Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rube Goldberg Lives!

Rube Goldberg lives again in my basement work area in Kanata!.
Rube Goldberg was, among other things, a cartoonist who illustrated very elaborate and convoluted ways to achieve simple tasks. When I begin to make simple trays with basket edging, Rube Goldberg lives again. My table saw becomes converted into a Rube Goldberg type of contraption just to keep the plywood steady as I cut it to size. The highly magnetized Feather Board (shown in yellow) is attached to the saw fence. This reduces the chattering as the plywood is passed through the saw blade and gives a nice, smooth cut. However, before I secure the Feather Board I have to ensure that the 3mm thick plywood does not ride below the saw fence. This fence sits more than 3mm above the bed of the table saw. Hence the large square that is secured to the fence with two clamps. This square sits solidly on the table bed. Very Goldbergian.
After I cut the plywood to size, I then mark where I will drill holes around the circumference of each proto-base, marking drilling sites at every inch. I then use my drill press and drill all these marked places. For a 12" by 12" base this entails 48 holes being drilled. Before I bought the drill press I did this by hand. Drilling holes for up to twenty bases at a time, and over 600 holes, was quite wearing on the wrists.
Tomorrow's stage, after I complete drilling all the holes for the prepared bases, will be to sand the bases and to give each a coat of beeswax. The actual basket-making, putting on the basketry edge to the tray bases, is the last and shortest step in making a tray.
The same processes are followed in preparing the bases for the trivets I make.

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