Saturday, February 26, 2011


Yea I know I have a problem

I have a few of them, but the most disturbing is my affliction to hand tools

my collection is now worth more than my car, I have more planes than years to my life, and more saws than I have chairs in my house

my most problematic problem is my lack of foresight, coupled with my reliance on 3-d design software

my first thought the day I discovered Google sketchup, Damn what a great tool, and it has been, the scale of work I can imagine has not only found no end, but has augmented the visual designs beyond anything I could have sketched on paper

Great piece of software yes indeedee

but it doesn't tell you if a wine bottle will fit through the opening you've created

I spent the day (another snow day here in the great white north, yippee!) learning to use my bowsaw

it wasn't easy, I broke a string trying to find the tension, couldn't start a cut to save my life, had to figure how to secure the piece while leaving clearance from the bench, and what stroke best suited both the saw and the material. Once I found it, lookout, it cut through that 4/4 walnut like Sweeney Todd through one of his victims, I mean crap, it was close to band saw speed!

within three hours I had all ten front rack stretchers rough cut

a quick run from the draw knife and a bit of spokeshave magic and I was ready to cut tenons

after three months cutting hard maple, this walnut was like balsa, the former being close cousins with alabaster, the latter smooth and buttery, I didn't have to re-sharpen a tool all day

having a smidgen of energy left and a couple hours before Arielle would be home I figured, what the hell, let's cut out those neck nooks (well, what would you call them?)

using what foresight I DO posses I trooped through the (hey this shit wasn't here when I came IN the shop) foot of snow to check the dimensions of the entire range of bottles already overflowing from our completely inadequate (the whole reason I'm putting myself through this torture:) winerack. back out to the garage with a much better (you know, I'm pretty sure I measured those damn things before) understanding of how big a wine bottle really is. laid out a few (five) nooks and cut out with my new BFF coping saw. Figuring I hadn't had enough strenuous exercise today (I WILL feel this tomorrow) I rasped and filed the nooks to a hair's breadth of perfection, laid out the two pieces on a nice square surface and thought, Huh, how'm'I gonna get a wine bottle through there.


should have seen that coming, it was all going so smooth

I don't even know now whether I can change the design subtly enough to not affect the balance, I'm not sure whether this computer has enough memory to allow such a change, hell at this point we'll see if my sanity can even hold out.

damn snow days!

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