In Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Robert Persig writes about (among other things) what he calls “Gumption Traps”. In short, these gumption traps are things that prevent you from moving forward on a project because of some problem. This occurred to me as I’ve been pondering the dilemma that is my leg vise. It’s all too easy to get embroiled in the problems, and it’s important to be able to step back, problem solve and move forward again.
I’ve decided to press forward with the Crisscross. The fix for the problem of weakening the stretcher tenon is not a big deal, I’ll make a brace to reinforce that one joint. Not a big deal. In fact I just went out to the shop to glue-up the now-acclimated pieces for my leg vise. Guess what? Turns out “acclimated” is a five dollar word for “warped”.
Now, getting rid of this cupping isn’t a big deal, but I’m already under where I should be in terms of the necessary thickness for the vise chop. By the time I remove wood from both faces of both boards I’ll be at least 1/4″ under, maybe more. So, I can pick up a scrap of 4/4 red oak and laminate three boards together for the chop, or I can start over and just get a piece of 12/4 something. I’m leaning toward the later, although it means that my expensive piece of 8/4 red oak was a waste. In hindsight I think this board was badly dried. I noticed several bad checks in it when I planed it, including one that goes completely through the 4/4 thickness. Rats.
I need about 6 board feet of 12/4 wood. I know Southern Lumber has 12/4 Poplar for $9/bf (which is really expensive for Poplar and typical of their prices), I think I saw some 12/4 Swamp Ash at Global Wood recently for a bit less. I’ll have to check that out tomorrow.
Offsetting this little bit of bad news, my Crisscross arrived yesterday, a day early (thanks USPS!) It’s nice, and I’m looking forward to putting it into service.