Sunday, August 23, 2015

This and That

First, I've a brisket in the pit. I've had to work at temp control today but I has kept me out of trouble so what the hey. Normally once the pit reaches temp you can almost walk away, just add a log every once in awhile and around 8 hours later it's BBQ. Today wind and ambient temp has been all over the place so my pit has as well.

Thursday I go in to have my right shoulder repaired. My guess is I hurt it skiing forty odd years ago, wouldn't want to rush into things don'tchknow. Anyway woodworking will be put on hold for a few weeks.

I figure the time can be spent putting spare tools on eBay. I'll post on here a couple of days before they are posted on eBay in case anyone wants one of 'em. Most will be motorcycle related but there are a good number of woodworking tools as well.

One thing that will be sold is the Dirty Fat Girl. We had a lot of fun together, been coast to coast on her in less than 50 hours, 1500 miles in less than 24 hours, Sturgis for the 69th bike week, Jackson Hole for a Billy's hamburger and more trips to Texas and Oregon than I can count. She has been a great bike but her time has passed.

See you guys on down the road.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Changes to the Grinding Station

This time of the year can limit shop time. Working the morning shift, usually a 0530 show and home by 1400 can really put a kink in your productivity. With Monsoon still in full swing the swamp cooler makes afternoons in the shop less comfortable than without. It is a small price to pay for conditions the rest of the year but little gets done when the day job runs through the best of the the shop time.

Damn Bubba cut to the chase.....As I've posted before I've round heels when it comes to ways of sharpening. Basically I've decided there is no one correct way to do the job just some ways work better with one type of tool and iron than than others. Lately I've been trying CBN grinding wheels on the tools I grind. They, CBN wheels, grind supper fast and stay cool but I'm not sure if it isn't too much of a good thing.  Bottom line while driving the Princess around the PNW I thought of some changes to make to the grinding station. Once home and back to work, projects this small are about all that can be done for another month or so.

All that is a long way around to posting a photo of the changes I made to the shop's grinding station a couple of days ago. I removed the Tormek rest, mounted both the 80 and the 120 CBN wheels and installed a couple of adjustable tool rests. Does it work any better? Maybe....I'm not 100% convinced the CBN wheels are better and may replace the 80 grit wheel with a Norton.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Home Again

Made it back to Tucson yesterday afternoon. Three weeks on the CA-OR coast, missed my shop. The best part of any trip is the trip, the stuff that happens between is OK and necessary to having the trip. Or at least that is what SWMBO tells me. I don't do adult supervision very well either, it's good to be back in the shop.

As always the PNW coast is beautiful, the WX perfect with temps in the low 60's to high 70's. The critters had a blast swimming in the rivers and ocean while fetching balls.

For the drive home I made a couple of bad decisions and broke two rules of driving in CA. First rule: don't drive through LA if there is another route. Second: the same applies to San Fransisco.  My normal route to get to the PNW is get on CA 58 to Bakersfield then either I-5 or US 99 north and cut to the coast after Sacramento. That was the route going up, cutting to the coast on CA 20, BTW a good drive. CA 20 is slow going because of the curves but still enjoyable. We made the trip to Ft. Bragg in about 21 hours total road time. Not too bad pulling a 5th wheel (55 mph in CA) and traveling with two big dogs and the boss. Coming home was not quite as fast. CA 20 was shut because of a fire which caused some problems getting to I-5. All routes to I-5 and Sacramento required a good bit of back tracking. Because of timing I thought breaking the rules of travel in CA could be done with minimum consequences. Wrong Bubba, they both bit me on the ass big time. Over four hours to get through SFO and over six hours to get through LA. We spent over an hour setting dead still on I-5 in LA because of a fuel spill, once moving they dumped us off onto a surface road with no directions to get back on any freeway. GPS can be a life saver, Guy Clark's "LA Freeway" was playing in my head, without I might still be in LA. After many turns  and miles on surface roads we ended up on I-210 to join I-10 east of LA. Bottom line we spent over 18 hours to get out of LA and another eight to finish the trip.

Monday, July 27, 2015

On The Road Again

Other than "making music with my friends" describes how I feel. Damn I love the road, some of my favorites are ones others find boring. There is a differene between "looking" and "seeing", when you see there are no boring roads, my favorite are ones where you can see the future for an hour or more,

First stop was a CA rest area with a truck packed parking lot, after a couple of hours rest and a few miles it was north on I-5 followed by Hwy 20 to Fort Bragg and the first RV park. The park is an unexpected jewel, across the road is a great beach. What was expected to be a one night stay has been " who knows".

I did bring a small " kit" along, three diamond stones, a strop, and a chisel roll with older chisels that need some TLC. I worked on a couple of chisels yesterday, pretty nice with Sam the Wonder Dog and  Sweet Maggie Dog at my feet, cool air but warm sun and a beautiful setting. Add in a couple of martinis and life doesn't get much better.

We may move on north after a couple more days or may not.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Dog's Breakfast

No theme today, just random thoughts:

The day job has been crazy, nine days to a dozen between days off with many days doubled. Poor pitiful me, all those hours setting in a dark box pushing buttons to torment the crew in the cockpit. It's pretty easy work but it is still putting on the monkey suit and being somewhere other than the shop.

All that was a lead into: I start an extended PTO starting Friday the 24th. That of course is the kinda good news, the kinda bad is I will be out of the shop until the 10th of August. The really bad is TBMRITS (the best motorcycle road in the States), I-10, is closed because of bridge washouts near the CA-AZ border.  Of course I was planning on using the alternate roads that now have I-10 bypass traffic as my route bypassing LA and on into Northern CA and Oregon. Stuff happens, on to plan B whatever it will be.

Anyway this year we will be traveling with a 5th wheel and no motorcycle, I'll miss my annual drive the princess to Oregon with the Wing in tow. After princess delivery a quick ride back to Tucson and then a month or so later a return motorcycle ride to somewhere in Oregon to pick her up and drive back home. I've been doing it for years but its time has passed.

More stuff to keep me out of the shop. I've a rotator cuff tear, been there for awhile and no clue how it happened, that will be repaired on the 27th of August. Who know how long that will take before I can work in the shop. The blog may get a lot of attention.

Finally something about working wood: I've had a little time to use the new Lie-Nielsen sharpening jig. It's pretty good. good enough that it may change my work flow if the attachments work as well as the basic jig. I expect I will continue to freehand the quick touchup hone while working but I can see at the end of the day, before putting the chisel or plane back in the rack, using the jig to re-establish the bevel.

See you folks on down the road,


Monday, July 13, 2015

Lie-Nielsen Sharpening Jig

Ok, I admit I'm a sucker for any shiny new gizmo that comes down the pike. Lie-Nielsen has updated the old Eclipse sharpening jig and I had to have one.

I expect I will continue to freehand sharpen 90% of the time but I can see once the mortise chisel attachment is available I could use the LN jig for my pig stickers. It should also be useful for keeping the bevels flat on the Japanese chisels.

We will see once the attachments are released, or it could end up in the black hole of unused sharpening jigs....Happened more than once before.

Anyway it, the Lie-Nielsen jig, arrived a couple of days ago and here are a few photos of it with a couple of residents of the black hole of tools and one of the Lie-Nielsen set for use.

From left to right: Eclipse clone, Lie-Nielsen, Eclipse.

Same but wheel side.

With a Japanese paring chisel set for a 25 degree bevel.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Sharpening Bench

Ralph of The Accidental Woodworker blog is building a sharpening bench. I have to say his looks a heck of a lot better than mine. It should, mine is on a work bench that has been around for almost 50 years and has been repurposed many times. But whatever in its current form it works very well.

Because as far as sharpening goes I have round heels. I find there is no "right" way, some needs and tools demand water stones or diamond, others oil stones or ceramic stones. In addition with all things being equal, they never are, I prefer natural stones to man made. 

Going from left to right is a Shapton water pond with glass stone holder, expensive but works very well to both hold the stone and contain the mess. In the middle is some storage and the strop. The strop and the shop made stone holder are held in place by mounted battens (screwed to the bench top). The right end is for my oil, diamond and ceramic stones. All use the shop made stone holder and the battens are placed so the stone holder can be used either vertical or horizontal.

Hanging from the bench on the left is a angle setting jig. the front is used to hang some of the most used strops as is the right end. Above, that you can't see, is a wall cabinet that the paper towel rack is attached to and is used to store misc. sharpening gear.

The bench sits about a meter off the left (working) end of the main work bench. I've been down many sharpening roads, this has been the best so far. If I were to make any changes to the bench it will be to swap ends, put the oil stone area on the left and the water on the right because about 80% of my sharpening is on the oil stones and the left end is nearer to the main work bench.