A Sticky Situation

Black Lightning, my first large piece from the academic semester, was completed last week. It is a four foot tall bike stand was created to highlight the formal beauty of a 1989 Cannondale bicycle. This piece has been very important to me because it was developed from my love of cycling. Last monday the piece was nearing completion, and I thought I had passed all the hurdles of construction. The piece was due Wednesday and I was rushing to assemble the parts of my piece Monday evening. During the glue up process I ran in to some serious issues with the right and left legs fitting correctly. The cauls I had created to put correct pressure on the legs began to fail at a critical point during the glue up. After spending five minutes trying to get the tenon joints to close I realized that it wasn’t going close completely. I ended up having to frantically take the legs off at the last minute before the glue began to cure. Luckily, I pried the glue covered joinery out of the legs before it completely dried. This mishap put a serious damper on my mood. I had no extra time to deal with the problem of the glue up never mind time to clean up glue covered joinery.

I now view this experience as a valuable lesson in planning. I knew the legs fit on flush with the stand body before, but I never checked the clamp cauls. I was rushing, and I would have saved valuable time in the end if I had slowed down and planned my glue up properly. After an hour or so of cleaning up and a re-designing the clamp cauls, I attempted the glue up once again. To my relief, the leg joints closed up wonderfully and it was a great feeling knowing that this time the job was done right. Finishing the rest of the bike stand went smoothly and I have just recently installed it with another piece from earlier this year in the school BFA show.The ball is really rolling in the studio now. Bring on the final projects!


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