I shall prevail. . . oh, yes, I will.

Today, I am aggravated. Aggravated about my ongoing difficulties with getting proper holes in spindle whorls.

Given that all three of my sons call me mechanically declined, you might surmise that I’m utterly incompetent. It’s not quite as bad as they think, but mechanical things are not usually my friends. Most of my scars come from malevolent mechanical life forms, and then there was that unfortunate incident that left spiral blood spatter on the wall… But that’s another story. Also, I spent most of my life around first my dad and then my now-ex, both of whom had woodworking down pat and had great workshops. And yet another also, I’m accustomed to using precision tools for graphic design (pre-computer).

If you have experience with both, you know how frustrating it is to try to work with half-baked tools when you’ve used high-quality ones and have come to expect the kind of quality you get from good tools. I don’t have enough room for a wood shop, nor the money for good tools. Seriously, I’d have to put woodworking tools in my bedroom, and I’m just not willing to share my bed with wood and/or plastic shavings. Nope. And my budget is of the “if you can figure out a way to make it and not spend any moolah, go for it” variety.

So. Enter spindle whorls.

Two-inch and larger circles do not exist on my circle templates. That meant I needed something with larger circles so I could easily find the center of the whorl. Seeing as how I have several kinds of compasses, this was simple: fine-point marker, T-square and triangle, clear plastic, and voila.

Next was the hole-drilling bit (no pun intended). I tried all sorts of half-@$$ed methods but, since I’m accustomed to being able to use a drill press and get holes both accurate and vertical, yet no longer have drill press access, I was in the proverbial swamp. I was actually considering getting a drill press, despite the aforementioned bed-sharing etc. with it, until I discovered that Dremel makes a little drill-press-mounting kit (they call it a workstation) for their little tools. And they’re cheap.

Having had experience long ago with something similar for full-sized drills, I was pretty skeptical. They just don’t work very well with big drills. And right out of the box, the dang thing reinforced my skepticism:

1. They have changed a few of the specs and parts, but have not changed the instructions. This aggravated me no end, because it meant I was looking for parts that weren’t there, but that the destructions said should be there. Finally, I gave up and just put it together the way it looked like it oughtta go.

2. I was not terribly impressed with some of the mounting materials. “Secure” will be a relative concept with this thing, at least with regard to the vertically mounted pole.

3. I was not terribly impressed with the “tools” that came with it—you know, the assembly tools that most mfrs include, those cheesy little wrenches and things. I had to go find my crescent wrench to put it together.

4. It turned out to be necessary to get out my rubber hammer to mount the assembly on the upright. This isn’t all bad, since it at least means a tight fit, but it’s annoying. Why can’t they just tell you you’ll need a rubber hammer?

5. My Dremel tool did not fit easily into the mounting. This wound up taking the crescent wrench as well. But eventually, my brilliant intellect (okay, so it was dogged determination, don’t pick nits) overcame the inherent evil of mechanical objects, and I had it put together. A couple parts were left over, but apparently they were extraneous. (I hope.) Cf “not changed directions” above.

6. Another serious aggravation was that the destruction booklet said you had to use “workpiece hold downs” to hold the work in place… but they did not include any. Nor do they even make any that you could purchase. Nor do they inform you of this before you buy the thing. Instead, they include yet more badly written destructions for making your own!!! Which meant I had to make another trip to town to get carriage bolts and wing nuts. =>:-\

So, here we are. I marked a couple of centers using my spiffy little template. I centered the first one under the mounted Dremel. I turned the Dremel on. And I pulled the little handle on the side down. And voila!!, a vertical, perfectly centered hole.

I feel ridiculously pleased about this, and somewhat vindicated, too, for having. . . this time. . . Mastered the Malevolent Mechanical Monsters.

Posted by wordsmith


Why are you a bit terrified?

I am impressed, and a bit terrified all at the same time.

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