braces NOT suspenders

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… look, I don’t know, post titles are hard.

ANYWAY the next bit, having gotten the box done, was to do the shelves. & I learned from someone else who put the shelves up first & then cut the braces to fit that it’s way easier if you don’t do it that way round.

This is the first part of the build that gives me any room to get fancy, so HELL YEAH I got fancy. I looked at a couple of other similar projects, sketched around some, & finally came up with the template pictured above. Yes, I free-drew that, which is apparently impressive, but come on, it’s not like drawing hands.

Then … I hadda cut out that shape ten times.

My jigsaw, which has gotten me through a LOT of projects over a LOT of years, had gotten to the point that … well … I’ve had it for a LOT of years. It was up to the job — I cut the first brace with it — but I had to charge it twice to do so, & it took forEVer.

A piece of thick wood cut to the same shape as the template. It's old, weathered wood, with old nail holes & a few small cracks.

In a fit of extreme crankitude I took to twitter (to complain) & the Home Despot website (to look for a new jigsaw). I knew I wanted the same brand as my roommate Rowan’s stuff, because I LOVE every one of their tools, & that way we could share batteries. I was pleased to find that the jigsaw for that set was on sale — it’s usually $99 for the saw alone, but that day it was $99 for the saw & a battery. & those batteries ain’t cheap.

I hemmed & hawed (on twitter, of course, that being where I do most of my ruminating) & at one point I said something like ‘Anyone wanna buy me a jigsaw? I’LL BE YOUR BEST FRIEND’.

In the meantime Rowan said he’d been wanting to get the jigsaw for that set anyway, & it was a really good sale, & if I used the house funds to grab one for him that’d be great. Which was awesome! Although I did still want one for myself, & $99 ain’t bad …

… but then I got a private message from a party who I shan’t identify, in which they said that while they would prefer that our friendship continue to grow organically, they would be perfectly pleased to buy me a jigsaw, & could they perchance have my Paypal address?


So yeah after spending about fifteen minutes running around in circles screaming, I ordered two jigsaws, one for Rowan, & one for me.


& then I had to wait THREE ENTIRE DAYS for the thing to arrive.

Ahh, well. There are advantages to living in the future, but developing patience ain’t one of em.

Fortunately I had plenty to do in the meantime, getting the wood ready for cutting. I knew I wanted to use some of the wood I’ve been salvaging from an old abandoned house down the way, & this was my first chance. But it’s old, beat-up wood, & as I discovered when I tried fitting the first one in place, the ends aren’t necessarily square.

I'm holding the cut piece of wood up against the side of the trailer. It looks  cool there but the top edge of the brace is pretty not level.

(But doesn’t that look GOOD sitting there?)

So I had to take all these THICK, sturdy boards (LOOK at the thing!) …

A thick, sturdy, somewhat weatherworn slab of wood, sitting on my worktable.

… & square off the edges. You gotta kinda squint, but you can see how off that is.

A carpenter's square is lined up with the edge of the board along the bottom; to the right, the end of the board is really not lined up with the other side of the square.

I had prepared ahead of time, however, & I already had a 90 degree cutting guide made, specially fitted to Rowan’s circular saw.

Sitting on top of the board, neatly aligned with it along the bottom, is a piece of fiberboard with a narrower piece of fiberboard sitting atop it.

Rowan has this lovely wee circular saw that weighs approximately a fifth as much as the big metal one I grew up using. I LOVE the thing, except for when it’s JUST not quite enough to go all the way through the wood.

A closeup of the end of one of the thick slabs of wood; it's cut most of the way through, but there's still bits of wood hanging on along the bottom edge.

All I hadda do was go over the edge again without the cutting guide in the way, but, well.

I got all the boards squared up, traced the template onto each one — sometimes at interesting angles —

A large slab of wood sits on the worktable. The template's been traced onto it three times -- twice along the edges, but the third is at a funky angle right in the middle.

— & by the time I had all that done, it was Thursday & I had a new jigsaw.

A Milwaukee brand cordless jigsaw. It's really pretty small, & it looks light & disturbingly clean.


Seriously, it cut SO smoothly & SO quickly. I got these two braces done in about fifteen minutes.

Two more braces, fully cut out & leaning against one of the legs of the worktable.

As I told the friend who’d supplied me the money for the jigsaw, ‘I believe the phrase is “like buttah”‘.

… holy CATS.

This was posted originally to my Patreon, a little over a week ago.

If you want to see these posts sooner, & not incidentally help support me & my cats in our travels & such, the way to do that is to sign up as one of my Patrons for as little as a buck a month.

I’d REALLY like that.

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