Blog 14-11-12

Well folks, it’s been some time since I posted a blog in this section, so about time for a wee catch up on what’s been happening on Planet Gary. I had meant to write this on the 12th, my birthday, as an annual catchup but as today is a pissing-down-with-rain-day, what better time than now. Firstly, better finish off any of the previous blogs that might have topics still unresolved. On the kick scooter front, both kick scooters have been painted in rather bright and cheerful colours, pretty much matching the paintwork on the bikes. I still have some paint left over, so further projects might still be in the offing. Now, onto the current project. And it’s a fishy one.

Yes, next project is to create a rather large fishy thing for the garden fence. Actually, not quite sure what to call it, an artwork, a sculpture, a mobile? Don’t suppose it matters. Anyway, the plan is to have a shole of brightly coloured fish swimming all-round the garden fence in the rear garden. If you can imagine a shole of herring, in a long undulating line, it will look something like that. Only not actual herring. as they would rot and smell rather bad, just some stylised wooden fish shapes.

The source of the wood started off as a wooden pallet I scrounged from the workmen when they were building the porch. It’s a bit rougher that I would have liked, the wood is rough sawn rather than dressed with a plane. I do have a hand plane and might have a go and see if I can plane the wood smoother for a better finish. Not sure the hand plane will do the job. An alternative is to buy an electric planer but seems a waste to buy something only to be used on a single project. The pallet should give about 28 fish but I’m aiming for more overall, depending if I can pick up another pallet or two.

The pallet was sawn into suitable short lengths, which was quite a job with a hand saw as the wood was soaking wet. The planks were then stored in a sheltered spot in the garden to dry out over the summer, before moving into the shed to keep dry. It’s a job I’ve been keeping for the crappy wet days like today. First task was to create the fish-shaped template. Did this by finding a suitable simple fish outline on the Internet, then printed it out on paper to the required size, about 300 mm long. Next, a quick scrounge in the recycling bin provided some cardboard to create the actual template. The fish was then traced onto the cardboard. The thicker cardboard was required as it almost impossible to draw around a thin sheet of paper.

The next issue that came up was that the wood had been painted a dark pallet blue colour which made it very difficult to see the fish outline for cutting. This was resolved by painting the blanks with white emulsion. Shows up the pen line much better, making it easy to follow the line with the jigsaw. I initially used a hand coping saw but that was so tedious and awkward that I purchased an electric jigsaw for the job. Now it only takes a few minutes for each fish.

At the moment, as you can see from the photograph, I’ve a dozen fish cut out and a pile still do to. Once those are done, the fish will have all the rough edges smoothed down and I’ll look at how I’m going to plane down the rough sawn finish, if I can, that is! Next task will be to bring them into the house for a few days to make sure they are totally dry before painting. The ideal place is on top of the kitchen wall cupboards, nicely out of the way.

The next task will be the actual painting. I have some exterior paint in bright blue and bright green, which are both Cathryn’s preference for colour choice. However, I would like to create the occasional odd-one-out by using some of the bright coloured spray paints I bought for doing the bikes and kick scooters. Plenty to be getting on with. Anyway, that enough for now, I’m off into the shed to cut out a few more fish. Back soon.

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