The Sun Bear
(continuation of the retrofit)
It has been quite a while since I have posted about The Sun Bear, a Roubo inspired workbench. My obsession with it has kept me in the studio more than may be healthy in the last few months. Joking of course. The studio practice is a beautiful yet sometimes isolating, an unsaid reality...sometimes. A project that started...I actually don't remember the birth of the Sun Bear...this is evidence of my neglect, of a beautiful time in my life, and the realization that I will present with this process of rebuilding. A realization that becomes more solidified as I work on this beast.
*if you are familiar with the past post on this project please continue on. if you wish to read these first click on these
Looking back on my notes it is hard to pin point the birth to 2007,...possibly 2006 in thought. I know I had it early in 2008. A year full of fear, love, and memories that are now intimately connected to my art. Looking back on my notes I found that at times I failed to date my thoughts. Also failed at writing more than I had wished. ..but that feeling forever never satisfied.
Flipping through my thoughts I found a picture which explained the obvious haze. Until now I see, that picture was dated 2002 a thought only to fruit in 2006. A picture of the moment I first saw a dream manifest in an institutional hallway of school. Of course my attention at this time was divided among my divine idealistic muse (my Art Belief) and this earthly dark angel in the picture. While tracing back and reflecting on my work and my notes its hard not to re-examaine myself. Only now a welcoming feeling.
My Bench reflects time spent adjusting and rebuilding self and ideals, simultaneously. A map of growth. A continually living being. If you recall I last left the Sun Bear bottom flatten ready for the maple glue up.
ok ok I know the pics I will show look posed but I actually work pretty organized now
I hope to catch the good light that sometimes happens in my shop
Tales from the Notebook
I had a few ideas of how to rebuild this fox joint that went awry. I thought many over but finally settled on this method that includes a lot of intuition and impatience thrown in. Experiencing still some immaturity.
Just like my Undergrad professor Fred Rose, I see myself as a wood explore. I must remember each piece of wood came from a whole. A living Whole.
trying to get out of the habit of putting the plane on its side
I chose to use reclaimed maple from a work table top which I acquired from the science department of CSULB, continuing the legacy of this Long Beach resident that once was this bench. While I attended Cal State, the university decided to remodel and throw out lots of amazing specimens of the yester years of science. Microbiology being their new emphasis.
After ripping sticks 11 1/4 x 1 1/2 x 1 1/2, with my new table saw...*clears throat*...fuckin aye finally... I left some with the original table top varnish, I dry fitted the pieces.
Before I glued in the maple I glued in the walnut I decided to use to fill in the grooves I talked about in the previous post. A quick second to spend sometime talking about which way to glue the maple...with the grain of the iron bark or against. Since these woods most likely have different moisture content and rate of expansion. I was torn on what to do. I am not very versed in wood characteristics, (doubt much exists on iron bark) I kinda just went with my best judgement. Since the laminated piece will be spanning past the bench top both the top and lamented piece will expand and contract width wise individually with no real risk of tearing each other apart. Wood expands longitudinally insignificant amounts so their should be little to no risk...at least fixable risk.
Presently I have a limited amount of clamps. Which added to this adhoc method to measure the structure of instability. With the understand of what is the final failing point one can reel back and find the maximum efficiency. Sounds a bit militant industrial now speaking it, but it is a method that I have come to used when dealing with unknown answers to hard art problems. You can never have too many claps.
My approach hinged on the limit of my clamps. I think I glued 2-3 sticks at a time.
I had a lil fun with minimal clamping. Hopefully within tolerance.
You can see the old tenons of the fox joint of the third leg in the back left.
Once dried I leveled out the maple replacement. Too be clear this is the bottom of the bench where the third leg belongs. Some of the pieces are just free floating. I need to still reenforce these with dowels. Nicely accenting it. If you look closely at the picture above you can see by this time I cut off the old tenons of the fox joint on the leg. I work on many things at once mostly if the projects require breaks. The maple is now ready for the next layer of wood I decided to add... more on that later
I will continue on the next post with the final glue up and problems dealing with an un-square object plus the start of the sliding dovetail I decided to go with for the retrofit of the fox joint. until next time
deciphering the roots-