There is a wonderful rhythm in using a crosscut saw, the "shish" of the cutters and rakers clearing out a kerf almost becomes hypnotic, but your arms, shoulders and hips tell you that you are working. To work is to pray.
We don't need to heat with wood, the house has a steam heat furnace that is quite efficient. The fireplace is huge, but more for a romantic show. I cut about a cord and a half of lodge pole pine before these last 2 storms. My Husky 385 chainsaw is overkill on these small trees, cutting the wood to stove length is quick, but after watching "Alone in the Wilderness", a documentary on Dick Proenneke's life in Alaska, I pulled out the one man crosscut saws I own. I figured I need the exercise. This saw belonged to my father-in-law, it's a Monkey Ward saw with perforated lance teeth with a "D" handle, the auxiliary handle came from our place in northeastern California. This set up works though after using it for about a half an hour I put on a regular crosscut saw handle, it is what I am use to.
This saw belong to my maternal grandfather, I have no idea how old it is or what brand it is, I just know that I have cut a lot of firewood with it. The saw started out with perforated lance teeth, like the other saw, through repeated sharpening the teeth lost almost five eighths of an inch of length. I need to file out the gullets to add some more length to the teeth.
The maple guitar that is heading to a client in Sedona, Arizona. I took this photo to show him how a several sessions of french polishing can make the figure in wood really "pop". I wish that when I started making guitars I hadn't paid any attention to Bill Cumpiano, Irving Sloane, Stanley Doubtfire, etc., when they said in their books that french polishing was too hard to do. At least Roy Courtnall says that you can do it.
It is not hard to do, I find it much easier then trying to brush on some highly toxic oil varnish or lacquer. I don't have to apply any wood filler and then sand and sand and sand the filler down to the wood, then once you apply the varnish you have to sand, sand, sand. I don't like sanding and wearing a respirator while I sand. French polish, which is a technique used to apply shellac, is very friendly to you and the environment. Shellac is refined from what is secreted by the "lac" bug and it can be dissolved with 150 proof grain alcohol. You don't need a haz-mat locker for that.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
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