Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Time for Mindfullness.

   When my mind is a little cluttered I switch to things that don't take days and weeks to complete. Here are some live edge cutting boards, some spoons, spatulas and bowl turnings.

 Maple live edge cutting boards.
 Cherry classic cutting boards.
 Spalted maple and maple burl spice bowls.
  Maple and cherry spoons, ladles and spatulas.

And some bowls......
Maple, one with cherry inlay around the lip.

More spalted maple

 Cherry bowl, I filled the splits with some green sparkly stuff.

And for the pirate in ye this rustic bowl from oak. Ahhhrrrr

As always thanks for having a look.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Better late than never?

  I have also been working on some oak bar stools that were requested in March.
Ya, I know.....
  I messaged Bob and told him I was on that rush order from March like a turtle onto a highway. Probably not going to end well. To my surprise he still hadn't picked up any. He must really like my work. Ya, that's it! So I pulled my head out of the shell and scampered to the shop.

 Nice used lathe I picked up in the spring. Finally really starting to use it. Took a while to remember what I learned in wood shop at high school. Those were some crazy years.

A few legs turned, testing for uniformity along the way. Hopefully the speed picks up as I go along. Maybe I am being to anal about this. Just relax and enjoy the work.

 Because I have a lot of pieces to turn.

Oh ya, the speed picked up nicely, only half the time to turn the second half of them. Now you can see them coming together after some final fitting of the parts.

Nicely wedged tight. These puppies are rock solid.

Shape the tops to cradle the posterior.

  Some stain then top coat with polyurethane for wear protection.  With out the poly you would have stains on your bottom. Would be good for a laugh though.

Thanks for reading

Friday, 12 December 2014

If you go out in the woods today........

  Last spring I made a nice find in the local forest. So I enlisted some help from Todd and we dragged five spalted maple logs out of the bush. If the logs hold what I think they do there will by many bowls in the my future.

  (to the tune of 'oh what a lovely bunch of coconuts') 
"Oh what a lovely bunch of spalted logs, there they are a laying in a row. Long ones, short ones, some as long as my.................... blogs!
Give them a twist, a flick of the wrist. That's what the showman said." 

It's tough to take the boy out of the man sometimes.

  While I watched Todd work his Polaris 4x4 pulling the logs out of the wood I noticed some trees that were burled. I planned to return for them even though the weather was turning for the worse. bewrey, bewrey quite. I'm hunting burls.

  Here I am returning from safari loaded down with my quarries. My porter left me though, he kept mumbling some nonsense about a giant ape. Didn't like the weather, I reckoned.

  We will have to wait to see what the burls hold. I think it will be the new year before I get to those and maybe the logs too. I'll post the results.

  As always, thanks for reading. Oh, and singing along on this one.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Even with all the Time in the World

  Well the last two months have been busy. Unfortunately most of the busy was outside the shop. We have been through some time eating setbacks like broken down vehicles, replacing water heater, out of town appointments and all the other things that need to be dealt with immediately that I can't even remember now. I did do some furniture repairs and a little refinishing for a few people.

  But in between all those I have still been putting up stuff from the monumental inheritance. Not complaining about that one. I have also been helping out some friends with stuff in their businesses or homes. Nothing more satisfying than helping someone.
No thanks necessary, just the smile on their faces is all I need.

  While all the little earlier mentioned activity was going on I also had some problems with my condition that I am working through. Stupid paranoia and anger popping up. Kind of stuck in a rut I guess. Happily I am back on the smooth road again. Every day makes me better. The past few weeks I have felt like myself again. A self from many, many years ago. But that is all for my other blog.

So on to the woodwork.

  Here is an AV stand I put together for Brent. Just in time for Deneyse's fiftieth birthday party too. So a big weekend for both of them. Lots of smiles and happiness all around.

 As you can see the top had many bark inclusions in it. Perfect for the effect we were going for here. I pried all the bark out with a chisel and softened any sharp edges.

 Just another view. Boy do I ever need to get my DSL camera up and working again.

I used an angle grinder with a wire wheel on it to give the weathered effect. The wire wheel pulls the soft wood off and leaves the tighter, harder grain behind.

Here it is set up in his house. "I make what you want" is the new motto around here. The table cloth behind is used to hide all the wiring. (Marina :-) ) In this picture you can see the hammered steel brackets added to the corners just to spice it up a little.

  Rather than one large post of what I have done in October and November I broke up the action into many short entries. Everyone is so busy this time of year I don't want to hog your time. So more to come.

thanks for reading

Thursday, 25 September 2014

And After the Seventh Week I Rested.

   It took seven weeks of hard work to complete the shop expansion and organize the machining area of the shop. Well I still have a few little things left but I can get back to building things.

  It is said that it took God six days to make our universe.  On the seventh day He rested.

Good thing it was Him because if it was left to me we wouldn't be here yet.

    It's too bad He didn't leave a few things until later. Annoying things like mosquitoes, rattle snakes, black flies, jelly fish, skunks, June bugs, Kuala Bears ......................

I asked, "Shannon, what other annoying things are there?".....(silence)....

 Oh, I get it. Men?.....wait a minute.......NOT ME!!!!!

Well, I'm going to put up some pics of my labour.

Here we go.

As promised some photos of the tidier machining area. Well at least it is now an organized mess.

  Lots of room to move around now. I made some new rolling cabinets for some more storage. Still need to put some doors on a few of them to keep the dust out. I can also roll the carts out and use them as little tables or double as saw horses.
  Here is the spindle sander that George Dunn built. A real feat of engineering if you ask me. The spindle doesn't even slow down at all when you put the wood to it due to his nice gearing work.

  Routers galore thanks to George. 

Some shots of the new area. This is about as tidy as it will get for now. You can now see the floor and all the bench surfaces finally. I added a ceiling fan in here, works very well to keep you cool.
 I kept the very best of George's chisels by the window in easy reach of my bench.

 This is the sharpening station. I need to add a little cabinet beside the other yet. That will come soon. You can see two wet sharpeners that are from George in this picture, the yellow one and blue on in the corner. I hung all the chisels here so hopefully they will be sharpened when they are put back in the rack.

Finally, a tidy place to keep all the fasteners.

  A set of garden doors for here were about 700 dollars. I have plenty of oak so I decided to make a pair of craftsman style doors for this opening. Better get started soon the weather is changing. They will also allow me to display my skills in door construction. Going to be awesome.

  Seven weeks and 92.5% of the job is complete. A lot faster than I would have figured. Thanks to Paul, Kyle and Jason for they're help. Thanks to Shannon for painting the siding and putting up with my desertion of the household.
   She is so understanding and none of this would be possible without her. I love her. We did get in a couple of nice bike trips during those seven weeks though.
  And thanks to the Somers' for the donation of the lighting fixtures and Alex and Jim for bringing them down to me. Also thanks to Steve Chapple for delivering that huge window. Thanks to John Kernaghan for the loan of the drywall lift and letting me use his aluminum break, he is always so helpful to me now and in the past.

  I had always planned on having a shop ready for retirement. I didn't think it would come together this early but a home was needed for George's legacy of tools and Shannon won't be annoyed seeing me sitting on the couch all the time.

  It will also serve well while I am going through this time of healing. Making things is very soothing. My fractured mind should mend much quicker with the mindfulness provided from the wood working.

   Like a Dojo, monastery, temple, church...... no better than that, it is my Keep, a place of last retreat like in the castles of old. Here I make my stand against depression. Depression can wail on the walls all day but I am safe in here. Once it is defeated having spent itself trying to break in I will come forth and vanquish it for ever more.

  Some day this place will provide me with part time employment and a reason to hone my writing skills. I would even like to submit some articles to magazines on some of my projects. I hope to some day write about my experience with PTSD and have it published as well.

 We will see what comes of the future. I am positive it will be good. I have many friends in the wings waiting to help me out when I call upon them. For that Shannon and I are very grateful.

As always, thanks for reading.
Keep smiling, to much work to frown.


"Hating is like taking poison yourself and waiting for the other person to die." ~~ Buddha

Saturday, 13 September 2014

So Many Hand Tools

I put together a little picture show for you.

In the bench room now. I think it is time to deal with all these hand tools.

 Gonna take some work to get these all put up.

 Never have enough clamps


 A bench covered in treasure, chisels, planes, marking gauges, drills, saws..... drool.

 Did I mention clamps. I think we need more.

 Lovely sharp saws

These are hand screw clamps. Most frustrating to use, but o so handy in some cases.

 Drill Braces and egg beater style drills. Like the croquet mallet hammers.

Two buckets of clamps. Never have enough clamps. Honest

 Here we have some rusty veterans from a yard sale. They will be cleaned up and put back on duty.

 Where is a clamp when you need one. More clamps please Santa.

More tool porn. Sexy.....

Oh, there's the clamps.

This is the sharpening station. We will add on to the side of it to set up one more grinder. The wet dry grinder on the right is another donation from the George Dunn collection.

As always thanks for reading.
More updates to come soon.
Hopefully by the 20th of September.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

The Devil's spawn was born on September 11 2001

 As you remember 9/11 today, remember it as the day that changed the course of modern history. Those who died that day were the first casualties of the wars that rage today in the middle east. 
   The attack had nothing to do with terrorism. It was a declaration of war against the Western world.  

The West dropped all it's fury on the Middle East in it's blood thirsty search for the perpetrators of the attack. They took out anyone who would harbor the fugitive. They turned to Baghdad and Afghanistan. In Baghdad, the cradle of modern civilization they took out Sadam Hussien. He ruled over the Arab tribes with an iron fist. The West tried to fill the power vacuum in the region with an appointed democratic government. This was a foolish mistake.

A demon spoke the words, "Are you Sunni or Shia?"
  Words not spoken since Saddam Hussein lorded over the Arab regions. 
This unleashed the tribes once more.
The Taliban are now nothing compared to what is to come. They took out Bin La din but he was only evil's opening act.

 The Western coalition out of resources left the area. All the newly trained Arab troops took to their tribes and spiraled the region into the hell it is today.
A blood soaked playground for insane mercenaries, misguided innocents rapping an pillaging across the region. It's tribal warfare flourishing like poppy's in the baked fields of Afghanistan.

  Now too late, the Western coalition sends it's people into the breach to be fired into the fray. The new foe is ISIS. The West will return to puppet the armies of Arab nations to obliterate the ISIS regime.

At this moment the waters of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers are receding as those upstream hoard it. 
 The regions of Iraq and Syria cannot grow food or slake their thirst.

  The Devil is dancing on the banks of those ancient rivers. The Devil and it's spawn are awaiting the torrents that are sure to engorge the dry basins with blood of the innocents. This will be Satan's finest hour.

That I fear will be the legacy of 9/11.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Shop Expansion Update

By the Labor Day weekend the shop is looking very good.

The outside is ready for eaves trough.

 Oops, need some doors on this side. They will be oak with curved windows in each.

Time for the wiring then on to the insulation with that itchy pink stuff. 

 The inside is finished with drywall. 

Paint is finished and all the electrical switches, outlets and lighting are in place.
Ceiling fan coming soon.
Time now to empty the tools out of the trailer. The inheritance is going to take up quite a bit of space.

The state of the machine shop 2 weeks ago.

  The machining side is now receiving a clean up and fresh paint anywhere I can reach just to brighten it up. Next post I will show you a little bit of the machine shop refresh.

  But for now I will leave you with a photo I took Tuesday morning while enjoying a coffee in the new bench room. Inspiring, yes? It was a wonderful twenty minutes of mindfulness.
  If you look hard you can see the geese flying by. (near the centre of the picture) They circle the area a few times each morning getting the juveniles ready for the big migration. I love that honking sound they make. As always click on the picture for a bigger view.

Thanks for reading.
Have a great day everyone.