Friday, March 20, 2020

Another afternoon on the front porch

I got this offcut of poplar ("Piedmont Poplar?") from Lawrence Gandsey while out on a jog a while ago. His workshop sits right behind Lanesplitter's pizza in Oakland. I'd catch glimpses into this shop every time I'd pass by. There is gigantic silhouette from an old band saw in the window and other machines. The windows had custom grilles welded up to look like vines. Anyway, while on that jog, I saw the roll-up door open and there was activity inside. Mr. Gandsey was actually working on what appeared to be a large slab table, and noticed me stopped in my tracks looking inside with a cowed expression. He invited me in and after introductions asked what kind of wood working I did. At the time I was making spoons of various sorts and led with that. So he set aside a box of offcuts a few days later. All sorts of local species, and more. Hard maple, black walnut, Australian blood wood...all for spoon carving, etc.

Today, I pulled one of my saw horses out onto the front porch after working from home, and began a spoochula out of the poplar. All non-essential gatherings of people have been shut down by the state, with most businesses closed. Personal distancing rules are in effect (6' by law). Lots of people were outside, walking the neighborhood, passing by while i was carving. They were walking dogs. walking restless kids. Or just walking themselves, lost in thought, getting out of the house for a bit. My neighbor Ari 2 doors down, we hardly talk, but this evening she was out for a stroll and we connected. She's a sign language interpreter, and all her work has been cancelled. Another neighbor, Dane, was walking his pit-bull and chihuahua. He's a general contractor with a few jobs in progress, but they've been paused indefinitely.

Joe D. wrote me about an earlier post showing a way to hold work in your lap using a loop of rope threaded into a plank that you support on your lap while seated. your feet keep tension on the line to provide a surprising amount of holding capability. it's also much less fatiguing this way.

This is where I left off for the day. Quite long of handle, but I kinda like the extra length for the way it feels.
Got a little too thin at one section. The wood is so soft, it's almost like balsa. Not sure how long I'll be able to use it for cooking, but this wood is great for carving without wearing myself out. Will have to look for more of this for just experimenting with.
Works fine on the frying pan tho
it's taller than the others a bit.
Paulo and Tux mid morning taking rest on the deck.

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