Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Abstract Owl Cabinet and a Lightbox

One of the things I'm trying to do is figure out how to get better pictures without buying a camera, cause I do not have the funds for that. 

So I built a quick lightbox following this tutorial:

I didn't curve the posterboard, I didn't have a piece that bendable or big enough. It still seems to work well, now to get something to provide more light for pictures. Using natural light seems to work the best: 

This picture was taken using my chopping log for the table, and a white display board as the backdrop; I opened up the doors to the shed, and let the natural light do it's magic.

Thing is, natural light isn't convenient or accessible in winter, especially when I am not home from 6am till 4 or 5:30 pm weekdays.

Onto the 'Abstract Owl' Cabinet:

I had the image of a cabinet, a small tabletop cabinet, with the features of a guardian owl protecting the contents. I sketched it out: 

I then drew the shape onto the wood, coming up with  dimensions for the sides that would leave enough wood to safely carve. I cut out the center piece of wood, and then cut the wood for the nose out of that block. 

I cut a small mortise for the nose to go into, and attached a pin to the nose block. This, combined with glue, will hopefully give a secure connection. 

I carved the shape of the nose, and attached it to the main block. 

After that was done, and the main part of the head sculpted, I cut half laps into the sides and fitted a bottom. 

So, what's my rational here? I let the sides be part of the block in order to have maximum strength, along with preserving the grain of the piece. The bottom was made from a separate piece of wood in order to have a strong bottom, and not simply weak end grain. 

I made a bench hook for pull-saws months ago, maybe November?

It's pretty much the reverse of a regular bench hook, and it works great for sawing with a dozuki, planing  end grain, and for sawing with a ryoba (not in the dozuki slot, of course) 

I find using the dozuki slot produces probably my best cuts. This is right off the saw. Makes me wonder if the finish surface is more reliant on the accuracy and stability of the cutting than the actual TPI. 

The crest of the owl was made by refining a template out of pine, then transferring that to a piece from the center block: 

The mahogany piece was then sawn in half, producing two mirror image crest-pieces.

What follows is some of my roughest joinery; I really need to get better at planning things out, yet I find something addicting in working spontaneously. Life does not tell you what will happen; you can only prepare yourself by being like water, ready to flow over any obstacles. 

                 I probably have the most pretentious of excuses, don't I? Yelling them into the void.

So the crest was simply drawn onto the curved surface and then I carved out the mortise, following the curves. I eyeballed the center and the positions of the crest, and the depth of the mortise as well. There was some gaps, and lots of trial-and-error in the fitting, but I guess it means I'm improving when the crest-pieces clicked nicely into place and match each other's depth.

Like the nose, I left on extra material to carve and sand into shape at a later point. I'm still thinking over what to do for the eyes, or whether I should even add eyes or simply let the wood flow in abstract minimilism.

As a final sentence, while the drawers seemed fitting in the drawing, I think I might add two more dividers and have the drawers be small ones for rings and earrings or whatever else. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Years!

So, the sun has set on 2016. 

We made it, man. 2016 is pretty much summed up by Carey's performance. 

There was some good things, though, let's not forget: 

-Tiger population growing for first time in a century
-(USA Specific) Lowest Unemployment
-(Opinion) Hamilton
-(Opinion) Cubs Won. That's just weird.
-Castro died 
-Thawing Cuban-US relations
-Giant Panda no longer endangered
-Ice Bucket challenge led to researchers finding a gene that causes ALS, meaning we're closer to a cure
-In addition to the above, more progress has been made in gene therapy as a whole. 

I'm sure there's others...Just we remember the bad things more vividly, and 2016 had a lot of sad events.

So, here's to a New Year, for all of us. 

And hopefully the sun can shine on all of us.