That moment when…

…it seems that all the bad stuff happens precisely at the same time. Yep, I had one of them not too long ago.

I am currently working on a little coffee or side table for the lounge. The top will be made from a solid piece of curly maple, and the legs (5 of them, plus 5 half-legs) are made from the old window sill of the lounge bay window, which was replaced with a new one earlier this year. It should be quite spectacular when finished.

The legs are basically there, and so are the two rings holding them together. I rough turned the top quite some time ago and then left it in the workshop. Took it out about 3 weeks ago and it was warped. So I thought, not a problem, I’ll take it to the lounge and then only bring it back to the workshop to finish it off. Except it was still warped. Maybe even more so. Looking at it, I probably should have realize this. Two thirds of it are nicely quarter sawn timber, but the remaining third shows the grain of a branch coming out of the tree. No chance of any stability there.

So I let go of a deep sigh, and fetched myself another nice big slab from my stash of sycamore at the yard. Back home, marked out the diameter of the table top, and used my circular saw to separate that part of the blank from the rest (my bandsaw isn’t quite big enough to make these cuts).

Then off to the bandsaw to cut the corners round. That’s where things started to go wrong. I went into one cut, but couldn’t quite finish it. In order to just cut the corner off a little more, I need to reverse out of it. However, the wood had decided to close the kerf after the blade, so it would not move forward or backward more than an inch. Now, this piece of wood is still about 15kg, and a lot bigger than the little table of my bandsaw, so I couldn’t just leave it hanging there. I found myself a piece of oak to support the free side of it. Then I got a chisel and a mallet, sat down on the bandsaw (see the pictures of my workshop and you will understand) and whopped the chisel into the kerf behind the blade.

So now picture this: the chisel goes in. This frees up the bandsaw blade, and at the same time the blank bounces a little on the table of the bandsaw. Just enough so that the oak support underneath loses its grip and falls away. It hits me on the leg, and I get startled, and try to stand up. In this movement somehow get tangled up in the power cable and end up ripping it straight out of the bandsaw. This in turn produces a few sparks, the circuit breaker goes off and and I stand in complete darkness, with a 15kg sycamore blank in my hands, in the knowledge that if I just let go of it, it will surely make a complete mess of the saw blade, and possible of my leg, too.

Proper Mr. Bean moment. It all comes together in on critical moment. Anyways, I managed to fumble around in the dark for the oak piece, wedged it under again, carefully untangled myself, unplugged the bandsaw and got the circuit breaker going again. Then I spend 10 minutes getting the blank and the blade out of the saw, and another 30 minutes fixing the wiring for good. One hour later, it was all done.


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