Sunday, December 30, 2012

Stair step for exercise

Wifey requested that i make her a stair step for her preparation of the "trek up the tower" race.

the foot print is 18"x24" with the height being 17".

i thought the saw horse base would look good, keep the weight down and be very stable.
and it is very stable.

pine and cedar keep it under 12 pounds.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Catapult wars

Mac vs me 

two out of three and the first born showed dad who the boss was.
never made it to the third game.

my set up

mac's set up
 had to buy another bag of rubber bands.
made the catapults from scrap wood from an oak pallet.
the catapults are roughly: base 11.5"x5" and the arm length is 10".
i got this design from an online site with free plans. i think it was "crush the castle". i stayed pretty true to their plans. just added a platform to give it a bit more stability.
one of our catapults.
we set up about 10 feet from each other. 
with the bands moved to a lower rung and even more bands added we can easily double the distance.
boy number two is next on the challenge.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Slat clamp

Once again trying to use the whole buffalo.

when making slats from boards there tends to be extras. also when i find myself on a roll i end up with even more extras. 
if the slats were to lay around in a non-compressed form then they will eventually warp. to keep the thinner slats from cupping, bowing, springing or twisting i put them in a slat clamp. 
i do this because it is important not to waste materials nor the efforts used in creating the slats in the first place.

slat clamps are easy to make from scraps of oak pallets and plywood spacers.

i keep the clamps around 18"x1 5/8"x3/4". 
the shorter length will control the clamps themselves from warping.
they are all glued and pinned. the only fact to ensure is that the side grain be on the top and bottom of the clamp. this will also reduce the warping of the clamp.
keeping the winged nutted bolts free moving allows the pressure of the clamping area to be more focused on the slats themselves. 

the back clamps show what to do with longer slats. just adding a third clamp 

when not using they store very compactly.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Length of shower

A refreshing shower:

odell's myrcenary.

this is a favorite big beer. 
what makes this double ipa is so damn good is the big citrus/tropical fruit aroma. it is a welcomed punch to the olfactory receptors, not pungent at all and definitely not too bitter.  another welcomed attribute it that myrcenary is more in the medium body (although almost in the "full") catagory. 
at times, i want big aroma, malt sweetness with a little dough, but not enough to slow down the swallows.

9.3% octane

the following is off of the odell's site:

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Hatchet shipping case finished

All of the shipping crates are finished.

i had decided to wait until january first to post for selling so i spaced out the completion of the final touches. 
i was willing to wait because i thought it was a bit scheming to put them out there during the last days of holiday shopping. these axes and hatches need to get out there but not at the expense of seeming that i was trying to profit on last minute purchases.
it also gave me a little time to be satisfied with some of my final decisions.

one side is hinged, while the other has two clasps: a wooden one for keeping securely closed while shipping and one for quick secure if one wants to have suspended on the wall. the back of the case has two eyelets for easy attachment to the wall.
shipping crate with wooden cleat that uses a screw to keep it closed for shipping
the leather clasp is for keeping it closed when it is hanging on the wall 
 i also wanted to to put a thought rocket thank you in the crate too.
the only thing needed now is a buyer and wrapping with padding.
thought rocket thank you will be suspended when hung on the wall

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas


straight from Christmas alton past (pre-jason)

exemplified by grandfather receiving an electric knife set and treating it like world peace

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Cigar case

I had been looking on ebay for some time now for a deal on a leather cigar case i can carry my design implements in.
found one, won the bidding, patiently waited and then found my leather cigar case
was in fact, not leather.

only cost a few dollars so the monetary pain is dull,
i just really dislike vinyl.

i will still use it until i find another one. 
i think the oldest boy would enjoy this one when that day comes.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thought rockets

With the hatchet cases almost done i needed to make some more "thought rocket" cards.
i think i will suspend them from the case.

these are drawn up from my original group, scanned printed.
they are bi folded to stand.
i cut small windows out of it do make the rocket pop out more and when you catch it on fire the air flow will add another element to the fire
thought rocket being trimmed up
 some flash to make it bring out the rocket even more and make it look fast.
thought rocket being detailed with racing stripes
 a "strike anywhere" match for ignition and to finish of the rocket look.
this particular match has the white on red tip that looks better.
thought rocket with ignition 

Nordic maple

Finished the night with 7 inches of snow.

Nordic maple from the front yard.
with all of the snow, the trees one of two remaining birds nests stick out.
the others have retired from last months strong winds.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Finally some snow

The drought continues but at least we have some snow tonight.
started out as rain and there is still a real wetness to it.

only about 3" so far but it is clingy.
another 3 to 5 coming through the night.

wifey comes home just in time to shovel. 

8 foot grasses beginning to lay down. 
i am looking out right now and it is completely laying flat. 

cold temperatures tonight will ensure good sledding tomorrow.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Axe crate

Stained the axe shipping crates/wall displays/carrying case and are just waiting for care instructions, hinges and handle.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Bright light

Outside: a dreary day

Inside:  the son came out.

Gem tipped eberhard faber pencil

What to do with a pencil of personal significance?
for the vast majority (99.9%) of tools i have, i use without reservation.
in my mind, a tool is there to execute a particular endeavor.
the more tools one has, the more tasks one can complete competently. 
there is one that i have difficulty using.

my great grandfather's Green gem tipped eberhard faber advertisement pencil.

great grandfather's gem tipped eberhard faber pencil
it is a pencil that fights with my "use all to the end" mentality.
 i often find the occasion where this particular utensil would be perfect.
extremely portable and functional, why in the hell don't they still make these.

it may stem from the notion that unlike other shop tools, the pencil has such a short life. this plus the personal significance raises its stature from stubby pencil to type of dignified family portrait.

the gem at the end is the finale.
i may have to make a frame for this piece of memorability.
include a photo of great grandfather and a sample of his writing. 
the gem tipped end of the eberhard faber

Thursday, December 13, 2012

#901 locomotive

The Athearn EMD GP7 arrived wednesday!
an older train that looks great and works very well is bringing the living room back to life again.
as i have said before the living room train has entertained the boys through their early years and even though a bit older they still enjoy the train making its rounds. since the chessie loco died the living room was really missing some of its vitality.
  yesterday i cleaned and polished the track. the track sat unused long enough that i had to dust then lightly touch it with a 600grit sand paper and then rail-zip the rails.

all is in order now.

you can see the telegraph lines i started reinstalling.

the rope light behind the train was a nice addition.
 one of my maybe near future projects is to rebuild the covered wooden bridge.

 this train house was a gift that had to be used somewhere. i do plan to rebuild the stilted platform sometime. 

i removed the old telegraph lines and started to install new ones. i use black thread. the only rub is that thread is near impossible to dust (it just balls up. yes, i just said "balls up") so i have to replace every now and then.

when i built the track around the top of the living room, i wanted it to have a furniture feel to it.
i decided to use wood, bamboo, copper, cork and waxed string.

here is an example. the telegraph poles. one bamboo skewer, split a quarter of the way down, inserted a copper triangle and tied off.
simple and clean.

telegraph pole 1

telegraph pole detail

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Craftsman bottle opener

Making sure today's new purchased worked well.

and it does!

the steel head is pretty solid. the gauge is thick and it is seated in the handle well.
perfect for the workbench and for toolbox. 

Length of shower

Today was a one beer shower, that could of easily been two.

a great seasonal that keeps on giving.

this 6.1% octane beauty is very well balanced between the medium body, medium carbonation and generous, but not overwhelming, impact of hops.

this trifecta of "well-balanced" makes one not an option.

**the completion of a second close-open shift in a row hindered my depth of hygiene
 and just about fell asleep standing. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Stormy Kromer

A flash of day time cooler weather.

yesterday's high was about 20 degrees cooler than today but at least the mornings are 
consistently in the mid-20's.

any excuse to wear the stormy kromer.

today's temp much warmer and no wind.

Monday, December 10, 2012

#21 some 21 years ago.

Victor won first place for the ugliest legs competition. 

not sure which is better, 
the fact grandfather won the ugliest legs competition
the fact that he made his own shorts.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Tonight was a quick prep.

the meal has two directions. the first is the rice and the second is the fish & broth.
the rice:
i strongly recommend getting out of the doldrums of cooking solely with white and brown rices.
this is a haiga medium grain, white basmati & quick cook wild rice mixture.
the rice will act as the bed for the fish.

the fish:
the fish will be bound in foil, creating a steaming environment.
first rub butter on the foil then lay down some pats of butter and onions.
this layer will allow the fish be above the liquid but close to the steaming butter.

place the fish on the onions.
season with your favorite. tonight we used jane's krazy pepper, bosari salt, italian herbs, sage and some paprika.
after the seasoning top with pats of butter. 
the butter on top will melt into the fish.

fold up the fish into foil burrito. three folds on top will seal in the steam.
oven 350 degrees for 25 minutes. 

one ingredient i did not mention yet is the frozen corn.
the frozen corn was mostly for the boys but will also create more liquid.
we add the buttery herbed broth to the plate. 

lay down the rice, fish, corn & onions and then pour on an quantity of broth. 

damn good!

Maintenance attached

Attached and stained, the paper blends in well to a rough crate.

these crates are mostly made from cedar remnants and luan (to keep it light).
by staining the wood it helps visually blend the varying shades and colors.
once again, this is only a crate but doesn't hurt to put a little effort in to it.

next just need to add the hinges, locking clasp and handle.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Hatchet maintenance template - up dated

A thank you to Asher at Fontenelle Axe for the proof read on my crate insert.

I was in too much of a hurry to finish the first draft before going off to work.
this should be a bit clearer.

i will be attaching these today.


I wanted to keep the paper as simple as possible.
really just some bullet points.

will probably adhere to the inside of the crate/wall display/ carry case.