Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Damn I Have a Flat Forehead

My only excuse is most tenon cheeks I cut are not the size of the ones on the work bench. Without thinking when I went to saw off the tenon cheeks I did it as usual. Secure the leg to the bench, set the saw in the knife line and start sawing across the cheek....As posted earlier: Wrong move Bubba. So this morning I did it as if sawing the tenon, start the kerf across the cheek then down the cheek to a 45 across, flip the leg and do the other side down the cheek to a 45 across and then saw out the pyramid in the middle. Works like a charm.

I still have some chisel work to do on the first leg but that's life. Some day I may have to do something about the flat spot on my forehead.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Last BBQ and a Little Base

I lost a shop day yesterday but it was good to have friends over for food and drink. In this busy world we live in today it doesn't happen often enough. Life is totally out of balance with work dominance distorting our values and life. We started losing our way fifty or so years ago and I'm guessing most of my generational cohorts will need to die for a chance to regain some balance. Enough....When I think about it I can understand going postal.

The BBQ brisket was one of the best I've ever done, almost fall off the fork tender, moist and with almost perfect balance of flavors. All the sides were very good, even the ones that shouldn't be close to a plate of BBQ :-). Here is how the brisket looked fresh out of the pit. Shame there are no more photos but I got too busy enjoying and forgot the camera.

I dry fitted the base this AM just to see how it looks and to take some rough measurements. The base will be 627mm wide and 1463mm long. The top will have a 61mm split and at this time I'm not sure how long it will end up, I'll guess just a little under 3 meters.

I've one shoulder of the base tenons cut. I will need to change sawing technique. My most aggressive cross cut saw is 12PPI and because of the width and depth of the shoulder cut it needs around 9PPI. The saw plate overheated causing the cut to track off line. That is the bad news, the good is it went off line to the waste side and a little chisel work will take care of it. For the next shoulder I will treat it like a tenon cut and saw down the shoulder at 45 degrees, flip the board saw the other side at 45 degrees and then come back an take out the middle. A PITA but I expect less a PITA than the chisel work.

Here is how the base fits together:

Another view, if you look carefully you can see the off track shoulder cut:

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Early AM

Started the fire in the pit at 2100 last night, by 0500 this morning the pit temp had settled to slightly over 200F. Here is a photo...real exciting isn't it :-).

I put the "rub" on the brisket and had it in the pit by 0530 and here is the way it looked at 0600. Now all that needs to be done is to monitor the pit temp, keeping it between 200F and 215F and adding a hunk of Oak as needed. I expect the brisket will be done around 1400 to 1500 this afternoon.

I'll throw some chicken on later and add a few links when the brisket is almost done. I could forgo the chicken and even the links but.....SWMBO has her requests. 

The beans are cooked, I will make a BBQ sauce for the table, the meat will be served "dry" so you can add sauce if you like. Make the Slaw, cut a few sweet onions and my job is done. It doesn't get much better.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

BBQ Tomorrow

I've fired up the BBQ pit at 2100, over the next 6 or 7 hours I'll tend to it making a good bed of coals and stabilizing the cooking area at 210F. Once I'm happy with the temp and can keep it stable with just a couple of hunks of Oak burning I will put the brisket on followed much later with some sausage and chicken. This is an 18 lb. brisket, I expect it will take 7 hours to cook. There is a big pot of beans cooking and I will make some slaw as well. Add some sweet onion slices and a bowl of jalapeƱos on the side and there will be a Texas meal to die for. BTW photos to follow.

All of this is for a friends B-Day and I expect MsOK will add some things that are not traditional, what can I say....She's not from Texas and heresy of heresies she stated not everyone likes BBQ brisket. Wash her mouth. One other MsOK heresy, the BBQ will be served on plates instead of butcher paper.

I made the pit I'd guess twenty or so years ago out of scrap pipe, I had enough to make three pits, two were built. One for me and one for the neighbor that helped with the build. The third was never built. While it is not as good as a traditional brick pit with a fire box and a metal lid it has worked very well. It will hold a temp with minimum attention and wood use is low for a metal pit.

If I could reproduce the City Market in Luling's sausage I could save the 2000 mile round trip BBQ run when I get a hankering for BBQ.  

Here is how a Texas BBQ plate should look:

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Last Shoulder Cut

I haven't done much documentation just mostly photos of completed or near completed stages. That will change a little if I can remember to stop and take photos during the assembly stages.

This is the set up for the shoulder cuts on the stretchers and the last of the set. Next up is cutting the leg tenons. I'll start defining the shoulders on the legs today but I expect it will be saturday before I have the leg tenons finished, work gets in the way of life.

I have to do my every six month fly the Sim even if I don't want too this afternoon. With two old, deaf, and blind guys up front and one just as bad on the panel it can get ugly. Oh well, once it is over it is over for another six months.

Another view:

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Final Fitting

I'm truly getting close to having a work bench base. Today I'm cleaning up the tenons, truing the shoulders, and getting rid of all the nasty bits on the tenons and in the mortices.  None of it is hard, it just takes time and attention. Once I feel every thing is ready I'll reassemble the base, make sure all the joints pull up square and the base is square and true. When I'm happy with the assembly then it is just marking the location for the draw bores on the tenons and drilling them. Then reassemble the base check everything once more and when satisfied drive the pins home.

This base will be like the last one built, no glue just draw bored. There are a lot of advantages to draw boring. A big one is assembly, there is no rush just a leisurely putting together of Tinker-Toys. Another is the joints are not super critical as there are no glue surfaces, Everything is held together mechanically and is super strong. And last if you somehow screw the pooch, you can take it apart and redo the mistake.

When the base is completed I will be able to mark the mortices on the slabs. If I could put a couple of days off in a row together the bench could be upright by next week. It ain't going to happen though, work just called and I need to fill in for someone on Saturday. Stuff happens.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

In the Short Rows

I like to tell myself it is getting close....BS of course because the trimming, finding the ugly bits in the mortices, getting it to all square up and finally driving home the draw bore pins will take some time. But if you squint it is starting to look like a work bench base. Once the base is finished I will mark out the mortices on the slabs and drill/router/chisel as needed to fit the base. That part will go fast. Once the base is connected to the slabs I'll add the Paramo #52 face vise, find some muscle to flip it upright and drill a few 3/4" round holes, add a lower shelf, a bench jack and that will be about all....At least until I find something else is needed.

BTW, I will not know if it will be flattened by hand or router and sled until it is upright and I can see any wind, hollows, or bellies. Small amount to remove it will be by hand but the old router sled is there if needed.