Sunday, September 12, 2010

Have to make make this.

Tools.  That's the name of the game when the game is woodworking.  It takes about 2 seconds to figure out that you don't have the right tool for the job.  The first tool I needed was a shaving horse, to go with the new drawknife that I had purchased.  So I build one, it is crude, too big, it is bulky and I sweat like I am running a marathon when I use it, but it's done, at least for now, I have changes in mind, maybe later this week.
Now the first thing I shaved on my new horse were some scraps of 2x4 and I made wedges to split some White Ash that I had.  Let's not go into detail about how well or quickly or easily it split.  Let's just say that I soon had four quarters of Ash log, about 12 inches long.  I took the smallest and tried to put it on the shaving horse, but it was too thick.  I split off the heart wood, and was able to get it on the horse, though.  This is where the NO fun began.  I wrestled and sweated and wrestled and fought, and all but gave up on that piece of Ash.  But I was able to get the bark off of it, make a fairly large pile of shavings and ended up with a slightly smaller still piece of white ash.  My drawknife is dull, my horse didn't hold the wood very well, and white ash is HARD.  I think I lost 3 pounds of sweat and my shoulders are sore!  I split the ash down a bit more with my handy dandy home made wedges, cursed the need for a froe, cursed at the white ash for being some hard, and cursed at my horse, my drawknife, and I think I even yelled at my daughter when she came out and was asking me questions.

After painstaking work, though (far too much work, need to find a better way), I had a piece of white ash, shaved down to about an inch thick, and seven inches long.  I won't bore you with the details, but after even more work, and again, I have to find a better way, I had my very first wooden fan.  I learned a lot.  I learned about hinge point thickness and about interlocking hinge size.  I learned that splitting the wood is pretty easy, but you need to get it as thin as you can.  I also learned that some soaking in water before bending is probably a good idea as well.  But all in all, a fan is a fan, and I can only improve from here!

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