Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


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Like my brownhouse:
   copper cup disaster
Monday, January 16 2023
I had the day off today to celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., though my intention was to use a lot of it to catch up on some procrastinated workplace work. But I got up late and hadn't really gotten anything done by noon, when I took a break (from what was essentially continued procrastination) to walk down the Stick Trail and do more processing of the various pieces of wood I'd started on the day before yesterday on the steep slope southwest of where the Stick Trail crosses the Chamomile. I didn't bring the backpack, so all I brought home with me from that outing (other than the chainsaw I'd taken) was a few small sticks of kindling. Later in the afternoon, I would salvage a backpack load from the large skeletonized oak west of the Farm Road. And then I'd return still later with the handtruck to recover significantly more that way (since it can haul much more than I can carry in a backpack).
Eventually, though, I would find it in me to focus on the procrastinated workplace work. But getting my mind around the problem (which involved identity columns which are tracked in a centralized "NextID" table) wasn't easy and would require more hours than I'd procrastinated.
Meanwhile, I'd had an idea for making a cup from copper sheet metal (similar to a successful water pitcher I once made). Such a cup might make for a good birthday present for Gretchen, who is turning 52 on Thursday and has told me that she doesn't want me to buy her anything for her birthday. It would also compensate for the German drinking cup I recently shattered. But as I was making it, I realized I wanted it to taper like a real cup instead of being just a cylinder like the water pitcher I'd made. So I thought I could just cut a trapezoid of copper and roll that up into a suitable shape and then trim it to deal with the fact that such a shape, when rolled, does not have a top that is parallel with its bottom. As I had with the pitcher, I crenelated the bottom of the cup so I'd have tabs to support a circular disk serving as the cup's floor. In doing this, I tried to make the depth of the crenelations compensate for the wonky geometry. But I made the mistake of just trying to eyeball it all, and it ended up being a disaster. But cupper is so malleable, I was then able to simply beat the bottom until it was in the desired plane. It didn't look great under there, but it sat flat. Then, though, when I dropped the cup's floor disk onto that uneven mess, it was ridiculous to think I'd be able to solder it in watertight fashion, but I gave it a try. The whole thing was a mess.
Later though, I looked up flat templates for cups. I could've just downloaded one, sized it according to the volume of the cup I wanted to make, and cut out a piece of copper in that shape.

today's cup-making disaster

From the top. You can see the floor disk on the bottom not quite making contact with the crenelations beneath it.

The side seam. This is actually a leak-proof joint.

The smooshed bottom crenelations. This definitely leaks.

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