Saturday, February 26, 2011

Destruction for Exploding Maple

April 13, 2008

So the electric cello that I'm working on has a bit of a problem.  The body is 2 and 1/2 inches too short.  I don't know how I screwed that up, but it can be fixed.  All I have to do is glue an extension block onto the body, shape and sand it, and it will be the right size.  Easy right?  Not anywhere close to easy.

So I have this piece of maple that I'm using as an extension block.  I have to get it perfectly flat on one side.  I mean really perfect, no excuses, it has to fit without any cracks showing.  In other words it has to be musical instrument quality.  The best way to do this is to use an electric miter saw. 

There's a lot of set-up involved but I'll give the short version.  I set up and lock down the cello body, use the miter saw to make the bottom end flat.  All goes well with no problems.  I am content.  Well, I use the bandsaw to cut the maple extension block down to size.  I then put it on the miter saw to put a flat edge on one side.  I get it squared, and held down just perfect, and engage the saw.  The second the blade hit that piece of maple, the maple just exploded.  Right now, I am not content.

This was an old piece of maple, and maple is normally very, very, very hard.  It just caught the blade right, and didn't let it cut through, thus the blade kind of kicked back, and the wood piece exploded under the pressure.  Luckly, I only got maple shrapnel in my hand.  My hand missed touching the blade.  So my "lucky" block of maple is now useless, and I have to start all over again.

Thus is the life of a wood worker.  In the end, I guess only my pride was hurt.  Oh, and that maple block.  That thing is wasted.  The one thing that people don't realize is just how much time setting up takes.  99% of the time is setting up and measuring.  Cutting probably doesn't even take 1%.  So back to the drawing board.  I'll try and get her right next time.

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