TechShop Project Supplemental

Last week, I wrote about making use of my TechShop membership to get some woodworking done. I made a Japanese tool chest that was a little wider than most of the other ones I'd made so that it could be used as a base beneath the marudai that I use for most of my braiding.

A couple of days after making that, I got a chance to go back and make an accessory.

Core Stand on Tool Chest

I made a "core braiding stand" that can accomodate the taller marudai I tend to make, and can be clamped to the tool chest so that the stand does not need a separate base. The stand can probably be clamped to a plain old board or tabletop if need be, I suppose.

The stand is basically a stand that hold a little rack over the center of a marudai. If you're braiding a hollow braid of some kind, you can park some of the strands up in the rack, which will "hide" those strands in the center of the braid. This can yield some interesting effects. I experimented with this technique in Braid 82, but the method I used involved attaching something to the ceiling. We're taking a class next month with somebody who is about to publish a book on core braids, so I wanted something that was a little more portable.

I used the same cypress wood I've been using for everything lately. The base that clamps to the chest is attached to the vertical pole permanently with screws. The vertical pole is ripped from a 2x4, and has a half-inch wide mortise cut all the way through it. The horizontal beam has a matching half-inch tenon that goes through the mortise, and that tenon has a small mortise in it. A wedge sticks through this second mortise, securing the beam joint. The beam is about 2 feet long and extends out over the marudai. Over the center of the marudai is a square through-mortise for the rack hub. The rack hub is cross-drilled with 3/16" holes every inch, so the height of the rack is coarsely adjustable. The rack is attached to the hub with a shallow mortise and a screw. Eight cup hooks are distributed around the rack to hold braiding strands.

The joinery makes it a bit fancy, but I used power tools throughout. It's no beauty contest winner, but considering that the only company selling these stands wants $325 for them, I figure I'm still ahead of the game.

2013.03.21 at 12:00am EST