Sunday, July 13, 2008

Had it been me rather than Noah...

... we'd have no animals today. There's no way I could have built that ark.

The weather yesterday was thunderstorm after thunderstorm after thunderstorm, and as is my wont, I got to thinking about projects. After a brutally long Google hunt, I arrived at this:

It has everything I look for in a project: useful, inexpensive, and at least at a cursory glance, easy enough for even me to build:

How hard could it be? There's only one curved part, after all. Well, two, but they're identical to each other. What could go wrong there? Oh... yeah. They could end up with one inch gaps between them that would guarantee that it would never float. No, that's the canoe project that I'm thinking of. This should be much simpler.

This morning started out cloudy and muggy, and even though it was supposed to clear up at around 3pm, I knew that I had an raft load of chores that I've been putting off. If there was to be any flying at all, it would be a short ride in the cool of the evening. So off to Lowes, hopefully before the normal Sunday crowd.

I decided not to buy the entire load of wood for two reasons, the first being that there is only so much lumber you can carry in a Subaru Forester. The second was, of course, that I didn't want to end up with a bunch of wood if I couldn't get that curved piece right. The list calls for a single 2 x 6 x 10 pine board, but I can't fit a 10' length in the Subie. Lowes had an 8' length, though, so I bought two. I also went ahead and got a couple of 2 x 4s too, since the step after cutting the curved parts is to join them together with 2 x 4s.

As I was checking out, the cashier dude asked me if I was building a small porch swing. I hate to admit it, but I was simply astonished that he could figure that out based on a purchase of four innocuous planks, right up until I realized that I was holding the plans. Duh. The boards fit (barely) into Red Sue and we made an uneventful trip back home, where I got the chores out of the way. With that done, it was time to get to work.

The curved line that needs to be cut in the 2 x 6s is shaped the same way as was done on the canoe: they give you measurements to a couple of points and you use something flexible to make and trace the curve. The measurements are pretty straightforward, but I didn't have enough hands to hold the PVC pipe in place while tracing the line:

The curves look OK to me:

Time to cut:

At this very moment, I have two conflicting emotions: a devout hatred of jigsaws, matched only by my burning desire for a band saw. This cut, as a matter of understatement, did not go well:

Fortunately, I have plenty more 2 x 6 and can try again.

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