Monday, March 19, 2012

planing out the bumps

 The harp pillar, fresh from the bandsaw, is having it's curve 'faired' with hand planes and this is the first time the wood has had the opportunity to show itself in all it's Tasmanian glory. This is quite dense for blackwood, but it still has a buttery feel under the blade, and it sparkles and shines as the surface becomes more refined.
Below is a lovely image of Lombok, captured by my daughter. We three had a marvellous time in perfect Autumnal sun on Saturday. He was led, fed, indulged, cuddled, bathed and then he rolled in some dirt out of sheer sensual pleasure.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

getting wood flat; harping but not humming

 I finally began the transformation of some big lumps of timber into suitably dimensioned smaller lumps that can soon be made into components for the harp. I have chosen some Tasmanian Blackwood in boards about 65mm deep.
 The piece, above, for the pillar had a significant twist in it. The 'winding sticks' clamped to it show just how much. It took a great deal of care to bring it flat without making it too thin.
The neck here is taking shape, but this stuff is mean on machines and I had to treat my trusty old bandsaw to a brand new 6ppi blade.

There are so many things happening at the moment, I find it hard to get any sort of 'flow' into any particular thing that I do, so I'm just trudging through the heavy work as time permits, so that when my mind is in the right place and the old creative juices finally start, I'll be in a position to do some finer work. Those same juices (or the lack of them) explain the absence of any writing lately too...

Saturday, March 3, 2012

a camping trip to Mallacoota

 Above, near Port Albert. Below, picnic at an isolated strip on the edge of the 'bottom lake', Mallacoota

Above, camping on the foreshore.

It was a week of extremes, driving 600 km to find heat with no wind, but beautiful, complex systems of intersecting lakes, rivers, tidal swamps and glorious forest. Our first outings were through marked  channels to reach the deeper sailable waters of the bottom lake. Plenty of space, despite lots of friendly fishermen, a bit of sailing and a wonderful picnic on a small beach out of sight of anything and anyone.

Other trips saw us motoring under driving warm rain as a massive storm system swept down to cover half of Victoria, and extending north right up to Alice Springs where the normally dry Todd River was apparently flowing through town. Our trip home involved another 600kms without turning off the windscreen wipers.
The shallow water and sudden appearance of sandbars caused a wee bit of anxiety when the oversized 5hp motor on Annie pulled the motor mounting bracket a bit askew, scraping the sand in reverse. I had the tools with me to fix the bracket, and beef it up a bit, but took the opportunity to buy a 2.5hp fourstroke at a more than reasonable price when it arose.