and four to blow.
I spent the morning getting jiggy – had some bending to do, and though I didn’t use a jig the last time (the first and only time) I made one of these, I figured it would make things easier. So I cut up some MDF, stacked it double thick, took it to the bandsaw (got it stuck, and used a combination of handsaws, the tablesaw, and smaller bites with the band saw to get it shaped. (I believe the tension on the bandsaw was too loose – which I didn’t figure out until I was done – frustrating indeed!
I expected to soak my strips in the tub (as I had before) but realized that placing the strips over my largest (widest) skillet, with a lid and wrapped with tinfoil would suffice as a steamer… and likely work better, so tonight I did just that.
Some digging online reminded me that you steam 1 hour per inch, so …. 1/8th of an hour was all it’d take. Got them off the stove, and couldn’t bend them any more than when dry, so back on the stove for a few more minutes.
This is where things went awry. I burnt two fingers pulling off the lid (but didn’t really feel it until later), and though they bent better, the strips still cracked right across the middle. I suppose there wasn’t enough moisture in the wood to begin with. a pre-soak might have made sense in addition to the steam. I also didn’t realize how tight my jig was until I had to insert the pieces, and have a better plan for next time – if there is a next time.
so here i sit, typing painfully, with some nice Smooth kindling for tomorrows fire… and I’m wondering if I’ll think of a plan B in time. But with some of these outside of the box entries (as mine would have been – and still might be) the competition is going to be tough.
Next time I get over to my in-laws I’ll post the inspiration project as I’ve been unable to find a photo of the one that inspired both back at Canterbury Shaker Village (Berkshires, MA)
I had today free and spent about as much time in the kitchen as in the shop – and I only injured myself whilst “cooking wood”. Thank goodness for aloe – this steam burn stings.