Friday, June 24, 2022

Life Changes

 As you may have noticed there are few posts about working wood lately. Life is funny: While working full time I had plenty of time to build work benches and furniture, retire and it ain't so. 

Spending a good part of the year in a motorhome, and what's left catching up on things undone while gone, leaves little time to build things. All that is to say the blog will change, not much woodworking, mostly about my and MsBubba's life in this upside down fucked up world but tempered with things that give hope and joy.

I hope some of you will hang around and enjoy the ride. See you on down the road.

ken

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Not Long

 The Motorhome's AC and fridge have been turned on and for the most part it is packed with all the gear for the Oregon trip. We are booked to camp host at two Oregon State Parks for June thru September. There is always a chance that will extend, one of the advantages of being retired, time is our own.  

We have two more things to care for in Tucson, dinner with some friends tonight and MsBubba and I have Doc appointments on Monday. I expect we will be on the road Wed.

See you on down the road,

ken

P.S. I'm really retired now, Yesterday FSI contacted me and I burned all bridges. Like Kris Kristofferson wrote "Freedom is when you have nothing else to lose". Feels good.

Monday, May 02, 2022

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Abortion Not Just a Woman's Issue

This is a re-post from June 2019, I expect it is also one of the reasons my blog was removed from the "Unplugged Shop" web site. I'm re-posting because as the title states "Abortion Not Just a Woman's Issue" and legal, safe, abortion is in danger. Even more than it was in 2019.

1970

I was working nights as a Medical Lab Technician and days at the airport twisting wrenches to pay for my flying. I was close to finishing up my CFI so I could take the first step toward becoming a professional pilot. My future wife (FW) was working nights that Summer as a nurse’s aide at the same hospital. I can’t say we met cute but it wasn’t long before we were an item. She was in the UT’s nursing school, I made a lot of trips to Austin that Fall before she transferred to UT Galveston. Neither one of us had a penny to spare but some way we found enough money to be together.

A little back story: Roe v Wade wasn’t decided until Jan 1973. For a couple of years in the late 1960’s I was a very unsuccessful Medical supply salesman but I did have one important client a “Doctor Brown” who had an office in downtown Houston on Milam St. While I never met Dr. Brown I supplied his office with the best medical equipment money could buy and got to know his office nurse well. As you can guess Dr. Brown took care of the rich and well connected Southeast Texans with an inconvenient pregnancy. I wasn’t rich or well connected but I did know his office nurse. 

Shortly after transferring to Galveston, FW found out she was pregnant. We knew by then we were going to marry but not until FW had finished school and had her BS in nursing. I was working two jobs, day and night to pay the rent and finish my flight training. Neither of us could finish our school or training if we married and had a baby. The problem was abortion was illegal, I did know Dr. Brown’s nurse and after much “what do we do” I went to her. Yes FW could get a safe abortion but it would cost $600. Two kids without an extra penny to their name having to come up with $4000 in today’s dollars was devastating. Someway we did it, today I’m not sure how but we did.

If we hadn’t our lives would be ruined, two people that because of an illegal abortion were able to live productive lives. FW went on to a PhD in nursing and I was to have a mildly successful forty year career flying corporate aircraft ending up on a Gulfstream GIV flying almost everywhere in the world before retiring to instruct other corporate pilots.

I’m telling this story because it is imperative that we keep abortion legal, safe, and cheap. FW and I were lucky because by chance I knew a safe abortion provider before Roe v Wade. At that time not many at our social level were so lucky. My and FW’s story is just one of millions then and now and anyone trying to take us back to before Roe v Wade is a cruel and heartless panty sniffing prig of an SOB.

Vote as if your life and your kid's life depend on it, because it does.

ken

 

Tuesday, April 05, 2022

Lower Stretchers

 While moving some of the wood pile to make room for the Moravian Bench I came across a couple of lower stretchers for a small Moravian. All they need to finish is chopping the mortise for the wedges. I'm not sure why the stretchers were in the wood pile instead of holding the base units of a Moravian bench apart. My best guess is they are European Beech, be a shame to use them to hold apart a couple of construction grade base units.

That said, I have a BenchCrafted screw and 14" crisscross along with a Will Myers tail vise stored under one of the benches. It wouldn't cost much to make a couple of base units and a glue-up slab out of 2X12 DF. It wouldn't cost much but would be a shame to pair with the Beech stretchers.

ken 

Moravian Bench Stored

I had a reason to use the portable Moravian Bench in the back garden last week. I figured while I had it out it would be a good time to change its storage location in the shop. This also allowed easy measurement of floor space required and a photograph of the bench stored.

Moravian in its new spot:


The spot is ~19" deep and just under 22" wide, if my math is close that comes to ~2.8 sq'.

If I didn't work wood I wouldn't know I needed a portable Moravian bench, but I do work wood so I know how handy and easy to store, carry, set up and break down a Moravian bench is. Knowing what I know, even if I never build anything out of wood again but lived in a house or apartment I can not imagine living without my Moravian.

Almost as easy as a "WorkMate" but an order of magnitude better and more useful.

BTW, if I ever build another it will have a BenchCrafted metal screw with the 14" crisscross for the vise. The BC system takes less room and I think lighter than a wood screw with guide plus is just slicker than snot.

Not long till we leave for Summer on the Oregon coast.  

See you on down the road,

ken

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Booster

 MsBubba and I got the old farts booster yesterday. That's four for both, yet some have none.

If you are not fully vaccinated with boosters as well, Please pull your head out of your ass and do it to own the libs or whatever blows your skirt. Just get the damn shot!

ken

Monday, March 28, 2022

MsBubba and Her Footrest/Box

 It is not the best box I've made but MsBubba is happy with it and that's all that matters.

MsBubba and her footrest/box:


Not the best but okay for a quickie out of scrap and someone that has not made a box or cut a dovetail in over a year. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

The motorhome is getting a little long in tooth. It never was the best looking unit out there but it needs some TLC.  We are still talking about "full-timing" and it could happen, this coming home to months of work just to keep the house and yard from falling apart gets old for a couple of old farts. If we do go full time we will trade the current motorhome for a 40' or 45' unit and let someone else do the updates on the current one.

Monday, March 21, 2022

Small Project In The Shop

 Let's see, we have been in Tucson since the first week of December. In that time I've been assholes and elbows working on the house and garden. Both taking care of the things that needed attention from the seven months we were gone and getting ready to leave again for several months. Anyway enough of the "poor me" stuff, I managed to do a little real woodworking yesterday. From finding and selecting the wood for the project, to  prep and sizing of the parts.

The project was brought on by our making new seats for the motorhome dinette. The new foam is harder than the old and MsBubba's feet do not reach the floor. This calls for a foot rest under the table. As nothing in a RV can have a single propose the footrest will be a thin box ( 800mmX370mmX70mm) with a lid that can be used to store papers. 

Photos to follow once I can move enough "stuff" to have a place for joinery.

ken

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Steve Try Again

 Steve,

I think I've fixed the comment problem on "Wake, Bake, and Grow. Give it a try if you have time.

ken

Monday, March 14, 2022

Pi Day

 Today being Pi day I had to bake a pie, mincemeat of course:


 Waiting for it to cool.

ken

Friday, March 11, 2022

Jonesing for a new Tormek T1

 Sharpening my kitchen knifes on the shop Tormek is pretty easy and fast but it does take set-up time and a little skill. The new T-1 addresses both of those with the set-up of just setting the desired angle of between 8* and 22* and the skill level is even lower and mostly applies to the honing phase.

Tormek T-1:


With my shop Tormek I can sharpen most edge tools. There are a few exceptions like most Japanese chisels and I've had a love/hate relationship with it for how many years it has been in the shop. BTW that has mostly been a "hate" relationship and I've come close to selling the Tormek many times over the years. All that changed a year or so ago when I had a "flat head" moment and realized the Tormek could gave a perfect "Unicorn" edge. I just hadn't used the machine correctly. After years of preaching "freehand" I now will use the Tormek if the tool will fit in one of the Tormek jigs. It gives a better edge (Unicorn) and is damn near as fast.

The T-1 is a one trick pony but I can see that one trick being pretty handy. At $350 USD I probably will not pull the trigger but damn it sure is tempting.

 If I can find the room and figure out a way to safely transport the shop Tormek it will go to Oregon with us for the Summer. The T-1 would take care of that problem. It's good to have sharp knifes.

I'm still trying to clean and organize the shop enough to work in, not sure if it will be done in time to make anything before we leave but there is hope.

See you on down the road,

ken 

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Swap Meet

 The local WoodCraft holds a parking lot swap meet several times a year. The one today was lightly attended by both vendors and buyers. If I'm in town I will show up with one of my workbenches, a knock-down shave horse, some chisels and whatever else catches my eye. I had one at least semi-serious inquire on building a horse which is encouraging because most of the time it is "What is that thing?" and when you tell them you use it to make chair legs and spindles they look at you like "wow, this is one weird dude". 

Here are some of the vendors:


My area with the portable Moravian and the Shave:

 While it was a little slow I did manage to sell a little over $300 USD of chisels and diamond plates. The chisel buyers got a hell of a deal, each chisel was sharpened when sold.

ken



Thursday, February 10, 2022

Space Needed To Store a Moravian Bench

 No photos of mine stored (too much crap to move) but I was able to measure the floor space needed. My bench slab is ~21" wide with an additional 3" tool tray for a total of just under 24". The length is 70" not that it matters in reference to needed floor space. With everything apart and stored properly the whole package is a hair over 22" deep. If my math chops haven't totally deserted me, it takes just under 4 sqft of floor space to store a broken down Moravian bench.

ken

Saturday, February 05, 2022

Up On The Back Side Of The Clock

 Sleep patterns can be strange, or at least different from individual to individual. I've never had a "normal" sleep need or pattern. A few hours at whatever time I feel the need works while MsBubba is more traditional. I can sleep in a LazyBoy thru strobe lights flashing and a CJ610 doing power check run-ups with no problem. Opening the door with a "nightlight" on in the hallway will wake MsBubba enough that she can't go back to sleep. 

Enough of the set up, I'm up looking at "political sites" at 0300 and being the weekend not much was new or posted so I stumbled over to You Tube and woodworking. The first thing up was "Four Things You Get Wrong" when building a work bench or something like that. Here is a link: Workbench

He has some good advice, not quite correct on a few things but overall a good video. It reminds me that I should build an English bench as well as a Scandinavian bench.

ken

Thursday, February 03, 2022

Photos of the RV Bath

 Bob asked for photos of the RV's bath refurbish. They are not very interesting and it is a shame there are no "before" photos.

From the bedroom door:


From the Kitchen door:


Not a lot was done, painted where there had been wall paper, new sink and fixture, new "potty" seat. Exciting no? BTW, the step stool by the cabinet is one of a half dozen or so I made several years ago. By blind ass luck it just fits under the vanity door and along the wall. 

There are a couple of additional things to fix once the motorhome makes it to the shop. 

The RV business must be pretty good, the first open shop space is March 2nd. I tried another shop and their first opening is in April.  

See you guys on down the road,

ken

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Working on the Motorhome

 Not much time for woodworking it is needed by the motorhome. The first of the week project was repair of one of the bedroom's cabinets. Up in Oregon this Summer, on one of the times the bedroom slide was cycled it pulled the bedside cabinet apart. Wasn't a way to fix it in Oregon, it had to wait until we were home. Once home my job was to either build a new cabinet or repair the old one. After pulling the old cabinet out and a little butt scratching the repair of the old one looked like the way to go. It turned out to be pretty easy other than a lot of put it back in, then pull it out trying to figure out how it worked and needed to be attached to the slide. Once the process was figured out it was an easy and quick job to finish.

Next is a bathroom refurbish, it is still ongoing but mostly complete. I'm trying to find a replacement sink but expect we will live with the old one. New water taps are waiting to be installed as is the potty seat and lid. We pulled the old wallpaper off and painted the walls a nice clean cream. The place looks pretty inviting now.

The motorhome trash can build is still to come. 

ken

Friday, January 14, 2022

Buy Your Second Motorhome First

 

Great advice, too bad it is near impossible to do for a number of reasons. One of the first is everyone is different and has different expectations and what you think you want is often different from what you learn to want and need.

One of the first considerations and often one of the first to change after using the motorhome is how big should the motorhome be. Long can give more living space but can restrict where you can park especially if you like to use State and National Parks. As an example one of the Oregon State Parks we like to use has slightly over 100 full hookup sites for 34' or less motorhomes,  Thirty (approximate number) for homes < 36', 12 for units <38', and 2 for 40 footers.

That would seem to favor 34' or less but most class A motorhomes less than 34' are difficult to drive because they do not track well. A 34' home doesn't do a great job when compared to 36'. Thirty-eight to forty foot is the drive-ability sweet spot.   

Next on how big is what you get in general. A 34' motorhome will usually have front seats that turn around (some 180 degrees, some less), a dinette for four, a couch that makes into a double bed, an okay kitchen, a bath and a queen size bed with some storage. A 36 footer will have everything the 34 footer has plus a chair/recliner in the living area. Thirty-eight feet will add another chair/recliner, slightly more kitchen and bath space and more storage. Forty feet and you get more storage and likely a makeup area in the bed room, over 40' and you may have a 1/2 bath as well as a full bath behind the bedroom.

Of course next to size the most important decisions are diesel/gas and Class A or C. The A or C decision is mostly what floats your boat. Engine in back has less engine noise than one up front. Diesel/gas has two main factors, price and systems. A diesel chassis is designed for a service life of 700,000 to 1,000,000 miles, gas chassis no so much. The price difference can be offset somewhat by buying an older diesel motorhome. The other advantage of Diesel pushers is even entry level homes have complete and robust systems vs. most of the time with gas power the systems are not as good or complete.

While age of a used motorhome can be a factor, mileage on a diesel pusher is not much of a factor as you seldom find one with more than 150,000 miles, about 15% of the bus service life. Pre-2000 motorhomes likely have dated systems, worn interiors and brittle plastic.  Newer units have better digital controls but newer than 2006 the emissions control electronics can cause major problems. BTW, my preference if I were buying my second motorhome would be a 2006 40' top of the line bus like a ForeTravel or Country Coach.

More to follow,

ken

 

Saturday, January 08, 2022

Headed Back To Tucson In AM

 We are being run out of Houston by Covid. It is time to go home anyway but For the second year in a row Covid has dictated our return home.  The good news is a good WX window for the trip home unlike last time driving thru a Winter freezing rain storm.

While both MsBubba and I have had three pokes and are reasonably protected it is still something to avoid. If the nutters would also get the vaccine and wear the damn masks odds are this country would be out of the pandemic. But then if pigs could fly...

We spent 7 months of the last year living in a 34'X8' box and some way some how we are still speaking to each other. It has been enjoyable but I expect this year we will cut it back to 3 or 4 months max. The main thing is to get out of Tucson for the Summer.

I've lot of shop projects ahead. One of the first is a smaller version of the kitchen trash can for the RV. Then some cabinet work in the RV's bedroom and replacing both the bathroom and kitchen faucets.

ken

 

Sunday, January 02, 2022

Don't Look Up

 By shear accident we watched "Don't Look Up" the first night it was on Netflix. I hadn't a clue what it was about, it was just the first thing that showed up when I logged into Netflix. I thought the cast was good so we selected it.

Turned out to be a "must watch" and will join "Dr. Strangelove..." as one of the most important movies of my lifetime. BTW, watched "Don't Look Up" for a second time a few days later and it was even better the second time.

ken

Saturday, January 01, 2022

Passing a Kidney Stone

 The afternoon of 12/31/2021 was painful with intense lower belly pain and every time the pain peaked a tossing of cookies, soon to be just dry heaves because there was nothing left to toss. At the time we hadn't a clue why, there was a slight chance of Covid but not likely. This morning after the dust had cleared MsBubba mentioned she thought it was a kidney stone as I had passed one several years ago with the same symptoms. I expect she is correct. BTW, you really do not want to pass stones, at times the pain on the 1 to 10 scale approaches a 9. It is a good thing I do not own a pistol or I would have been tempted several times last night to eat it.

BTW, it goes just as fast as it comes. Once the stone stops moving, the sky clears and the birds are singing. 

What a way to end a shitty year. This morning is beautiful, maybe a sign we will finally rid our country of TFG, his cult will craw back under the rocks from which they came, and 2022 will be better. A guy can hope.

Happy New Year all.

See y'all on down the road,

ken