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Entry 3 – Making the End Supports

As detailed in the reality imaging device uploads enclosed, with some simple tools I prepared the driftwood so that it would function as a pair of end supports for the ‘purging rails’ (see journal entry #4).  This first involved marking out and ‘indexing’ the wood to a reference plane, so that the irregular shape could be drilled with holes, all of which would be in the same axis.  It was with immense satisfaction that I used my newly modified drill press to achieve this, but I am confident that with care and some experience, a satisfactory, if not quite so accurate, result could be achieved with a hand drill.

First the centre point is found and marked with a pencil.

Propping the wood into the position so the splitting line is uppermost, I use a ruler along the bench to mark seven points an equal distance apart.

While here, a pencil is used to mark a centre line, along which the saw can cut. Every effort was made to make this line at the uppermost surface of the driftwood, while the wood remained stationary.

Two holes are drilled (on the far left), these will later accept the purging rails, but for now are used to fasten the driftwood to an indexing board. In this case the board was harvested from a skip but is nonetheless a relatively flat bit of pine.

I used a Fostner bit to make holes, sized to correspond with the diameter of the copper purging rails.  (Notice the motor and speed control driving this fine Meddings drill are taken from an unwanted treadmill).

After drilling, the driftwood was split  vertically along its length with a saw.  This process creates two matching, yet interestingly organic shaped end supports which can be used to provide the purging rails with equidistant spacing.

Splitting takes some time. A bandsaw would be a real asset.

Two sections ready for finishing.

The sawn surface of these two halves is sanded down, to expose the rich swirly wood grain.  Finally the pieces are coated in a hard wax-oil to protect them, and prevent any stray clothes getting stained by them.
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