Things have been a bit slow around here for the past couple of days. I ran out of raw material to finish the Bento Box, so it is lingering in a half-done state. Mari has just a few minutes ago commandeered it for “temporary” use as a tray for candles and other miscellany, and I have a shadow of a doubt as to whether it will ever become the originally-intended final product. Time will tell. I’ve also done one or two things in Des’s café, but they are too small to be honoured with a full post.
So, tonight, with only a little free time, no new ideas for another Blueprint, and nothing but plywood on hand, I took a few minutes to practice my sawing technique. On a strip of plywood around 4cm wide, I marked out 8 cuts 1cm apart and got to work with the jigsaw: Continue reading
On Saturday, I started working on the Bento Box / Zen Garden. By evening, I got as far as finishing the tray box. It was a long day.
I mentioned before that my work has been suffering from unintentional sloppiness – crooked cuts, imprecise sanding angles, etc. Luckily or, perhaps, unluckily, I have been getting away with it on the small scale of the Hello Kitty café furniture – the tables and countertops were OK without perfect corners or balance, and glue held everything together in the end. This by-the-seat-of-my-pants approach came to a screeching halt with the Bento Box.
I started making the frame out of the 4.5cm-wide wooden corners, measuring two 30cm and two 50cm pieces. To join them at the corners, I wanted to make all cuts at 45° angles – a classic fit seen in most picture, window etc. frames. I vaguely remembered seeing sawing guides for cutting at an angle, but thought that I could do without. The protractor imprinted into the tabletop of my workbench is not particularly useful, and so I resorted to basic geometry: measure e.g. 2cm in one direction, measure 2cm perpendicular to the first, draw a diagonal by joining the two measures, and you’re good to go, right?
… and I don’t buy a single Dremel accessory 😦 . That was not by choice, mind you – Dremel tools are not widespread here, so I’ll have to purchase all my accessories and attachments online. And then pay for the shipping.. Sigh…
On a more positive note, I did come back home with some very useful things. One of them I alluded to in my previous post – a new fret saw, together with a bunch of saw blades. When I originally mentioned my father-in-law’s fret saw, I made it sound like an antique tool, way past its time, and that was indeed the impression I had – “No one uses these things anymore! I’ll be lucky to find one anywhere.” Well, not only are fret saws still being sold, they’ve been significantly improved since my teenage days. The improvements mainly concern the blades – instead of being very thin but still flat pieces of metal, they are now twisted into spirals. What this means is that you are now essentially cutting with a thick wire that is bristling with teeth in all directions, which is a very cool thing. Let’s say you are cutting in a straight line and now need to make a sharp turn. No need for tedious up-down-up-down in one spot while you slowly rotate the saw. Now, you simply stop cutting forward and start cutting sideways! Brilliant!! That said, pushing the saw forward rather than sideways or backwards still tends to give the best results, but with the wire you can simply rotate the saw in place and keep going, it won’t twist and break. Another point to make is that the new “twisted wire” blades are just a hair thicker than the old-fashioned flat ones, so the traditional blades still win when the cut must be as thin as possible. If you are aware of this, though, it should never be an issue. ~€11 for the saw and 24 blades. Continue reading