I’ve made a few message shirts in Esperanto about woodworking. If you’d like to buy one, just click the picture of the design you like. The click will take you to CafePress.
I’ve been putting up past projects and labeled tool diagrams on my Esperanto woodworking blog, Ligneroj. As I translate some of the woodworking terms, sometimes I get stuck. What’s more is that sometimes none of my dictionaries are of any help, I have at least half a dozen, plus a few online sources. When this happens I have the choice of thinking harder, or of asking around of other Esperantists.
The problem is that the other Esperantists don’t tend to be of a technical or hands on mindset so I usually either get something that doesn’t fit the purpose, or a back wash from the way-too-jargon-ish Esperanto picture dictionary. I’m trying to do the write ups for my old woodworking projects in such a way that non-woodworkers have a chance of knowing what I’m saying. I don’t want to call the threads on a rod ‘helicaj kaneletoj‘ (helical little channels) I want to call them ‘ŝraŭbaĵoj‘ (threads of a screw).
It reminds me of when I took a course in AutoCAD. The text book gave a very techy explanation of what a circle was like ‘a line inscribed a certain distance from a fixed point.’ Most of the time I just needed an answer like ‘a circle is round.’
So today I realized that I needed an Esperanto name for a Thumb Piano. It’s also called a kalimba. I had two choices, bring ‘Kalimba’ into Esperanto via the 15th rule of grammar, making it ‘Kalimbo’ or thinking harder for something more descriptive.
Doing some research, I found that the thumb piano came exclusively from the continent of Africa. More research showed me that a similar instrument, a jaw harp is already named in Esperanto (buŝharpo), thus reinforcing my idea that a ‘Harpo‘ in Esperanto isn’t absolutely restricted to large triangular objects with plucked strings. I always say that Esperanto is a poetic language mistakenly labeled as logical. Calling it ‘Logical’ brings to mind emotionless Mr. Spock. It’s truer to say the language is regular in its grammar.
So I decided the Thumb piano would best be named an African Harp, ‘Afrika Harpo‘. At least it’s better than the total head scratching that would be brought on by calling it a ‘Kalimbo’ out of the blue with no further description. If I’d asked others, I’m sure eventually the answers would devolve into how that musical instrument actually has about 15 names depending on where in Africa you were.
I’ve just posted my first woodworking video in Esperanto. It is an 8 minute video showing how I made a hand screw clamp. I actually have about 6 of these which I have made, but this is one of the fanciest, having copper caps on the handles. (I actually made two while filming. Clamps are best in pairs.) The Esperanto version is here (Click the text) and an English language version is here. Filming the process and then recording a voice dub seems to work best. In these videos the music is from a free copyright free source, but in future videos you’ll hear my wife strumming on her dulcimer.
Steve Ramsey (pictured at left) has a large following on YouTube where he posts fun and informative woodworking videos. He posts them as Woodworking for Mere Mortals.
I’ve decided to try and make a woodworking video, but it will be in Esperanto. I may or may not make a version in English. At the very least Ill provide English subtitles. To my knowledge there is nothing aside from a few articles on Wikipedia about woodworking in Esperanto. Figuring out terms for some woodworking terms will be the challenge, but hey, I’ll be adding to the worlds total sum of knowledge.
This project will yield other benefits. If the video goes well enough, I may make others about woodworking. Since I’ll be scripting these videos, I’ll eventually be able to edit the scripts and compile them into an Esperanto woodworking book. So we’ll see how it goes. I do not expect to become as popular as Steve, but it will be interesting for this Nura Mortemulo.
Back about the time that we moved into this house, I got the idea that I wanted to build a whirligig of a fiddler. At the time I had been taking violin lessons and the idea of a fiddle playing whirligig appealed to me. This is before I had any real tools for doing such projects and the extent of the idea never went beyond a drawing on a piece of notebook paper. That piece of paper was tacked to our kitchen bulletin board right up until it was relegated to the attic.
The idea stayed in my head though until recently I started looking up whirligig how to’s in our local library via the internet. What I found was a book by Anders Lunde which described what tools to use, what materials to use, and basically how to build simple, mechanical, silhouette whirligigs. I thought the book so helpful that I bought a copy via Amazon.
The book was most helpful in describing how to make the propellers and the base for these wind toys. Going against common sense, instead of building one of Mr. Lunde’s designs, I dove in and designed my own. I actually found what became my basic design during a picture search for ‘fiddler whirligig’. I traced it into autocad and made a few adjustments. I created a cardboard pattern to be sure the joints would work properly and transferred these to wood. The wood for my whirligig is completely recycled from stuff I had around the house. The only things I had to buy was a small tap & die set and some brass rod, nuts, bolts and washers.
All I can say is that the dang thing works. It’s cool to see it set into motion by a light breeze. I have three more in progress as I speak, but I’ll leave them to their time.
I’ve decided to start posting some of my woodworking endeavors to document my projects and progress in the hobby.
First up is one I made last year for my daughter. Her poster paint pots tended to topple over when she would feel like painting. I thought what would be more appropriate than a paint pot holder shaped like an artist’s palette. I took two odd pieces of wood that I had which were actually warped. I glued and clamped them face to face, concave sides facing each other. The glue up straightened out both boards and the grains matched up to appear almost book-matched. I drew out a palette shaped line and cut it with my electric handheld jig saw. Then I had to buy a forstner bit the correct size for the paint pots because the set I bought didn’t include that in-between size. Lastly I had to buy a Roman Ogee bit for my router. (did I mention I’m more or less just getting started in this endeavor?) I sanded the piece and finished it with spray acrilic satin spray. It measures about 10×14 inches and holds 24 paint pots with an extra well for stirring sticks.
A while ago I started thinking about that log cabin with the aim of creating one. I called my aunt and asked her. She told me that it was a small church bank and told me it was about 4 inches tall. She did not know where it was, nor where he got it.
So I did some unsatisfactory Googling, thought a bit and came up with my own idea of what it might have looked like. My first try was horribly out of proportion, looking more like a two story railroad station… (hmm, an idea…) My second, scaled down version looked exactly like I thought it should.
I let it sit on our end table for a month or so and every time I caught sight of it I thought it still looked good. Hmm, I wonder anyone else likes it. I took my little wooden bank to church and showed a few people. They liked it, which told me I did it right.
So I took the measurements of my little bank and cut up some wood scraps (that’s the beauty of it, it’s made from scraps!) and made two more, one of which will be painted instead of stained. As I write, I’ve got one up on ebay to see if anyone is interested. We’ll see. [Edit: The ebay auction ended when some kind soul ‘bought it now’]
Today I finished the dulcimer I made for my wife’s Christmas present. I finally bought the strings, put them on, tuned them up. The dang thing works and sounds good! Not bad for stone knives and bear skins. The sound box is fashioned from nonconformist pine. The fingerboard from a stick of oak which I took from an old pallet. The bridge and nut are from the spine of a hard rubber comb. The tuning head is that of a guitar and the frets are banjo frets, both of which I bought. The case in the background was also fashioned by me and sports brass corner and clasp hardware. I’m sure this will give my wife pleasure to play at home and at school for the kids. I wonder if I could convince her to play it in church…
I’ve decided to see how clever I am. I’m going to build a mountain dulcimer for my wife for Christmas. The basic design and instruction are in a book my mom gave me many years ago called ‘Back to Basics’. The book has much advice on how things were done in an early industrial age. One of the projects is to build a mountain dulcimer. the design is rather strait forward and differs from the ‘traditional’ hourglass or teardrop shaped instrument. If not, I doubt I’d make this attempt.
So this morning I ordered a classical guitar tuning head (3 machines) and some banjo fret wire. The strings, I’ll buy from a music store. About the only tool I don’t have which would make the project easier is a planet to dimension the wood to the proper thickness. I’ve already figured a way around that.
High end dulcimers seem to only be made from wood I cannot get easily, but the ones normal people make seem to be made out of whatever is on hand. I’ll buy a stick of Walnut for the finger board, but I’ll likely use pine for the sound box. I can’t see how this would be utter sacrilege as you can buy a dulcimer kit for kids which has a sound box made of cardboard!