Thursday, October 29, 2015


I cross posted this on SMC but figure what the hey, I'm lazy and might as well copy to the Blog.

I finished the bath Wall Cabinet and it is hung. 

Work is insane, when between projects and tired from work like now my shop offers a sanctuary but little is done. Mostly I will spend my time sitting at the work bench holding tools, rearranging tools, and tool maintenance. 

BTW, I've round heels when it comes to sharpening systems and am rarely a purest to any one way but lean towards use of natural stones. 

Last night was one of those times but I had a little extra energy and as I've been thinking of adding Jnat stones to the mix I thought I would do an A/B test of diamond/oil stone/strop vs. Shapton ceramic stones. To make it interesting I used my normal freehand method on the oil stones and the new LN jig on the Shapton's. The irons were two 2" LV PM-v11, mounted in a LN #4 and a LV #4. While the test was purely subjective, I can say there was little to no difference in the shavings or the surface left. Effort to plane, again little difference but if I had to pick one I would pick the oil stone iron. That of course could just be my natural bias to oil stones. The "bing" of the bevel, the Shapton's win hands down, the Shapton's sure can polish iron. After many passes on some Cherry with each I looked at the edges through a 20X loop and the oil stone edge was still pristine, the Shapton, good but not perfect.

As I said: purely subjective, could the results be repeated by someone else....maybe, maybe not. Bottom line, I found it instructive and confirming my bias toward natural stones. AS always with anything wood....YMMV.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Bath Wall Cabinet

Well...It's on the wall.

I still need to add a pull but other than that it is on the wall and functional. I don't like the door but the boss does so I guess I will live with it for awhile.

We spent last weekend in Mexico, I did my and tamales for breakfast, hours throwing the ball into the Sea for the critters to fetch, beer and tacos for lunch, nap, more throwing the ball, and a good dinner someplace where I didn't need to cook or change from flip-flops, shorts, and t-shirt. Repeat the next day.

Waiting for me when we made it back to Casa Chaos was a Lilly White Washita off of eBay. The box and the stone looked near new. A couple or three swipes with the flattening plate and it was ready to go. Tried it on a old Pexto 3/4" chisel and for an oil stone it cut very fast, left a nice matt scratch pattern and after a couple seconds on the strop I had a very sharp iron.

As always: Click 'em to big 'em.


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Damn Bubba, You Can Be Dumb As A Brick

Yesterday MsBubba informed me the pool pump had stopped working. I walked out to turn the pump on to check it out and noted she had pulled the inlet cover off and left it laying next to the inlet. When I turned the pump on, sure nuff, it didn't pump. The pump has a history of filling with trash, to fix it you have to open the pump up, clean out the trash, and put it all back together. Not a hard job, just one on your knees with Sweet Maggie Dog throwing tennis ball at you and barking in your ear when you delay picking the ball up and throwing it into the pool.

Today when I made it home from work I opened up the pump and found no trash but the gaskets were bad so off to the pool store for new gaskets. Replaced the gaskets, put the pump back together, while throwing tennis balls into the pool every two or three minutes.

Turned the pump on and no joy, that sucker still wasn't pumping. Hummmm, tried to remove the cover from the basket and it was locked in place by pump suction.  Damn, damn, damn, there must be an obstruction in the line from the pool to the pump.

Went over to the inlet, stuck my arm down in the water to feel if there was any suction and found a tennis ball pulled tight to the inlet.

Sometimes I'm so dumb the world would be a better place if someone just shot me.

On to a slightly better subject:

The door for the bath wall cabinet is finished as is the cabinet. it just needs hinges and a back....I'm off tomorrow and if I can stay out of MsBubba's line of vision I may get that POS out of my shop. Calling it a POS is a little harsh, the cabinet is nice but the door is as ugly as granny panties. I thought the Spalted Sycamore panel with the almost black SA Walnut rails and stiles would look nice. See above, I rest my case. While the Sycamore and SA Walnut do not work together, I expect I will fit the door so as the get the cabinet hung and then build another door later.

On that note, a little shop time tonight and I hope more tomorrow.


Thursday, October 08, 2015


It has been a strange year. About eight years ago I retired from flying and moved on to instructing other pilots. The job was a great retirement job, three to four days a week and less than 6 hours a day. I got to drink coffee, tell "there I waz" stories and was paid to do what I would have done for free at the local airport. Life was good.

A couple or three years ago the job started to change, slowly, like the frog in the skillet I kept keeping on, doing the best I could for the clients and also the other instructors. Instead of a nice semi-retirement job it slowly became a ball buster. Over the last several months I have done several nine to twelve days in a row lines, with no end in sight.  It has come to a head, for the first time in my working life my inter two year old has come to the forefront. I've started to say NO, not just NO but hell NO, I will not be there.

I'm not sure how it will end, I expect I will go part time so I can control my schedule. We will see but bottom line what is happening now is not sustainable.

The above is the main reason shop output has been low. When I work usually all I have energy for is a little sharpening. I posted the other day about the 20000 Gukumyo stone, I still feel the same way....It is the best finish stone I've found. It produces little mess, stays flat, cuts fast, and gives a beautiful polish.

I'm slowly completing the bath wall cabinet....The door is butt ugly, nothing wrong with the jointery but wood selection doesn't work. I expect when finished I'll hang it but replace the door when I find a day or two to build another.

I'm slowly cutting down the number of tools in my shop. Some are being sold, a few given away, but bottom line I plan to cut to two sets of tools, one for the main shop and another to travel. If you are looking for a tool let me know I might have a spare.

Because of saying "NO" I have a long weekend coming up. MsBubba, Sam the Wonder Dog, Sweet Maggie Dog and I are going to Rocky Point, MX for the weekend. A little Sun, toes in the sea, lots of beer, and more than a few fish tacos should be consumed.

See you folks on down the road.