Friday, April 22, 2011

4/22/11 in the wood shop...

Happy Earth Day, 2011.
Today, I am engaged in my relentless friendly competition with the Chinese (and every other developing nation,) as I make small things for sale. I have an order to fill for Appalachian Spring, in Washington, DC.

I have certain advantages in this process. I can look out over our small acreage and see the woods that I use in this work growing through each season, and so the things I make are deeply and personally woven to and from the fabric of my own life and that of my community and natural environment. Can you catch at least a small glimpse of how that works and how it might impart wonder within one's own experience?

Tonight my wife and I will attend a small concert by local musicians Don and Scott to benefit the Clear Spring School. Don's music and Scott's exquisite harmonies have been delighting our small community for over 30 years. The concert will be held at 7 PM at the Gavioli Chapel in Eureka Springs. Tickets are $15.00 at the door. The venue is small, and intimate and if you have not purchased tickets in advance, plan to arrive early as the performance will likely be sold out.

Years ago, Don Matt wrote a song that he said I had inspired. I take these words as a particular challenge.
Consecrate my actions on the altar of attention.
Let me be awakened to this life.
And so there are things I can describe in this blog, that can only be fully known in your own hands, through the application of your attentions, and intentions not mine. And so this is an altar call for all hands.

The photos at left show a new idea in my woodshop, making easier the process of jointing edges on very small parts. It is a "jointer fence" for the router table which allows the user to take uniform cuts from the edge of a small object just as one would using a much larger jointer. The advantage of this new wood shop addition is that it allows you to see exactly what you are doing, and the router bit is almost completely buried in the fence where it poses absolutely no risk to your fingers, even though they are close to the action. To make this jointer fence, I used a 1 1/4 in straight cut router bit, and pivoted the fence into the cut until the bit was completely buried in it. Then I removed the fence from the router table and made a 1/16 in. deep jointer cut along the edge from the end to the opening left by the router bit. This creates an offset which allows the fence to perform like an actual jointer cutting 1/16 in. per pass along the edge of the stock as it is moved from right to left.

Make, fix and create. Share what you have learned with others in your life.

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