Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Not just "Unplugged" but fully "Disconnected"

  Yesterday morning the electricity to our home was turned for a few hours. Workmen were doing some work outside and so had the main line disconnected. We have a fairly new, well insulated house and so it didn't cool down much over the course of the interruption and I boiled water for coffee in a sauce pan on the gas stove. Technically there was no hardship, and no inconvenience, until I went down to my work shop. 

  I have a pretty good selection of quality hand powered tools  and was not expecting any trouble amusing myself without power tools. I planned to make another small set of Quarto pieces. Last summer I made a set of pieces on a large scale that live at our cottage. Everything was worked out in my head, I didn't need power to glue and clamp the cubes together. The round pieces would be shaped with hand planes, and cut to length with a hand saw. Any other shaping would be done with files and sand paper, everything easy.

  You know, working with hand tools only is not a big deal on small projects like this. A lathe would have been fast and more accurate and cutting the pieces to length on the mitre saw would have been my typical choice but I used my bench hook and shooting board to hold the small pieces when cutting and shaping. Working in my 'disconnected' shop only had one real drawback.  As well as no electricity for tools there was no electric light. It is easy to understand while craftsmen of the past rose early and didn't work in basement shops. My shop doesn't have much natural light and that was the only real challenge of the morning's work.

Duct leather 
  One invention from yesterday, and I am sure I'm not the first to think of this, is Duct Tape Leather, on You Tube they call it fabric. I needed a game board from soft material so the board and pieces would fit in a bag. I laid out the Duct Tape and instead of using a second layer of tape I used a coffee bean bag as backing. I figure the bag is pretty tough, and a bit more interesting to view than tape. I have used duct tape similarly in the past to protect sharpened blades too. 

 I think I may get a nice pieces of pine and do this again adding carved details to the pieces. This set is adequate, but nicer is always nicer.

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