|Project by Mark Wilson||posted 11-29-2016 08:30 AM||677 views||0 times favorited||40 comments|
Here’s what’s been happening around here, lately:
I haven’t finished anything in months. I’m not happy about it. I’m not happy about most things.
I’ve started many a piece and gotten to the point where my muse simply up and left me. So I’d unmount the current thing and find another victim upon which to vent. This has resulted in at least eight Things in various stages of undress being set aside. Most of them, at some time or other in their progress(?) showed some promise. The one that sat around the longest was a large bowl of my Precious Silver Maple. It had everything a guy could hope for: Striking figure; Gorgeous form; Spalting; Wormholes; Bark in all the right places; Openings in all the right places. It also had punkiness. A lot of it. See, the Silver Maple was diseased and rotted out, mostly. That’s why it, and its sister fell to the saws. See http://lumberjocks.com/MLWilson/blog/69450 The solid wood is fairly well confined to the outer several inches. Sitting out among the elements (mostly, sunshine – this is Southern California) means that cracks have developed. Some, pretty serious cracks. Nothing, says VIMH, that can’t be worked around.
So, after five or six of these “false starts” (stalse farts?), I re-mounted the Bowl of Promise. I was coming right along, getting it to just the right thickness; not breaking it or blowing off the bark; making it, in short, very pretty, indeed. I’m doing some finishing cuts to remove some tool marks, when, inexplicably, the little notch that has become, over time, an eye-candy feature in the lip, finds the wrong part of the scraper (presented at a negative rake – not my fault) and the Bowl of Promise explodes.
I’ve never mastered the art of throwing away something I’ve labored over for weeks or months. That’s a skill I could have learned form an ex-wife. Alas, I never did. I set it aside.
Enter the new chainsaw.
Yeah. A month or so ago I purchased, on eBay, my very first brand-new chainsaw. What could go wrong? The five old, used, chainsaws I have had given me enough fits. I’m eager, of course, to get into some more of that beautiful Maple. So I choose an 11” diameter log and square the end up, and cut an 11” length of it, and cut it in two down the middle (or somewhere thereabouts). I mount one half on the old SS and go at it with the power planer, trying to get it to spin while keeping the wheels on the ground. I give up and set it aside. ”You need to do something a little less adventurous,” says VIMH.
”You mean like some not wormy, cracked, or punky?”
”Yeah. Like, mebbees, this.”
”A store-bought (read: factory-made) Hackberry bowl blank.”
”Yeah. Like that.”
I’d forgotten how hard Hackberry is to turn. You see those dark lines? They’re very hard. The light wood? It’s almost like Balsa.
Whatevah. At least it isn’t punky, wormy, or cracked. It’s been on the shelf for a couple years, so all the movement it had to do has been done. I mounted it Saturday, and finished it today (Monday).
Thank you. And, I apologize.
If you should happen to come across my muse, somewhere in the wide world, ask her to come home, please.