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.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

On The Road

We are in Houston so MsBubba can babysit the new and only grandkid. Me, I'm just here to drive the truck. I'll head back to Tucson Sunday or Monday for nine straight sitting in a black box. Then the last week of July it is back on the road to the PNW.

Long way to; Not a lot of shop time for a couple of months. So many projects so little time.


Friday, June 19, 2015

Some New Rust

I'm not much of a rust hunter anymore, I figure I'd rather work wood than speng my time re-habing old tools. But sometimes a box of rust calls my name too sweetly to resist.  The local Woodcraft had a box of planes a guy had dropped off, he wanted to sell the lot. I made an offer even though the only one of the bunch I wanted was the type 9 #41/2.

BTW, all the planes except the #91/2 were in very good condition and you could tell from how they were sharpened used by a worker that knew how to sharpen.

I'm on the road with just a iPad and not a clue how to post a photo. Will maybe post one later.


I've posted before on the importance of this date and how as a nation it should have a place along side the 4th. This year's Juneteenth is a sad day showing just how far we have to go to meet the ideal of who we are.

We had a chance of removing this cancer in the 60's but it was given a home and allowed to thrive. May Nixon's soul burn in Hell. Damn sometimes I wish I believed.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

If There Were a Purgatory......

The bottom level would have you installing tile for eternity.

I spent the weekend being MsBubba's gofer and tile cutter as she finished installing the sitting room tile. I had the easy job, at least most of my day was spent upright not on my hands and knees.

The good news is this is the last major project. We brought this house five years ago knowing that while the house was solid it needed major updating but felt it would be worth the effort because of the land the house is on. It is close to both our work places (less than fifteen minutes) very close to downtown yet peaceful and quiet with total privacy and a great view from our back garden of the valley and the Santa Catalina Mountains to the Northeast with the Tucson mountains to the West.

The view to the Northeast:

Not as good a photo but its what I have. The view of the Tucsons to the west:

There have been times over the last few years I've questioned that decision.

Bottom line....every room in the house has had a major redo, the sitting room is the last.....No mas, no mas. Well except maybe I'll have time to spiff up the shop. Everything in the shop with the exception of my work benches was either pocket hole built or repurposed junk cabinets pulled out of the house. It is time to make the Taj Mahshop.

But in the meantime, because I can't sleep, I think I'll go sharpen some iron or maybe make a little box.  Of course Sam the Wonder Dog has other ideas, I think they involve treats or maybe just an ear scratch.