What's the weather like in Doug's neighborhood?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

How have times changed

Came across this little gem on my lunch break today.

Can't help but wonder if things haven't changed for the worse with all of the "outsourcing" of labor. Watching the contractors and craftsmen in that video I was struck by the notion that even today this type of hands on skill is rapidly leaving our society. Without a renaissance of craftsmanship these skills will be lost to future generations. Some may say good riddance. I think it is a bit sad.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Plane restoration

Over the last several months I have taken time that could have been spent woodworking to adopt and care for some old planes. Most were inexpensive, rusty, and unkept. With a little time and attention these antiques are ready to serve another generation of user. I think that is pretty cool. In this era of disposable tools these relics of a time gone by are heartwarming. These tools have character. All are 50-100 years old and a testament to the "they don't make em like they used to" sentiment.

Here is a photo slideshow of a few of them:

Monday, October 27, 2008

Where in the world is Doug??

Work, home, or on a beer run. Those would be the most likely candidates.

So weekend followup. What happened round these parts? Not much. I took advantage of some garage time to straighten up some more, sharpen and tune some planes, and of course get my jointer back together to tackle the table project. The new helical insert cutterhead is sweet. It is quiet, sharp, and produces a surface that could go straight to finishing. Well worth all the hoops I went through to get it set up.

The new additions to the hand plane collection over the last month or so...
the no42 Lie Neilsen shoulder plane:
aka the deal that was too good to pass. e-bay is the devil. I don't think the original owner even used this plane other than test cuts, it still had the factory bevel on it.

the Stanley Bailey no.3:
WWII vintage, heavy casting, I added a hock blade. Very nice little smoother or to be used for work that is just a bit too much for the block plane.

the Stanley Bailey no.4:
a bit bigger than the no.3. Another e-bay temptress. Got it for about half of what the aftermarket blade and chipbreaker sell for. Older plane, probably circa 1920 if I had to take a wag at it.

Okay, that is a lot of new tools. Not likely to see another haul like that for quite a while. Enough about tools, what about that dining table??

There she is. Well, that is the base of the table (aprons and legs). I laminated and rough squared the legs this weekend. Tonight I milled the aprons. The legs are about 3-7/8" square right now and the aprons are 2" thick. I am going to let them sit for a day or two to adjust to the cuts. Meanwhile I need to decide on the proportions and construction details. In my spare time I need to do a lumber run to get the wood for the table top. I am favoring 40x84 inches for the top. That is a bit of work. I would have 4 sections to work with my planer. I'll keep you all posted, but it is going to be real tight to try and have this one done by the end of the month. Slipping from slim chance to no chance rapidly.

Here are a few screen caps of what the finished table should look like with respect to proportions.

In other news, I am a man without a country. Well at the least missing a defining accessory. Over the weekend I sold off my bikes and my park workstand. So don't come here expecting any ride updates for a while. I will get a new bike, but with current state of the nation I figured that getting out of debt was more important than riding for now. It is a hard decision to put a loved hobby on the back-burner. The only consolation is that my bikes provided enough cash to pay off our time share. So one less monthly bill. One step in the right direction.

Family is doing well. We rearranged the office to give Austin a more conducive learning environment For those who don't know, we pulled Austin from 1st grade and Erin is home schooling him. He ended up with a very poorly equipped teacher this year. So bad that we made the decision that if anyone was going to mess up our kid it was going to be us, not some teacher at wits end. Thus far the transition has been very good. Austin is a much happier kid and Erin seems to be getting by okay too.

I could probably keep babbling, but I am gonna call it and get to bed. Hope everyone is doing well. If you are out riding put in an extra mile for me.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Going Political v2.0

okay, on the other side of the fence this time around...

This is yet another shady deal with Obama. The other I had heard was his strong-arming of the competition off of the ballot that got him into the senate. Basically the story being told there is that at the time of election voters could either vote Obama who had been on campaign for over a year or Keyes who had only started to campaign 2 months prior. Obama took the election in an unprecidented landslide victory.

wikipedia entry on the 2004 senate election

Check out obamanation.com for additional "light reading".

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

Another weekend in the books

Yet again nothing impressive to show for it. There are 4 Hefty sacks of leaves piled by the curb, and the back patios are clean. We'll see how long it takes for everything to be covered in leaves again.

I got some shop time, but pretty much focused on clean-up. It has been getting increasingly hard to walk through the garage. Erin and the kids have a wonderful knack for piling stuff on any available horizontal surface. Add the cumulative piles to my half baked projects and you get a royal mess in no time flat. So I cleaned, vacuumed, and organized. I put up a shelving unit in the laundry room in attempt to help with some of the mess there. Overall it was somewhat productive, but I need to get rolling on my next piece of furniture.

Erin turned 30 on Saturday, so we spent the afternoon and evening partying it up. No, not really. We did go out to Bridge Street and check out the "fancy" mall. After malls like Stanford and Pacific Garden Mall it was really just a let down. It is nice and all, but we have seen better. We grabbed drinks and an apetizer at one of the restaurants there. Afterwards we picked up the kids and went to Rosie's for deserts. Overall it turned out to be a nice birthday.

We have been visited pretty hard by Murphy this month. Poppy has to go in for $400 in stitches after running into a screw on the trampoline. Erin's truck was overheating after a quick look I was thinking thermostat and maybe blown radiator. Sometimes it sucks when you are right. There went another $600. This weekend the weather really has truned to fall. On Sunday morning I notice a faint smoke smell and then the fire alarm starts chirping. Looks like our heat pump has a problem. Fortunately nothing actually caught on fire and it works smoke/scent free in the supplemental heat mode (using electric coils instead of the heat pump). But sooner or later we are going to have to shell out for a repair there. Really has been one of those when it rains it poors type of month though.

Hope your month is going better. Take care.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Just FYI

National don not call registry

Seems a bit silly to have to register your numbers individually just to avoid being solicited. Wonder if it will actually help. Gotta say, I am going to be pissed if I start getting randon calls on my pre-paid phone.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Going political

Okay, far be it from me to get political on anyone. Personally I am undecided but I saw this and saw some valid points. Plus, any excuse to put John Cleese up on the blog...

A little frightening if you think about the election in terms of mortality of the Master in Chief. Hmmm food for thought.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Another one bites the dust

That's right, another holiday weekend in the books. This government job isn't too bad with respect to getting a few extra holidays crammed in. Of course there are some other days that are not counted (like exta days around major holidays like easter, thanks giving, and christmas). So overall I guess it evens out. At any rate, the long weekend was much appreciated.

I started off the weekend by getting the hall table to a finished state. I still want to add another layer of poly to the top, but I will get to that another day. Here it is in it's new home...

I think it turned out just fine. Not the most glamorous piece, but what do you expect. I am still a hack/novice at this point. It looks nice and matches the picture window so the Mrs. is happy.

I picked up a book this weekend. Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. I read it cover to cover. Not entirely a difficult task, but I cannot remember the last time I sat down and read a book through. Unfortunately the subject is not the most settling. For me it is quite topical. Over the last decade I have gone up, down, and around with respect to money. I have purchased new cars, a time share, a home, and a bunch of stuff. However along the way I have somehow managed to avoid learning how to manage money. At 30 years old this is a skill that I will need to learn shortly in order to have a fair shake at retirement.

The premise of the book is a step plan. It boils down to saving up an emergency fund, paying off debt, building a 6 month safety net, and then working on retirement, mortgage payoff, and college savings. Seems simple enough. The book is littered with inspirational testimonials and facts about the in-debt American lifestyle. The things that blow me away about the statistics mentioned are that the average family makes less than us, owes more, and is not doing anything about it. Heading into uncertain economic times that is a scary thought.

I recommend reading this book. If you are in a good spot the priciples within can help you get to a better spot. If you are in a bad spot the lifestyle changes prescribed could be the best thing to happen for you. As for us, we are in the middle ground and hoping to be better off in the long run. I will keep you posted on our progress.

Don't be shocked if you see a drop in the amount of new stuff coming into my garage. Honestly the flow may go the other way until we are out of debt and on the right track. Currently we have timeshare debt, carry credit card balances, and have a car loan. The totals for which add to an embarrasing amount of consumer debt. Crap. That stuff needs to go away and there isn't any easy way to do it. Only penny pinching and letting go of the stuff that is not needed. I can remember how happy I was driving the used Dodge Neon around just because I had no debt on it. I look forward to a time when all the finances in my life make me as giddy and we are truly debt free.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Weekend follow-up

I am not really sure where the days go. Another weekend in the books. I had big plans, some success, and a bit of R&R. This weekend was the Fat Tire Fest, but I chose to stay low and avoid it. At this point the ankle has finally reduced in swelling, but I am still in no position to be riding. So instead of cheering on others and helping out at the fest I took time to hang out with the family and put some hours into the hall table.

As of today I am applying finish and should have it in the house by next weekend. Finishing furniture is not my favorite. I think it goes well for stock varnishes and urethane coatings, but as soon as dyes and stains come into play all hell breaks loose. I find it quite difficult to consistently control color across the entire piece. Add corners, running, and drips and you have yourself a right mess. I may be a bit too hard on myself, but time will tell.

Erin has changed her mind on the overall look of the table and is now favoring a dark ebony brown for the legs and aprons. The top will maintain it's match with the picture window. Sorry, no pictures yet. Give me a couple of days and I will put some pictures up of the finished product.

I am already moving on mentally to the next project, the dining table. I am toying with the notion of trying to get it put together in time for my parents visit next month. Erin basically threw down the gauntlet and said I wouldn't be able to get anything together before Spring. You know me right, love to prove people wrong about what I can do. It is another simple table, darker legs, and Ash or Hickory for the top so that it ties in with the kitchen cabinets which are Hickory. Anyhow, should have a preliminary design before long if I am going to do this.

Okay, enough shop talk. What else is going on?

Eddie and Skye had twins just over a week ago. Sounds like the kids, a boy and a girl, are doing well and the parents are haning tough. Congratulations.

Interbike has come and gone. Very little ground breaking or earth shattering news. Still waiting on some of the revelations from last year to actually make it to market.
MTBR Coverage
Sick Lines Coverage

Biggest news that I saw was that Turner has completely revamped it's product line. They have dropped the tried and true 4 bar and bushing design and have gone DW Link. Can't say I saw that one coming. There have been half joking threads over on the Turner forumn, but honestly I thought it was all in jest. Color me shocked at the turn of events.
The 2009 Turner Sultan:
From Misc

The good news is that pretty much everyone had glowing reviews of the bikes from the demo rides. DW Link has been building a solid rep over the last few years and this looks to be a match made to take advantage of the design. The bad news is that you can expect anywhere from $600-1000 bump in the cost of a frameset, OUCH!

That's all I got for now. Play safe. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Celebrity status

Just cruising the net today and I came across this:
From Misc

Who is that dashing rider? Kind of looks like me, only actually on a bike instead of in the garage. Funny thing about sharing pictures over cyberspace, you just never know where you will pop up. If you want to have fun sometime, just google your name and see what comes up. I have heard that some employers will do this as well. Usually it isn't a problem, but I have heard rumor of one lost job opportunity due to a very lewd myspace page.

Okay, any news on the Doug front?

Nope. My ankle is still swollen. My garage is still a mess. I am still waiting on the last of the replacement parts from Sunhill to install my helical insert cutterhead into the jointer. The hall table is still not done, but I am making progress (should have it ready for glue and finish by the weekend). I got about half of the base scraped and sanded last night. That no.80 cabinet scraper is a great little tool. I can go from hand plane or milled surface, to cabinet scraper, and then a light sanding of 220g paper in a very short time. It is much faster than stepping through sandpaper grits from 100-220 and I think the results are also better. Happy to report that I haven't even thought about breaking out the random orbit sander.

On the ankle front, I think I am done with the big sympathy cast. At this point I am not really limping. The brace is causing more limping than the ankle. An added side effect of the brace is that my knee has started to hurt. So yesterday I just taped my ankle with sports tape. I felt fine at the end of the day. Today I had to run out and didn't have time to wrap, so I threw the brace on for the morning. Gotta say, I really wasn't expecting to be out of commission for this long. Guess I really did sprain it good. I am hoping this isn't a degenerative injury. Seems to me that I have sprained this ankle a few times. This is by far the worst.

That's all I got for now. Just wanted to throw up some proof that I do ride occasionally and even get caught on film.