Yoke Part Two

I had a headache most of the day today. It seemed like everything I tried went kind of goofy, telling my that my judgement and/or cognitive abilities were just not up to snuff. I kept casting about for a project I could accomplish. I grubhoed in the garden for a while and actually finished cleaning up the corners of the greenhouse. I tried mowing the grass, and got less than one trip around before I got sidetracked. Then I remembered the yoke.

I rummaged around in my shop, and found a nice hunk of spruce that was just about thick enough for a prototype. Next I found a yoke being auctioned on eBay that I liked the look of, and printed out a picture of it. Using my neighbor’s yoke as a template for the thickness and length of the arms, I started sketching on the lumber. I measured the thickness of my neck with two squares, and from that came up with the proper size for the opening.

yoke2.jpgA lesson I learned from the classes I took at Wooden Boat School all those years ago helped with the next step. How do you decide what curve you went when you have to go from thin to thick? I used a simple tool called a batten, which is just a long thin piece of wood. I established the points on the board that defined the boundaries by installing screws, and then carefully bent the batten around the screws. I then traced the line the batten made with pencil, and I had it.

yoke3.jpgAbout 15 minutes of work on the band saw and I had the blank roughed out. Next I grabbed the belt sander to make the rough sanding, followed by the orbital sander. Once I had it pretty much the way I wanted it, I tied some rope into the notch on either end, tied on a couple of S hooks, and I was ready to try the thing out.

yoke4.jpgMy first attempt did not go well. The ropes were way too long. On the plus side, my load seemed much lighter than it should have been. On the minus side, that was because the buckets were sitting on the ground. I retied the ropes a couple of times until I was satisfied.

Once I had it right, I made a couple of laps around the yard with my buckets of pond water, while Alice snapped away with the camera.

Another plus… I got so interested in the project, that I forgot I had a headache.

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