Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Back From The Fall Bad Axe Saw Sharpening Class

As much as I hate airline travel, and this trip didn't change my feelings, the saw sharpening class put on by Bad Axe was worth the two days of TSA Steerage hell.

Mark covered the basics right after introductions and coffee then it was straight to hands on. Starting with how to take a back saw apart and clean it. We went through all the stages of building/restoring hand saws, all hands on, with either Mark or one of the guys watching and advising.

La Crosse is a beautiful little town on the River and Mark is a great host, if you are interested in saw maintenance it is worth the weekend for the course.

There were a couple of last minute cancelations so instead of the usual six there were only three in the class.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Finished At Bad Axe

I've finished two days at Bad Axe, Mark does a great job of teaching the basic skills needed to maintain your saws. Right now it has been well worth putting up with TSA of course I still have tomorrow to go. More once home and on a computer with a keyboard.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

On The Road

I'm doing TSA stupid human tricks for most of the morning. Tomorrow I'll be sharpening saws @ Bad Axe., returning to Tucson Sunday. I hope it is worth two days of TSA

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Cutting Grooves for Drawer Bottoms

Four down sixteen to go. Truth is the four went very quickly. I haven't decided the order of work yet but I'm leaning towards doing a drawer, then doing the next one and so on. It is not as efficient but it will also keep the mind engaged. Grooving twenty sides then cutting twenty sets of tails followed by twenty sets of pins could be mind numbing.

One of the grooves:

I've been using the brown and the white Spyderco ceramic stones for final polishing after establishing the bevel with either the EZE-LAP fine or the Tormek and skipping the strop for the last couple of weeks. My irons have never been sharper.

Here is something for the soul, the view out our back garden of the Catalina's during a Monsoon rain today:

Perlstein, Nixon and Watergate

I've been reading a couple of books lately, re-reading Perlsteins' "Nixonland" and concurrently his "Invisible Bridge". Both books are invaluable for understanding what has happened to us as a nation.

There are many reasons to wish a special place in Hell (if there is one) for Nixon and these books will not change that wish. But for forty years Watergate has made no sense to me, there was no reason for it to have happened. A couple of weeks ago the last lose thread was reveled, the only reason that could cause a rational sitting President to commit such a criminal act, the fear of getting caught in the greater criminal act of treason.  As has been suspected Nixon committed treason by interfering with the 1968 Paris Peace talks, directly leading to the deaths of almost 30,000 US troops. His sabotage of the talks was confirmed a couple of weeks ago. While I could be wrong, Nixon's fear that the Democrats had that confirmation was what led to the break in of the Watergate and the bugging of the offices.

Of course it could be just as simple as Nixon had no moral compass, which was also true, just remember the Southern Strategy.  Without Nixon the racists would have had no place to go other than Wallace and with out the power of one of the major political parties may have faded away.

Bottom line we are living in Nixon's world, 40 years later we are still paying the price and I expect will be for many more years. My only hope is once my cohorts have died out we as a nation can escape Nixonland.  

Drawer Stock

I've spent most of the day truing and dimensioning the drawer stock. I've got 'em stacked by the work bench and ready to start the bottom grooves. Times like this I can almost wish I still had a router table, that's almost....the noise and dust from a router is just too much but I've a couple of hours ahead of me cutting 3/8" grooves before I can start the dovetails.

The good news is everything is coming together and the pantry should be finished in a couple of weeks, less if I wasn't going to be out of town next weekend.


Monday, September 01, 2014

Pantry Frame Finished

Pantry Frame is finished, just waiting for a coat or two of pant. I'll start the drawers sometime in the next day or two. At least making the drawers will be enjoyable.  BTW, I tried to talk MsOK into finishing the paint, you would have thought I had two heads from the look she gave me. She did take a look at it last night and I guess she gave her approval, She said I was very "talented with wood," of course I stubbed my toe, tugged my forelock and said "Ah Shucks Mam". For what it was worth, that's from a woman who wanted me to build a "rustic chest like the ones from Mexico." I wonder, did she mean the pantry looked like a Folk Artist build from found wood pallets? Hummmmm....

Once the pantry is finished it's on to the "rustic" buffet unless MsOK has other plans. We will see how the time works out, I have a three day line starting tomorrow and another three day line starting next Monday. When I finish those lines, I'm off to La Crosse for Bad Axe's Fall saw sharpening seminar.

I expect productivity will be about normal....very slow.

Sunday, August 31, 2014


Made some progress on the pantry. Needed two more trips to Home Depot for three total so far, must mean I'm closing in on half way to finishing the job. I would have finished the trim but the shelf has to go in before the last couple of side trim pieces and I ran out of good light for cutting the shelf.

I'll take care of the shelf first thing in AM, finish the trim and then start on the drawers. I figure five will do the job. It should be quick and easy, all through dovetails with an attached face and full extension slides. The only worry is the width, I'll go with 3/8" ply for the bottom and may add a center brace, or make it easy and use 1/2' ply for the bottom. I need to do a little butt scratching on that one.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

My Favorite Things

Yesterday morning as MsOK and I were having our tea and coffee in the back garden, playing with the critters, and watching the Quail feed she asked me to make a "rustic" Side Board. Of course I asked how "rustic" and she said "like those from Mexico".  After a little back and forth she settled for something with red milk paint.....dodged that bullet.

Anyway. I went to the wood store that afternoon, picked up some Poplar and dimensioned the leg blanks. This morning same setting as yesterday morning I asked for some executive decisions on number of shelfs and doors. The reply.....wait for it...."Oh no, that's not first, I want the pantry and the bathroom done first."  Sometimes that woman gives me whiplash.

OK, pantry it is. Of course any remodel starts with a Home Depot run. Got that out of the way early but forgot I was out of 3" screws so off to Ace for screws. Two of the required six trips to the Home Center done and I hadn't marked the first board. I'm sure you'll are aware no project is finished in less than six trips, I'm off to a good start.

I was going to try to build the pantry with no face frame, just a wall of flush drawers. Forget it, there ain't no way, nothing is square. I finally gave up, framed it out and will come back in with trim and pooky to make it look OK. I'm sticking with the flush drawers for now but now they will be flush with the trim and face frame.

Here is a photo of the wonderful, dry, construction grade wood available at your local Big Box. No wonder nothing is square,