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hide Guitar Strap

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A friend of mine has commissioned me to make a guitar strap for his Fernandes hide guitar.  This is the guitar popularized by the late musician, hide (pronounced hee-day).  As a collector of guitars, this one is one of my friend's favorites, as he is a big fan of hide.  He often used a guitar strap that had several skulls on it:





You can get straps like this from Japan, but the skulls are all pewter.  My friend wants them done in silver, specifically he wants me to use silver that he inherited from his grandparents.  


Cool concept, and I like the family connection (plus he'll be able to use it to kill a Loup-Garou), so I took the commission and started sculpting.


I started out by sketching the outline on my cork and making a simple wire armature:




Next, I sculpted a basic skull shape in GS:Apoxie Sculpt:




Once hardened, I added a sheet of GS to the lower half and sculpted the teeth:




Then, I did the rest:





Once cured, I removed it and hollowed it out with a carbide rotary bit, then thickened the two posts.  These posts will eventually be rivets that secure it onto the leather strap.





Next step will be to make a rubber mold, make wax copies, and cast them in silver.

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6 hours ago, Glitterwolf said:

Awesome project! ( although I resemble the remark about killing a Loup Garou! )

[ whispers...should we mention he now works for M.E.O.W.?]

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Yesterday, I made a mold from the original and injected 15 wax copies tonight.  Here is one of the copies in the mold:





Then I put the copies on a wax tree.  I'll be investing that in a few minutes and will cast it in silver tomorrow.  Each one will be about a half ounce of silver.



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I cast on Saturday.  It was the most metal I have yet melted at once: 15 oz of sterling silver. Here is the tree after casting:





It took me an hour or so to saw all of the skulls free.  Then I ran them in steel shot in the rock tumbler for a few hours.  I also took a short ingot of silver I'd made and rolled into a long bar on my rolling mill.  This bar I then made into a ring. It still needs refinement, but I will be soldering one of the skulls to it as a ring for him to wear when he plays.







Note that the three to the side have casting flaws that won't be easy to fix.  All the rest just have surface flaws and flash that will come off readily.  That's not a bad rate, 13 of 16 good casts.  I need one for the ring and 10 for the strap.  I'll hold the other two in reserve in case I mess up the one on the strap.

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