Thursday, December 17, 2015


so where were we last time? 

somewhere between valparaiso and a handrail i think. btw there is no caps key on my keyboard anymore so excuse the i's. 

long story short, we managed to move and we have the dog there in valpo, and plenty of pigeons squatting our ceiling and a small trash problem. julia also has cutaneous leishmaniasis, produced by a parasite she got in bolivia from a sandfly and has been creating wounds in her legs that later get infected and make life annoying. the treatment in chile involves a kind of chemo drug, and hospitalization while they apply it. in brazil seems that they use an oral drug with fewer side effects and it's free. so we may have to travel there sometime soon. i may get some brazilian rosewood or pernambuco for bows. 

the problem with these infectious diseases is that they happen mostly in poor countries so a) western doctors have no idea about them and b) there is no real treatment or vaccine since only poor people get them (not like heart attacks which happen to old white males all around the world). that meant that we needed to show the wounds to ca. 15 doctors in chile and europe to find one who knew what it was. ie. a gigantic waste of time, money and hope (we were quite hopeless a 2 weeks ago before the diagnose). oh, and all this without health insurance since we haven't had time to hire one in chile. 

so that's the update.  in case you were wondering where i've been all this time. mostly at the doctor. they mostly don't use wood, so no picture today. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Screws, sandpaper? Jawohl — Stairmaking III

Indeed, I used a screw to make one of the joints, since eventually you will need to take apart the handrail and I guess that the guy doing it will need it. So the handrail has a screw on it. I also needed it to close the 2mm separation between the two pieces. 

I also finished it with sandpaper. It goes against my religion but it was really difficult to put the spokeshave on that corner. Lesson learnt, you need an open workshop where the full size handrail can be mounted and accessed by all directions. You also need spoon kanna and little spokeshaves, and those single handled ones would be a nice addition to the collection.

All the time this was going to be just a tryout thing, not the real thing. It broke in the way so I put several patches, and didn't even bother on using the same wood, so in the side it looks a bit funny. 

Julia wants to paint the whole thing blue, and I may agree to that eventually. Ours in graz was yellow. 

 There it is, most certainly the smoothest handrail made in Chile in the last 100 years.

Did you realise the way the curve produces straight shadows on the wall? In the night the shadows are beautiful, it really finishes the whole thing.

I want to change the one in Valpo now, so wait for more sexy curves soon right here.

I'm really proud of this one. It's like if a whole new dimension has opened, not only in what respect to tangent handrail but the process of understanding by making, the skill of just screw things up, fix them and in general just go for it not being sure if you will manage it. It took me like 2 years to finish this piece, almost 6 months for the little piece of the corner. And this is stuff you cannot buy and I won't sell, and has a quality that you will not find in any professional handrail here in Chile (I've been particularly keen on handrails lately, checking them in houses, restaurants, my university and such, and all the new ones have sharp edges and horrible discontinuities at the joints).

Next one I make, promise I use matching colours for the glue ups and mark the joints when the wood is still square.

Now I can move out in peace.