Monday, October 4, 2010

Run for the Cure and Ulu Update

Yesterday was the Run for the Cure.  It was a big turnout and the best weather that I can ever remember for the event.  Lori and I ran with a group of our friends and spent the rest of the day hanging out, eating and drinking.  It was really nice.  This was the first weekend in months where one of us wasn't gone or travelling somewhere.  I finished the 5kish run in 27:03, which is an average time for me.  My time and fundraising can both be improved next year.

Heading to the starting line

Sketching out the next cuts
Today, I should be able to get the ulus finished up.  I have all the handles roughed out, so it'll just be a bit of sanding and drilling to polish the stone and smooth the wood and whalebone.  Then I can assemble them.  A couple of the handles that I'm using as references barely have any socket in them at all.  They just butt up against the slate, or have a very shallow groove that the blade rests against.  Because of that I want a binding material that shrinks as it dries, so that the join between the handle and the blade is as solid as possible.  I mentioned on Friday that I was thinking about using baleen, seal skin, and sinew for the lashing materials.  But now I think I'll avoid baleen and just go with the sinew and sealskin, because they both shrink and tightened as they dry. 

Are those big holes for fingers?
Travis asked about how I drilled the holes in the slate.  I use a bow drill with nephrite bits.  Its the traditional tool that was used to drill holes in tools like this and, in my workshop, its still the quickest and safest method.  I'll put some photos of my drills and the artifacts that they are based on up in a post later this week.

Photo Credits:
1,3,4: Tim Rast
2: Lori White

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