It’s Friday, we must be…

Heading North!
Heading North!

Yes, the weekend ritual, with small variations, is to get through the work week, discuss plans, throw a bunch of stuff in the truck, toss the dog in and point the Chevy toward the N. Pole.

We stop at the end of M-53, where this long road meets the Lake. Sometimes it feels like the N. Pole.

I must point out that every weekend, without fail, I toss my knitting bag into the vehicle we’re driving. And every weekend, without fail, it makes the trip back untouched, unloved and undone.
But I have eternal optimism that the green yarn you see there will be made into the blanket/hat/whatevah. Ha!
Not when there is a metric ton of wood to be processed!
For most of February and now into March, we’ve been processing wood. Pine, Maple, Cherry and Walnut. It sounds good enough to eat!

Lots of Fiber!
Lots of Fiber!

We had rough sawn wood.

That means pretty much right from the tree.
That means pretty much right from the tree.
I tried the best I could to capture the gorgeous natural beauty of the wood, but I failed. The wood is more awesome than my camera shows. But it all had to be processed; the wild ends where living pulp meets bark had to go.
The first step is to plane the wood. That means to shave off layers of the rough sawn jaggedness and leave a smooth, hopefully straight edge. The wood basically came from the tree!
The planer is a device that is:
1. Really loud
2. Really cool
3. Really slow
When we first started planing, we stuck the whole plank through. That was hard. And kinda dumb. We learned… better to cut it to length first, then push it through.
What were you thinking, humans?
What were you thinking, humans?
You KNOW there’s going to be gratuitous puppy shots now, right? Thomas has integrated deeply into our lives. I’m not sure how he’ll do once we open the gallery- Mini Dachsunds are traditionally shy with strangers. But we’ll see…
Gratuitous wood shots!
Gratuitous wood shots!
Meanwhile, there’s the wood.
Mike was at the feeding end of the planer, but I was at the fed-out end. I’m sure there’s a better name for it, but I’ll just call it the magical end. Because it was truly magic. Every time a plank went through the planer, more breathtaking views came out.

I don’t have many pictures of this process because I was busy holding wood! It takes focus!
Here’s one…

Pushin' it through!
Pushin’ it through!
And this doesn’t do it justice, but you can kind of see that bits are being revealed! (I might have gotten yelled at for taking pictures rather than focussing!)
Unveiling!
Unveiling!
And more…
In process…
In process…
I also have pictures of the process of figuring out how to do this in the first place:
Ciphering dimensions.
Ciphering dimensions.
And pictures of using the jointer. Jointing is when you make the edges of the boards flat. But it also can plane the wide face of the board. It’s fun!
Wee, this is fun!
Wee, this is fun!
You will notice the ear protection. I’m teaching about sound waves in Physics during my week-day job, and I’m blathering on to my students about how delicate the ear mechanisms are. And then I prove how old I am by giving them a frequency test. I only make it to 14 Kilohertz. The under-21’s hear into the much higher frequencies. I remind them that they, too, will get old one day and that perhaps they shouldn’t turn their ear pods up to full blast. They, of course, ignore my advice as only a 17 year old can!
Can you see the orange foam ear plugs?
Can you see the orange foam ear plugs?
I took breaks to do some testing. Hey, I’m a scientist! How will the wood look with different stains. I needed to know. So I set up a lab and testing began!
Testing, testing!
Testing, testing!
Turns out, we decided to go with clear coat. With this fine grained, dense, rich wood grain, clear seemed to be the way to let the beauty though.
Clear coats for you, me hearties!
Clear coats for you, me hearties!
More next time!
– The White Church Gallery

The Cross

The Old Rugged Cross
The Old Rugged Cross

Not much big lifting went on in the Church this weekend. But we did some fine inspection of various beloved features, including what lies behind the cross.

And I don’t mean the incredible and humbling story of Jesus being crucified for our sins. I mean the quatrefoil with intact glass, for the most part. Not quite as awesome, but still of great interest to us.

One little crack in the glass!
One little crack in the glass!

Unfortunately, the structure of wood holding the glass is less than intact.

Bottom of the framing
Bottom of the framing

So up on the ladder he did climb.

P1010026

P1010023

We both really wanted to let the light through-  even for a moment, but the structure was too fragile and we didn’t want to take the chance of glass breaking. For now, it’s still covered. But it’s quite a nice view from up there! We could almost see the sunlight streaming in through the window.

"Photons of Sunlight" view
“Photons of Sunlight” view

There was some drywalling going on. The plaster had cracked and fallen off in spots, so that had to be cut out and patched.

P1010035

It will be plastered and painted.

Further scrutiny revealed other places that need tender love and care, A.K.A. crafty carpentry.

P1010068

P1010067

But the fine wood work will have to wait. The big ticket item this coming week will be the roof. We all agree that the roof needs instant attention.

P1010065

P1010063

I can’t wait for the “after” pictures. That little chimney will be gone, as well, but the new wood stove pipe will appear.

I did have a chance for some quiet time. In fact, most of Sunny Saturday was spent working on Pysanki eggs for easter. I had some great ideas this year.

looks good on paper...
looks good on paper…
not bad for drawing on an egg...
not bad for drawing on an egg…
OK, this should work...
OK, this should work…
Hmm... how to I make the waves blue?
Hmm… how to I make the waves blue?
ACK! This is NOT what I had intended! What caused all those leaky black marks? Is it the wax or the dye? Also, blue + red does NOT equal dark blue. It equals CRAP!
ACK! This is NOT what I had intended! What caused all those leaky black marks? Is it the wax or the dye? Also, blue + red does NOT equal dark blue. It equals CRAP!

Oh well, better luck next year, I guess. I don’t really want to wait a year though, I want to try again NOW! But easter and spring break are over, and there’s nearly two more months of school left, so I will have to ponder my mistakes and try again when I can.

I did finish the egg for the Royal Oak First United Methodist Church, (ROFUM) where I became a member this past Sunday. Again, the egg didn’t turn out like I planned, but it marked the occasion.

This was supposed to be the logo, but I couldn't figure out the acorn brown and oak leaf green.
This was supposed to be the logo, but I couldn’t figure out the acorn brown and oak leaf green.
I'm a ROFUM now!
I’m a ROFUM now!

I wore Methodist red, and Mike came to cheer me on! We broke our ascetic Lenten fast with some Polish sausage, banana bread, Stella  Artois and a butter lamb. It was a lovely Easter!

Happy Easter!!
Happy Easter!!

– The White Church Gallery