Wooden Folk Art Fly Flattener Sculpture
Robb Helmkamp creates a wooden folk art fly flattener sculpture.
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Materials and Tools:
1" thick basswood
polyurethane acrylic finish
quick set epoxy
stainless steel rod
pneumatic sanding drum on lathe
power drill and bits
pliers and nippers
3. Shape and sand the wood handle on a pneumatic drum sander mounted on a lathe and a spindle sander.
4. Shape the fly flattener handle by hand with sandpaper and files.
6. Apply acrylic paint to the handle with a foam brush. Between coats sand the raised grain with 220-grit sandpaper. Paint the base coat white and add black stripes.
7. Spray the wood swatter handle with a poly acrylic spray finish to coat and protect the wood and paint.
8. Cut a square piece of window screening the desired size of the swatter head.
9. Cut bias tape the length of the perimeter of the swatter head.
10. Zigzag stitch the bias tape around the screening for a colorful border.
11. Cut a piece of stainless steel rod with wire cutters. Fold the stainless steel rod in half with a workbench-mounted vice and pliers and twist the two pieces together.
13. Secure the swatter into the hole drilled into the top of the handle with fast-drying epoxy.
Wooden Folk Art Fly Flattener Sculpture project by Robb Helmkamp from Asheville, N.C.
Robb Helmkamp, from Asheville, N.C., was searching for a career in which he could be creative and also be his own boss when he located an art school and headed to Asheville, N.C., to study woodworking. The "fly flatteners" were the result of an assignment, and Robb has been selling them like hotcakes at local art venues ever since. When not in the studio, Robb works part time at a health food store and just bought a condo with his fiancé.
Kenny Chavez decorates his folk art amigo sign with flowers made from rusted tin can lids and rusted bottle caps.