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Brace for it... Friday the 13th, 2020 - It goes to 11 !!!

Updated: Sep 24, 2023

Yeah, so Halloween was pretty crazy this year right? How often does it fall on a full moon and daylight savings AND during, erhem, "unprecedented times?!"

OK, yeah, that's my lead in to saying I'm late to the party... But it's cuz I was using the stuff I made so lets call it a mulligan?!

I mean check it out! CHECK IT OUT!

Where else are you going to find Spinal Tap (Handle) except right here at the Makerneer Institute of Laboratory Sciencing?!?!

Yeah, I'm pretty impressed with myself this time if I do say so, um, myself?!

But Look At It!

IT GOES TO 11!!!

Alright, so what are we actually looking at here?

This is a project that has been kicking around the laboratory for well over a year, and honestly I wasn't sure how to share it or how it would be received... So, a little backstory is in order. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, deal with it 😉) Anyhoo, yeah I ended up with some deer bones in 2018. Yes, a little weird, but the intent was to use them in some projects (knife handle, jewelry, keychain, stuff like that). One thing I did was use my Glowforge to laser engrave a few bones. After some some testing to get the settings right, it blew my expectations! Engraved bone has a cool unique look!

We'll keep the pictures in this post on topic for once so here's a link to an example picture of a laser engraved bone keychain I made the other projects are property of the owners (or not finished yet...)

Alright, still with me?

Good. So, yeah after seeing the bones I knew I wanted to do something with the spine, the bones are so uniquely shaped. But what to make?!

A few malt beverages and a movie binge night later, voila - the idea of a real Spinal "Tap" was conceived!

Actually making it turned out to be a whole 'nother thing... Like, how do you permanently attach one odd shaped thing to another odd shaped thing?

-I thought about drilling through the vertebrae to run a rod through them, but I ruled that out because I didn't want a visible rod on the finished product.

-Next idea was to cast it in clear epoxy. With this idea in mind I carefully "adhesive tack welded" the bones into the shape I wanted with E6000 glue (I picked E6000 since it's strong and flexible).

But after seeing it all tacked together I knew encasing it in resin would take away some of the cool factor (it also would have been a heck of a lot of resin with a lot of places for air bubbles to nucleate).

So the next step was to reinforce all the joints. For this I used Starbond thick CA glue and that worked really well.

To mount the threaded insert used to attach the spine bones to the tap, I drilled what I could of the bottom spine bone (sacrum) and then sealed the rest of the brass insert in place with Devcon 10 structural epoxy.

During this build I also found out that bone is surprisingly porous, so I sealed the entire piece with thin CA glue and then gave it multiple coats of clear gloss enamel paint. This worked well but took forever!

There's more, but I didn't do a good job documenting it since I picked away at it over months... so we'll leave it there for now and yeah, that's basically the "30,000 foot overview" of the process to make the tap handle.

Oh no, we're not done! This is an epic length blog post, and something this cool needs a proper box right?!

Looking at it, it was immediately obvious to me that a proper box would be similar to the ones that hold ancient artifacts, like Indian Jones or Warehouse 13 style!

Sooo, after a little googledy-dodo-leey-do of shipping crates from movies I cracked open Autodesk Fusion 360 and modeled up this mini crate! Tally ho, grab some wood and it's off to the Glowforge to get it cut out!!!

(We'll skip the assembly montage... mostly because I forgot to take pictures...)

And voila! Holy crap, did we just make that?! And it didn't take 3 million iterations?!?!

Look at it!

I'm totally getting better at working with me!!!

Oh yeah, as a final touch I made a mini customs shipping label! Pictures really don't do it justice, the whole thing really came together perfectly at the end, like this never happens in projects kinda came together! Andddddd it was even done in time to pour some beer on Halloween (This must be a weird year!)

Alrighty, lets wrap it up there for now!

Thanks for reading!

Please note, this post contains affiliate links. For the Amazon, Home Depot or Ebay links, nothing changes on your end, but I earn a small percentage from qualifying purchases.

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