Wednesday, February 24, 2016

When two left paws try and make one right outdoor wine-table

Wednesday, February 24, 2016
oldbearnews editor

Well - not many know this - probably just as well
This bears first love was timber-work - or carpentry!
I still love working with timber - bringing out the character of the grain etc . . ..
Sadly I did not make it into the apprenticeship scheme.  Something about two left hands and one crook eye. Or was it one crook hand and two left eyes??
Thus I got into the other passion of mine - and got an apprenticeship in pastry cooking.  Hmmmm both are creative jobs  . . . .
Food went well - bears - urm - true story you know - can smell Nutella from as far as three miles away!
Anyhow - bear with me  <---- Bad pun - naughty bear!!

Recently I found a clever idea on the net - and decided now that I am older
and while I still have two left hands, my eyesight however has been corrected - yuss - urm *cough* to give this a whirl at home - after all how hard can that be to make one of these?!?!?!?!  Right?

After a lot of planning and designing and (you know - measure 5x and cut once)  eventually some plain old NZ pine got turned into this!
Not half bad.  As is custom in Maori culture - the first of something newly made - you give away as a present to someone else - or you will never make another one!
This particular urm out-door wine table got given as a present to a scout friend of mine, who shared far to many km in his van with me and don't get me started on camping nights!  :)
It even had an outing before Christmas . . . .
baptized so to speak


my turn - yussss

A serious planning meeting was called for and some more research needed to be done. I wanted a NZ native timber table - none of the imported woods to be used!!
 I was very lucky to pick up some rings from a saw-mill on our west-coast a few weeks back.  The chap there was only to happy to use his chain saw and sluice of a half inch round ring from a 500 year old Rimu tree that was blown over in the bad storm they had two years back. I took the rings home and was very happy until when - wham-bammm - they SPLIT!  Bugger!!  They dried out so quick, it split them right down the middle - hmmmmm
Do I toss them into a bath and let them soak up some moisture? Then again - I could use the split as one entry point for - the glass??  Hmmmm

More research was called for.
Back to the planning committee meeting.

Eventually decided to give Halswell Timber a ring and yes they have what I needed - some tongue and groove flooring - just the right thickness.
They also have some Matai and Totara and some Red Beech.
I drools (and endless possibilities go through my head with lightning speed) - then remind myself of my limited funds and the wrath of my partner should I decide to be totally irrational . . . .

Back to the committee meeting - were a serious discussion had been had about budgets and priorities.
What I really was after - is some Tawhero - alas - it is no longer milled!
Check out this website - it gives some samples on what the timber grain looks once cut and processed:

Eventually this bear came to a resolution - and put the rings in "storage" and would invest into one linear meter of tongue and groove Rimu flooring - all of 19mm thick.  All I would have to do is . . . . .
yup - measure 5 times and cut once.
Then apply a liberal dose of liquid nails and put the said tongue into the groove and apply some pressure to make them fit tightly together and then - urm - wait . . . . .
- urm for 25 hours minimum.

Time to take a shower and have a drink and mull over today's achievement and plan for tomorrow . . . . .

February 25th - am time

The clamps have been removed!
Patience was never my strong side!
Amazingly the liquid nails did their job and even more amazingly the plate remained straight.  Often when gluing three or more pieces together they can warp (when you put on the bracing strain) and you end up with a wee hollow. To counter this you also put a piece of timber at 90degrees across the plate.   You might just see the two smaller clamps holding a piece across in the previous image. Truth is told - it probably should have had one on BOTH sides . . . . . .
I actually for a while considered the need for some doweling - but then realized - it is TONGUE AND GROOVE!! perfic  :)

Next step is for the planning committee to meet with a designer / interior architect and make a major decision - round or square???
One would be less work - the other looks better! The Finance sub committee will also need to be consulted as It would require the purchase of some round hole drill bits . . . . Wonder what the outcome of those meetings will be . . .

February 25th - pm time

Not so great news - the workforce has met with their union rep and had a discussion about the ethics of working for little reward in 33 degree heat. Post meeting the worker asked politely if he could have the afternoon off and enjoy a cool blond while cooling down at the pool. In his favor - he did cite some obscure Geneva Convention Industrial Law and the precedent from 1976. . . . .
In order to keep the workforce happy and on-site - the cool blond was granted - the pool side escapade declined.  Guess that is the end of today's effort.
Just as well I always have a minimal stock of blonde's around the house.

Meanwhile - I have to prep for tonight's planning committee meeting and the potentially disastrous meeting with the Finance subcommittee.  I think a bottle of white along with some flowers and perhaps a romantic candle lit dinner might sway the arguments in my favor - we shall see!!
ok - flowers - check - white in fridge - check - dinner prep - hmmmmmm semi check -   :)

Friday February 26th - am time

Well - best laid plans - sometimes go west.  The treasuruer treasurey money-person ended up working late - so by the time she got home the flowers had wilted / Dinner was cold and became a microwave affair and the candle - well - gave its last light some time before that.  So no serious discussion took place - rather the weekend needed sorting.  Sighs

On another news front - the workforce has not turned up neither - claiming excessive tanning! Turns out that the half hour outside recently has urm "tanned" their back rather nicely and is now in need of some tender loving care.  Moisturizer has been mentioned  (not of the drinkable kind).
The workforce, so I am informed, is now also having a discussion with the  health and safety people (simultaneously <-- wow I got that rightly spelled) while enjoying the cool soothing rubbing hands from Nurse Gladys Emmanuel who is applying the moisturizer  and no doubt, will be advising the management on the need to wear proper outdoor weather gear!  I shall get a written report on this no doubt sometime soon.

MEAN-while -- not to be discouraged - management (that's me) has decided to do its bit and cut a previously aquired  accuired  received Rimu post - to size.
So out came the heavy tools - and yup - measured 5 x and cut once! So then the  post measuring 2 inches x 4 inches was squared up to 2 inches.  After that it needed sanding - so out came the other piece of mashinery machinory urm - gear and yup made it nice and smooth.  Then applied some liberal oil urm - on the post that is.
It needs a hole at the bottom for the piece of steel to be glued in (acting as a spike) and later on, some sort of shelf for the bottle to be resting on.  That however will be a job for the workforce, once they come back from their health and safety meeting - which - rumor has it, could drag into the weekend.
Something about the need and right to smell the roses!! Honestly - we have only two rose-bushes at home and they are not aromant  aeromatic - urm smelly!! 
Hmmm guess no further work will be done today!

Meanwhile - I still have to have that talk with the  urm money-person!

Monday February 29th - post lunch time

No roses were found to smell - however the soothing waters of the hot water pools in the National Thermal park did just do the same trick. The workforce certainly seemed happy to come back from a weekend of relaxing and have since been awaiting instructions from management for the project to go forward.  This time the management can be blamed for dragging its feet.  To my credit - I did go out and try and source the right tools / materials.  Alas - the local store was either under stocked - or not stocked at all.
The search has since been completed online (you gotta work cleveerly clearleyer - smarter ) - and we think we just found the right gear across town.
Only hassle is - it will be from a rival company to the Treasurers work place - so she might just have to bite the bullet and let me go there instead. Not that we have yet discussed - or even agreed to a budget.
Meanwhile, while the workers had been enjoying the soothing hot waters, the management went and bypassed the planning committee and consulted with - urm - some 'consultants' on the design of the table top (round or square) over a decent bottle of red grapes.
It was a productive - if long meeting.  After a lot of considerations on the shape and ethics of round vs square - a compromise was reached that might work actually way better then round or square!! The suggestion is make it into a octagon.  yuss!!!!
 Now we just have to get some sort of drawing and feed that info to the workforce and they then can proceed with the 'cutting to shape' process.

Thursday March 24th
It has been a while - to much has been happening since the last day of work!
The workers had aprochet  approaced  met and asked the management when their due holiday would be available and if the business would close altogether.
Not wanting to get into a bun fight - the annual leave was granted / booked / taken and enjoyed. Both management and workforce have been away on a secret location in New Zealand and have since returned and are raring to go.  
The workforce has been fed the master-plan and after - yup measure 5 x - cut once, made a semi decent octagon!  After that the need to buy the round hole-drill-bits were flagged away and the recently newly aquiered aqariued bought Scroll saw got set up and made use of.  The round holes turned out ok. Further cut / shaped and sanded were the hinges.  Management insisted that the only artificial (metal) thing on the wine table was to be the spike at the bottom - so this proofed to be a bit of a challenge.  It also kept the Finance committee happy!!!
The little tray that holds the bottle up was designed / cut / shaped and sanded and glued together.   Eager to press on, the Management pressed the workers to drill a hole in the post and glue in the hinges.  Tricky bit that was as you do not want the glue to get between the hinges and the post!  Eventually after a lot of consultations and head-gymnastics this was achieved.  
The work force has a nagging feeling that the designers still have stuffed up and are working strictly to the union rules  a n d  the plans, such as they are being supplied (on a paper napkin). 
Meanwhile - the Planning committee has been consulted and a suitable oval hole has been drawn and cut so that the fingers have enough room to grip and carry. This is getting exciting - the workers and management are looking forward to complete this project and start another one - first things first though! The table top has been lined up and glued to the hinges - and surprise surprise - they swing up and down (after the curing time had passed) ONLY to find out that the workers were right after all and a monomretal monumatel large error had been made by the planning team.
Their suspicion has indeed been confirmed - that the management and planning committee make things up as they go along - and with that come surprises - such as that the table won't fully tip down and the tray for the bottle to rest needs to be higher THUS the octagon needs re-shaping.  Sighs

A job for tomorrow

Have fun! bear print

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