I’ve got a bad feeling about this. –Han Solo

me and a jigsaw

no, i don't know how to use a jigsaw

In March, I had to make a pinhole camera for my experimental camera class. By pinhole camera, my teacher meant any light-tight container with a hole in it. It could’ve been a shoebox, a matchbox, or a can of spam (empty). Because I like to make things difficult for myself, I made a panoramic pinhole camera that takes 120 roll film. I showed my teacher the instructions.

Her only comment: “……..Do you know how to use a jigsaw?”

Answer: No.

I’d used a drill a bit. I could glue stuff, for sure. The phrase “measure twice, cut once” was totally inapplicable to me, because I could measure three times and get three different answers. Okay, that last one is still true. I could definitely have chosen something easier for Baby’s First Woodworking Project, but honestly I think the first step was the most brain-twistingly hard.

I quote:

Draw a paper template for the top and bottom pieces. We’re going to cut 2 identical D-shaped pieces of plywood; the curved side is a 105° chord of a circle with radius 65mm (about 2.56″), which continues along tangent flat planes to form 2 corners that
extend ¼” past the circle’s center. Download the template I used at makezine.com/09/pinhole.

Here’s another handy phrase: It’s Greek to me. You know, I took ancient Greek in college, and it was, in fact, exactly like this; that eerily familiar feeling of knowing all the words, but not what they mean when you put them together. Also, his template? Not actually a template, in that when I printed it out and measured it, the measurements were not what they said they were supposed to be, so obviously I couldn’t just trace around it. I had to recreate it.

There was math. And a protractor.

Skipping ahead! Here is a PDF of my template, which, printed out, you can cut out and trace around if you want to skip the mathy bits.

I don’t want to seem like I’m knocking Mr. Orr here. I think he’s awesome and without his instructions this would’ve been totally impossible for me. Probably he (reasonably) assumed a higher level of expertise in…building stuff…than I possess.

Anyway, I’m going to try to go through this step by step so when I build the next one, I’ll think better of it and do something easy like build a computer or cook a seven course dinner for ten remember where I went wrong.

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