Thursday, January 7, 2016

Even the Best Laid Plans.......

The plan was sound. The implementation of the plan? Not so much.

The thinking here was to cut two similar logs that were originally intended for bench pedestals basically in half, and to take those halves and make more rock salt lamps out of the 4 log slices.

Good idea, right? I thought so.

Problem: how to cut them so the tops and bottoms are parallel to each other.

Using some of that inborn ingenuity as a planner and wannabe engineer, and searching through the rummage sale in waiting that may be in store for some of the stuff I have a tendency to hoard, I thought of the plastic sawbucks that came with those plastic sawhorses that broke the very first time they were used, and which those plastic sawbucks never got thrown away.

The reason? Well, those logs were already finished, and, in my infinite wisdom (or lack thereof), the thought was to make one cut which would save having to refinish the whole thing. So, the log got elevated above the workbench to allow the cut to go all the way through without having to turn the log to do so. The last time I tried this, the log had to be turned to get all the way through which resulted in an uneven cut that had to be planed down using the router planer. Not a big deal, but, hey, if one step can be eliminated, what the heck......

The first step here was to try and stabilize those sawbucks. Clamps and shims oughta do it. Marked what I thought were equidistant measurements from the end of the log, and began the cut using a handsaw. Yeah, I know; a chainsaw would have been a lot faster and less work, but I'm never sure how uniform my cuts are gonna be doing it this way. A handsaw, as long as the cut is eyeballed very carefully, can be smooth and accurate. That's just not something I'm very good at with a chainsaw.

Here's where the plan went South. The deeper the cut with the handsaw, the more wobbly the entire apparatus got. Even with a tie-down holding it, the sawbucks wanted to shimmy as the cut was being made.

Plan B: elevate one end, leave the other end in the middle groove of the workbench (which was designed this way for just this purpose....Sheesh! It shouldn't have taken a rocket scientist to figure this one out), tie it down, and get to the cutting!

This kind of cutting does take a LOT longer than using a chainsaw! It's a lot harder work, too!

Whew! All the way through! Finally! Wait a sec! That isn't even close to being parallel to the other end! Geez! The best laid plans....

Oh, well! Now the plan is to make a choice to either leave the slant (character, right?), or to plane it parallel to the other end. It'd be a lot easier in the long run to plane it down (routing that recess would be a piece of cake on a parallel plane compared to a slanted plane).

Gotta cogitate on this for a bit, plus it's lunchtime and my arms are aching, and my neck is sore, and my wrist hurts, and........

Later folks!