Sunday, October 20, 2013

Log Reindeer...

1:20 pm - 69 degrees - blue sky and sunshine...

Log reindeer are not only a fairly easy project to do, they are also cheap to make, and look really good paired together or by themselves.  This project is also a great way to clean the fallen trees off of your property and make some extra money. 

This was a perfect project for our Girl Scout troop’s Father/Daughter Project... we have the trees at our place, our troop gets to do a fun Father/Daughter project, then our troop will sell the log reindeer at a holiday bazaar in a few weeks to earn a little extra money for some more fun troop outings and projects.

I found several DIY Log Reindeer plans online but I liked this one the best {clickhere}.

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After I showed Tony the plans, he spent several hours cutting up a few trees to make enough parts for about 18 reindeer. 
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I think the most time consuming part was cutting all the pieces.  Building the actual log reindeer went pretty quickly.  The girls all picked out their reindeer parts – 1 head, 1 neck, 1 body and 4 legs per reindeer, then assisted in holding the logs while the dads did the drilling.  Here’s how they did it...

Tony and Caitlyn working on their second reindeer.
The neck and legs fit into holes drilled in the body log.  Choose the best side of the log, and drill the hole for the neck first.  Use a drill bit slightly smaller in diameter than the neck branch.  It is better to drill a small hole and cut the branch down to fit than to drill an oversized hole in the log and hove a loose-fitting neck or leg.

The neck hole is drilled at a slight forward angle, about 10 degrees.  Drill this hole at least 3 inches deep, then test-fit the branch.  You should have to whittle away some bark and wood to get a snug fit.

Next, turn the body over, making sure that the neck hole is facing straight down, and then drill the leg holes.  They are located about 1 inch from each end of the log and a couple inches to each side of the center line.  Angle the holes out about 10 degrees.  Drill these four holes the same depth so that, all four of the reindeer’s legs will touch the ground evenly.

Use a chisel to whittle the ends of the legs until they fit in the holes, and check that each leg seats properly in its hole.  Turn the reindeer over and stand him up.  If the legs aren’t exactly the same length, rotate them slightly in their holes.  Since the leg branches are not exactly straight, turning the legs slightly is usually all that is necessary to make your reindeer stand upright.

The head is installed on the neck in the same way.  Drill a hole in the bottom of the head log 1 inch or so from the back.  Then drill a slightly smaller hole than the diameter of the antler branches so that the branches will fit snugly.  Hold them in place and drill holes at an angle to match the position wanted.  The tail is made from another small branch and is installed like the other branches at the back end of the body log...and you have a completed log reindeer.
In just under two hours, with nine dads and their daughters, we had 13 absolutely adorable log reindeer and most importantly...everyone had a good time.