Sunday, August 9, 2009
So I FINALLY finished the dinosaur, seen left with the original diagram. The primary difficulty with finishing was the paint. I painted all surfaces, including the interior parts between the puzzle pieces. Seems the paint is thick enough to overcome the kerf of the saw blade. Also, it appears that at certain parts of the cutting, the blade was not perfectly square. It's not consistent throughout the entire puzzle, so perhaps I was putting pressure on the blade and making it cut sideways. Whichever it was, it makes it impossible to slide the pieces together from either direction. So much sanding and re-carving was needed prior to finishing.
This is the final piece. I've now sanded down all the rough edges, painted, and added a gloss clear coat. As you can see, the fully assembled puzzle stands by itself. Now I'm finally ready to give this to Logan for his birthday. It will be the first time I've ever constructed a handmade gift.
I recall when I was young, that I had a real thing for the Dukes of Hazzard. I wanted the General Lee car, and made no bones about asking for one. My parents couldn't find one at the store (sold out) so my Dad bought an incredibly detailed model kit and spent night after night assembling the car. Now if you haven't met my Dad, he's a mechanical engineer, and "attention to detail" may be his middle name. So the car was perfect--every decal precisely in place, every aspect of the motor perfect, working hood, rubber tires, etc. A much nicer car than could have been purchased. But I, being, what, 5? didn't realize that. I wanted the metal car like they had on TV, and I was a bit upset with this plastic thing. I can only imagine how Dad felt, when after hours of work, I threw the car aside and ignored it. It was broken and battered over the years, but as I grew up I realized just what had gone into that car, the sacrifice that was made, and the love that went into it.
I still have it. It's in the top drawer of my dresser. It's one of my most treasured gifts.
I don't know if, 20 years from now, Logan will feel that way about his T. Rex. Probably not, actually. I can assure you, however, that I feel that way about it. Some gifts are worth the effort, regardless of how they are received.