Monday, January 11, 2010

Jointing and Stuffing

Should I start with a supply list? Every thing you need will be in sets of 5 for the 5 joints you'll be making. A head, 2 legs and 2 arms. We'll start with the felt pads. Your best bet is the hardware store in economy packs, but unfortunately the size I use most I get in 4 packs at a pharmacy chain,(not cost effective). With a 12" medium sized bear you'll want a 1" to 1 1/4" size chair pad. You'll need 10 chair pads for one bear.

My first bear post explained some of the prep work I do with the chair pads since they don't come with holes in the center. I'll tell you this because I don't believe my husband is reading my girlie blog. Remember he took me out to get a drill. Well I tested it out drilling the chair pads today. Bad news, it doesn't make my life easier. Pad fuzz wound around the bit and I would get stuck in my block of wood and have to reverse out. Back to my hammer and nail. Trust me I'll have other uses for my drill! I use my ice pick to round out the holes and to make a nice hole in the fabric where it's marked with a dot.

Next are your nuts and bolts. I've used different sizes but what I've pretty much settled on for anything except a big bear is a #6-32 x 3/4" size. Let me explain, go to hardware where the nuts and bolts packs are. You're looking for machine screws with either a flat or slightly rounded head, slotted or phillips head is fine. Get 3/4" long screws. Next look for #6-32 nylon insert locknuts. Lastly you'll want #6 washers. The ones I buy are made of zinc.

Here's your supply list:

10 - 1" or 1 1/4" chair pads
5 - #6-32 x 3/4" zinc, machine screws (slotted or phillips)
5 - #6-32 zinc, nylon insert locknuts
10 - #6 zinc, washers

block of wood
big nail
ice pick, scratch awl or fat needle

slotted or phillips screw driver (same as screws)
5/16" nutdriver (for screwing in the locknuts the handle should be yellow)

chop stick
100% polyester fiberfill

Gently using the chop stick you'll turn your piece inside out. Try to use your finger as much as possible. A chopstick could go through your fabric. Start with either an arm or leg.

Stuff this piece to the opening. Again if you're using a chop stick be careful. I always have trouble getting the paw and foot stuffed firmly. My best advice to you is to start with a small amount of fiberfill and get the paw or foot firmly packed before you stuff the rest of your piece. Don't stuff the top bit yet, you'll need this open for joining. There are finer materials that the experts use to stuff their bears but fiberfill works perfectly well!

I thought I'd better stop here. We'll join our limbs to our body tomorrow.

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