The devil – and the delight – is in the details

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Sometimes the best part of designing and making a project isn’t the actual making, but just coming up with how to do it.

I have wanted to make something for a long time and have been kicking around numerous ways to accomplish it, and I think I’ve finally figured it out. Now, I’ll state right up front that I won’t tell you what it is since it’s to be a gift for someone who might read this, but you might appreciate the process. (Later, once the project is done, I’ll post it and details here.)

Anyway, I’ve been wanting to make something based on the ones that appear in numerous fantasy books, and while the basic design was something I nailed down early – I’ve got some great sketches and have already selected and purchased the wood to make it – I haven’t been able to come up with how to do a key part of the construction. Old fantasy novels, oddly enough, tend to pay far more attention to the characters and story than to arcane details of the construction of fantasy objects on the off chance that some goofball woodworker may come along some day, read the book, and want to make one.

To that end I’ve been playing around with chisels and epoxy, soda straws and string, clamps and wood splinters and anything else I thought might be worthy of experimenting with. A lot of things simply didn’t work and some others sort-of-worked, but not well enough. Finally, though, I think I’ve come up with a way to make it work.

Now that I know how to do it the actual project will take just a day or two. It’ll be a fun project, and presenting the result to the intended recipient will be a thrill.

But I have to admit as I look over my notes, sketches and prototypes that the most fun part is already complete.

A.J.

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