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As foretold by the bards, wood (31 Jul 2015 at 15:12)
In post #1116 I presaged a new danger: That I would get into woodworking and want to make all the furniture in my house. This seems to be happening. Currently up are speaker stands for my office, which are replacing stacks of CDs in milk crates. Here is a complete one in situ:

Sweet Max Payne mouse pad!
Sweet Max Payne mouse pad!


I found out that woodworkers consider screws to be cheating, because they aren't strong enough and they're too easy. I'm a big fan of considering things cheating, so what's new here is that this is all glue and joinery construction, specifically there are lovely looking finger joints:

Finger joints, also known as box joints, red oak
Finger joints, also known as box joints, red oak


The different colors just come from the fact that the end grain stains differently than the side, which I am very happy with. Just glue and a very tight fit are holding those together, and it's strong enough to stand on. The fingers I cut with a home-made jig, of course, made out of scrap MDF. It looks like this:

Home-made MDF finger joint jig
Home-made MDF finger joint jig


There's a test piece clamped in there right now, but normally you'd have some nice oak board squared up with the surface, and then route out the finger gaps with a 3/4" router bit. The spacing is achieved with gage blocks (you can see them in the back, labeled 1–10). You can also observe my new sub-hobby, which is 3D printing adapters so that I can plug my crap shop vac into power tools for dust extraction. You can just buy a jig that makes finger joints but that's cheating.

Also in this project I have some mortise-and-tenon joints for the structural shelf in the middle. That looks like this:

The other side is even sloppier
The other side is even sloppier


The tenons, which do their jiggery pokery into the wood holes, needed to be rounded, since the router can only really cut round slots. I made a jig for that too. It looks like this:

3D-printed tenon jig
3D-printed tenon jig


Here the router has a plastic guide bushing that follows the plastic template in order to cut the appropriate u-shape. It actually works much better than I thought until you get impatient and take too deep of a cut and the router kicks a little. I made a metal one for the next round, which may work better.

I know this is not impressive to real wood-workers, but I am having fun! And in the year 2025, you will be invited to visit my home and it will be decorated with autobespoke, rectilinear creations.


Next week is the ICFP Programming Contest, which I've marked off on my calendar this year, and in three weeks Ludum Dare #33, which I plan to do as well. I am still putting many hours a week into my Nintendo AI work, but it is slow going.
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jonas (bc066b86.catv.pool.telekom.hu) – 08.02.15 06:58:32
I'm a software buy and I haven't inherited the love of woodworking from my father. I do try to appreciate woodworking when it's done by others though. This is easy to do live, when there's an actual completed piece of wooden furniture to look at and touch and smell and try how strong it is. It's more difficult on the internet, here or on http://woodgears.ca/ , for multiple reasons. The products are more impressive in real life than on photos and descriptions. Before the finished product, woodworking is done with all sorts of tricky processes with all kinds of tools, most of which I've never seen done live, and they're sort of hard to understand from descriptions. There's also some of this woodworker jargon describing the procedures and tools, and it's completely different in English: clearly I couldn't have learnt the English words from my father even if I had spent a lot of time with him to actually learn about the things they mean. Many of the words seem to have multiple meanings, even within woodworking, so when I read “The fingers I cut with”, I have to realize that (a) you didn't cut any fingers on your hand, and (b) you didn't cut with the fingers. And apparently, many of the tools or procedures have more than one English word, used by different people, or spelling differences like “vise” versus “vice”.
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VoxAudi (69-10-211-245.rainierconnect.com) – 08.06.15 14:59:44
Excellent! Fine work.

Well, you didn't listen to that little voice. ...Or to my previous warning.

Now, it's too late.

Recovery at this stage, especially given your life demographics, has a vanishingly small probability, less than meth or heroin. You either are or will be a woodworking addict. Probably latent genetic and psychological predisposition just waiting for proper exposure to manifest.

Welcome to the brotherhood (fellowship?) of wood.

Happy making!
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VoxAudi (69-10-211-245.rainierconnect.com) – 08.06.15 15:09:30
You will also want to make furniture and wood things for others. You will need somewhere for your early rev's to go when you do the update. Develop a "market" of wood lovers.

You are likely already looking at wood furniture and fixtures - your own an others' - with that eye:

"Hmmm. Is that a rising dovetail?"

"Looks real, but I think I see by the end grain mitre it's a mock dovetail! Wow!"

"Look at those tenons!"

"I'd plane and sand that bit there."

"Just a little work and that would be perfect."

"When I make my trestle table..."

From my own experience: I've found endless happiness in making and then giving pieces to appreciative souls who also love wood.

It's madness, but an ecstatic kindly species of the affliction.

Glad to see you've caught it.
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jonas (bc066b86.catv.pool.telekom.hu) – 08.09.15 12:51:14
So what's your opinion of the ICFP contest?
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Harry (131.252.200.2) – 08.11.15 17:22:30
The uncanny AI results tantalized. Relational meanings piqued from the valleys of nebulous feeling non-sequiturs. From another vector, Livingstone's Stanley, spurred by lighthearted conviviality, and a desire to make things more interesting, employed an creative assosiative construct, hacking through his side of the possibilian jungle. An identity was presumed to emerge somewhere at the intersection.

Listening to a custom concert from 2009, uplifted by examples of youthful exuberance and wit. Waffled, then sallied, duckduck went, hoping to find the lyrical, by way of proximal, coincidental instances of the two phrases, "smell of coal", and "barrel roll". There were only two results, here in context:

Cryptonomicon. Neal Stephenson.

There is a stronger than usual smell of coal, and a good deal of noise coming from not
far away. Waterhouse looks up the line and discovers a heavy industrial works unfurled
across the many sidings. He stands and stares for a couple of minutes, as his train pulls
away, headed for points north, and sees that they are in the business of repairing steam
locomotives here at Bletchley Depot.

"You know how they have different lanes?"
"I guess so," Randy said. A parallelpiped of seared tuna did a barrel roll in his gullet. He
felt a perverse craving for a double ice-cream cone.


Queen of the Demonweb Pits. Paul Kidd.

"Oh, all right! I'll try to roll it slower or something. Maybe we should make it smell of coal?" Escalla looked over at her friends. "Have you guys figured out what that map means yet?"

The girl turned a barrel roll in midair, flying with her back to the vast river. "Now come on! Let's get this spider bitch squashed flat so we can go home and have some fun!"

Naturally, that dovetailed, or finger jointed nicely with seeing your new post showcasing your speaker stands. I'm no woodworking expert, but them joints appear way more pronoia than paranoia, and the strength and finish, absolutely more Mudita than Shadenfreude. Beautiful piece. Thanks for sharing. IMHO, when jiggery is fun, then autobespoke is destiny. :)
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Tom 7 (pool-173-75-25-122.pitbpa.fios.verizon.net) – 08.18.15 18:56:58
jonas: Sorry! Software is still my main thing, I just need to get away from the computer sometimes. A long-term project is coming closer to paying off in software land. The ICFP contest was fun, as usual, though I'm noticing my ability to stay up late every night for the 72 hours is waning as I get old! We didn't do that well in the end, but our solution worked and we discovered almost all the power words (this turned out to be the most fun part, I think?).

Vox: Ha, totally. I've already started on a project for someone, and have been both admiring nice work when I see it and outing fakes! Not only am I predisposed to projects, my dad also loved to make furniture for our old converted-barn house, so it's not hard to see where I get the aesthetic from.

Harry: Excellent post. How unlike me to have never posted lyrics for that song to the internet! Happy to be in the company of Stephenson with that rare bigraph though.
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Adhesion (c-66-30-117-120.hsd1.ma.comcast.net) – 09.02.15 00:42:03
I know nothing about wood but that Max Payne mousepad is on point. I think I had mine for 10 years?
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Tom 7 (pool-173-75-25-122.pitbpa.fios.verizon.net) – 09.05.15 07:37:06
Ha, awesome. It really is a great mousepad, though mine is entering "but this is the only wallet I've ever owned!!" territory for sure.
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