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Chapter 2. Active Deskchop: > The Weightbox - Pg. 45

MAKE: PROJECTS Eccentric Cubicle to accommodate removal of the blade for sharpening. It's nothing insurmountable, and is definitely made easier and more reliable by framing a pocket for the trestle assembly to slot into and attaching it to the baseplate. This lets you securely and solidly mount and dismount the entire trestle assembly with just two screws, giving you reasonably quick access to the blade for cleaning and sharpening. I had some 45-degree beveled 3 / 4 " maple scrap in the wood crib that I used to form the pocket. Feel free to improvise like crazy. Once the base glue-up is properly cured, scope it out for errant traces of glue, sand it down to at least 320 grit and give it a light once over with extra-fine steel wool and a tack cloth. You're close to being able to apply a finish now: for mine, each of four light applications of boiled linseed oil was allowed to cure overnight, then hand-rubbed to a nice organic glow. [Figure 02.14, Figure 02.15] The Weightbox Figure 02.14: The baseplate glue-up in process The weightbox is a simple affair: size a solid block of maple to fit, and run a 5 / 8 " deep kerf across the bottom, positioned as shown to accommodate the razor sharp chunk of metal what's gonna be doing the actual chopping. [Figure 02.16] Drill the blade mounting bolt holes, then hollow out the remainder of the block. Forstner bits let you drill overlapping holes with comparative ease, so I chucked a 5 / 8 " bit into the drill press and drilled a series of 1 1 / 2 " deep holes. Your toolage/technique may vary, but the goal is the same: make space in the wood for lead. If you've opted to use lead shot as mass, it's just a question of pouring it in and sealing it up. [Figure 02.17, Figure 02.18] CAUTION: If you're planning on pouring molten metal, exercise proper caution: Lead melts at stovetop ! temperatures (327.5 °C, 621.5 °F) but it's a scandalously toxic substance prone to accumulation in our body tissues. Get a portable hotplate and do the melting outdoors, or under an industrial-strength fume hood. I use a thick-walled stainless steel sample jar as a crucible; a small capacity cast iron pot would do the job too. You're looking for something you can pour from accurately. Inspect your crucible before each melt since burning through the bottom of your pot is always a possibility, and generally an unpleasant event. Lead is eutectic, meaning it changes state rapidly: from solid to liquid and back in a fraction of a degree temperature range. It also retains heat like a demon: Just because it's back to being solid doesn't mean it's not still Figure 02.15: Bueno! Los baseplatos finito! flesh charringly hot. Be careful. Let me repeat that: Be careful. 34