Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Working with plyboo

Written Sunday as a running commentary:

I thought I'd be able to work with the plyboo in my kitchen. That's where it's been stored for the last few weeks. But I'd have to move out the refrigerator. The weather is only in the low to mid 40's so I drag the first piece out to the front yard.
When packing up the house before moving out my jigsaw and circulating saw were the first to get stored. Too bad the tool closet is the hardest part of the house to reach. But I got them out.
My original plan was to put ... ok, my original plan was to buy a collapsing table saw from Home Depot. But getting it home would only have been simple if I were to assemble it in the Home Depot parking lot. Otherwise it was a two person job. Then I'd need help picking up the sheets of wood to feed them through the saw. So I abandoned that idea in favor of either the circular saw or jigsaw.
I didn't want to use them at first because there's too much allowance for human error. The cuts wouldn't be straight. So I thought I'd buy a couple of clamps and clip on a piece of lumber to use as a guide. Too bad lumber doesn't come straight.

You know what does come straight? Plyboo. This is the first time I've been able to work with straight edges and right angles since buying the house. I measured 16" down each side, put on the T-square, drew lines and the lines actually met in the middle. That NEVER happens.

I made the first cut with the jigsaw. The bottom looks great, but the top DID splinter. I'm not sure splinter is the right word. The bamboo fibers did come loose from the sheet. I'll trim them up and see if the paint will hold them in place.
The first length that I cut off can be used as the guide for the next piece. Not the side that I cut. The other side is the edge and it's as straight as my perfectionist (on this project anyway) personality demands.

The second cut is really great. The top splintered again but the bottom looks as perfect as I expected. It doesn't come any straighter. The very end got a bit mangled, but I'm writing that up to not being supported properly. All the weight from the board is focussed on that spot and twists badly.

On the fourth cut the blade on my jigsaw bent.

The circular saw reduces splintering on top, but it gets pinched easier and the cut ends more messily than with the jigsaw.

The neighbor kids came by wanting to help. I let them measure a few things and sweep off the excess sawdust. It's amazing how someone can screw up a broom. When they asked to run the saw I just laughed.

After finishing up the second board I packed it in and went to catch a movie.

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