bottle.  it’d be awkward but at this point the more rococo the better.  whee.  because it’s the last bit of stuff that’s going on the mckenney dolphin, so i’ll see what i can do tomorrow.

and then it’s going to be a run on the vinings store, because i’ve cleaned them out of elbows here in town.  and when i go to vinings, the biggest store on the east coast, the absolute flagship, then i also go to the super huge publix, where they actually stock hershey’s special dark cocoa, which is the best.

otoh, maybe i’ll encase the whole tube in putty.  it could work.  i’ll get the cocoa one way or other.

* * * * *

the moment i entered my local home depot store this morning, i went into my sculptor head.  like being stunned.  i headed for the first aisle that had massive amounts of small gadgets, and i looked at everything very carefully.  only the shapes, not the size, not the words, not the price. i wandered thru the aisles and found things i could make art with.  that’s about the best i can explain it.  i’m looking at things and seeing them not for themselves, but as parts of something else, something bigger and more complicated, that i can make out of something just like that.  and into the cart it goes, sometimes over my shoulder.

my mission was to get all the things diy dolphin would need to paint and decorate himself.  because he’s ready.  he’s watched me working on the aquarium dolphin – he’s helped me – and besides, he’s done something similar before.

going from the upper left and circling around that blue card with the white dimmer switch on it, there’s a home depot yardstick, cheap and strong.  and a pair of gloves.  an empty can (i don’t have to waste the paint or remove it to another container), a blue sanding block, blue tape, a disposable mat knife, plastic bags with assorted washers, then several boxes full of bolts and washers.  then an electrical cord.  underneath that is a mini roller and tray (cute), then there are lots of little clear boxes of screws and bolts, a package of liquid nails, picture bumpers in felt and nylon, a brush, some sample huge big nuts and washers, in case i decide to get wild, and an electrical outlet.  where’s that evil laugh?  shouldn’t i get a can of bondo and put it in there?  half of the dolphin’s going to be made with it.

my work’s cut out for me.

i should take off the baseball cap and put a beret on.  nah.  it’ll be obvious what he’s up to, especially with that blank place that he can’t reach on his back.  i wonder how much putty i’m going to use on this one…

well, it’s only 1:30 in the morning.  hey it’s early.  why don’t i just play with my materials for a few moments……

* * * * *

i spread out my shopping and played with everything

okay.  the outlet is at the bottom, in a hollow at the back.  that’s 25 feet of electric cord wrapped around the base, following the same runnels and crevices that i ran pipes along on the mckenney’s dolphin.  i know those creases very well by now.  and the funny thing is, straight out of the package, the cord still has its bends, and the bends naturally looped themselves on the dolphin, and i just followed the cord, taping it down as i went.  especially on the left side, those curls are natural.  so i was laughing while i taped it down so it wouldn’t get away – maybe the laughter was because it was 2 am…

after wrapping the electric cord, i plugged in the drill and stuck it down the way fixit dolphin would if he was just using it and put it down for a moment.  then i placed the can of paint, and the paint tray and roller.  on the right side, i put the roll of blue tape around a wavelet, put the knife, and the liquid nails, and the sanding pad in various hollows and flats, stuck the ruler under his arm and put his gloves, a brush and a carpenter’s pencil in his pocket, and ended the statement with a 3″ brush in his mouth.

i’m very pleased with the way this looks.  i think it’s funny, and tells a story, and shows off some skill and expertise, if i do say so myself.

the next step would be to emplace all the washers and screws in some sort of fanciful way that isn’t too cutesie.  i’m probably not putting studs on the seams of his pants, for instance.  but the sight of so many flat washers almost made me drool.  a mirrored surface….

however, i’m not quite done with the other dolphin yet.  i still have to flange and spot-putty, and finish covering the seams with molding paste.

i wonder if i documented the turtle project in 2005?  no.  i took pictures of the progress, but didn’t start this blog until ’08.  hmph.

he’s looking at fish to distract him

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