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Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Unforseen

Biz News - There's a new Talbert Briar in the catalog, an unstained,beautiful blond freehand blast in a sort of hybrid Bettafish/Ibex shape. It's quite striking, and the wood is so pale in color that it's very nearly white.

The last couple of days have brought some unpleasant distractions into my work on this Halloween piece. First up was something not pipe-related - our Windows XP hard drive crashed, right when Emily needs it the most to do her yearly taxes on. After some debate over various alternatives, we opted to bite the bullet and finally get her a laptop of her own, just a simple ultra-cheapo Dell for our accounting (XP only) software alone, so we can stop fighting over the one computer finally. But this incurred the usual time wastage that attaches itself to anything computer-related, and no doubt will end up sucking up an inordinate amount of otherwise-useful working time when the thing arrives and I have to get the software switched over and install what will probably be two hundred security patches.

The next problem, from last night, was a stem that had to be discarded. Too thin! I tried my best to get a decent shot of the effect, but alas, one really can't see very well in the photo where the problem area is. This can be a common problem in the eternal quest for the ultra-thin bit, though - opening the inside slot just a hair too large, or not leaving enough material. In this case, widening the slot produced that sinking feeling - too much heat at my fingertips around the outside. Sure enough, the slot had created a visual "ripple" on the outside. It can just barely be seen in the photo - It's the V-shaped distortion in the light reflection up the bit center. A bit of prodding showed the material there was thin enough to flex, not acceptable, as it would surely fail in use. Bleagh.

Fortunately I was able to drill and shape another rod section quickly, and it can be seen here:

Tonight's work got me back to where I should have been two days ago, sans l'ordinateur problems and the reject bit, and the pipe itself is coming along nicely. I suspect it's going to feel great in the hand, like a small squirming creature. Tomorrow looks to be the fourteen hour workshop day that will take this a big chunk of the haul from its current crude cut to a much more detailed version closer to finished: