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Building White Christmas Reindeer

During the holiday season you see them everywhere, those cute white Christmas reindeer silhouettes. These adorable reindeer are so easy to build that even an inexperienced woodworker, with a minimal number of tools, can build a pair in a weekend. Best of all, at the end of the Christmas season these reindeer can be disassembled and stacked flat for storage. WoodZone.com sells the complete plans with full sized traceable patterns in their online store. The plans are available through this link: Click Here for Reindeer Plans
To build the reindeer you will need the following items: 
         1. One 4'x8' sheet of exterior grade plywood 
         2. Reindeer plans 
         3. Pencil 
         4. Electric jig saw 
         5. White Paint, Primer, and Brush

Christmas Reindeer Patterns
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The reindeer are fairly simple to build. You basically trace the full size patterns onto a sheet of plywood. The plans include a layout diagram that allows you to efficiently position each part on the plywood and minimize waste. These plans are so efficient that you can actually get both reindeer from the same sheet of plywood.
Building a Herd?
Do you plan to build a set of plans or are you already taking orders from friends and relatives who want their own set? Now is a good time to decide if you want one set or more. If you think you will make a few of the reindeer you will want to take the time to build a set of wooden patterns from a sheet of ¼" luan or similar material ($10 at most hardware stores). These hard patterns will be easier to trace around and will stand up to multiple uses. If you plan to keep your reindeer collection at a minimum we recommend you cut out the patterns and trace around them onto the plywood. You can always store the paper patterns if you think you may want to build more reindeer.

reindeer - tracing patern 2.jpg (22275 bytes)
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If you donít feel comfortable cutting up the patterns you can purchase a sheet of graphite paper from our online store. In the end the goal is to get the patterns on the plywood once you have that done you can begin cutting.

reindeer - cutting patern.jpg (29648 bytes)
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Cutting out your Reindeer
The white Christmas reindeer can be cut out with an inexpensive jig saw and a little patience. If you have a band saw or scroll saw you could use it for some of the smaller pieces. There is no special trick to cutting the reindeer out. Simply follow the line with the saw and donít worry too much if your blade wanders.

reindeer - cutting deer 2.jpg (31581 bytes)
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The one place you will want to try and achieve a clean, straight cut is the slot area used to fit the pieces together. If the cut is too large or small you may have assembly problems. Also remember to cut the slot to the thickness of the plywood you are using. This may be different from the slot size on the patterns. If you selected a different size plywood you can use the edge of a scrap piece of the plywood to transfer the correct size.
All cut out?
So you got all of the parts cut out, you hands are tingling from the vibration, and your back is sore from bending over to make the cuts. We can this reindeer labor pains. Their not born yet, so push on.
Letís face it, the little critters will just stand in the yard for a couple of months a year. Do you really need to clean up the wiggles and goof the pesky jigsaw made? Really noÖ. but if you demand perfection, or really messed up you might want to take some time to sand the goofs out. You can use a belt sander or rough (50-80 grit) sandpaper to smooth the edges and work the gaps and dips out. If youíre fortunate enough to have a belt sander you can build a jig from the scrap plywood to hold it upside down.

reindeer - sanding patern - belt sander.jpg (35440 bytes)
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Let em' live
Now that the reindeer are all pretty, smooth, and ready to stand on their new legs, it's time to put them together. You're probably looking at the pile of reindeer appendages wondering how all of these pieces go together. You could try fitting parts together randomly, but rather than building a fraken-deer pull the plans out of the scrap pile; they have assembly instructions. I know it sound like cheating but I won't tell anyone. As you assemble your Christmas reindeer take the time to clean up any slots that may be a little too tight.

reindeer - assembly.jpg (58101 bytes)
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Paint Em'
You will want to give your reindeer a nice thick coat of paint to protect them from the elements. We recommend you spend the extra money to buy a good quality exterior paint and primer. If you need some help ask the sales person in the paint department for their best quality "Reindeer Paint". If they don't get the joke you could ask them for a good exterior paint and primer. You will want enough paint and primer to coat at least 64sq feet. Primer is important because it help seal the wood and acts as a good tie layer between the paint topcoat and the plywood. Take special care to thoroughly paint the edges of the plywood, especially the feet (hooves) to protect the plywood edges.

reindeer - assembly complete.jpg (62180 bytes)
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It's best to paint the reindeer parts separately but you can also paint the reindeer assembled. Try not to paint the joints then come back later and paint the joints when they are disassembled. If you have a paint sprayer you could hang the parts on a line and spray them all at once. Otherwise you'll either have to paint both sides of the part and stack it so it will dry or paint one side at a time.
Put Them Together
Once the paint has dried it's time to put the plywood reindeer together. And set them up in your yard to graze for the season. At the end of the Christmas season white plywood reindeer like to be disassembled and stored in an attic or basement.

Christmas Reindeer Patterns
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Plans for the White Christmas Reindeer can be purchased from WoodZone.com: Click Here for Reindeer Plans
Happy building! Questions? Contact woodmaster@woodzone.com 

 

 

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WoodZone Woodworking Retail Store
2263 Sunset Blvd. West Columbia, SC 29169.
Contact us: 1-803-791-3823 - woodmaster@woodzone.com 
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