Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Clock Project Update - Hurry Up and Wait

1990, I joined the army. During basic training, our day would start with a morning run. The first day, it was 5 km. On getting back to the barracks the PT Instructor would bawl "Okay (derogatory expletive)! You have until o-eight-hundred. How you use that time is up to you, but I suggest you throw some grub down that gaping maw of yours and have a shower. We need you smelling nice for the colonel!" in a voice that could be heard clear across the parade square with a marching band present.

We'd stumble back into barracks in a sweaty gasping mess to get showered while he sauntered off who knows where without so much as a stain in his armpit and as fresh as a daisy. I don't think he even had any sweat glands.

After breakfast, we'd all be formed up ready to march (probably double-time) to our first class. Of course, nobody wanted to be accused of being late, so we were formed up by 7:55. 8:15 would roll around before we were collected like an article in the lost and found.

Real life is full of hurry up and waits. If you got laid off from work, you need to submit your proof of employment as soon as possible to the Employment Insurance office. Then you had to automatically wait 2 weeks before they would even look at your paperwork. Don't try to submit it close to the end of the 2 week waiting period because the period begins from the time you submit. Not the time that you lost your job!

I'm digressing though. Even before I get to my update. Over the past couple of days, I've been applying finish to 7 of the slats. The 3 shortest slats had already been finished and glued into the mounting frame for the clock face. Finish had already been applied to the frame as well.

I have been lucky however, I've been able to sneak out at lunch and before work to check on progress, sand down dust nibs and apply additional coats. I'm up to 4 on the sides of the slats and will be starting the front/backs of the slats tonight.

There was a bonus however, the clock face has 6 coats of wiping poly applied to the front as of yesterday. So last night I glued up the face to the mounting frame after making sure no finish made it onto the gluing surfaces.

After drilling the hole for the clock shaft, lined up the frame and marked out the location that it would meet the back of the face. Removing the hardware, I proceeded to glue and clamp up the face assembly. You can almost make out that there's something being held by the mess of clamps in this picture.

This morning I took off the clamps and was mighty happy with the results! I won't be applying as many coats of finish to the back of the clock as it won't be seen once hung up.

Notice how in one pic, the right side looks dark and in the next the left side looks dark? It's a book matched panel, and I'm still trying to get my lighting figured out. I was using a 500W halogen contractors lamp to light the work, but couldn't get the angle quite right to show that the piece does actually look uniform. If you have any thoughts or suggestions on project lighting for photography, please let me know through a comment, email or twitter me.

I'm itching to get back into the shop and continue making progress as I see the end of this project in sight, but I will cool my heals and maybe go for a walk with my family and tomorrow I can continue to 'hurry up and wait'.

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