I have decided not to put too much personal stuff about myself in this blog, so I'll just say that my health has improved enough that I'm motivated to start work. I figure that y'all are mainly interested in an upbeat blog about Wood 'n Water, so I'll skip the "Like sad and weepy part of our story-ory, my droogs" and get to it. :)
After having tried both, I'm glad to be using an external strongback. I made the I-beam of a 2x4 and a 2x6. I thought the old stands were rickety, so I made new ones of a different design:
Nice & solid.
Wood. I considered trying redwood, was talked out of it, went for Cedar and Basswood. Again, I found it difficult to resaw the "3/4" boards and get a good two 1/4" pieces, even with a thin-kerf rip blade, so I ended up planing them down to 3/16". I remember that this will cause problems with some of the fancy curves, but I have a while to figure it out...
Basswood was a surprise. In previous builds, I contrasted the cedar with pine, which was nice, but the wood tends to mellow down in color to almost the same tone as the cedar. The basswood is white. It has a rather nondescript grain-so much so, that I was able to plain-saw the boards. Some of it shows a little iridescence, like maple. Inexpensive, too, I laid in a healthy stack of strips for $30.