Sunday, September 15, 2019

Moravian Workbench For Sale

A recently completed Moravian workbench for sale: $1600 USD FOB Tucson, AZ. 

The bench has a Poplar base with a Beech Slab and a BenchCrafted Classic vise screw with BC crisscross and a Beech chop. It is sized for a smaller shop with slab length 73 1/4" (1860mm), width 14 1/2" (365mm), thickness 3 1/2" (90mm), and the bench is 34 1/4" (860mm) high. The full length tool tray is 11 3/4" (275mm) wide giving a total bench width of 25 1/4" (860mm). The bench has a light coat of Tung oil finish.

The bench has been lightly used, it is very stable and works a treat, the BC vise is especially slick and fast and has the best holding power of any vise I've used. I'm selling this bench and a French/English bench to free up shop room.

A Moravian bench will break down into modules, Each module (with the exception of the lower shelf, four screws) can be taken apart and put back together with no tools other than a hammer or mallet and each is light enough and small enough to be carried by one person, even the slab can be moved without help.

The Moravian bench offers the stability of a much heavier bench like a Roubo and nearly the portability of a Workmate.


Sunday Bread

With the new bench finished and just putting up "stuff" in the shop I have a little time for life. One of the pleasures is good food and bread is a key building stone of eating well.

Here are two loafs fresh out of the oven:

There are crab cakes waiting to be cooked and MsBubba has asked for "Ranch" fries, those with a fresh green salad should take care of food needs for today.

I posted the new bench for sale in a couple of places today, we will see what happens.


Thursday, September 12, 2019

Tool Rack Part II

I added a tool rack to the bench this AM. After a couple of weeks of posting the bench is finished, it really is now. The tool rack even has a coat of Tung oil, you can't get more finished than that.


Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Tool Rack

I've decided to do one more thing to the new bench before calling it finished. I like a tool rack on the back side of the working slab. It will be a quick job, just a long piece of Beech with three or four spacers and a trim of the tool tray so it all fits.

My thinking for now is once that is done I will put the new Moravian bench and the French/English bench up for sale. Because the Moravian has a couple of cosmetic blemishes (nothing that affects its strength or function) I will offer it for $1600 USD FOB Tucson. Because it breaks down and will fit on a pallet shipping cost should be reasonable. The French/English bench is another story, I expect it will need to sell to someone with a truck and within driving distance of Tucson. I'm asking $2200 USD for it also FOB Tucson.

The reason for selling the benches is I need the room and I have plans to build another Moravian with a Oak base and slab TBD that is slightly larger than the new bench.


Monday, September 09, 2019

Bench Shelf Installed

Installed a shelf on the long stretchers of the new bench. It is pretty much the same as the shelf on the shop Moravian, just a little shorter.

    from the other side:

Except for the end slats the slats are loose with a little "play" between slats. We are nearing the end of monsoon season which is our highest RH of the year so wood movement shouldn't be a problem.

This more or less finishes the bench. About the only other thing I might add is a tool rack on the back side of the slab. I'll live with the bench for a bit before deciding if a rack is needed.


Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Blogger Eating My Reply

MsBubba, Sweet Maggie Dog, and I are in the wilds of southern AZ, so close to the Mexican border our cell phones have welcomed us to Mexico. It is hard to believe but the State Park has functioning WiFi, that is the good news. The bad is Blogger ate all my posts.

I tried twice to post a well composed, witty, and informative reply to Ralph, Blogger ate both. I’ll try once more:, not as well composed nor witty: I’ve used a notched guide to dill one or two dog holes with success before. I can think of only a couple of things that could go wrong, you did not marry the drill and the notch or the sides of the notch were not vertical. Just one dog hole? Ain’t no way, I use too many dogs, stops, battens, and holdfasts to get by with just one. While the vise is used, other ways to hold work are used more.


Sunday, September 01, 2019

Dog Holes Drilled

Dog Holes Drilled:

It's 1000 in the desert and I'm already on a 15 minute work 15 minute cool off schedule. A couple of honeydoes first then I expect it will be geeking, pool time and maybe a little time on the sharpening bench working on some new Japanese chisels until the Sun goes down.


Drilling Dog Holes

I'm drilling two rolls of dog holes. The one on the end that is separated from the others is to hold a Veritas Wonder Dog for use when I need an end vise, it doesn't happen often enough to go to the trouble and expense of either a wagon or end vise install. The Wonder dog will usually take care of those needs without being in the way when not needed.

Next are ledgers on the long stretchers to hold a bottom shelf. I still have not decided on a backside tool rack. Also still undecided is either a deadman or most likely a bench jack.

The bench has one light application of Tung oil. Over the next few weeks as the oil dries there may be a couple more added.

Other changes are I'm ordering a BC Classic screw and 14" crisscross for the other bench. The portable bench may keep the wood screw.


Thursday, August 29, 2019

Moving Stuff

In the never ending quest to fit 10 lbs into a 5 lb box and needing to find a place for the new workbench MsBubba and I moved a few things around in the shop this morning.

The table saw was moved closer to the jointer and the French/English bench was moved next to the West wall where it can become a flat surface to store "stuff". The new Moravian bench is now where the old French/English bench was before it give up its place.

I expect sometime in the next few days I'll post a for sale notice for both the old French/English and the new Moravian bench. I need the room.


Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Why Everyone Needs A Moravian Bench

The 99th reason everyone needs a Moravian bench. I assembled the portable Moravian bench in the back garden to help with final work on the new bench build. That need is finished so it is back to the bench's normal storage area.

As you can see apart it takes up maybe 4 square feet of floor space. Together or apart in less than 5 minutes and a "real" bench to work on where needed. Every homeowner should have one.


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

BC Classic Vise Screw And 14" Crisscross

It is a short video showing spinning the vise open, placing a length of 1X in the jaw and spinning it closed. When it closes, without further motivation or touching the vise handle I edge plane the edge and the board does not move. Then I show how much more handle movement is available with little effort, plane again, then remove the board with again little effort on the vise handle to open the vise and give it a spin.

This is one sweet vise. It is a very easy install and is reasonably priced.  I will be replacing my wood screw with parallel guide vises on the other benches with the BC system.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Can You Hear The Fat Lady?

She is hitting the high notes as I type.

There is some minor cleanup to do, pencil lines, glue squeeze out, and I need to add the "Crubber" to the vise chop so it holds better. It will be tough to get to hold any better than it does now but I will add it anyway. Once the final clean up is finished I'll put some Tung oil on the base but may leave the slab dry until the bench finds a home.

It should be a good bench, from what work I've done on it it is rock solid, the vise is a dream, and it is a good working size.

As always, click 'em to big 'em.

BTW, today has been a tough working day, I'm not sure what the temp is but it is high and the RH is even higher. It has been a work for 10, rest and drink water for 20 all day.


Saturday, August 24, 2019

Bench Finished..Kinda

The workbench part of the build is finished. All that is left is making a tool tray.

Tomorrow my guess is I'll spend most of the day digging through the wood pile trying to find something 4/4 wide enough, long enough, and straight enough to make a tool tray. I really don't want to go to the wood store.

Right now for the tool tray, if I find an ok hunk of wood, I'm thinking a simple rebate with glue and cut nails, quick and dirty but with the nails it should look pretty good. If I end up using some Pine I'll have to think about it.


Friday, August 23, 2019

Vise Mounted

There is still work to be done on the slab. The top finish still has a way to go and the ends need trimming to final length but my back and arms needed a break so I mounted the vise.

Oh boy is it sweet. It is slicker than snot. Where has it been all my life. I want it to have my children. Maybe a little overboard but damn it works a treat. A spin in either direction and it runs until it runs out of energy or into to something. Once it clamps on a piece of wood (and this is without leather or the cruber on either face) it holds. I planned the end grain of a board that was sticking up 150-200mm and it didn't move. See photo:

I'll see if I can make a video that will post.

The pin for the backer board crisscross needs trimming, I didn't want it to be too short. I'll do that job the next time the bench comes apart along with cleaning up the base units and rounding the long stretcher tenon ends.

Tool tray next, while the fat lady isn't singing, this sucker is a workbench.

The vise is so sweet I expect my main bench is in for a new vise. Probably soon. The BenchCrafted Classic vise with crisscross has a couple of things going for it. First of course is that it works really well, second it is slightly cheaper than the Lake Erie 2X wood screw kit, and third it is an easier build than the wood screw with a parallel guide.


Cleaning Up The Slab

On to the scut work. Cleaning up the slab is not the most fun part of the build, I may get it close and then run the slab through the planer to finish. To be decided depending on how my arms and back hold up.

Some of the cross grain work has been done with the old reliable Stanley #5 with a "Jack" sharpened cutter. For the end to end work I'm using a Philly Plane single iron Razee Jack. Wood stock planes are lighter and do not require as much "waxing" of the sole vs. metal body planes. For this kind of work single iron vs. double iron makes no never mind.

I'm guessing MsBubba is cool with the portable bench being on the back patio. She has commandeered the far end of the bench for some of her ceramic work.  BTW, the bench is rock solid, not a wiggle with either heavy cross grain or end to end planning.

Have I ever mentioned that everyone needs a portable Moravian bench? 😇


Wednesday, August 21, 2019

I Listened To Sylvain

The other day Sylvain asked why I didn't use the portable bench to work on the new slab instead of carrying it back and forth to the shop. I was busted and gave a weakass excuse of having no room. I was kinda correct but after thinking about it and looking around the area I figured, if I didn't leave it up too long MsBubba might not say too much. I could put the portable bench at a 90 to the new bench where I could slide the slab back and forth as needed. It messes up sitting at the patio bar but as hot as it is now (111F this afternoon) we are not using the bar very much and it should save my back.  Thanks Sylvain.

It goes to prove the old adage that it is much easier to build a bench if you have a bench.

The slab is setting correctly on the bases, the vise backer has been trimmed and the crisscross pin hole has been extended into the leg. The chop has been shaped and is ready to be mounted. Next up is cleaning up and flatting the top of the slab.

Even though the bench is almost finished there are still a number of remove the slab and fiddle with something then replace the slab cycles to go.  It will be good to have the bench to slide the slab onto.


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

First Fitting Of The Slab

The first fitting is not bad, the backer board needs a bit of trimming, maybe a mm or two off where the angle meets the forward vertical and I expect after looking at the left forward peg and mortise I'll drill the mortise a couple or three turns deeper.

I'll piddle with the fitting a little then clean up and flatten the slab and trim the ends. After the slab clean up I'll round the ends of the long stretchers and mount the chop followed by making the tool tray.

Making a tool tray can be a PITA because it is so long but bottom line it is not structural and almost any joint is strong enough. The biggest problem is finding or making boards that are long enough and straight enough to use.

This sucker is almost finished, in fact if needed it could be used as a bench today.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Slab Mortises Finished

The slab mortises are finished, I expect I'll do a little more clean up on the bottom before the bench is finished but the slab is ready to mate with the base.

The rectangular mortise is to house the top tenon on the vise backer board and the round mortises will house the base 5/8" dowels holding the slab in place.

One more mortise to chop on the long stretcher to house the bottom tenon on the vise backer board. Once that mortise is chopped the base will go back together, the vise will be fitted, and the slab installed. All that is left is the tool tray and clean up. The fat lady is clearing her throat.


Blind Pegging The Slab

Before you can blind peg that sucker you gotta get the slab on the base. Another couple of feet longer I'm not sure I could do it without help.

Next up is deciding where to put the base mortises and then driving a finishing nail 10mm or so into the center to start the blind pegging.

Clip the nails to about 3mm, leave enough so they can be easily removed but short enough to just leave a marking hole in the slab.

Place the slab back into position on the base and press down to mark the mortise location. Remove the slab and drill the mortises. The back mortise will be elongated on the slab to allow wood movement. The next post will cover drilling the mortises and final install of the vise.

I guess I should add that the base mortises will hold 5/8" dowels that stick up ~25mm and the slab mortises slip over the dowels to hold the slab in place.

The next job will be taking the base apart to chop a mortise in the stretcher to hold the vise backer board. The slab will have to be moved back into the shop, my back hurts thinking about it, so I can chop the mortise for the top of the backer board. Once those are done the bench goes back together with the vise installed and the bench is finished other than clean up and making a tool tray.


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

BenchCrafted Classic Vise With Crisscross

The vise is together and damn it is slick. Give the Johnson bar a push either left or right and the screw spins until it runs out of energy or the chop runs into something. Then give the bar a little encouragement and whatever is between the chop and the face is held rock solid. Pretty damn impressive.

I still have to shape and fit the backing board to the bench and shape the chop but the vise is made and it is onto installing the slab.


Working On The Vise

The French cleat crisis is over. The hanging cabinet is back on the wall with a more secure French cleat. All the crap that did the bounce test (thanks Ralph) survived and is back in the cabinet and I'm back to working on the new bench.

The crisscross is installed and working as advertised. Next is installing the screw and nut. It is mostly fiddly work making sure everything lines up and nothing drags.

Once the nut and flange are screwed down and the action is free I'll take the vise and backer board apart and finish shaping each.

The next step is installing the slab followed by marking the positions of the upper and lower backer board mortises on the slab and long stretcher. The whole bench will have to come apart one more time to chop the mortises then back together with vise and backer board installed.

After installing the vise all that is left to do is making a tool tray. The fat lady is warming up backstage.


Monday, August 12, 2019

French Cleat Failed

The screw holding the French Cleat to the wall stud failed and the cabinet fell.

It looks worse than I expect it is from my preliminary inspection. The drill press table is not damaged, just the base support turned. Best I can tell the stuff on the floor did not break nor were any of the chisels in the rack under the cabinet damaged.

The biggest problem will be getting the cabinet down from where it is without causing more damage. For now I'll wait for MsBubba to awake and have her morning tea before doing anything. Maybe between the two of us we can get that sucker out of there with minimum damage to person or stuff.


Sunday, August 11, 2019

Splitting Out Stub Tenons

The vise backer board has a stub tenon on each end. The bottom one needs to be made first so the backer board will set on the long stretcher for marking the top tenon and angle of the leg.

One of the nice things about Poplar is it is easy to split and splitting the short wide tenon is a lot easier than sawing.

Next is installing the screw. To install the screw I need both a 2 5/8" and a 1 1/4" Forstner bit, the 1 1/4" is no problem. The 2 5/8" I had to order. It should be here tomorrow but until it arrives I'm dead in the water.

It may be a good thing, a nap and pool time is a good way to spend a hot Tucson afternoon.


Saturday, August 10, 2019

Making The Vise

The crisscross is installed and works a treat.

The inter board is the vise backer and the outer board is the chop. I've marked where the vise screw hole needs to be drilled on the backer board. The vise needs to be disassembled to drill the screw hole and install the nut. The backer board also needs a top and bottom stub tenon cut along with cutting the left edge at an angle so the backer board fits against the base assembly.

After finishing the vise unit the slab needs to be installed on the base so the vise backer board mortises can be marked. After marking the mortises the whole thing needs to be taken apart to chop the vise backer board mortises. Once the mortises are chopped everything goes back together and the basic bench is finished.

I will make a tool tray for the bench and I expect a full length tool holder for the back edge of the slab.

The fat lady ain't singing but this ol' horse can smell the barn.


Friday, August 09, 2019

Checking Bench Slab For Wind

The slab is out of the clamps and bottoms up on the French/English bench so I can clean up the contact areas of the slab and correct any wind.

Cleaned up the part of the slab that will set on the base and checked for wind.

It looks pretty good with no wind. I'll do a light clean up of the glue lines before attaching the slab to the base.

Next is finishing the vise. I finally settled on using the BenchCrafted Classic screw and 14" crisscross. The vise should go fairly quickly if the heat or MsBubba's line of sight do not get me.

Once the vise is mounted I'll make a quick and dirty tool tray and the fat lady can sing.  

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Bench Final Glue Up

Other than the tool tray, joining the two halves of the slab is the final glue up on this bench build.

Once that sucker is out of the clamps I'll clean up the bottom where it sets on the base and correct for any wind. I checked the base for wind yesterday and it is dead nuts true.

There will be a series of taking the slab on and off to mount the slab plus the vise assembly. I wish I looked more like Conan that Mr. Peepers.

The vise is also coming along. The chop came out the clamps this morning and I have completed the vise backer mortise. The vise still need the chop mortise and the holes for the screw drilled. Once those are done there will be several cycles of slab on and off to mount the vise. Bottom line this bench is close to the short rows.


Monday, August 05, 2019

More Moravian Bench

Using the first set of two slats as a "backbone" I added two slats to each side giving a four slat set. The four slat set is half of the slab. Next is doing the same to the other two slat set and once that set is out of the clamps I'll join the two four slat sets to complete the slab.

When the slab comes out of glue up I'll clean up the bottom where it sets on the base unit and take care of any wind. I'll wait to clean up the top until the slab is installed.

While gluing up the slab I've started making the vise. First up is the vise backer board, here it is marked up:

As always, click'em to big'em.

The vertical parallel markings are for the crisscross groove, the circle is where the screw nut goes. The angled vertical marking is where the backer board fits to the front leg and the top and bottom horizontal markings are for the tenons that hold the vise backer board in place. 

Things are moving fairly quickly now, it will not be long before this pile of wood looks like a bench.


Sunday, August 04, 2019

Slab Glue Up

Ralph asked for photos of the slab glue up. The slab will have eight slats glued up two slats at a time for the first four slats.

My current thinking because this being Beech and Beech loves stupid wood tricks is to use the first two sets of two slats as a "backbone" and glue two slats to the outside of each of the first two sets. Then the final glue up will be the two sets of four slats. BTW, for the first two sets the four Beech slats are straight, the last four slats not so much, not bad for Beech but they definitely have peyronie's disease. I'll mix and match so the curves offset.

The first two slat set out of the clamps:

Cleaning up the glue line:

So far this has been no drama, life is easy just working one or two glue surfaces at a time. The only problem it stretches out the glue up over several days.


Friday, August 02, 2019

Slab Machined

Slab pieces machined and ready for glue up.

I need to make several sets of cauls for the glue up and go to the woodstore for a big bottle of glue before I start. The shop is getting hot so I may be finished for the day.

I think the vise dithering is over, my plan is to install the BC vise with crisscross on this bench. If I like it, then get another BC vise and crisscross for the shop bench. If not and someone wants to buy this bench I'll offer it with either a Lake Erie wood screw and parallel guide or the BC with crisscross.


Thursday, August 01, 2019

Bench Base Together

The key mortises are finished, keys made, and everything fitted. It went together easily so now on the the slab and vise fitting.

The bench is in the back garden so I have room to work on it, currently the shop is full 😊. BTW, in the background is the first woodworking bench I made many years ago. I expect if it were needed I could hang a vise or two on it and it would still function.


Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Fitting Keys

The first key is fitted, only three more to go. Someday I will figure an easy way to chop/make the key mortise but for now they are a PITA because they are short, narrow, with both ends angled, and deep. It doesn't get much worse. The only good news: The only critical surface is the front end where the key mates and I guess the fact there are only four of 'em.

BTW, the loose fit is on purpose, it is needed to allow the base to fit together and come apart. In fact as I look at this one I'm thinking it may be a little tight.

That is likely it for today, shop is hot and it is the first day off in a few so street running and other duties call.


Saturday, July 27, 2019

Base Together, Keys Marked

The base went together so I could mark the long stretcher key mortises. Once those are chopped the base is finished.

Next up is installing the slab followed by the vise install. I'm still undecided on BenchCrafted with crisscross vs. Lake Erie wood screw and parallel guide. Still a little time to make up my mind.

That is it for the day, the shop is getting hot and the day job calls. Three to four hours of orals today and six to seven hours Sim check tomorrow. Not too long ago we would do the whole thing in one day, what a ball buster for everyone involved.


New Chisels from Stanley Covington

My UPS girl delivered a pack of chisels from Stanley Covington the other day.
This time push chisels to fill in a couple of blank spots and he threw in a very nice old stock marking knife.

If you are thinking about buying some Japanese chisels you can't do better than Stan. If you can't tell I'm a fanboy, he has great knowledge and his customer service can't be beat. I think on these last chisels the time between the "go ahead" email and the UPS girl visit was three days. All the way from Japan, it doesn't get better. 

I normally fit all four long stretcher tenons to their mortise prior to glue up, this time I some way missed one tenon/mortise. Yesterday when I went to assemble the base so I could mark the mortise for the keys it would not go together. Damn I hate when that happens. Anyway after some butt scratching I got a caliper out and the #2 mortise was a solid 3mm small. I'm glad it is just a single brain fart and not a problem with all the M/T's.

Base unit on the bench to open up the mortise:

This part of the build is taking forever, mostly because of the heat and the day job. Whatever I'll keep beavering away until it looks like a bench.


Thursday, July 25, 2019

Steve Voigt's Wood Stock Planes

For the last couple of days in between work, sleeping, and breaks for water and cooling off I've been cleaning up the new bench base units. It can be heavy going in the heat of July in Tucson.

One of the joys has been using Steve Voigt's Jack Plane for most of the heavy lifting.

Here it is after doing the bevel on the top rail.

Most of my stock is prepped with machines so I have little need for anything longer than a Jack so my basic set of planes are a Jack and a smoother. I have and use both pre-War Stanley planes with thin irons and woodstock planes by Steve and PhillyPlanes. My fav Jack is the one made by Steve.

BTW, there are modern metal planes in my tool cabinet by Woodriver, LN and LV that gather a lot of dust.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Funny Where Your Mind Takes You

I just ordered a box of 16 Harry's razor blades. It's not because they are great blades but because they are simple and cheaper than modern Gillette blades. That got me to thinking, always a bad sign, and on to the Google.

My first line of thought was how the stainless steel Wilkinson Sword Steel blades changed  the U.S. market in the early 60's. Kinda like A2 changed the market for chisels and other cutters from being able to have an incredibly sharp iron that may not stay sharp a long time to one where sharpness is ok but stays that way much longer than the O1 cutter.

Getting on Google to refresh my memory and looking for the cost of mid 60's Gillette razor blades was enlightening, I knew about the cult following of straight razor folks with forums and such (kinda like woodworkers 😆) but there are also folks that buy and use NOS razor blades and post about the merits of the different makes and brands. It is a strange world out there but I guess no different than my strange world.

BTW, the cost of the Harry's razor blades was just under $2 USD a blade and they will give an ok shave for maybe a week. A pack of 10 Gillette Blue Blades in 1965 cost $1 USD. In real 2019 dollars that is $8 USD or about $.80 USD a blade/shave. The cost/benefit is still about where it was in the 60's. If you could buy new Gillette Blue blades at the same price in real dollars a week's shaves would be about $4 USD vs. $2 USD for the Harry's blades. A really nice smooth shave for about twice the cost of an ok shave. The market spoke.


Monday, July 22, 2019

Why You Need More Than One Workbench

I'm doing clean up work on the base units plus cutting the keys for the long stretcher tenons. When I get tired of doing one I switch to the other, short attention span dontcha know.

The keys could be made on any bench but cleaning up the base units is much easier if the bench has an apron like an English bench. To do the clean up on a bench without an apron you would need a deadman, a bench jack, or setting clamps cross bench. All of which are a PITA compared to using a deep English style apron. The problem with the English apron is it makes using bench dogs a PITA.

My answer is to have two benches, one with an apron and one without. The job determines which bench is used.


Saturday, July 20, 2019

Sharpening Bench

Most of my shop time today will be spent sharpening whatever needs it and maybe a few that don't.

I do have some new Japanese chisels that need setting up but I'm not sure I'll have the energy or ambition for that much work. Anyway I haven't posted a photo of my sharpening set up in awhile and there is no time like the present to do so.

Here it is, a portable Moravian bench with the vise removed. The oil stones are on the left with strops in the center. The most used oil stone is a Medium India that I use for grinding bevels and to remove damage before going to the set up stones. The other oil stones are used mostly for narrow or shaped irons.

The right side has the water stones, in the tool tray are the man made water stones and my JNat finish stone. On the bench are the most used JNats to the left of the "pond". The pond has a stone holder and a diamond flattening stone. Some of the JNats will not fit in the stone holder, depending on the stone's thickness I use non slip mats either in the pond or to the right to hold'em.

The bench is a step or so off the left end of the main workbench and is pretty efficient. It doesn't take long to go from dull to sharp and because of that I will seldom put a dull iron to the side to sharpen later and I tend to sharpen before the cutter really needs it.

Next to the main workbench the sharpening station is the most important tool in the shop.


Last of The Base Glue Up

Work combined with WX has kept me out of the shop for most of last week. I've today and tomorrow off but shop temps may still slow the work product down. This time of the year in the desert you just have to give in.

It's just a little before 0800 MST and I'm sweating like a pig. We are in the middle of Monsoon, unlike the other 9 to 10 months of the year our RH is high and sweat doesn't cool as well. As and example with RH below 10% and a OAT of 100F skin surface temp (wet bulb temp) will be in the high 60's. With today's RH of greater than 30% wet bulb temp will be in the 80's or even the 90's and instead of the sweat drying it will be dripping in your eyes and on your work.  I have a feeling about the only shop work today will be some time on the sharpening bench.

A misconception most have is that the hotter it gets the fewer clothes you should wear and moving air will cool you. That is great for DOM like myself, I may be old but I can still enjoy beauty when I see it. The physics of it is normal skin temp is about 93.5F and once OAT goes above that then heat movement is inward instead of outward. You need to cover up with loose clothes that wick the sweat and allow it to evaporate. There is a reason the Bedouins dress the way they do. Back in my motorcycle days I could ride tank to tank through mid-summer Death Valley and get the giggles because I could feel the heat boiling around me and yet I was almost too cold. The HD bad boys with their cut off T's and do rags would look at me like I was crazy at fuel stops but I was comfortable and they were close to dying from the heat.

But all is not lost today, there is still whisky and the pool with MsBubba, Sweet Maggie Dog and a ball.

At its worst, the desert is a great place to live.

I did glue up the second base unit this AM before it got too hot. It went together a little out of square but I was able to pull it close enough for bench work.


Tuesday, July 16, 2019


With two days off over the weekend I only managed to get one base unit glued up. There was too much running the streets, honeydoes to be done, and entertaining MsBubba in the pool to get to the second unit.

The first base unit out of the clamps:

Second base unit awaiting glue up:

Saturday evening was our first Monsoon rain of the season. Most of the day MsBubba was complaining about Monsoon being a bust and we were not getting any rain. Wrong pool breath, the thunder soon ran us out of the pool followed very shortly by rain.

View out the back garden:

In 30 or so minutes it rained enough to fill the pool, turn the back gully into a raging river as it did the street in front, and flood my shop, which never happens.

We got a second Monsoon rain Sunday night, not as much but still pretty good.