Unwinding…

When we purchased the drafting table I use, we thought we needed to take it apart in order to move it. As it turns out, we didn’t HAVE to, but we did anyway, and in taking it apart that first time, we discovered just what “unwinding” means.

There’s a spring in the table that supports the drafting surface, and enables the user to, with the flip of a switch, effortlessly raise and lower the surface. This spring, under constant tension for (probably) decades, does 90% of the work.

Well, when we removed the drafting surface, that spring unwound all at once. GRRRRTTT! We had no idea what that sound meant, but suspected it wasn’t good. A little investigation once the table was down in the basement proved out some of my suspcion. Nothing was broken, but that spring would need to be wound, by hand, to a couple hundred pounds of tension (or whatever the measurement unit is for springs). So a tool was fashioned for the job, and I hand-cranked that spring while others supported the table. A little trial and error showed how much to wind it up before dropping the surface into place. The answer: uncomfortably lots. Once or twice it let go while I was winding it up. GRRRRTTT and everyone jumped.

So, now you know the story of the drafting table spring. When I’m “wound up” on a project, that noise, and the associated half-second earthquake-in-miniature, is my benchmark for what it’s going to take to unwind me. There’s no slow release. Once you lift the load off, once the teeth on the struts clear the gears affixed to the spring, it lets go. Last night at midnight I finished a week’s worth of 14-hour days. Today, with the exception of some coloring for Schlock Mercenary, has been pretty non-productive. It went GRRRRTTT.

I did have a nice nap.

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