ciara@ciarawharton.com

Creative Musings

22 Oct 2014

Learning Curve

When any new piece of equipment is introduced to the studio there is always a steep learning curve.  My recent addition created great excitement, bewilderment, fear and frustration in equal measures.

With the Nordic regions super efficiency and Eco Revolution in full effect, one no longer finds equipment instruction booklets in every conceivable language, they are only supplied in Swedish, Danish, Finish and Norwegian. Not a problem I thought, after 9 years living here I have a basic understanding and if I am really stuck I am sure Google will have an extensive library of instructions manuals. Sadly however no English instructions could be found for my new toy. For all my facebook followers the mystery behind the mask, goggles and earmuffs is a 1200w hand plunge router for woodworking. Everyone’s guesses give me such a laugh after a challenging day on a steep learning curve.

GuessRouter Wood

I can usually find my way around Swedish instructions, everyone can, thanks to IKEA, but the flat pack industry definitely outsmarts the Swedish power tools industry with it comes to instructions. Where are Jerry Magill, John Childs and Michael Duft when I need their expertise? A great believer in utilising the modern way I turn to You Tube for help. It was not long though before new terminology, the vast array of routers, their functions, jigs and various bits for decorative edging, joints and grooves were bamboozling me. The router has the claim of being the most versatile tool, which is great as long as the user is also versatile and not limited by the operator’s imagination. My routering will be very limited indeed! I hear an exasperated gasp from the much-admired master craftsmen/women who take years in the perfection of their skills that one should have a license to operate such a treasured piece of equipment.

Several hours were spent trying to figure out the right bit, improvising a piece of old tubing to form of exhaust pipe and how to get the edger guide to actually guide.

Improvised exhaust hose

Improvised exhaust hose

As the picture reveals I give up on the edge guide and resolved to do more You Tube research. Handling was pretty tough going and despite my best efforts the router had a mind of it’s own and it was proving near impossible to stay in a straight line.

Straight linesLead astray

Needless to say the router and myself where smoking and I don’t mean in a good way as the smell of charred wood filled the studio. ‘OMG’… I hear Michael exclaim.

Smoking                              Charred wood

Turning down the power and shorting the length of the bit proved to be a winner as I got into the groove with more parallel cuts but keeping her steady and straight was still a challenge.

Parallel

Lines getting better but……..

After 6 solid hours with some small flickers of triumphs I called it a day and packed it away only to discover the contraption of an edge guide laughing at me. Never to be defeated several more attempts was all it took to figure out how the edge guider worked to give the perfect straight grove on the second pass.

At last!Straight RouteringSuccess at last! A quick blast with the Mitre saw and 8 hours later I am as pleased as punch with the results of this learning curve.

CW Mitre Saw

Some sawing to finish the long shift

The display stands for my bespoke art glass will know no limits unlike my imagination for routering.

Torso Green                                Torso Red

Learning is lifelong and we all have many curves to navigate, boundaries to push ensuring we have fun while evolving personally. Don’t leave without commenting on my handiwork in the reply box below. Thank-you for stopping by.

 

 

 

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