Friday, July 12, 2019

Constructing a Doctor's Buggy - Part 4 - The Box

Today I constructed the "Box" of the Piano Box Buggy.  While it might look simple there are a lot of angles to cut and sand to get the seat to look just right.  I mounted it to the chassis with some brass strips secured at the front and back spring assemblage.  So, it's actually suspended just like a full sized buggy.  Oh....I decided the back wheels were just too large so I made some new ones which look much better.  The only thing left now is the two shafts that support the horse and harness. 

Next up is the canopy and then the final painting then it's on to carving the horse and doctor.  Fun!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Constructing a Doctor's Buggy - Part 3 - The Undercarriage

We didn't do a video on the construction of the undercarriage.  Time constraints, ranch chores, and other projects limit what we can do.  I can attempt describe it though.

1.  For the basic frame, I used some 1/8" brass brazing rod, available at a welding supply store.  Working directly from the blueprints I obtained from, I cut the various pieces and silver-soldered them together.

2.  For the various wooden pieces, I used 1/4" basswood, carving them to shape. I grooved the two axle supports and epoxied them to the metal rods.

3.  For the springs, I used 2 thin strips of basswood for both the upper spring and the lower spring, glued together and then bent around a 1 gallon paint can, held in place till dry with a couple of large rubber bands.  Once dry they created the perfect bends when cut to the proper length and epoxied together.  I then use short pieces of 3/16" wooden dowel for the small end pieces.   Hope that's clear.

4.  A trip to Hobby Lobby gave me a very thin sheet of brass which I cut in strips to wrap around the metal and the wooden pieces which once soldered hold everything together.  A little epoxy here and there made the entire unit a secure structure.

If your a little more of a perfectionist than I am you will probably note that I deviated quite a bit from the actual wagon parts.  Well, I am not out to build a scale model.  I'll leave others do do that.  My wagon, once complete, will be enough to carry my Doctor and complete the scene I'm attempting to create.

Now that the undercarriage is complete it's on the building the wooden upper part of the buggy.  That will be Part 4 of the series.

Friday, July 05, 2019

Constructing a Doctor's Buggy - Making the Wheels - Part 2

Constructing a Doctor's Buggy - Making the Wheels - Part 1

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Bulding a Piano Box Wagon

As it's been a while since I've built a Doctor's Buggy, I thought I'd do a few posts on the various stages of construction.  Hopefully, I can remember how I made the last one.  

Here's a couple of photos of one I did quite a few years ago.  Fortunately, I had kept the plans I drew up at the time.  To begin we'll start on the wheels.  We'll do that in the next post. 

Saturday, June 15, 2019


My relationship with the VIMEO video host will end this October.  It is my understanding that all of my videos on carving will no longer be hosted at that location.  I have transferred a number of them over to and, if I can find the time will continue to do so.  As they can be downloaded from VIMEO those of you who wish to do so should capture those that interest you before October.

All Caught Up!

And now.....I'm officially caught up with what I've been doing since back in March.  Hopefully, in the future I'll be able to keep a little more current about what's been going on Out West!

I had Judy take my photo with all the carvings we plan on taking along with us to the Cody Old West show in Santa Fe.  I seriously doubt I'll ever have this many of my pieces in one place again.  It's really been a pleasure to go into the shop each morning and see these characters setting around the shop waiting to get boxed up and loaded for the trip out west.  People ask me if I'm sad to see my pieces go when someone else takes them home.  Well...Will Rogers asked the artist Charles Russell that same question and he had the best answer:  "I raise my children to leave home!"   I will always have the memory of creating them and their absence will leave a vacant spot that I always look forward to filling.  

Buckskin Bill

This old Scout has probably seen some pretty interesting things over the years out on the plains.  I wish I knew a few of his stories as after posting all these "catch up" posts I've completely run out of thing to say.  I'll bet he's looking forward to a cold one back at the Post canteen.  I know I would after a day out on the dusty Llano!

Hope you like him. 

Red Dirt Wrangler

If you've ever driven across Oklahoma you note that while going west and approaching the middle of the state the earth turns quite red.  Maybe that's why they send all the Indians here?  Anyway, I thought I'd combine the two into a character and created this Cowboy with braids.  No doubt there were quite a few of them out there pushing cattle and probably still are. 

Hope you like him.  

Running Horse

Another Indian bust with a shield.  You might think I would get tired of carving these but I don't.  I love to paint and come up with new ways to detail the figures.  This one was for a lady who liked Appolossas horses.   Once the figure was painted it looked kind of bland to me so I added some facial decoration and that did the trick.  There's a knife and beaded sheath partially hidden behind the shield.  A pretty little bust.