Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Bridge: A Gentle Curve

The bridge must start with a curve, a nice gentle curve that runs the length of an 8-foot 2 x 12. Easy to do on the computer, but what about real life? Since this was the first challenge of my first project in quite a while, I tried to call a meeting with the new project manager, but he refused to leave the kitchen. Such is the case with new management--so afraid of failure that he won't be any help at all until the project is nearly finished. Coward.
Jam refused to meet with me.  Too busy, he said.

For the curve, one option is to take the board to a football field and put it on the 50-yard line. Then nail a little post on the goal line and then take a long string...

Instead, I just took a piece of molding and bent it around some nails on the board.
Drawing the curve

Doing 8-foot rip cuts on pressure treated lumber is like a doctor performing surgery with a butter knife--slow going and messy.

After about an hour the first board is done, hopelessly deformed, like a poodle who's gotten a haircut from a three-year old. No gentle curves, not at all.
After the cuts. 

My confidence begins to crack but I have no one to cry to. Cheryl is away, Willow is napping, and Jam--afraid that something like this would happen, that the project would fail on the very first day--has disappeared somewhere. It's lunch time. I have no will to go forward.

I find the strength to continue and cut the second board. Then I clamp them together and get out my trusty plane to smooth out the top curve. Sweet.
Smoothing the top.  Very nice

The project manager has taken some interest. Maybe this will be OK after all.
Project Management

Next: attaching the posts and hand rails.

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