It’s early Sunday afternoon. Dad turned ninety on Friday. And I think it’s gonna rain.
RBS and the kid she married forty-some-odd years ago, were wandering around in a forest in Oregon, sometime in recent days of yore, and, the woman sees a fallen tree branch on the ground of about five to six inch’s girth and four to five feet long, and tells the fella, “Hey, maybe LB can use that.” Being the obedient manchild he is, the fella carries it all the way to their car, where it stayed (I know not how long) til it came into my possession yesterday. Yellow Pine, I think, it is. Cracked, I KNOW, it is. Dry as a bone, and looking for all the world like something that would, one day, become a fence post, albeit a short one.
This morning, while the kids were off to somewhere in their Sunday-Go-To-Meetin;-Clothes, the voice in my head says to me, he says, Woodsmith, make something with that, that they may have something to take with them when they bug out on Tuesday.
I cut, with my handsaw, a length of about ten inches. I milled it on my table saw-cum sawmill, into a rectangular blank. I mounted it ‘tween centers, and was well on my way to having something like a cylindrical, cracked blank, when I hear in my head, Didn’t you leave out step two?
A brief explanation: I saw, a few days ago, one of my Buddies, turning a Celtic Knot sphere. And, it was lovely. And, I think I can do that. Or, leastwise, the voice in my head seems to be convinced. That’s what I’m aiming at. So, anyone knows that cylindrifying the blank is step three. Step two, after milling the rectangle, is, of necessity, cutting kerfs and installing the wafers that make up the Knot. Step three is turning a cylinder. That, somewhat cylindrical, blank is now in a box, and I milled another blank.
Now they go together well enough. Then, because I had two separate pieces with forty-five-degree chamfers and a wafer to sandwich betwixt them, I need a way to clamp it in a straight line. Being very proud of my accomplishment, I set about watching glue dry. I went in the house and made myself a Dagwood, brought it with me to the Dungeon and began going through my fan mail. That done, I removed the clamps. All the clamps, that is, except the one I’d neglected using. That would be the one that would have smashed the whole shebang down, aligning the bottom face, which I couldn’t see. You remember the popular heavy-metal band, KISS. Picture the S’S in their logo. That’s what it looked like. Sort of a lightning bolt. “Not a problem,” says the Voice. And he was right. I re-milled it into a rectangle (the Sphere in my head is as small as I care to have it, now), and determined that, henceforth, I would behave differently. This means putting the confounded miter saw back in its unholy cage. I set up the miter gauge on the table saw with a stop for making a kerf a little wider than the blade. I made the, nice straight, kerf, inserted and glued the second wafer, and began watching glue dry. This involved cleaning up the grill (because RBS wants to use it), and writing this. Tuesday approaches, forthwith and post-haste.
Well, sir, my miter saw sucks. It’s likely because I have a twelve-inch blade on it that flexes. The stinkin’ thing can’t cut a straight line to save its life. Also, I made the cut too deep and the kerf became a through-cut while I was trying to insert the Ficus Wafer. (A note about the kerfs in these Things: You can leave quite a bit of lumber at the bottom of the kerf – when you turn the rectangle into a cylinder, you’re going to go right through the floor of the kerf. Different words: A rectangle [squre-in-profile] loses a lot of meat on its way to becoming a circle – the floor of the kerf is only left in order to make the glue-up easier by keeping the two halves of the blank aligned.) Not to be dissuaded by the whacky cut, I set up the disc sander on the Shopsmith and tried really hard to make them sandwich that Wafer in an acceptable fashion. That not working, I recut both sides on the table saw. That’s better.