Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Bridge: Curving the Handrails

After finishing all the mortises and tenons I did a quick assembly of the hand rails. Not bad, but I want to have a curve in the rails so that it gives the appearance of a single piece of wood flowing through the posts. Time to string up my thin strap of wood and mark off the curve in pencil.

I really need a good band saw to these cuts. Instead I do a rough cut on the table saw and follow up with the belt sander. This is more like it.

But something isn't right. One of the end pieces is hanging off in a most ungraceful manner. I check the curve. Yes, it seems to be curving in the right place. My eye tells me otherwise.

I look at the other side and it seems OK. What gives?

I've got it on the floor now, trying to remove any visual cues that I might be getting from the background. Is it an illusion? Sometimes we have to trust our senses and do what feels right and what looks right instead of following the rules. Maybe I'll just cut it freestyle, like a painter drawing on a canvas...

Not so fast. I take a break and go to my project manager who (I'm sure) suspects that I am lazy and looking for an excuse to quit working. He rests his head on my shoe, sighs heavily and pretends to listen while I theorize about perspective and symmetry and art. He could not possibly care less about the curve. Just do it, he thinks to himself.

Next: joining the two side, getting everything square...

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