Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rambling Quickie #4 - Eureka!

Archimedes made the phrase Eureka famous by solving a problem posed by his king and in a flash of inspiration while drawing a bath ran naked through the streets shouting "Eureka! Eureka!" which in Latin means 'I have found it!'. Or so the story has been famously told anyway.

In my previous blog entry, I made reference to how the lighting was causing the clock face to darken on one side or the other as I moved the lighting around.

Well, later that night, I realized, that it wasn't the position of my 500W halogen construction lamp, but rather the perspective of the viewer (i.e. me) or the camera.

My first thought was 'That's interesting. Prior to finishing, there were no hints that this was going to happen. My next thought was, 'Okay, how did this happen?'

It took me a while to realize this, but here's the mental picture I came up with or my Eureka! moment. The grain is not running parallel to the length of the board. Instead, it runs at an angle similar to this sketchup drawing here.

After resawing, the board would look like this:

While the grain appears vertical, it's actually running in 2 different directions on my book matched clock face. Then as wiping varnish is soaked up by what was a VERY thirsty board and cured with multiple coats being applied, I hypothesize that the light is being captured only to be reflected back out at certain angles. Sort of like how a cut gem stone acts. I'd heard of chatoyancy before, but I never experienced seeing it until now.

My final thought was 'How cool is that?"

Most discoveries start out with someone saying "Hmm, that's interesting". I know that I won't profit greatly from announcing this discovery, but I've seen precious few articles about chatoyancy in wood. Maybe it will help someone after all.

I have some more of that spalted maple from the same tree. I just have to figure out something really cool to make with it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment. I will answer any questions in the comments section, so be sure to check back!