The Plan is a Winner

Planning is a skill which is closely associated with patience, and as such, is a virtue.  Sadly, patience and planning have not ever been virtues of mine.  I like grabbing a hunk of wood, looking at it, deeming it pretty, and making something with it.  This has not worked very well, and it seems like every time I take a moment, think about what I am doing, and make a few measurements, my results improve.

There is a woodworker who goes by the name of @Torch02 on twitter (See blog roll).  His blog is great!  He does lots of drawings for his designs and I always enjoy reading about his plans.  Today, while I was focused on football, I decided I wanted to do something woodworking related.  So I got out my father’s drawing stuff.  He has a degree in Aero E from ISU, who was crushed by iowa 35 – 7 today.  Fortunately he also has a Masters in Mathematics and a PHd in I.E. from Ohio State, who beat #12 Miami 36 – 24!  Go Buckeyes!

While building the tiny boxes I sort of stumbled across an idea for an Ikebana vase.  Ikebana is a Japanese form of flower arranging.  My mother has a really neat vase and she loves it.  Basically one has a tiny little bucket thingy (from the Japanese, meaning…thingy), with spikes on the bottom.  (Editor’s Note:  They are actually called kenzan.)  Then one takes flowers and sticks them onto the spikes, adds a bit of water, and shows them off to their neighbor, who may become green thumb with envy.

I am taking my inspiration from the tiny box lids.  My design is to create a 3 tiered vase, with each tier being thinner than the previous one.  Since I had graph paper, fun drawing stuff, and rulers, I decided to take it a bit seriously.  I drew the bottom piece, with 12 degree angled cuts, then calculated how much thinner the next piece should be.  The formula I used was original thickness/1.618.  To determine how much smaller the length and width would be, I simply calculated a 12 degree angle heading up from the first piece, and made sure the edge of the next piece started along that line.

The center portion of the bottom and second layer will be hollowed out for the thingy (kenzan).  The top piece will have a hole which corresponds to the opening in the thingy (kenzan), and will hide the lip of the thingy (kenzan).  I have two of these already, as I knew I wanted to try building one.  When I bought them I only had a vague idea of the design, and putting it down on paper was both fun and helped me arrive at a much more organized design.  I usually just think about something for days or weeks until I work it all out in my head.  I did this in about an hour.  So I think I learned one thing today…the Buckeyes are for real!

Plan for the Ikebana Vase