the two "D's" of 1/2 inch plywood

the two D's

Words of advice on using a jigsaw: keep it level. Don’t tip it sideways or you’ll have to do a lot of sanding later. Don’t tip it forward or back or try to force it forward faster than it wants to go, or, to quote the manual, “Your saw may overheat and catch on fire.” (Emphasis most emphatically mine.)

Thank you, Makita, for those soothing, calming words of reassurance. I like the matter-of-fact delivery, almost Zen-like in its simplicity. Not the sort of instructions you ignore. I did not push my saw forward. Sadly, this was not the only time during this project I was worried about something catching on fire. More on this  later.

The straight cuts were pretty easy. The saw has a laser guide, and if you match it up with the line you’ve traced onto the wood and pull the trigger you can’t go far wrong. Don’t worry about a safety catch or button, or in fact even an on switch, at least if you use the model I did, because there isn’t one. As soon as you plug that baby in, it’s ready to lop a couple fingers off.

Did I mention power tools make me nervous? As you can see, this project was an ideal choice for me.

The curve was trickier to cut, and there was indeed a large amount of sanding (you clamp the two D’s together and sand them so they match exactly), but when it was done the feeling of triumph was way out of proportion to the actual amount of work accomplished.

I badly underestimated the amount of time this step would take, and all along I wasn’t taking into account the learning curve required not only for each action but also for each new piece of equipment. The estimate on the plans was a day or two from start to finish. My estimate was two weeks. In the end, it took me closer to six.

To be fair, part of this was ten days away in the middle of it, and part of it was that I could only work on it my mother’s basement workshop, across town. I live in an apartment building, and my neighbors would not have been best pleased with the whine of the jigsaw or the solid hour of Dremel use I put in. My carpets probably wouldn’t have been happy about the mess either.

…I feel like this last couple of paragraphs have been discouraging, perhaps even morose, so let me reiterate: feeling of triumph achieved merely from cutting out and sanding two plywood D’s =  IMMENSE. \o/