This President's Day, we take a look at United First Parish Church (Unitarian Universalist) Quincy, MA, nicknamed "the Church of the Presidents." This congregation is also a National Historic Landmark as it holds the tombs of two U.S. presidents and first ladies. “Today, the congregation takes its link with history very seriously and works hard to balance its stewardship of this heritage with its role as an active congregation, says the Rev. Rebecca Froom. She says it is important to examine the complexity of historical figures because, ‘if we have an honest conversation about the past, it helps us have an honest conversation about the present.’” Read more in UU World. ... See MoreSee Less
Tucked away in a small, unassuming stone room beneath the 1828 Greek revival home of United First Parish in Quincy, Massachusetts, is something you won’t find in any other UU church: two U.S. presidents and first ladies. Nicknamed “the Church of the Presidents,” the National Historic Landmark is t...
1. Find the lightest, most durable wood in the shop. Today's choice- Poplar. 1b. Oak is great but it will dull your tools requiring you to sharpen every hour or so. 1c. Pine will rot in use so forget that. Ash and Poplar are good choices. 2. The paddle will be custom fit for your arm length and fist size. 2b. Ensure the fist handle section of the wood is large enough for your hand's grip. 2c. Measure the distance from your fingers placed down at your side to the top of your head. That is the shaft and grip length. The paddle face can be any size you prefer. I like an 8" wide and 10" long paddle face.. 3. Cut out the paddle with a hand coping saw after calculating the dimensions. Some folks use jig saws or band saws but I prefer to use no power tools. The quiet, gentle sound of the knives on the wood is mesmerizing. 4. Ensure the paddle blank is not bowed. If so, offset the center lines to adjust for any imperfections in the wood so that the entire paddle and shaft will be straight. 5. Draw a midline (centering line) down the entire edge of the board with a pencil. Use a straight edge. Also add a second guide line about a 1/4" above and below that center line. You will remove the wood between the center line and second (contour) line. 6. Start with a draw knife to take off the bulk of wood. Go slow, you can't put the wood back if you take off too much! 7. Switch to a spoke shave to start shaping it. 8. Redraw the contour and center lines as needed, then repeat steps 5-7. Figure about 6-8 hours to get the carving done. 9. When done, sand sequentially with the following grits, 80, 120, 180, 220 10. Rub in the Danish, teak or tung oil (3 coats). Follow instructions on the container. 10b. Some folks use Poly, master wood workers use oil. 11. Engrave your name on it.
A day's work later...you have a custom paddle! (click on the pictures for more tips)
The blog of scientist and professor Dr JB Goss offers musings on nature and natural history, philosophy, meaning of life, independent living and man's quest for meaning. How to get what you need. The enemies of the working man. Living off the grid.