Parents, and Shavehorses, and Busses, OH MY.

What a treat this weekend has been! Meeting your partner’s (Yeeeehawww cowgirl, I know this term reminds everyone of a rodeo) is always a little nerve-wracking. Okay – it was more than a little, and I had a whole eight hour bus ride to think about all the things that could go wrong. And I thought of a lot of things:

“What if they have an aversion to gingers?”
“What if they don’t like Bolivian born, Irish-American-Canadians?”
“What if I buy the wrong wine to bring to dinner and they kick me out of the house?”
“What if they hate Baptists?”
“What if they dislike my slight American accent?”
“What if they just don’t like me?”
“What if they hate the cowlick that covers the entirety of the left side of my scalp?”

Trust me, with eight hours you can come up with some pretty bizarre reasons for the parents to dislike you.

Thankfully for me, I’m just pretty awesome and hard to dislike so my fears were a bit unfounded. Actually, it was probably the other way around – the parents were just very likeable and easy to be around, which made it pretty easy for me to strike up conversation about the amazing amounts of artwork and history they have adorning their walls. What a great family!

Regardless, I had such an amazing time, and count myself so lucky to have met such great people and to have had relatively no hiccups along the way. (Because trust me, I’ve heard horror stories)

Now, I’m on the bus home and again having to fill my time with some form of useful work or distraction to keep me from listening in on the girl behind me who is having an argument with someone about her job and boyfriend. It’s very hard not to listen in on this type of stuff when it is directly being spewed into your ear and your focus has been shot by a few too many hits to the head in contact sports – but I’m doing my best to not feel sardine-ish.

I thought I would show you all an old project that I unfortunately don’t have the pleasure of having with me any more.  When I moved, a lot of things had to go, which was really unfortunate, because I had built quite a collection of items that I was pretty proud of. Some went to some good new homes with loving people who will care for and appreciate them. But this one got put on the side of the road with a free sign on it – I wasn’t really expecting anyone to snag it because I thought it was a little iffy looking and not many people would know what it was. (I think the people who did throw it in the back of their truck probably just wanted the scrap wood, but I like to think that it’s being put to good use whether it’s still being used for its intended purpose – or is now someone’s shelf or scrap wood to be transformed into something else.)

Honestly – scrap wood is the best wood. It’s sort of like buying something at a pawn shop. That shit has character, history. Someone else used it. It hasn’t just been sitting in a lumber yard, or fresh from a tree. Although there is something to be said for the feel of nice green wood.

I’ve gone completely off tangent, but bear with me I’ll be coming around soon.  When I was doing a lot more spoon carving and green-woodworking, I got a little bit gung-ho and convinced myself that in order to do it justice I would need a shave horse.  I wasn’t about to go chop down a large log and hew it out like the old folks used to – and I did have a lot of extra wood from a bed frame that I had built a few weeks earlier.

So I began to plan. As always, I looked up several designs and options that would be easy, cost effective, and wouldn’t require me to venture out of my hobbit hole to procure more materials.

I found a lot of resources that seemed to work with what I had in mind – that being old 2x8s and 2x4s that I had lying around.

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Shavehorse design

This was a design I ended up working from. Of course, I changed quite a few things around. Let me tell you how annoyed I was with the back legs of this thing… super annoyed. I’m awful at angles and anything to do with math, and as much as I know that I need to learn it – I’ve been avoiding it like I avoid algae floating at the top of a lake when I go for a dip.

So, they ended up being less than ideal, but this thing was only for my personal work, and I ended up tacking it together in a day, and while it wasn’t pretty – it worked fairly well.

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I found that some of the wood that I would clamp would slip a bit with some harder pulls from my drawknife, so I picked up  one of those little non-slip rubber pads that the dollar store sells for dishes or whatever uses they are for – I actually don’t know, but they work really well for this.

With a piece adhered to the ramp, and to the arm, there was much less slippage.

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I really do wish I still had this fella, but lots of time n the future to make an upgraded version! If I do make another, I’ll shorten it, or move the seat up – perhaps a sliding seat! And… maybe I’ll work on the angle of those legs… math has to happen sooner or later.

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