Friday, March 25, 2011

Feynman Friday: Confusion and Uncertainty

Considering that blog is called "MATERIALOGY" I have decided to start posting some clips from one of my favorite characters, a man responsible for giving us  some of the methods used to describe the interactions of all the "material" around us: the late great physicist Richard Feynman. Feynman had a magnetic  personality and possessed a unique ability to inspire, entertain, and explain. An ability that is as compelling today as it was in his time.  In this spirit, every Friday I'll be posting my favorite clips of Feynman discussing various topics as only he can.

(Another Clip after the Jump)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It's Always Sunny in Brooklyn. (Part 4)

The File-nal Frontier (oh dear, that’s bad)

In this the final chapter of our sawing quadrilogy, we will be address this saw’s mettle. First, I’ll prep the saw plate removing any rust and giving it a light polishing. Next, we’ll talk sharpening, and I’ll give this old dog some new teeth.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It's Always Sunny in Brooklyn. (Part 3)

Shape and bake.

If time flies when you are having fun, then the surface of space-time must be folding like origami when you are shaping the wood. During this phase of the handle-making process, I lost track of any sense of time, and as a result forgot to snap photos of the entire process. Sorry.

Friday, March 11, 2011

It's Always Sunny in Brooklyn. (Part 2)


Back to the lab with a pen and a pad.

Disclaimer: This was the first time making a saw handle and for the most part I was winging it. As a result some of the steps may be mildly-to-fully ass-backward. Also, I once said I wasn’t going to blog how-to's, I sort of lied, deal with it. For what it’s worth, this a more of a how-did anyway.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It's Always Sunny in Brooklyn. (Part 1)

So I have fallen in love with saws.

My induction into handsaw-dust began with set of joinery backsaws that I purchased last winter. They been largely unused until the past fall when I began making it a point to do regular sawing exercises for joinery. This consisted of milling up a stack of short little poplar boards and cutting hundreds of angled dovetail cuts. At first I didn’t assemble any joints, I just laid out 20-30 cuts and after they were sawn then tried to divide the material left in between by eye (a Klausz exersiz). Then I got to actually making little dovetail cases, chopping out the waste and pairing the joints. Then it was on to practicing cutting tenons, etc, etc. Anyway, I have a gained little skill, and I am hooked. I am also convinced with continued practice and deliberate use my sawing is only going to keep getting better and better and allow me to cut complex joints that would be a nightmare with my machines. But what about larger cuts?
I think we're going to need some larger saws.

Enter my burgeoning handsaw obsession.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Straight and Narrow

But, if truth is the correspondence between appearance and reality, then there are some glaring inconsistencies in this system. Straight lines are strikingly absent from nature. If you take a walk in the woods, it is apparent that there is virtually nothing that is ruler straight. Instead, all naturally occurring forms are curved and arabesque. Rocks, bushes, mountains, rivers, gullies, branches, and leavers all follow an organic outline that does not contain a single perfect straight line. Only tree trunks and the perpendicular alignment of he human form standing upright upon the earth offer a commonly seen vertical that approximates a plumb line. Despite this direct evidence of our senses, we continue to connect everything with straight lines. The nineteenth-century Romantic artist Eugene Delacroix once speculated, "It would be worthy to investigate whether straight lines exist only in our brains"

-Leonard Shlain, Art and Physics