Creaturiste's Laboratory

Techniques, works in progress, and everything that doesn't fit in the portfolio. Comments and questions are encouraged, custom orders are welcome!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bandsaw & I

The band saw I got a few weeks ago is indeed turning out to be a wondertool!
How could I do my work without it for so many years is already getting hard to comprehend!

The band saw is becoming an essential in my workshop. I got it mostly to cut wood pieces to make better marionettes and simple wooden toys, but now I can confirm what people have been telling me all along: it's super versatile!
It also cuts polyfoam, styrofoam, cardboard, light plastics! And these don't require a new blade either! A friend of mine needed to cut the top off of a peanut butter jar's lid. No problem! Did it in 5 minutes. I tested it before with another jar, to make sure the plastics were not going to shatter. The jar plastic shattered, but not the lid. so i just left the lid screwed tight on the final jar, and carefulyl cut off the top of the lid.
The jar part was cut with scissors.

I spent half the afternoon learning how to properly change the blade, and finally succeeded, despite the inadequate instructions in the manual. I was able to solve the problem by studying the exploded diagram of the whole machine! Feels great to get past the difficulties and figure it out! The new blade (Delta industrial) is an eight of an inch wide, making it a lot easier to cut better curves. I'm told there are even better blade types. I'll keep an eye out for them. And wear safety goggles while doing so.

The rest of the day was for designing and outline-cutting the torso and limbs for my next marionette. I've been working on it for a while, but I've been (and still am) so busy planning my solo exhibit, that it's slow going for every piece I'm working on. I also have a few pieces to finish before the show.

Back to the band saw:
The only problem with it is the lack of a fence/guide.
I shall get one next paycheck, even if it means I have to drive my bicycle for an hour to get to the supplier. That's how motivated this tool is making me! I'm starting to understand how some people become so attached to their car. I wouldn't be surprised if before long, the band saw told me its name. Even without a fence, the saw is still amazing.
I have not needed to re-saw wood at perfect angles, so with a little planning before cutting, there was no problem.

Operating this machine becomes a way to focus on the moment, it feels so mind-clearing to think of nothing but the the finger positions, and feel and control the precision of the cut.
It's almost a meditation. The fact that every use puts you in the position of possibly losing fingers or eyes, is a great motivator to self-discipline. If I don't feel focused and fully aware, I don't even turn on the machine.

I'd play some more with it, but I respect my neighbors, and I decided to not operate noisy equipment after 8pm. So tonight, I'll see if I can finish the paper mache steps on a brooch I'm making for a colleage overseas. It's still an exciting feeling to know some of my pieces are going to be appreciated by people so far away! I hope I don't ever get jaded about this!

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