Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   bandsaw: best tool for the job
Tuesday, January 17 2023
I went out with the handtruck to retrieve another load of pieces from the large skeletonized chestnut oak not far west of the Farm Road. Unfortunately, though, I was finding that when I split up these pieces, though the wood looked sound, it contained a fair amount of moisture. This was unusual; normally skeletonized chestnut oak is very dry. But perhaps if the tree is big enough, the moisture cannot escape in even the amount of time it takes for all the bark to fall off (which is what causes me to use the term "skeletonized").

This afternoon Gretchen went off to visit Falafel Cathy, partly to get some muscle relaxants for a pulled muscle in her back. When she returned, she had a falafel sandwich for me. But I didn't eat it right away; first I installed a brand new electric tankless hot water heater, the one I'd picked up the other day from Home Depot. It was manufactured by Ruudn/Rheem (the same people who made the heat-exchanger-based hot water heater I'd taken from our basement and successfully installed at the Adiondack cabin) and had cost about $350. [Unfortunately, it wasn't to work any better than any of the other hot water heaters, suggesting there is a physical limitation to how warm it can make well water at this time of year.]

By this afternoon, I'd decided to make Gretchen a special semi-sculptural painting of Neville the Dog on a piece of wood cut into the shape of his silhouette. I found an ideal photo of Neville taken on the dock of Twenty Ninth Pond in 2019. Now all I had to do was cut it out and paint on it. I found a plank of maple leftover from the kitchen remodel that was the right size (six inches wide) and I cut it into something close to a square. I then traced Neville's outline onto it. At that point I thought it might be a fairly simple matter to cut away the background using my bandsaw. But that bandsaw is a temperamental beast, often throwing the blade off its rubber-rimmed drive wheel. As I was using it, eventually got bogged down, with the side of the spindle being pulled out-of-plane so far by the tension of the blade that it was rubbing against the chassis. I was thinking maybe the bandsaw was hopelessly broken (or in need of a rebuild), so I tried to come up with some alternative. I tried drilling little holes along the line where the saw would've cut, but when I saw the drill was splintering the backside of the piece, I abandoned it. I then tried using a hand-held jigsaw, but the blade in that thing only survived a few seconds in the three-quarter-inch maple. I also have a scroll saw, but that thing is even more terrible than a hand-held jigsaw. If I was going to cut away the background, I was going to have to somehow make the bandsaw work. So I put on the tiny quarter-inch blade it had come with. (I'd been using a half-inch blade.) That blade was old, dull, and had a few kinks in it, but it turned out that it was sharper than the blade I'd been using. It was also easier to maneuver through the wood. The only thing I could really do with it was back it out of a cut it had made; the friction with the sides of the cut would make the blade immediately jump off the drive spindles. But I only had one such derailment and was able to cut away all the background in a surprisingly small amount of time with fewer cuts than expected.

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