Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Quitter's Blues

I am TRYING to quit smoking. All I can tell you is if you don't smoke, NEVER start. This is a horrible horrible addiction that does nothing but slowly kills you and makes it almost impossible to stop. Right now I am super stressed, miserable, grouchy, and I haven't even quit yet.

It's been a tough month in the woodworking arena. There have been several folks on that have been seriously injured in their shops this month. Some have shared photos and they are not pretty. Almost every one of them says they just lost focus for a second and that's all it took. I had my own close call on the router table but was fortunate enough not to be injured.

We get too lax about power tool safety now and then. There are lots of excuses: I was in a hurry, I had lots on my mind, it was getting late and on and on. In one second your whole life changes forever.

Because a couple of these accidents were on the table saw and happened with the guard removed I have decided to reinstall my guard. I spent 15 minutes getting it set up today. That was 15 minutes that may save my fingers and was well worth it. It will be unlikely I will remove it again.

Now I am going to go smoke a cigarette and continue killing myself. Then I think I'll kill something on the computer. I can't wait for Modern Warfare 2 to come out next month. I'm going to be all over that!

I can hardly wait to see how cheery I am when I actually QUIT smoking.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Understanding Wood

My vacation came and went with very little of it being used for what *I* actually wanted to do. I ended up doing more computer repairs then anything else which DID NOT make me happy. The only project I got completed was a new drawer for my router table. That was an exercise in frustration with the new box joint router bit.

I spent 7 hours TRYING to get a setup on that bit that would produce a decent box joint. Finally I gave up and in 25 minutes I had the Oak Park 1/4" box joint jig set up and had the four sides of my drawer DONE. Sometimes it's best to stick with what you already know works.

Part of the problem, I discovered MUCH too late, is that I actually didn't understand wood. When I was working with plywood I was under the misconception that grain direction didn't matter. But it most certainly does. At some point this Revelation occurred to me and things started to go much smoother after that.

The sad part is now that I GET this concept and actually understand WHY grain direction is important, I am looking around the shop at a few other projects I have done and think CRAP! that's ALL WRONG!

I am sure this knowledge with improve my woodworking immensely. Well I can hope anyway.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

HAPPY Thanksgiving!

This turkey has just turned 50. Some days I feel like 90 when it rains and the arthritis and fibromyalgia kick into high gear...AT THE SAME TIME. But fortunately some of the meds I am forced to take are anti-depressants, so I am in pain but still smiling.

I got to take my last vacation of the year this Thanksgiving long weekend. I swore I was going to do NOTHING but what *I* wanted to do. That didn't make it past the first day. There have been computer repairs, a birthday party, Thanksgiving, and the numerous daily tasks that still have to be dealt with whether or not you are on vacation. But I did manage to squeeze some shop time in there.

My birthday was actually excellent this year. The spouse surprised me and bought me the Dewalt D55168 200PSI 15 Gallon air compressor I have been lusting after. Now I will be able to use the Mastercraft HVLP Spray paint outfit I got on sale at Canadian Tire.

I also got some router bits from Elite Tools. There were a few I picked up at the Woodstock wood show but I got the rest for my birthday. That box joint bit is a scary demon in the router.

My friends all chipped in and got me a $100.00 gift card for Lee Valley! I think I am going to use it to buy some books I wanted. I have the list all printed out, but I will go to the store and browse around before I make any decisions. You never know what might tickle my fancy with a hundred bucks to burn.

The Woodstock wood show was a bit of a disappointment this year. There were no exceptional deals and the vendors weren't really in a bargaining mood. Other then some bits and a couple of sanding mats the only other things I bought were a couple of pieces of Lace wood. I really hope the London show in February is better.

Despite making my self sick (sinus infection) by resawing some white ash and NOT wearing a dust mask I have had a pretty good vacation. The topper was winning $250.00 in the lottery pool at work. I have a few more days before going back to work and a couple of projects I'd like to do in the shop. But we'll see how it goes. Planning never works the way you plan it.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Just Add Paint

IT'S DONE!! There were times I was sure this moment would never come but the Go Kart is finished! The grandson and spouse are going to paint it on the weekend while I am at work. I am sure that will be a colourful time. At least he'll get to ride it before the snow files. As to where the hell we are going to store this thing...I have NO idea. But it has spent enough time in the garage!

Tomorrow is the start of the Woodstock Wood Show. That's where I'll be spending MY day. Unfortunately the spouse is NOT going with me. (can you feel my sadness... NOT!) I hope the credit card still works.

The Go Kart Finish Line

Although I can no longer remember when I started this project, the end is in sight. I should be finished by today and the spouse and grandson will be painting it on the weekend. This was a long and at times very frustrating project, not to mention how expensive it was. I did learn several things while doing this. The most important lesson was HAVE A PLAN. Building things off the top of your head is difficult at best. There is a lot of trial and a whole lot of error.

This project also taught me that there is more then one way to cut wood. I think I have used every cutting tool I own at some point on this project. Because I often assembled things and then realized I needed to make a cut, I had to do some very innovative cutting. I don't recommend this method.

So I am going to head back into the shop and get 'er done as they say. I'll post pictures later.