Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Summertime Update

The weather is almost as unpredictable as my blogging patterns, but summer is here...I think? 

This picture, for instance, was months ago but I forgot to keep up on the blog...Instagram's going strong though. 

The bleeding heart flowers have all bled out now, but the bush is still pretty- and it will bloom again at the end of summer. 

So the workbench is now pretty operational. It's nifty how much can be done with one adjustable planing stop and some holdfasts. 

In that picture, you can see the finish and precision a poorly-made homemade float can give you. I love it for these kind of jobs. And also for tuning planes, which is...I guess what it's meant for? I keep finding new uses for it, to be honest. 

Much more comfortable to work at this height, and I can't wait to get the pop-up workbench fitted in. I was thinking of just having a big ol' shelf in the middle, but as I've learned from my utility bench shelves just invite clutter. 

So, this blog must feel sad. The conductor's baton build process was updated bit by bit on Instagram, then a gallery made for /r/woodworking, and now a blog post. 

So what I had been working on the last couple months in the few hours I could scavenge to work in the shed is making conductor's batons for the band teachers that have patiently put up with me for three years.

The batons turned out nice, with the maple one receiving a very warm welcome from my band director- the balance turned out awesome and the handle though he said he would believe it to be uncomfortable, turned out to be very comfortable. 

I was pretty happy to receive this praise, my band teacher is a highly distinguished musician and director so it truly is something to feel pride for, I believe. 

Especially seeing all research was done at 11:30 PM on Wikipedia and some texts to more musically inclined friends. 

Getting a nice pressure fit on these handles was extremely satisfying. In this picture the handle was it's original design- rounded over, but straight. I eventually sawed it into a more tapered shape with heavy chamfers. 

Here's a drawn banana for scale. Didn't have a real banana available. I texted this picture to a friend to see if it was the right size/length, and he requested a banana for scale...So. 

Both batons came out at about 12 inches in length, not counting the handle. 

My kanna needs more maintenance and tuning. This finish was achieved with the blade sharpened on an Arkansas stone- I feel like I should work with what I have for a while and learn to achieve high quality work with limited tools. 

This orange mystery wood handle turned out to feel much lighter. I preferred the maple handle's shape, but this wood had a much more pleasing figure and color... If the starting stock was larger, I think I definitely would've copied the maple handle's design. 

Music is the closest you can get to magic in day-to-day life. Hopefully these batons will help the creation of music.