Unrelated

Not Just About Wood

I made a thing that isn’t made of wood or metal.  It’s an insulating hatch for the attic stairs, and it’s made of rigid foam paneling, hot glue and duct tape.  So long as a hot glue gun counts as a hand-tool, it was made with only hand tools (mostly a marking knife and a rip cut panel saw).  The project came out pretty great, if I do say so myself, even if it’s not super pretty.  It took about 2 hours total to knock together.  Had I a table saw, it would have likely been about 20 minutes.

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I even managed to use the existing rabbets to great effect.

I’ve spent the last couple of days figuring out how to describe the process.  How the skills of hand tool woodworking translate to more than just furniture making.  But it’s just a foam box to keep the heat in, that needed to be a certain size from a limited amount of materials.  So really any maker skills would apply.  With a little thought, though, I was able to use only two panels with very little remaining scrap when finished.  Three panels would have been easier, though resulting in much more waste.

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And it fits.

This is another one of those fixgasm projects: little effort for out-sized effect.  It’s markedly warmer in my house now that the hatch is in place.  So there’s that.

It’s that time of year in New England that’s great for around the house projects (like the inverse of spring cleaning).  My plan for the next couple of weeks is to hang closets, organize things, rearrange my workshop, that kind of stuff.

Will keep everyone posted.

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Everyone Leaves in the End

I think about death pretty often.  My own, mostly.  It intrigues me, in a way.  I certainly do not fear death.  Why waste the energy worrying about something that will absolutely, with one hundred percent certainty, happen to each and every one of us?  Those who are scared of dying have something to hide.

And when I die, what will I leave behind?  My clothes, my shoes, the stuff in that one drawer I keep locked: I doubt those things will last much beyond my natural life.  But the work of my hands: who knows?  Through the motise, tenon, dovetail and dado, I may live forever.

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And, if I can, I shall haunt you from my Tuscan Red coffin.

At least until the collapse of civilization, in which case all would be turned to firewood anyway.

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A Loving Home

A package came in the mail on Saturday.  James over at The Daily Skep was gracious enough to gift to me the box he made for his custom box for a Veritas Large Router Plane.  I am happy to say the box now has a new home in my tool chest.

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Fits very nicely.

For those who haven’t seen it before, it holds the plane itself, the fence and some additional blades, with a sliding lid.  I am particularly fond of the bits of veneer that hold the plane in place in the well.  It feels very Dutch tool chest-like in its own way.

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I seem to have one more extra blade than James.

Thanks very much, James.  By the way, if you’re not a reader of The Daily Skep, you should be.

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My Beloved New York Mets

I’m going off topic today, because it’s my website and I’ll do what I want.

The New York Metropolitans, my beloved NY Mets, are currently 70-56.  Atop of the National League East at 6.5 games ahead of the Washington Nationals, Los Mets have their largest division lead since the September which shall not be named.  Because of their torrid winning ways, the Mets are garnering more and more attention as of late and it distresses me.

My Mets are underdogs.  They claw and they scratch and they make something out of nothing.  They engender a Stockholm-esque masochism that we Mets fans wear like a badge on our orange and blue sleeves.

My Mets are not a fashionable bandwagon juggernaut of superstars and refined culture.  That’s the other New York baseball club, and let’s keep it that way.

There is much baseball left to play, but for the first time in a while, my beloved New York Mets are in control of their own destiny.  I believe, but I’ve been burned many times before.  Nonetheless…

Let’s Go Mets!

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Aescetic Aesthetic

Among my favorite movies is Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. On the special features, there is a discussion of the design for the Elvish armor and weaponry, where the conceptual artists were trying to communicate an elegant simplicity that would permit Elvish designs to cease evolving. I have a similar approach to furniture design.

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Still need to thickness, glue up and attach the top.

Clean lines, attractive proportions and functional appointments.  That’s my design style.

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P.S.  I know I’ve been sparse on posts, lately.  It’s been a tough couple weeks, and I hope to get back to more regular posting soon.  Thank you for bearing with me.

Your have become better at woodworking! (152)

Contrary to popular belief, I have other hobbies besides woodworking.  One of which is video games.  Specifically, roleplaying games (both MMOs and console).  I’m really good at tradeskills in MMOs.  Like super good.  Like it’s the main reason I started making things in real life.

I just saw that EverQuest is lauching a new timelocked progression server this summer and the vote (I voted twice, because I have two EQ1 Gold accounts) came out in favor of Slower Progression.  I started out on the Rathe server (FOR LIFE!), but I have been bouncing around other servers (Vox, Vulak Aerr) and I like the EQ1 progression server concept.  I tried Project ’99, but I would prefer a server that is up through Shadows of Luclin (Maiden’s Eye and Grieg’s End are by far the best zones in any MMO ever, other than Dragon Necropolis).  Seems like the second round vote is going in favor of a slower progression, which is right up my (and my buddy Matty’s) alley.

I’ve been a healer in MMOs for a long time (mostly because no one else wants to do it and I enjoy willing groups to success), but I think on the new EQ progression server, I will be a monk or a magician.  Maybe even an enchanter.  Just to stick it to Matty. And because I love the Jewelcrafting tradeskill the most.

This is a bear cub wielding an ax.

This is a bear cub wielding an ax in Crescent Reach.

Anyone who has been thinking of getting back into EQ1, I would urge you to keep an eye out for the new progression server launch.  I certainly am.

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Lighting the Way

I know it’s tautological, but the most problematic aspect of small-space woodworking is just that: lack of space. I am fortunate enough to have a large common area that I can temporarily annex into the workshop, but that really only helps me for assembly or short term lumber storage.

With a rather full tool chest already, any time a new tool comes in, something else has to go (or, at least, to be stored). Normally, it’s a phantom problem, because I’m not really buying new tools. I have almost everything I need.  But I can’t just leave random tools laying around to trip over.

Although, I admit the shop is not the model of order most days...

Although, I admit most days the shop is not exactly the model of order…

As I plan out a lighting rig to go with the new camera, though, I am faced with a dilemma. I don’t want to reassemble a special lighting stand every time I need to snap a new picture. But I also don’t want my apartment to be cluttered with yet another free standing obstruction.

I think the third option, if it exists, is to build a rig that will work both as photography lighting and as workshop lighting. My current front lighting setup for joinery (an LED task lamp) isn’t working that well because of the depth of my workbench. Not to mention that it’s also very directional and the head gets in the way when photographing. On the other hand, a traditional front lighting rig with a diffuser may not shine brightly and clearly enough for use during joinery work.

I just don’t know yet how to solve for both issues, while simultaneously not creating something else for me to trip over. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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Daylight Savings Time is Dumb

I know it’s only an hour, but I truly despise Daylight Savings Time.  Most of my clocks adjust automatically, but that’s not the point.  For the third year in a row, I didn’t realize the clocks rolled forward and I started woodworking before quiet hours ended.  I’m an early riser, so this morning, I was woodworking audibly while everyone was still sleeping it off.  I didn’t get a noise complaint this time, but that’s also not the point.  I’ll say it:  Daylight Savings Time is stupid in 21st Century society.

On a side note, I am finally using the last of the home center Douglas Fir for an upcoming project that is totes adorbs.

On a side note, I am finally using the last of the home center Douglas Fir for an upcoming project that is totes adorbs.

I would like to point out that it was the Germans and Austrians during World War I who first implemented Daylight Savings Time as a way to conserve coal during wartime.  And that it was OPEC who forced America to permanently implement Daylight Savings Time during the 1970’s.

Not exact a positive pedigree for a concept.

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