Octopus sculpture

Discussion in 'Lost wax casting' started by Zapins, Dec 18, 2018.

  1. Zapins

    Zapins Silver Banner Member

    After going to SVseeker for a few days Doug asked me if I could cast an octopus for the main helm wheel. I figured yes I can! So I am making an octopus with the idea that the tentacles will wrap around the spokes and it will sit in the middle of the wheel. Perhaps on some kind of stainless steel 316 dome shape for the hub. The wheel will be 48 inches in diameter, the spokes about 3/4" and the outer edge of the wheel will be 2 inches of some kind of fancy hand carved wood that another person will carve for him.

    It would be nice if I could find a stainless steel hub about 8" in diameter with a lip about 1 inch tall before it domes. That way I can fit the octopus to the curved surface. I looked at hub caps which might work but they seem a bit thin walled and might not work long term on the boat? Any ideas?

    The SS dome will mount on this 8" wheel that's attached to a reducer here along with the 3/4" spokes. The spokes will e mounted to the 8" plate and covered by the dome. The octopus will sit on top and of that.

    20181213_104805.jpg 20181213_104758.jpg
    Here is a pic of what I have so far. I'll probably be done and ready to cast this in late April or early summer.

    The Desert Yeti and Tobho Mott like this.
  2. FishbonzWV

    FishbonzWV Silver Banner Member

    Zap, I'm sure you'll do a fine job on this.
    But a word of caution.
    Don't have anything protruding that will snag clothing, rain gear, etc. or pinch points where fingers can get caught.
    When things get rough out there, anything can happen.
  3. DavidF

    DavidF Administrator Staff Member Banner Member

    Now this is going to be cool....:cool:
  4. Zapins

    Zapins Silver Banner Member

    Thinking about the hub of the ship's wheel.

    I found some 8" diameter 316L butt weld / end caps that I think might work for the central hub of the wheel. The cap is thicker than a truck hub cap and might be a better option long term for strength. I suppose the 4" height could be cut down a bit so it doesn't jut out quite as much from the 8" back plate if needed and holes could be drilled in the side to accommodate the 3/4" or 1" spokes for the wheel and welded together for strength, then polished up for looks.

    Once I have the shape of the hub I can mold the octopus around it so it looks like it belongs in place.

    What are your thoughts on these? They seem like decent options for the center of a ship's wheel especially the amazon one.

    $58.63 + $18.70 (shipping) = $77.33 total https://www.amazon.com/Schedule-Pip...1-17&keywords=8"+316L+cap#feature-bullets-btf
    Product features
    • Item ID: CAPS106S-800
    • Wall (spec): 0.148"
    • Material (spec): 316/316L Stainless Steel
    • Length (spec): 4.00"
    • Leg (spec): 1.68" Tangent Length; Finish (spec): Mill; Schedule (spec): 10S; Pipe OD (spec): 8.625"


    $63.86 + unknown shipping https://www.buyfittingsonline.com/s...-in-cap-sch-10-316-316l-ss-bw-fitting-piping/

  5. Jason

    Jason Gold

    Cool project. Very 20000 leagues under the sea..
  6. Zapins

    Zapins Silver Banner Member

    The end cap arrived. This is going to make a kick ass ship wheel hub. I'm thinking that I'll need to tig on some SS screws so I can attach wooden spokes to fit the octopus to the wheel.

    Can I weld 304 to 316 ? The hardware store seems to only sell 304 bolts/screws. Eventually the screws will be cored out to make way for the SS spokes so I don't think it matters if the alloys mix a little bit. Just thinking if the 316 SS tig rod I have will stick to both properly.
    20181224_140732.jpg 20181224_140753.jpg
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2018
  7. Jason

    Jason Gold

    Yes you can.. 308 or 309 should be all you need to tig it. 316 will work too.
  8. Zapins

    Zapins Silver Banner Member

    Welded the screws on.

    Attached dowels. Will start modeling soonish. After some other projects.

    20181230_235730.jpg 20181230_235743.jpg 20181230_235755.jpg
  9. Zapins

    Zapins Silver Banner Member

    Got started on positioning the tentacles. Will add more flesh and details soon.

  10. DavidF

    DavidF Administrator Staff Member Banner Member

    Does his wheel come apart so the octopus can be installed?
  11. PatJ

    PatJ Silver

    Now that is just downright cool.....
    That will be an impressive piece if you can get it cast.

  12. Zapins

    Zapins Silver Banner Member

    Good question! The wheel isn't built yet. The 316 SS hub in the picture is the hub of the final wheel. So he will need to add SS spokes to the final piece. I'm imagining he will have to hole drill out the screws I welded on, then weld the SS pipe on the hub from the inside so the welds are hidden and he can slide the pipe into the tentacles.

    I just need to figure out how to oversize the tentacles slightly to account for shrinkage.
  13. Jason

    Jason Gold

    Back in the 1980's my dad had a brand new cape dory 36ft sailboat. We thought it would be cool to replace the smooth stainless wheel for a typical spoke wood wheel. Did we ever get schooled about wheels. You want them smooth, slick and fast. Any addition stuff hanging off it can be downright dangerous. It only took a couple times getting nailed in the nuts and we ripped that sucker off! Where is that wheel these days? Hanging on the wall in my office. I kept my dad from tossing it in the intercoastal waterway.
    fakedoc and FishbonzWV like this.
  14. Jason

    Jason Gold

    Hey Zap... Better make sure octi is balanced on that wheel or it will flip over in a heartbeat.
  15. Zapins

    Zapins Silver Banner Member

    See that's exactly what I was thinking about it being unwieldy and off balance but apparently the way they are hooking it up the wheel pulls on ropes and a gear reducer and so there is a fair bit of resistance when turning the wheel so it shouldn't creep if it's off balanced. I've got my doubts but we'll see?

    The nuts thing still seems relevant even if the balance isn't an issue. At least it's not going to be my nuts on the line going up against an 8 armed bronze octoboxer...
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019
  16. FishbonzWV

    FishbonzWV Silver Banner Member

    That's what I was saying above.
    I would not want to be behind that wheel at sea.
    You have to remember, peoples lives are at risk and also the boat is at risk.
    While it would look cool tied up to the dock or on a day sail, it's not functional when you're battling 15 to 20 foot seas and the wind is blowing 20 knots. Things happen fast in those conditions. Just imagine what would happen if your rain slicker got caught in the wheel and you couldn't turn it as the boat is heeling over and that rogue wave is bearing down on you.
    Zap, you need to rethink this, get it as smooth and tight as possible. Forgo the lifelike and go for a pseudo look.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
    Jason likes this.
  17. DavidF

    DavidF Administrator Staff Member Banner Member

    Umm... No.... Your going to have to cast the whole wheel in brass ;):rolleyes::p:p
  18. Jason

    Jason Gold

    Brass is a good idea, doug can get some hippie chick from austin with blue hair to polish his wheel on long boring trips. :D
  19. Zapins

    Zapins Silver Banner Member

    Working on making one leg with suckers. I'll blend the suckers on and then texture the top of the leg. After that its mold making time. Then 8 copies and bam DONE .

    I'm also filming this. Will edit it together into something that resembles a video and put it up when I'm done.
  20. Rocketman

    Rocketman Silver

    You do amazing work. Can't wait to see this piece come alive.

    How was working for Doug? I have toyed with the idea of going out to work there for a few days but it's a long haul from the east coast. Been a long time fan of SV seeker.

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