Tuesday, November 8, 2011

When It's Tool Makin' Time In Indiana

SP: Am I given to understand that you spent over an hour and a half making a single rib tool today?

JB: Scott, to tell you the truth, the time I spent is nothing compared to the time it will gain me in this huge project --40 18 inch porcelain bowls -- I have to complete this month.

SP: I was told you actually used a piece of nice cherry wood to craft the tool?

JB: The pleasure of a good tool is three-fold:
1. In the crafting of it-- knowing exactly what is needed to make it function well for the assigned task
2. In the choice of materials -- enjoying working with good materials like cherry. Have you ever smelled cherry wood as it's been sawed and sanded? ....marvelous.
3. In the using -- not just the time savings, but the appreciation of doing what you couldn't have without the ingenuity of the new tool.

SP: So, how did you fashion this extended bowl rib?

JB: First, I ripped a length from a piece of cherry that I've had in the shop for more that 25 years. It's actually a piece left over from the cherry that makes up my display. Next, I sanded both sides and the edges smooth. After that I rocked the length along the surface of my belt sander, creating an extremely smooth arc that I imagined might help me achieve the interior curve of these 18 inch bowls.

SP: All that? ...for just one rib?

JB: Yes. Again, it will save me an immense amount of time, but I also take a bit of pride in the tool itself.

SP: Well, I'll grant you that it's nice looking tool, even if it is simple

JB: Thanks.