Ongoing arch commentary.

The two arch elements clamped, and the first, inner cut, being refined. I used a Sabre saw to make the cuts. Clamping the two "boards" together to cut them, caused the plastic material to melt and refuse behind the cut, though a single cut worked well.

To refine the edge, and smooth out the waviness from the hand cut, I'm using a Sureform rasp, and cabinet makers rasps and files. These are tapered, one side flat, the opposite slightly round. Final finish with a random orbit power sander. The clean edge is then used as a reference to mark the outer cut. Another "tool" used for this are a pair of Wells-Lamont mechanics gloves, going by the name "Grips", as rasps and files tend to work on the hands as well.

The finished arch elements.


Brave New World, plastic said the spider ...

I sometimes take on some "odd" jobs, both for the challenge, and the getting paid part. This one involves a material I was only vaguely aware of, plastic millwork. I've seen the plastic frames for years, thank goodness for odd painting sizes, but don't spend enough time in the regular lumber store. Recently I was asked to make an arched element for some ornamental work for a porch, and was supplied with the material; two 18 foot by 11 1/4 inch boards made of plastic, polyurethane.

Above, one of the 18 footers, halved and now being laminated into a 9 foot by 22 1/2 inch board from which to cut the arch from. Gorilla glue, after some research seemed a good choice, the deciding factor being reasonable availability. The glue joints only need to last til the arches are installed; then contractors adhesive and mechanical fasteners will hold it in place. I did try and snap my test piece; two little cutoffs glued together, by pressing down, hard, on the supported and unsupported pieces. Still together.

This image shows the layout on the boards. I did the layout prior to glue-up, so I would know where the critical areas were for clamping. The arch was drawn from a 1"  x  10'  x  1/8" piece of plywood, that I cobbled together from 2 5' strips of the plywood held together with a small third strip, about 3 inches long, super-glued to the back of the longer strips. 5 minutes, done. Capturing the 10' strip at the center, between 2 thin, clamped pieces of scrap, I could bend the strip, clamp it at the end, and draw the arc out to the center, then do the other side.

More, later, as it progresses.



Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture, Real Clear Arts.

"To hear some people tell it, connoisseurship is a concept that has been lost by much of the art world -- or at the very least, underplayed. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts this week opens an exhibition that instead puts connoisseurship back in the spotlight."

Ms. Dobrzynski regularly  finds interesting items. Personally, I think connoisseurship is in decline, but I might just be a grumpy old man.

There is a slideshow version of the exhibition.


Other Tools

 Case Pocket Knife with modifications.

The all purpose, go anywhere, indispensable handy-dandy pocket tool. Sharpen pencils, cut the foil from wine bottles, open those pesky blister packages, clean the gunk from under finger nails.

Mini-Copperhead with pen blade and Wharncliffe blade. I've modified the pen blade with an indent at the top, and I leave the last 1/4 inch dull, for cleaning gunk from fingernails. The rest of the blade is very sharp, as is the Wharncliffe.

If one was so inclined, it can also be used as a carving tool. Wow!


Meanwhile, back at the ranch ...

A helping "hand", support for the weary. A photo tripod, with a plywood platform, with a 1/4-20 threaded insert, attached to the head. Adjustable for uneven floors, etc. Amvona tripod, from e-bay, bogen head, all for about $70.00, and I can use it for photos, too.



More Painterly Photos, Robert Bergman

Judith H. Dobrzynski writes about Robert Bergman on her blog, and an article at the WSJ. The portraits display a very beautiful use of color and composition. Worth looking at.


Gordon Lewis at TOP

Over at TOP, Gordon Lewis is offering prints of this image, at a very good price for a limited time. This is from his review of the Pentax K7.

The image, itself is a very "painterly" photo. Possibly the most "painterly" I've seen. That's good.