Friday, February 29, 2008


Another little portrait of the pattern maker's vice. This time with a piece gripped between the retractable dogs on the upper edge of the jaws. In the background is the array of chair bits with a few changes apparent. I hope to be able to get the other two backs jointed up tomorrow as there are no distractions scheduled. Then I must make inroads into the leg design.
Sammy was having a tough time making any headway with the concrete smashing yesterday, so I had a whack at it for a few minutes when I first went down to the shop today to get myself warmed up a bit. I got out the 22mm Stone drill and a wedge and feather set. A couple of holes and I had one of the corners and one side off in a big slab. In case you have never used these primitive exploiters of the inclined plane principle, the wedge is of course self explanatory. A wedge shaped piece of hardened steel. The feathers sound a little less plausible, but they are two wedges themselves with one side rounded to the same diameter as the hole. You pop the feathers in the hole and then drive the wedge between them. The fat end of the feathers goes into the hole first and the inside surfaces are flat allowing the wedge held between them to bear very efficiently on the inner surface of the hole and split just about anything with enough holes and wedges. I hope Sammy will enjoy having a go at that tomorrow. A happy leap day to all.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Coming around to 1 am and still not done with the day, so scrappy drawing or not, in it goes. Sammy had a go at continuing the digging work he began last year around this time. There is a big concrete tank in the ground with a hole in the top, the old crouch pad of the home that has lain unseen for many years. He tapped on the cap cement with a hammer and held on to the bits breaking off with the free hand to stop them getting too mixed in with the now aged contents.
It will be good to get rid of that as it is not a healthful spot.
I am still obsessed with those war chest figures. I did another calculation that makes that 3 trillion dollars a 454 dollar donation to every single human on the planet. Perhaps slightly less as that is with population estimates for July 2007.
What effect would that kind of largess have had on the world economy and how would they have passed it through congress. I hope that in some parallel universe it has happened. In mine the Kennedy speech about reaching the moon in this decade is now bitterly ironic. I don't think he meant we should be able to climb a tower of dollar bills spent on wars in order to reach it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wood management

Half a day spent on computer stuff and then down in the shop for some more of those tenon joints while listening to BBC radio Start The Week in my fishbowl helmet. They were talking about president Bush and how the war in Iraq has cost three trillion dollars, so it is a wonder I didn't have an accident. A week or two of the five year war fund would have paid for 75 to 80 years of welfare in America, a few days covers the controversial aid contribution to Africa, those were the kind of statistics being floated. Well goodness me.
Sammy put in a solid afternoon on chopping wood and I just came up as evening was drawing in to carry a few odd bits while he stacked the last few hunks on the pile. The writing arm does the picking, the other is crooked to hug the stack of wood.
I am terrible a maths, but I think this is right.
1 trillion has 12 zeros in America.
1 dollar is 0.0043 inches thick.
That is 12,900,000,000 inches.
There are 63,360 inches in a mile.
So that is a stack of dollar bills 203,598 miles high. (about 327589km)
It is 238,857 miles to the moon, so they are nearly there.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I had one plank left to saw from that big log the other month. I had sawn the top of it at a steeper angle to the grain so that I would get some of those characteristic loop patterns, but the plank was still very thick and wedge shaped. I had been thinking of leaving it until I get a carriage made for the big saw, but that will be some time off. Today I realized I could just stand it up and rip down from either end. I stood the thing up on some sleepers and screwed a batten in to triangulate it, then drew in my lines and put in some guide cuts with the smaller saw down the lines on the end of the plank, then stuck my courage to the post and got big willy out. The only problem was having to kick the buckets of shavings out of the way every few seconds, the two cuts ended up about half an inch out of whack at the bottom center of the cut, but that was pretty good just guttering down through. The one thing you want to avoid with a chainsaw is getting its snout in under something as the chain will inevitably dig in and kick the bar up out of there.
It always takes a while to realize how many new avenues of attack are opened up with a new tool. This would have been a half day job with the little saw, and it would probably have ended with a big mess in the middle of the plank where all the cuts didn't line up.
Having got that big plank out of the way, we had a big clear area to dump a load of firewood down into, so we promptly filled it after another trip to the dam yard. The promise is of more weather on the way and there is a stiff wind blowing it in.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Two pins

I got back to the wood dust today. Cutting out a range of two pin tenons like those in the inset of the three pieces assembled in the main photo, marking up more back bits and morticing in one of the back brace bits. I place potential chairs on this old office number to get an idea of size and relative comfort. This one is still very rough and will need lots more shaping as well as some legs of course. With all these things the important thing is to get the joints done while there are still some flat surfaces to reference off of and then go to town with the shaping.
Interesting to see Hillary Clinton sharpening her elbows in my lunch time viewing today. I thought the whole thrust of her campaign had been to prove her softer intuitive vision, changing the coiffure and whatnot. Unfortunately I feel the proof of that vision would be to ask oneself, "Who do we not need in this race?" and answer "Me". Whoever advised her to take the most recent step in negativity must be feeling those sharp little elbows now. I actually went on a little exploratory you tube excursion yesterday and found so many allegations of alleged illegal campaigning activity on the part of the Clinton clan I had to wash away the memory with a nice drop of Chianti.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


I am trying to implement some kind of hobby within my mentality. Don't worry if none of this makes sense.
I remember fiddling about with electrical stuff as a kid trying to figure it out and also back when we first bought a computer I studied a little about writing programs in C. Combining those two semi understandings I got precisely nowhere today. I am sure the world is doing things one way when there is a far better one. I can understand that simple electronic components have to be figured out according to their functions, resistors resist, condensors condense etc, but to get information from the little widget on the right here I have to read and understand a ten page spec sheet and then figure out how to write a program to act as interpreter between it and the microcontroller. It takes us years as babies to interpret the world and interact with it using our corporeal selves, at my age I am not entirely sure I have the time to waste learning to do all of that with external electrons. All complex components should have a simplified set of data which allows them to be interfaced with in one standard communication system. I am sure that would be easy to do if only there was such a standard, currently we are cursed with an ever more complex babel at a microscopic level.
The forums discussing the precise thing I am aiming at, using the same tools (reading temperature to control a device with a DS18B20 and an Arduino board) are almost useless, they give samples of program code, but do not include sufficient documentation on the processes or include samples of output for comparison. Scientific method out the window.
I guess I am expecting too much of my limited knowledge, the horse and cart I use to get around in has just left a load of poop all over the information superhighway. Metaphorically speaking of course.
Next time I take a break from work for this hobby stuff I will resort to pulling thermistors from my scrap box and doing the thing in the analog way.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Part of my growing collection of budding chair bits. The four parts on the right with the little plywood template will be a kind of bendy back brace between the seat and the rail around behind the back of the sitter. I have cut the tenons on the template, but will only cut the bottom one on the workpiece initially, then I will cut the corresponding mortice on the seat and lay the back rest on top to check the position of the tenon. I can then cut that and mark the mortice in the rail from it. Sounds overly complex I am sure, but when working with irregular parts you cannot just cut everything to one size and expect it to fit. I can use the tenon machine to cut all the joints as long as I have a rectangle to stick in the clamp jaws, so I have left a nub of material at the end of the cut curves as on the template to give me my pretend rectangle. The parts with the spray can on are more back braces in the making, which will require their own methodology.

Incidentally the pulley transplant I did on the bandsaw in the autumn is really paying off. I put a much larger pulley on the saw and that has given me a far slower and more powerful bottom gear. This means I cut slower, but the blade can keep doing its work and never gets bogged down.
If you have a bandsaw I would recommend looking into a gearing device of some sort and a bigger pulley. I heartily recommend the Lenox Tri-master varied pitch 3/8 inch blade as well. It does need pampering (detensioning the blade when not in use) on my 14 inch saw as it is quite a thick blade and is designed for a bigger wheeled saw, but it is worth the money for me. I only put the link to indicate one possible source and more details of the blade. Lenox shatter proof blades are also a revelation for reciprosaw use.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Tray nibbles

Everybody out for the evening and having wasted time on the web I am scrabbling to get on with the evening doings. The day spent among the dust clouds again. No poisonous hydrazine or allegations of plagiarism, just me and the mounting hoard of machines turning out potential bits and bobs. This was the nib view of the tray I mentioned spying from my vantage point on the sofa yesterday. One of those organic fiddly bits I rather enjoy.
Both my daughter and myself are now fully behind Hillary Clinton provided she backs out of the race immediately. I was surprised when my daughter announced her views, they were so similar to my own. Actually we discussed the point just after super Tuesday and I thought it would have been a very human move to back out of the race right then in order to shut the news up for a bit. Obviously neither of us are politicians or a pundits and HRC is determined to follow advice, which is producing stunned silence from the crowd instead of support. At least she is spending her own money, I suppose the calling to be the first woman in the bowl is too much of a temptation to pass aside without a fight however ill managed.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I still haven't set up a proper photo area, so just a snap again. I had a dusty session today finishing up shaping and polishing that tray from the vice picture on Feb 13th. The end of the school year is fast approaching and I didn't want to miss the retirement date for the recipient. As I sit on the sofa I can see the tray on the table and as usual the photos miss a lot. The four little pastry tab bits overlapping the pie dish looking part are quite thin and have a delicate upcurve at the nib.
Sammy came down to do a bit of work in the shop, but when he saw how dusty it was he changed his mind. My blue boiler suit had turned completely yellow. He did some useful sweeping up and wood chopping instead. My final act of the working day was smashing up an old TV that the recycle place just wouldn't take. It is awaiting its return to the mystic portal in plastic bags for metal and glass by the rubbish station.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


After a few hours in the shop I went on a shopping expedition with Sammy. We also took more household flotsam to a shop that buys stuff or at least chucks it away or leaves it in a bin for people that are interested. Just as we were driving off Sammy spotted a Bulbul dead in the road, so I shifted it over to the side on a patch of snow hiding in the shade from the white guard rail. Just now I popped back up to the road to see if it was still there, but something had carried it off. The moon was very full, and as I was out I snapped the trees reaching for that instead. Apparently the danger of bird flu is now increasing in our area as there is a risk of it spreading here from Indonesia or mainland China. I am pretty sure these birds are just traffic victims, but without a full postmortem who knows. I was glad that I could answer honestly, when quizzed by my wife, that I had washed my hands after touching the beasty. Only in the trickle of spring water, but better than nothing.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Take 15

The same time slot as yesterday waiting to do taxi service, but I had 15 minutes today instead of 5. Sammy back studying the guitar in his bedroom after finishing up on the piano.
I gave the helmet a proper run today and still feel free of dust. As I expected the charger that came with the thing was the wrong voltage, but there are so many of those little wall wart adapters around the house it didn't take long to find one to suit and I have the little chap charging ready to protect me from respiratory damage again tomorrow. I could have ordered the product from the US where the voltage is the same as here, but it would have come via surface mail for some reason, maybe the batteries.
Making up more chair part blanks on the bandsaw and planer today, so plenty of dust in the air.
I also got deeper into the guts of the big chainsaw and popped it back up together again. All perfectly sound inside, so I hope it will give good service for as long as I need it.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Step view

Sitting on the stairs up to my daughters space and doing a quick five minute jotting of Sammy tinkling on the keyboard while waiting for the time to come around to pick up the young lady from the station.
I had a chance to try out the filter helmet today and it worked well while belt sanding, no feeling of getting clogged up, but the breeze does rather emphasize the cold. Definitely need a hat on in there. I took a few minutes out to remove a few bits from the chainsaw just to check wear and tear. It looks like whoever owned it before can hardly have used it at all. No wear on anything and all parts except a few rubber bits looking sound with hardly even a chip in the original paint.
I will go a step further next and get the carburetor off just to check his rubber bits are still OK.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


A strange start to the day with a radio playing nearby. My conscious mind took several moments as it worked on unusual evidence to select my current location from among all those various places on this planet where I have previously arisen to wakefulness. Perhaps because of working on planing a trip to the UK or because our home is detached from all others and we have no next door to hear noise from I found myself singularly disoriented as I tried to find the right place to land. I still don't know where the noise was coming from, but it was an interesting journey simply to find myself at home in bed.
Preoccupation with the rewriting work on the computer for the day has left that small incident as the one stuck in my mind for this Sunday.
Another sketch of missy working on her own sketching while Oasis were chiming. This time on paper and as usual not capturing too much.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Some kind of self imposed illustrator learning project for my daughter making 3D star shapes from printed cut outs. I really love the fact that my kids do this kind of stuff even though they are no longer kids.
Sammy did another sterling day's work on chopping firewood, so we are ahead of the game there. I now understand a lot more about the new old 075AV Stihl Chainsaw thanks to some help from a forum member in the US. All of these mutual help aspects to the Internet are very encouraging. As usual on Skype again today catching up with news of the distant family.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Bed time

Tired out today.
Yesterday Sammy and I had the crane up together on the truck to go and fetch the aluminium furnace from the local school where I had left it since the session of casting we did there back in the autumn. That and the boxes of casting sand filled up the truck.
Today we went on two trips to the driftwood yard to fill up with firewood and on the second trip I gave that monster saw a quick go on a cedar log, it is a totally different beast to anything I have used before and very impressive. I will try and discipline myself to give it a proper overhaul before I do any serious cutting with it.
This evening I had another of those school councilor meetings. My sense is that the "Nothing new under the sun" mood is hitting kids of elementary school age. I think that kind of sullenness should only come around later. I feel that children of 6-12 should be exposed to as many different influences as possible. There is far too much in the world that is fascinating to allow us to skip straight to paraphrasing Solomon and taking it the wrong way. Kids need to see real people who enjoy the things they do, especially if those people have gained no celebrity. Due to the all pervasive media there is a sense that celebrity is an aim in life lending validity to the actions of the celebrated. Perhaps You tube and whatnot will reverse that a little. Rambling I guess as I am ready for beddy byes, but I still believe that there is a cycle which starts with small things and governs the course of our lives. We all find some things easier to do than others, we get pleasure from our ability to pursue that course. We repeat these activities, the repetition lends us greater ability and the cycle continues to roll us along. The tragedy is never to find even the smallest spark to start us on our way and always think that just because someone somewhere at some time in the past has done the thing we are attempting it becomes less valid and less meaningful for us to enjoy that experience.
Nighty night

Thursday, February 14, 2008


A week of work related purchases. Back at Christmas I spotted a huge chainsaw on a Yahoo auction that I didn't have the guts to bid on. That sold for about 500 pounds and I regretted not buying the thing as soon as the auction ended, so periodically I have been checking out the page in the hope that something similar would turn up. Back on Saturday eve the auction for this great compensatory device ended with me as the final bidder. The bar is about 1060mm long with a bit to spare if I took the guards off. Once I have finished a few projects I will see about extending and beefing up my chainsaw mill to house this sausage with supports at both ends of the bar. I was obviously keen to try the thing out, but I have only checked the engine for its relative vim so far, cutting with this giant will be limited to the milling process I think. The engine started fine and there is a lot of tooth left on the chain, for something made back in the seventies it has not seen much use. It is huge next to the saw I bought for normal use with a 45~47cm bar.
The dust helmet arrived today also, so I shall have a go with that tomorrow and see how dust free I am at the end of it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Heading back toward bench chaos again. Working on more blocks of materials for the legs and back rest parts at the window end of the bench. I also took time out to do a little shaping on a tray that will be a present for someone retiring, not just shy, but giving up paid work. The little inset is of that in the vice. The ability to tilt the vice up to hold things flat like this is one of its most useful features. Later I popped one of the seats in to do some more shaping on the well known divet for posterior comfort. The grip and structure of the vice is strong enough to hold things steady for work with the spokeshave, plane or electric tools, but not really sturdy enough for a lot of work with a hammer and chisel. In the position shown, the work can also be rotated without removing it from the jaws or the vice can be tilted back down towards the normal vertical position. There are two levers under the bench that control these degrees of freedom. The Makita belt sander is one of the tools I use most and the one that makes the most dust.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


I got most of the dust in the big yellow bucket, sharpened a few tools and immediately started making more dust. The office drawer things under the bench help out with my organizational dyslexia a little. The big plan chest is great for all kinds of odds and ends. The bottom drawer is all nuts and bolts. On the other side of the bench there is a set of transparent plastic drawers from the skip outside a local DIY shop. That has a whole load of wood screws in.
With the chairs my next job is to get some legs and whatnot on the go. If I get some progress on that I will do a similar view tomorrow. If not I will embark on a series related to the pattern maker vice which is another feature of the bench area.

Monday, February 11, 2008


The sundry chair parts and other wood materials have now mounted to such an extent that I must have a go at clearing the decks again. I am more than slightly challenged when it comes to organizing, but when there is no longer anywhere to put stuff I know it is time to get things back to their own beds for a while. I ought to do a time lapse series one day to see how quickly these items flood on to the bench. The snow has thickened up again and it was a fun resource to stomp through while out walking the dog. Several pit stops had to be made to remove the substance from the interior recesses of the private footwear. Once that was over I had to get back to my place at the computer again. Hopefully back down in the dust dunes again tomorrow.
Last week I resolved to seek a proper solution to my daily dust inhalation and found a fairly reasonably priced all inclusive helmet arrangement from Triton tools that looks like it might add a few years of use to my lung life. Unfortunately they had stopped selling the thing in Japan, so I ordered one from Australia. I shall let you know how I get on with it. The reviews I read of it were mainly full of praise as to its ease of use despite initial concerns as to it being far into the realms of overkill. I do wear a piggy filter mask as shown in some of the drawings, but they are exceedingly uncomfortable after a few hours trapped inside, and I also have to wear goggles and ear protectors on top. Luckily I usually work alone, so I won't have to suffer jibes with regard to my appearance in the hazardous materials handler ensemble when it arrives.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Scribble pad

Some scribbling in Artrage from this evening after a day of mixed activities. The top left here is a short stub of a hollow log that I picked up from the driftwood stacks. I have cut that into diagonal slices and some of these are now shaping up into the curvy backs for the chairs. I was working on further refining their shapes today. The seat parts are coming along, but I am still pondering over all the joints and orientations. One of my aims is to make the individual parts more sculptural in the manner of the stool seat from the other day, but I would also like to keep them separate to a certain extent, not blending jointed parts together. My main area of quandry is over whether it might be fun to join some parts with iron work, but I am afraid the items would become a little too heavy as normal dining chairs.
Artrage prompted me to install an update last time I used it and that has improved the drawing experience a lot on my tablet PC, the sensitivity of pressure has altered a great deal.
I still couldn't alter the scale of a layer, but maybe that kind of functionality will also change soon. For now it is fun to use and well worth the 25 dollars even just as a sketchpad.
The map has gone blank as expected, well done to us three spots who made it on there, I hope more will follow.

Saturday, February 09, 2008


The company that runs the free map service mailed me today that my map will be archived from tomorrow as it has been a year since I put it on the page.
From tomorrow only new dots will appear. I am sticking the thing up here to thank all those that did make dots on here before it disappears into the archive.
I had a bit of a chivying call about the chairs I am making and also a remembering experience just now about how the grain of the particular wood (Zelkova an Elm like tree) twists on itself making it quite strong even in seemingly weak orientations. Both events spurring me to get on with the little chaps and have more faith in the design idea I am pursuing.
The snow is currently piling up outside as forecast and translation work to get on with in the meantime.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Siberian Bluechat

I went with sammy to get more wood from the dam yard as it is threatening more rain or snow tomorrow. This little girl was lying in front of the truck as I was about to get on board, so I popped her on top of the letterbox until we came back, then took this. I guess a car did the damage as most of the cats round here would have taken the liberty of digesting the more meaty portions as would any other predator. I only see these birds in the winter and in my little guide it says it is rare for them to overwinter, so it is likely this little muggins was an individual who had enjoyed the environs of the homestead repeatedly. They are kind of friendly birds like the Robin in the UK and they will investigate what we are up to when chopping wood and whatnot looking for winter treats among the more rotten lumps. The male has the blueish coloration all up the back and is a lot smarter looking, as is common among these dinosaur remnants. I have left this original size, click on the pic to get a zoomy view. I enjoyed the feather and scaly feet detail as well as noticing how dusty my gloves must have been when I picked it up.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Slice shapes

I managed to rev up the metabolism a little today and saw out more rough planks for chair parts. I then shaped them up on the bandsaw. This box of curvy scraps from the rotten edges has been brought up to feed the stove. The log I cut up was hollow, and I made it into diagonal slices that I am hoping will make arc shapes to form the tops of the back rests for the chairs. I have to do a bit of testing to see if the grain orientation will cause too many problems. It is easily strong enough, but it may shrink and move about too much as it dries out, so the other parts may be pulled out of joint. The blade was on its last legs and the mud and grit from this driftwood have rendered it in need of sharpening or chucking out. I must weld up a few more blades soon.
The dog is a regular consumer of radiant heat from the stove and occasionally gets singed hair on his head from getting too close. I sometimes give him a little nudge just to make sure he hasn't passed out completely like cats sometimes do, losing consciousness as they fall into the swathes of excessive comfort.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


By chance the image number generated by the camera was the year of my birth. So far today I am feeling a little like the worlds most useless human. But with snow falling again, a stack of wood set up to be burnt and the kids both at home messing around seems quite the thing to do. I sat among the pots of pens and did a little sketch of the young lady as she was also working on a drawing.
I heard from a friend yesterday who looks at the blog sometimes and he mentioned a friend of his from Thailand who visits everyday, thanks to both of them.
I sometimes wonder about that sixty degrees of connectedness theory where if you take any six people in a row who are connected by even simple acquaintance the last in the row will have some kind of connection with the first like being a mutual friend or relation. These days I think it is probably true. I certainly hope so.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Parcel

Sammy and I had a good old go at the firewood today. Still snow on the ground at the yard and access restricted by a bit of crane activity, but we got a load on nevertheless.
The birthday parcel arrived one day late for the birthday back on the 21st of Jan. The content was one electric guitar complete with all the necessaries for playing. So the young gent is often at the new instrument. I hope some of the piano playing knowledge is carried over by osmosis.
I had an unusual number of visitors on the blog a couple of days ago, perhaps there are some people who count more than others like in the upcoming electorals of the US. One click from one of these super humans and the numbers increase exponentially.
I still think it sounds weird to win the popular vote and lose the election. I hope the whole thing goes off peacefully and the candidates end the race intact with all their bits and pieces in place. But I also hope for a peaceful end to the rule of the military industrial complex, so I am obviously mentally unbalanced.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Shop snow

A weird little combination photo with the dunes of dust on the workbench where I spent some time today and the drifts of snow outside the window. It makes the shop brighter having all that white out there. The arbortech tool in a dewalt cordless grinder in the foreground. A flat planer and the clifton spokeshave behind that. Pneumatic chisel next and the Makita belt sander behind that. The Spokeshave is the one that takes the most time, but luckily that is the most peaceful to use.
A late translation job has kept us up and I nearly went to bed without anything in the box, I suppose one day I will forget, but as long as I remember, I will pop out of bed like I did just now and put something in here even if it is getting on for 3am.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Snowy in asia

Sammy went out with his camera this evening and took this. Earlier in the day I went out to sort out firewood and remove some of the snow from the roof. But apart from those little excursions we have been indoors watching the white stuff fall. The weather forecast was pretty much spot on with their prediction and we got around ten centimeters of the stuff. It was fairly fluffy, so not a real hazard to our roof. Several years ago we had a heavy fall of very watery snow that messed a few things up and clipped the tops off of a lot of those cedar trees giving the mountain ridges their teeth in the night scene here.

Saturday, February 02, 2008


I went to get some scrap wood and cut green branches from the lady up the road who wanted to get rid of them. Inside one of the sticks of old bamboo there was an old termite nest. I managed to save a small part of it. A lot of country houses in japan have a sort of earth floor entry hall and then the familiar paper doors. This house has such an entrance way and the paper doors or Shoji have a glass section all around at head height when sitting on the floor. When I went to pick up the wood the lady was sitting at her little table with a charcoal heater under it and watching TV. She lives alone, but she looked fairly content there in that little linear section of her life picked out for visitors by the ribbon of glass.
I am not a big fan of termites, but they certainly know how to create themselves an ergonomic space. It is a shame that they so often make it by chewing up mine. If you live in a part of the universe and an age where you have both termites and ball point pens you can have a fun few minutes by drawing a line on paper with the pen and watching termites follow it like miniature circus trainees. Apparently the chemicals in the pen ink resemble those used to make scent or pheromone trails by the bugsters.

Friday, February 01, 2008


I got a little peeved at not getting a final vision of the chairs to be, so I skipped off on a slight tangent and finished up a seat for a stool. I must try and get my photographics sorted out. These scorched works look so much nicer in person and actually have a lot more 3D personality too. Anyway the trip up the siding had some effect and I got on with carving out more seat parts in the afternoon. After carving with an Arbortech, the curvy Clifton spokeshave and a Makita 3cm wide belt sander I scorched the wood. I then wire brushed it and used two different grades of scouring pad type disks in the grinder with a speed controller attached to tame the bite on the tool. There is no wax or anything applied yet, but it already has a vague redish patina shining through the darker scorching. That color will gradually increase as it gets "rubbed", it may possibly be worth inserting one more slightly coarser scouring pad into the regimen to give the color more of a headstart.