Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Pitufina, computers, valpo and all that

Here she is:

The new member of the family. She's still not used to see hammers or bikes or anything... had lived 5 months in a house with a woman and 4 other dogs. So we need to teach her about the world.

Next week hopefully she will be going to Valpo:

and maybe take some rest with the others perros there

 She needs lessons on french philosophy and british architecture it seems

Those were a few of the pics I took monday, tomorrow we need to go again to check another house, our landlord sounds like a dragqueen, says the house has a view. 

I've already started working, that is academic work, so I'm spending more time at the computer. This is what I'm doing:

I define an interaction matrix giving the forces between (A,B)x(A,B) and check what kind of structure appears. When there is a structure that has some functionality, bang, write paper and try to convince an experimentalist to make the experiment.

Not that you care, what's important for this blog is this:

 That's where you start. Then you file nicely to get this (red line)

 But if you are sloppy
 Or sloppy on the other direction

What I'm trying to illustrate here is how to push the file while you sharpen to keep a proper geometry on the teeth. This was one of the things difficult to explain during the class in netherlands, and I will try to explain the process more detailedly in the near future. For that class I promised the guys I was going to write a pdf with all the info I have on saw sharpening, and a bit after that Jason asked me to make a new write up on saw sharpening after all this time. My plan is to have edited by Jason and Gabe (and hopefully Mark too) so we have a "peer-reviewed" article on saw sharpening. Being close to a computer then means that I could work on this faster.

It's been almost 6 months since I was working for the last time, and something has changed in my way of working that I attribute to all the woodworking.

Before, I just sat behind the computer and spent time till I had an idea or something worked, and made lots of mistakes, debugging and rewriting since in the computer to undo things is quite easy. Not so in violin making. Each step needs to be well thought and you know what you are going to make before start making it, otherwise you waste your time. When you don't know what to do, you put the plane down and look at the problem till you understand what you need to do. I'm working now much more this way, writing code with almost no mistakes because I know what I want to do. And when I don't know I put the computer down and go make some tea.

On the other hand, if I don't plane in a few days I get angry and very stressed. I need to feel the steel cutting wood to sooth my soul.

Tomorrow we are going to see another house, hopefully this is the right one and I can finally start to build my shop. My shop.


  1. You have a lot going on! Philosopher, physicist, carpenter, renaissance man in the making for the twenty-first century. Seeing how it mixes together, I am glad that you are writing a blog, it quite often gives me encouragement.

    1. thanks Gabe! There was a poem I read once in a poetic newspaper here in Chile, when I was in high school, and said something like "better be bad at everything than good for nothing", and kinda stuck with me all these years. It seems we got a house too, and man what a view it has.

  2. If a peer reviewed paper on the process of sharpening traditional Japanese wood-cutting handsaws were ever written, then there might be some hope for humanity.

    But seriously, I have somewhere in my books, a doctoral thesis on the process of making cabinets in Japan, an American woman lived with a family of Japanese artisans, and she described the process they used as a conversation between the artisan and the material. I found it reviewed in Fine Woodworking in the early 80's. I got a copy made from microflich - really bad reproduction of the photographs. But the idea that you have to give your full attention to the material, that was correct.

    Pitufina looks like a Maltese? Way too cute!

    1. Like a maltese but far bigger. And has this face of not understanding what the world is about that I love. But seems that she's becoming Julia's dog...

      I'd love to see that thesis, do you still have the name?