Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Mahl Stick


I lost my old bamboo mahl stick, so I made a new bamboo mahl stick. This one is nicer.

A mahl stick is used as a hand rest for painting. The end is covered in a soft material that won't (hopefully) damage the surface; in this case it's some of that sticky silicone shelf liner.

The shaft is a bit of bamboo from our garden, the knob on the end is turned from a bit of an old broom handle.

When you're finished painting, you can flourish it at people and cry out "Expelliarmus!" It won't do anything, but there you go.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

looking Back — 2006 Working Drawings


Study for armour movement

Technical pen (Rotring) and fibre pen/watercolour

Brush and indian ink

Design for the key-block of a woodcut

This is the completed woodcut,
with some additional watercolour

Small studies for a fantasy map illustration

Brush and ink

More map elements

Fibre-tip pen

Friday, November 18, 2022

End Trimming Jig for the Vice


This is a jig for planing thin bits of wood, especially end-grain, square in both directions. It's essentially a shooting board, but everything is held in the vice. It takes up no bench space, unlike a regular shooting board, so it means I don't have to keep an area of my work-top clear to use it.

The body of the jig is thick enough to keep the sole of the plane level to cut the wood square across, and the stop keeps it square in its other orientation. I just ride the back end of the plane along the jig until the plane blade just kisses the surface, and then I've got a nice clean, square end. Very simple.

It will need to be re-squared as it wears, but that's no big deal, and the stop is just held in its mortice by friction and can be renewed as required.

The idea comes from Paul Sellars.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

That Bloody Moon


We had a total lunar eclipse last night, which created a small amount of nerdish excitement. Apparently the next one isn't until 2025, by which time the USA will no doubt have descended into full-blown fascist repression and/or civil war.

Monday, November 7, 2022

Dice Tray


I made this dice tray out of laminated pine, stained and waxed. It's about 255mm in diameter, and 50mm tall.

The outer ring, as you can see here, is to keep your dice-in-waiting in, and the central cavity is for rolling them. The rolling pit has slightly undercut walls, to lessen the chance of dice leaping out.

Half way through turning this, I blew the capacitor on my lathe's motor, so that'll need to be fixed. I can still use the lathe, but I have to start it spinning manually, which isn't ideal.

Friday, November 4, 2022

Wood Pile


The fruit of my labour, the last few days. It looks a lot less impressive than it feels in my arm muscles. All that's left to cut up now is a bunch of skinny scrapply branches.

That Bahco bow-saw is excellent. It's not exactly effortless, but it really makes short work of cross-cutting even fairly hefty bits of wood. Green wood is easiest, but it'll tear through old dry timber pretty fast too. It's a hardened-point blade, so it needs diamonds to sharpen — in theory it's a replaceable blade, but I've never seen the blades alone in Bunnings or Mitre10.

One result of all this is that the eastern side of our back yard is now a lot sunnier than it has been for years and years. Probably decades.