Foxy Wedges

When the swearing stops, and things start coming together and looking good, that sense of accomplishment is like a shot of oxytocin.  The pride forms a temporary shield against all negative points, and I start to think, “Hey that wasn’t that bad.  I would do it again.”

And granted, they’re not done yet.  Shown below are the corners being glued while clamped together with fox wedges.

Also, on an entirely unrelated subject, this is California.  I saw this as I was riding home and had to admire the excellent signage.

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Saw dust

Frames are coming along.  I painted a couple samples and was quite pleased with the finish.  I was not expecting, however, the amount of saw dust generated by routing the 1×4’s.

Good thing my workshop is outside.

I can’t help but find sawdust a valuable material.  It’s a beautiful pine color, fluffy, and prior to my interventions, was also good lumber.  Some will be used as mulch and the rest will undoubtedly succumb to my sawdust clay experiments.

Cat puke.

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Drool City

Before I dive into the sawdust, I thought I would share my new favorite spot in San Diego: Rockler Woodworking and Hardware.  I caught a glimpse on my way to Dixieline and gave them a double-take as I would with any chromed out antique car.  Hell yes.

I immediately found what I was looking for and within minutes an employee asked if I needed any help.  We conversed about picture frames and I was impressed that he was so knowledgeable and willing to work within my limited resources.  The employee, who’s name escapes me, was genuinely concerned that his advice would best fit my situation.  He even suggested a strapping product that was not sold at the store, and has three of them at his house.

Rockler also sells wood lathes, beautiful carving tools, and gorgeous cuts of wood: purpleheart, wenge, ebony.  I was reminded of the woodworking and cabinet making shows of the 80’s that I was glued to as a child.  This is where those guys must have shopped.

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Mural mural on the wall

Once again the taggers have hit my mural, and I’m sure this will continue as long is it remains unfinished.  One of my procrastinations, however, is that I am still searching for a suitable protective coating.  Ideally I would like to apply this finish immediately upon completion.

After much internet searching on anti-graffiti coatings, the only congruency I can find is that no product is a “fix all”.  They depend in part on how long the graffiti will stay on the wall before it is removed.  As long as I am the caretaker, this will happen immediately.

I did find a very informative website written by the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles (MCLA), which stresses specifically against using varnish. Polyurethane will also destroy the paint.  The current trend of protecting larger murals relies on the use of sacrificial coatings.  These waxy sealers are aptly named because spray paint is removed along with the finish.  The paint adheres to the surface of the coating, and after a week or so of curing, the area is pressure washed clean, leaving the mural intact.  The coating must then be reapplied.  Anyone with a budget can hire various companies to wash and respray whenever graffiti strikes.

Since my expenses must be considerably less, I am searching for a permanent, or non-sacrificial, coating that doesn’t require reapplication.  According to different sources, fresh spray paint is easily cleaned, providing there is some sort of barrier between the graffiti and mural.  MCLA also recommends soluvar as the “varnish of the future,” and is currently used to conserve museum paintings.  It seems that any acrylic varnish will be a good solution.  A gel medium has been suggested as an additional layer between the painting and protective sealant.

When I find an applicable product that is less than $200 per gallon, I will post it here!

In the mean time, I discovered that Philadelphia has over 3000 murals, due to funding from the city’s anti-graffiti initiative, the Mural Arts Progam.  You can see more of the beautiful paintings here.

They are impressive, but LA still boasts the longest mural in the world, the Great Wall of Los Angeles.

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Hi Everyone

I’m Amanda.  I’ll have more to say shortly.

For the time being, here’s a comic to entertain you.  Check back soon!

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