Monday, November 21, 2011


Or devolve, but they're definitely still changing. The first effort (antique storage cube) was good enough, even if a little ham-handed, to lead to further development of a Portals2 style block set. But the companion block in it's several incarnations kept development stalled for days. Marking accurately, and then the equally important burning correctly seemed at first to be the biggest challenges, But no!

 Frustrated by by my first couple of tries at burning good clear circles, I tried carving a couple. Ow, While the obviously needed carving workout was eventually justified by a couple of pretty excellent laser cubes, the extensive lowering of background required in the carved companion-cubes slowed their production to less than one a day. The worst thing though, was I was stuck with several dead end cubes, too nice to toss and too hard to fix. I wasn't ready to give up, but wasn't sure which way to jump just yet, so I tried a new direction and made the cube-symbol block from the legend (level instruction panels).

 The rebirth of the wayward laser cube was a turning point. Hey, you didn't think every carving turned out right the first time, did you? I can't speak for any other wood-cutter types, but I don't throw away every project that takes an unexpected turn.

What about the, "I meant to do that," factor? Often the detour leads to an undiscovered but equally if not more interesting destination. Hence two lack luster wood-burned laser cubes, followed by an interesting but injured carved one, followed by a cool carved but non-directional one, followed by an excellent aim-able carved one, and at last a do-able interesting wood-burned version.

All these repairs and redesigns have brought me back to the less than satisfactory carved companion cubes. Emboldened by my laser cube success I jumped the most chipped face of one of the carved companion cube experiments , and laid a couple of razor-saw cuts with the grain and patched in a complementary grained piece and clamped it up. Woo-hoo! I liked it so much I went back and fixed the lowered end grain and remarked and lightly cut my new lines. The wood-burner follows the lightly scored line very accurately, while scoring too deeply produces a double line.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


 After three or four tries I managed to make a couple of companion looking cubes good enough that they need a job, like sitting onna button. These were the ones that inspired me to carve the button. The 2nd "laser cube" was good enough to make me consider maybe making a few more. At least try a couple of more styles. I'm still hoping for a wood-burned version that's close enough to be fun to make and play with.

 Alright then, I've got eight keepers and a button so far. The antique storage cube was the first I tried and it was acceptable, but the necessary logo art was way too to dense to burn at that size. I faked the logo (simplified as accurately as possible) and was going to leave the words off altogether till Plush Neon Monkey suggested that I just fake it. Huh? "You know", he said. "Just make a fairly good first letter followed by the approximate number of uprights and down strokes with some of the cross-strokes for spice." It must have worked pretty good, Cheddar Vic tried to correct the spelling.