Journey's Journal headline

Sounds like a date. It isn’t. I am making large racks for Amy’s paintings, while she is upstairs finishing up the room where I will install the rack.  Some of the paintings are large, 66 X 90 inches.  The racks have to be strong and straight with no protrusions that would damage the paintings. They will also accommodate smaller sizes: 48” X 66”.  The racks will protect the paintings from leaning on each other and they will make it easier to show people the work. The work can be easily pulled from the slots without rubbing against anything, then easily be returned to storage.  We will be able to easily find work we want.  Though the building is a fair size, space is still a premium; the racks will help us to conserve that space and keep it functional.  This is better than anything we have had previously.

Stacks of lumber with lap joints

The best way to put the  components of the racks together was with half and full lap joints. This meant lots of repetitive cutting.  To reduce the repetition, I acquired a dado blade which cuts wide kerfs.  I can cut each joint with six or seven passes, instead of three or four times that many on my table saw.  The table saw is a portable, foldable saw by Bosch, that can fold up and hang on a wall. I love it. The safety equipment is nicely designed, the soft start is easier on the ears. It purrs.


So 1136 is the number of cuts I made to build this rack. All but twenty-six cuts were made with the dado blade.  It is difficult to keep one’s concentration with all that repetition, and it’s dangerous.  I kept thinking of mantras or litanies, checking each cut, efficiency of motion, choreography, pace, and preventing my hand from hitting the blade.  I tried using the tai chi stance, but had to lean over to see the marks I was using, which meant I could not maintain correct posture.  As can happen in tai chi, I would get sloppy and have to refocus. I marked progress by stacks completed and stacks still to be cut. I would hear occasional sounds above the saw’s, an ambulance or firetruck, a car door slam.  I would wonder if someone is waiting for me at the door, but I kept sawing, refocussing, pushing myself and concentrating.


Today I will be assembling the frames and tomorrow installing them in the room Amy has just completed. Thank goodness for the variety of movements I can now make. A different kind of choreography.  Fewer consequences if I listen to a tune while working.

Four smaller racks for smaller works will follow!

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