Memoirs of a Polyhedron Maker

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Work begins...

After making several wooden math shapes no more than a couple feet wide, I felt it was time to expand my sculptural adventures, and make one that someone could go inside. The hardest part is being at a point in history where the study of symmetric forms is developed enough. 150 years ago it would have been difficult to suddenly decide to make this shape unless I was a lot smarter, and a few years from now, there may not be any humans left to study anything!
Working with numbers graciously provided by Robert Webb, a much more experienced programmer and checking them against Robert Birrell's 1992 masters math thesis report about this shape, and in which there were some errors (I would have flunked the man!), I could now figure out how much wood I needed and begin construction...

begins Paper Stencils How to waste money

After bankrupting myself buying wood (and right after that finding out I was getting laid off from my main day job, but that's another story), the first step was to cut out accurate paper stencils to aid in cutting out the actual pieces. When cutting anything with sharp objects or power tools, always remember that


If you maintain proper focus and observe safety rules, you should be able to cut a whole lot of stuff without too many problems besides splinters, back pain, and general fatigue.

How to avoid Job Hunting Jigs Shapes in progress
All summer I've been attempting to collect unemployment, job hunting, and trying to get this thing done by Sunday the 19th (tomorrow, as I write) but really it will be done within a week of Sunday. (Really!)

How to continue to avoid Job Hunting A piece of the rock The end of a task
Hot off the saw
Pieces waiting to be
glued and screwed
Michael welding the
inner metal structure

Michael Welding
Pieces in Waiting
Finished pieces awaiting
their destiny

Ok, so it's a week after the start of the show, and I'm still working on it, Most of the pieces are good to go. If I can just hold out a few more days and finish it, then I'll be able to collapse and await my fate with a peaceful soul. If only I could get Michael to weld that inner structure in a timely manner. What's the matter with volunteers these days? If I had a nickel for everyone who said they'd help me tomorrow, why I'd start paying people!

Little Metal Mouths Ropes

At long last, the metal support structure is now all welded and I'm putting it in place with the aid of band clamps and plumber's tape. It's made of pieces that end in these fork kind of deals, and the forks ultimately grab onto each other. Seperately, the forks look like little birds clamoring for their dinner. Someday, my days will not be filled only with wood scraps and screws. As work progresses, I've noticed my friends seem to not be visible quite so often any more for fear of having to turn down my pleas to help me. When all else fails, ask Mom and Dad:

Heave Ho Parents Push Harder!
Dad's Head Here we see my dad
trying out his new
flotation device

After 53 4x8 sheets of plywood, 5 lbs of screws, 100 feet of 1/2 inch steel rod, 1 quart wood glue, a chair with a pivot, and little bits of sweat and blood, the polyhedron is finished. That is to say, as finished as it is going to get for the time being. To set up this thing, it appears to take the same amount of time for my thumbnail to grow one length, because I jammed it with the screwdriver right at the base when I started, and I was just clipping the purple spot off when I finished. Render that on a computer!

The Mother of all Polyhedra


At the Opening
At the Opening...
Michael, Russel, Will and Paul eating the food Paul made. Below, other little things I displayed.

Other things in the show


And so, after one month of display, the show ends, and it's time to scuttle the polyhedron. But perhaps You can help find a permament home for it, and get all those god forsaken pieces out of my apartment! I can't live under these conditions!

Nearly Full Molting Slowly Undressing Getting Bare Almost Bare Bare Bones

Tom versus
the Polyhedron

Tom Versus Shape
The Polyhedron
Shape Wins
One word of warning:
The shape may be beautiful, but this thing leaves more droppings than rabbits!
Behold Tom, King of the Plywood Spiders King of Spiders
Attack of the spiders
Awaiting Burial My apartment, or the dump?
My apartment, or the dump...

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