Thursday, April 15, 2021

Home from Houston

MsBubba hates to go anywhere by car or truck that is more than a couple of hours, so she flew to Houston a few days before Sweet Maggie Dog and I drove down in the truck and will fly back on the 20th. It is not a bad trip, close to my maximum for one day, about 16 or so hours if you are not pushing hard and pushing hard is difficult when traveling with either MsBubba or a dog. It is strange, on a motorcycle 24 hours or more is a piece of cake but in a nice A/C truck with no wind or noise and 15 hours kicks your butt. Go figure.

It was good to see the two peanuts that are no longer peanuts, damn they grow fast. Sweet Maggie Dog got to swim in the Gulf, I tried to deplete the boy child's liquor stock, which is impossible as his day job is selling wholesale liquor, but is fun to try. I also did most of my usual Texas food hunts, not as many as I wished but still enough to hold till the next trip.

The one downer and it had nothing to do with the trip, both the boy child who has only had one of the two shots and Abby have tested positive for Covid 19. Abby was exposed by her day care. Even though I've had both shots I will quarantine for the next 6 days.

I did bring a wood working project home, The son-in-law just installed four metal beams to hold a roof over the back patio and wants four small wooden "boxes" to cover the mounts. He had the wood and showed me his tools, I bought the wood home where there is at least a chance to project will work. BTW, he did have a chisel, a block plane of some sort, and a plastic handled backsaw for working wood. He does a good job with metal but needs help with wood.   


  1. Here is hoping your family members get thru this COVID scare without sequels. My 96 year old Mom, had her first Pfizer shot and then tested positive in her residence.
    She was evacuated to an isolation station under medical observation came thru ok, now back in her residence. Ourselves we get our first Astra zeneca shot May 4th.

    Take care

    1. Bob,

      Word from Houston is everything is ok, so far about the same as after first shot and the peanut is showing no signs.

      It is a relief to get the first shot, I felt like I could breath for the first time in a year. I still SD and wear a mask but I'm relaxed and comfortable now, pissed that it got to this stage and seeing how many folks are not wearing masks in Texas (somewhat the same in AZ but not as bad).


  2. Nice to read from you Ken. I join Bob to wish yours to go through this without anything going wrong. Things start to heat up here and not for good.
    Take care and keep us posted on your woodworking retirement project!

    Lionel, enjoying planing a whole bunch of boards.

    1. Lionel,

      Thanks, I'm starting to really enjoy not having FSI running in the background 24/7. I was able to enjoy my time in Texas with not a thought about rushing back.

      Most of the projects at first will be small, kitchen utensils, a couple of step stools and some small boxes although I have both leg and wagon vise hardware stored under one of the benches that are begging to be used and I want to build a bench using nothing but Home Depot construction grade wood to build it, mostly to see how cheap it can be done.


    2. I did some projects using construction wood and if selected carefully some can give interesting result. However looking at the construction lumber prices nowadays this is less and less interesting.

  3. - I understand the son needs a workbench. It is not seen as a tool but it makes such a huge difference with a pic-nick bench or a workmate.

    - I am laminating a bench-top for the son but as I use light sash clamps, I glue one board at a time and wait more or less 24h between two glue-up. So it takes time. In addition, some of the boards are not in a single length (to avoid some nasty knots) which makes the process more interesting...
    I have finished the base as mentioned in a comment of the "apartment woodworker" blog you have seen... The skewed mortises were much easier than I thought. Everything is recycled/construction wood so it will not be a fine piece of furniture. The son will buy a metal screw for the vise. The expense for me is glue.

    - As far as I understand, if the vaccine has a 90% efficiency, if one gets contaminated, one nevertheless has still a 10% risk to develop the disease. So we still have to take precautions. I hope that when most of the people will have been vaccinated, the risk to be contaminated will be lowered. And then there are the variants...
    My wife and I have had a first Astra Zeneca shot. The vaccine is free of charge but we can not choose which one; it is a bit of a lottery. Our daughter has had the Pfizer one.

  4. Oh YES Sylvain, when I first started using WW planes in the 90s, I was using a B&D Workmate. Very frustrating, chasing your bench around as you try planning. Quickly move up to amore sturdier bench cobbled together :-) A proper workbench IS a TOOL. Now, I am still trying to figured out how I am going to introduce one of my son living in a High Rise apt in the city a proper work bench. Has to fit in the elevator for sure and make it from NS to Ontario. Why I am thinking one of Ken's version of benches.

    Bob, scratching his bald spot

  5. I am not sure, but I think the fact that the Moravian workbench can be knocked down was important when I proposed to make a workbench for the son. He doesn't live in an apartment but,... he is married. I also presented the fact that it can be used as a table for a buffet when doing a garden party. And then, I could have pointed this: he can work outside weather permitting.
    My own workbench is a Paul Sellers one. It would have been difficult to make the son's Moravian workbench without it.
    Personal benefits:
    - as the "apartment woodworker" would say, there will be a proper workbench if he asks me "to help him" in some woodworking task (although he is eager to learn and it should be more pleasurable with a workbench);
    - my old pic-nick table is recycled and not in the burn pile;
    - I have been developing/honing my skills.
    I hope the grand kids (7 and 6) will also want to use it. I am thinking about a baptizing ceremony where every member of the family would be invited to give a hammer blow on the top (although preferably in the least used corner).