Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Perhaps It Can Be Thought of as Conservation

This is sort of a post for the TANBI Elder. If it were completely for the Elder, it would be titled "And You Thought Zen Had the Big Pantograph" or perhaps "Gas is off, Compressor's off..."

I stated work on a side gig today. I am making some tree cut outs for an activity at the Three Rivers Arts Festival. Kids are going to cut leaves out of paper and then they need a form of a tree to pin them on. I have to say there was a certain amount of irony involved in taking perfectly good sheets of plywood and doing this to them. Even more irony if you figure once upon a time a person harvested a perfectly good tree in order to make plywood that I could ruin by making a tree.

Here it is, the circle of life...

First you use Google images and find yourself a tree. Perhaps this tree, the "Council Oak Tree":

Then, using an incredibly expensive Computer Aided Design program which you temporarily dumb down to an Etch-a-sketch you painstakingly take note of the Lord's creation and commit the path to digits, like this:

After that, you take your tracing and make it into something you can sell:

From there you use two more very complicated pieces of software and a very, very expensive tool to keep you from spending days projecting and tracing an image and then wailing away at it with a saber saw. This could be the new John Henry project for next year's Tech Design class. Anyway, here's two poorly shot videos to show the process:

You get the idea. The whole thing actually takes like 28 minutes. I suspect I could go faster, but with only the one bit in the shop, a small mistake could turn into a long break to run to the home center.

Here's what the sheet looks like after the router table does its thing:

And here, with the waste removed:

Here, a grove of parts:

And then, a couple of views of where we left off today. I am fairly certain it will have fallen over and cracked when I get back to it, but I can hope not:

Ah the circle of life: Tree, plywood, tree. Now all I have to do is assemble and paint.

Gas is off, compressor's off... (or actually in my case: power's off, dust collector is off, tool room is locked, doors are locked, lights are off, gate is locked...)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This post is going to come in very handy for me soon. We're doing Waiting for Godot next season and I'm sure I'll be looking into ways to make a tree. Out of wood. Without cutting down a real tree myself. Thanks!