Tuesday, October 21, 2014

What I Found in Today's Post

A couple of weeks ago during a midnight prowl of Japanese tool porn I couldn't help myself and ordered a Kinshiro Marking Gauge. Mr. Kinshiro has retired and the gauges are becoming rare but that is not the only reason I wanted one, they are beautifully made and one of the most functional marking gauges of any type.

Anyway enough of the back story, when I order from Japan I usually just forget about it and I have a pleasant surprise when the tool shows up. Well today I had a pleasant surprise, much sooner than I expected.

The gauge is beautiful, with a wonderful feel in the hand, and most important makes nice true mark with little pressure.

I have a couple more nice surprises coming, one from Stu at Tools from Japan , the other from Mr. Tomohito Iida at Iida Tool .

Midnight browsing of tool porn can be expensive.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster for Machines

I had a couple of minutes available to finish milling the rails and stiles for the pantry doors. As much as I enjoy working wood with hand tools it is good and meet to have machines to true and dimension stock. All that is needed now is to match up the pieces and saw to size then I can start the joinery.

On a job like this one, with six semi-large doors I can almost wish I still had the router table, then I remember the noise, dust, and danger. So MsOK is tapping her foot with arms folded waiting for her pantry to be finished....it's not a big deal doing that many doors by hand is slower.

Next up I'll go through the stock, matching up potential rails with stiles and culling the extras. As always, the decision will be: Do I do all six doors as a batch or do the doors in pairs. Efficiency would have me doing each process on all six in steps. Sanity, I hope, will win and I will work on each door set to finish and then go on to the next.

The trued stock:



Friday, October 10, 2014

A Surprise Day Off

A Client canceled scheduled training at the last minute and I've a three day weekend that was not expected. It changed the schedule from hell to one that is OK, or maybe a better way to put it; it delayed the start of a slightly better schedule from purgatory.

I expect today will be spent mostly running the streets taking care of stuff that has been put off but I also hope to start the rough dimensioning of the stiles and rails for the new pantry's six doors. That and finish up the RV's trim work. Those projects along with shop and tool maintenance and it should be a nice couple/three days off.

I've a couple of new Arkansas stones coming, I expected them yesterday, maybe the UPS girl will show up today.  I'm settling into a sharpening system that is working very well and may end my quest for a better way.  I'm using a set of EZLap diamond stones for grinding, then depending somewhat on the metal of the iron, using either the brown Spyderco ceramic or a Hard Black Arkansas to lap. For polishing I'm using the white Fine Spyderco ceramic stone and I've lost the strop. Instead of a strop for final edge clean up I'm giving the edge a pull through the end grain of a Red Oak block. I forget where I saw the block "trick" but it seems to work very well.

It's a pretty no muss, no fuss system, requiring only an occasional flatting/waking up of the stones and the best part is no water. The only water to touch my tools is when I use the Tormek to reshape the bevel.    

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Sticking Board

A friend's new RV had some trim work that needed attention. The dealer blotched the repair job so bad he will not take it back to them. After looking at the repair I can't say I blame him, I wouldn't let 'em touch it either.

Anyway he asked if I could make new trim pieces, because he is a good friend I agreed. Pulling the old trim off was quite a shock, it's all MDF with a picture of wood glued on and this is on a very high dollar RV.

I've the trim in my shop, I found a nice 8/4 Cherry board in my wood pile that is close to the Cherry picture of wood and I've rough dimensioned the trim pieces. It is now just a matter of cleaning 'em up but as usual there is a small hold up. It would be best to use a sticking board for the clean up but the sticking board I just made is too short. I'm waiting for the trim pieces to finish doing their stupid wood tricks and while waiting I need to decide if it is worth making a simpler but longer sticking board or just making a very thin stop and using the bench top as a sticking board. Still going over the pros and cons but leaning towards just a very thin stop.  


I'm like most folks, as I've aged I've added weight. It seems I've averaged 5 to 20 lbs a decade, it's not too much nor has it happened quickly but....over 50 decades I've become fat. I wish there were a nicer way to put it but there isn't. Fat is fat and what brought it home was getting some blood work done a couple of months ago which showed I was pre-diabetic and of course the photos from long ago helped as well.

I've gone on low carb diets before and I lose weight easily by limiting carbs but.....damn in life there are always buts. My favorite foods are beer, Tex-Mex, anything with rice, and pasta. It's tough to give 'em up. That said, how can you complain when a typical lunch looks like this and you lose weight.

Steak cooked charred on the outside and rare in the center, shrimp, and greens with oil and vinegar:

I started out a couple of months ago just a little over 235 lbs. I got stuck at about 215 lbs. for a couple of weeks and then I paid attention to MsOK. 

MsOK has been on an anti artificial sweetener rant for some time. She says that artificial sweeteners "trick" the body into producing more insulin and are worse that using sugar. What the hell, even though I'm a sceptic it couldn't hurt to stop using sweeteners and drinking diet drinks. I didn't think it would make a difference but wrong Bubba, the weight started melting off.

Yesterday I weighted in at 205 lbs., 30 lbs off in a couple of months eating as much as I want as shown above. Not too bad but damn I miss my beans and tortillas.   

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Dog's Breakfast

The drawers are installed in the pantry, just as I was headed to the shop to true up and dimension the wood for the drawer fronts MsOK decided she wanted doors instead. Whiplash, I tell you that woman gives me whiplash. Anyway three sets of doors coming up if and when I can find a few days to work on 'em.

Must be nostalgia time, lately I've received photographs from the dark ages, one set from an old friend who shared a hangar with me in the 80's and the other from my first and truest love. Barbara and I watched the moon landing together, she was working her way through nursing school and I was a Medical Lab Tech along with doing the flight school thing and a occasional shot at University. The photos she sent were from our time in Utah in the early 70's. BTW, Barb ended up with a PhD, I went on to flying corporate aircraft, ending my flying on a Gulfstream G-IV and now instruct in Sims. Oh, as an after thought and never used, I got a B.S. in Economics.

Here I am, all 160lbs of me, with the required 70's "Porn Stach":

This other photo, I would guess, is from the 80's and has a story behind it. Mostly about how times change.

OK, if you will let an old man indulge here is the back story: I spent most of my adult life on Hobby Airport, first showing up right out of High School. I left a couple of times but bottom line Hobby was home and it was that way to many of my cohorts. The airport was pretty close knit and because Houston wasn't at that time too civilized the folks that had the money to operate airplanes were mostly larger than life. Another way to put it is we took our working, drinking and playing to another level. During the time of the above photo every Friday whoever was in town from our hangar crew would go to a local beer and hamburger joint for lunch. The place was kinda a forerunner of Hooters, the wait staff was young, good looking and being the 80's a good number didn't wear bras. The beer would flow and most Fridays we would end up crawling out about closing time. An example of changing times, no DWI ever resulted. Anyway I'll cut to the chase: after a while they started sticking us in a back area where we wouldn't scare the civilians too much. Of course a bunch of young men with more money than sense mixed with lots of beer and a young good looking wait staff resulted in an occasional boob flash. One of the results was Kelly decided that turn about was fair play as this photo shows.  Damn we had fun, ain't no way those times could be repeated today....The world and America has changed too much. 

Friday, October 03, 2014

Pantry Short Rows

A two week job is now in its second month, but at least the end is somewhere in sight. I'm mounting the drawers and adjusting the slides for smooth operation. Making and finishing the face plates is next on the list. Then it will just be a case of waiting for the back ordered pulls.

I'm off for a couple and the box building and finishing for the pantry is done. I will look for any reason to delay mounting the boxes to the slides. I haven't a clue why but I sure can find things to slow me down. This morning it was putting the shop back in order and cleaning off the second bench. While straightening up I ran across a piece of Sapele that would make a good straight edge. What a lovely little project, I was able to use a bunch different tools, the shooting board, three different planes other than the shooting board's #51 including the big boy #8, a draw knife, a spokeshave, and even dug out the metal straightedge to check for true. Here it is noon and I still have the first drawer of the day to mount and I can hear the wood store calling my name. 

The new straightedge:


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Pantry Build is Still Coming Along Slowly

I'm beginning to think this pantry build will never end. Between work, building a work bench for a friend, a little out of town travel, keeping Casa Chaos from falling down, caring for two hairy critters and one Scot, plus finishing up last year's taxes before the 15th. I just finished six straight days at work and have twelve straight bearing down on me like a train, I'm close to overload.

Times like this and retirement starts looking good, then I get the mental image of me retired in a food, glue, and finish stained T-shirt and shorts, shaking my fist at the neighbor kids and yelling at them to get off my rocks....It ain't a pretty thought and twelve in a row starts looking better.

Anyway, the slides are installed, the drawers are finished but.....and it is a big but, because I built 'em tight to 25mm smaller than the opening and after looking at the mount options I decided I needed to use the face plate mount instead of direct mounting the slides and the face plate mount requires a few extra mm of room, the drawers are close to 6mm too wide.

Almost too much to plane off and too little for the bandsaw but bandsaw it is followed by the Stanley #5 with a heavy camber and the LN #4 1/2 to smooth it all. That's the bad news, the good is it doesn't take long....about 15 minutes a drawer and I'm getting a good work out to boot.

Once the drawers are fitted, I'll make faceplates and fit the rails. I expect the rails will be attached with the Kreg system and screws. That's not my favorite way of doing things but my guess it's the best for this build.

The pulls are still on back order....so who knows when it will be finished.