Friday, June 29, 2012

Disaster strkes again!

My son and I have a joint project. We will make custom picture frames. He will paint what goes inside. A Fair division of labor; beause I am not an artist. Oh, I will do a reasonably artistic carving. But that does not make me an artist! When we add computers into this mix of art and craft, we have a recipe for a disaster, and that's just what happened. I have no bones in telling you the whole thing. Someone may learn something from it, after all. The thing about our custom picture frames is that they should not be vanilla store-bought frames. They should be carved by hand. And shaped by hand. The latter idea is my contribution to art. So, OK, I have to make a frame for a picture, and I even have to carve it. I have been practicing the carving part . And making tools for it, because commercial tools fall far short. The carving is the easy part. Shaping the ground is the hard part.

So this is a very lengthy introduction to a new subject: making weirdly shaped planes. I have absolutely zero experience in the area. So please bear with me as I learn. Nowadays weird shapes are made with routers, but I defy any router user to make his own shaped bits. But before routers were invented people planed moldings with planes. So I have said, let us make two planes: a rounder and a hollow. Both semicircular. And here follows the tale of these two guys. Here's what I have learned. People have not done this for about a hundred years. Some have. But they are not easy to find. Furthermore, the ubiquitous router gets in the way.

First you make the blade. So I want one one blade that looks like a semicircle. I lay it out and I drill holes that match it.
Next step is to drill some holes close to the profile of the piece. There, I knew I could get a picture into this thing. After that it's all file work. Tedious. But art knows no limits. File away and you, too, may be an artist. Much more important yhat you understand what I am tryng to do than how I did it. After all I have yet to succeed. And that's where disaster comes in. I have so far ruined two hollows. More to follow.

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