Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Day 41: A Break from Sanding, and Sanding

As I continued to use the Dremel tool to sand the notches into the ends of the keys, I was producing more and more smoke. This is usually not a good sign when woodworking. Because I'm the thriftiest guy in the world (my wife uses the word "cheapest", but I'm not sure why), I decided to purchase additional sanding barrels on eBay where I found 100 for $5.00, rather than five or six at Home Depot for $10.00. They will be arriving later in the week.

In the meantime, I am turning my attention to sanding the sharps. As you might recall, I was having a bit of a challenge cutting the sharps on the table saw, even with the glue line rip blade. I had decided to cut all of them using the band saw with its table tilted at 10 degrees. This worked fine, yet it left wee, little cut marks, or ribs, on the sides of all of the sharps. Had I been able to execute the cuts on the table saw, this would not have happened.

The result: I now have to sand all of them using 320-grit sandpaper, so I set up a nice sanding block using a scrap cedar 2x4 and the 3m Super-77 spray glue.

This works great, but I can't help reflecting on how all of this time could be better spent on something else; anything else,  really (I detest sanding as a general rule). When I had cut the sharps, a visitor to my Facebook project page noticed the wood is aligned cross-grain, which he suggested is an unusual approach. Hey, I was just following the directions in Mr. Miller's excellent eBook. In hindsight, though, I would much prefer cutting them with the grain and using the table saw, which would result in long sharp strips that I would finish cutting with the band saw. Much, much smoother and easier.

So, another good lesson learned as I progress through this, my first build. I must admit I've learned more about woodworking and myself over the past four months than I thought possible. This is the true essence of the project and the main reason why I consider my shop to be a sacred space. When I cross the threshold into the garage, something in me changes and I shift from an insignificant wage slave to a Creator of All Things Wonderful. As I transform wood, it transforms me. And this keeps me coming back for more, especially when I learn from a mistake or think of a better way of doing something. For me, the magic is in the act of creation, not in the finished product.

Until next time...

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