Monday, October 31, 2005

nothing to it

I've got the final coats of paint drying on the NY Adirondacks, so it's time to play with that $400 dovetail jig that I bought WAY back in April and figure out how to make this thing work it's magic.

I've got this nightstand that I started way back in April (I'm starting to see a trend...) that I'm building out of Red Oak. I built a similar one with Pine for the dear sweet wife quite some time ago. Now I'd like to get rid of the ugly metal file cabinet that resides on my side of the bed! Anyway... the drawer front for this nightstand is a lovely piece of Birdseye Maple. The plan is to figure out how to use this dovetail jig to cut some half-blind dovetails to connect the drawer front to the drawer sides.

I started the other night to dub around with this jig. I used several pieces of scrap wood and successfully made more scrap wood! Persistence pays off!! I made a few adjustments and now I have a half-blind dovetail that I can be proud of! Of course is on a piece of scrap wood...!

at least now I kind of know what I'm doing... $400, six months, 10 trials... nothing to it!

Monday, October 24, 2005

you did the dishes?

ever since the flood a couple weeks ago, my jointer has taken residence in the entry way to the kitchen. it's a lovely tool that is about as tall as the average 18 month old and weighs between 100 and 200 pounds. the stand that holds it up isn't too bad, it's the massive cast iron table that's the killer.

my wife has been dying for me to get that back into the basement. so last night while she was giving the kids a bath, one of my buddies helped me muscle it back down stairs. we decided we were going to wait and see how long it took for her to notice that it had moved. 4 hours later my buddy gave up and flat out asked her if she noticed anything different. she got excited thinking he had washed the dinner dishes!

i can honestly say that it's nice to be getting things back to normal in the workshop. now that i've had a couple weeks without it, i realize how much i enjoy working down there. i'm looking forward to seeing what i can pull together out of these stacks of wood that i've got. i'll keep you posted.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

back to work!

ok, the rain has subsided. the workshop is basically dry again. Hurricane Wilma is bearing down on Florida with a chance of coming up the East Coast. do I get my shop setup again, or wait...

honestly, it's killing me to not have my shop. I haven't been sleeping well. I can't focus at "the real job". and everything just seems to be a little off... so, back to work!

since most everything that was in the basement is now preparing for a trip to the landfill, there's plenty more room down there. I've started to setup a new area for finishing, painting/staining - that kind of thing. the lighting is a little better and there's a bit more head room over there.

I'd also like to take the opportunity to get a few other things done as well. I've got some plans for a nice portable (in case of floods) router table. I've also seen a great design of a mitre saw bench/cabinet that another woodworker had built that I'd like to modify for myself.

I do need to get those NY Adirondacks done too. I know, I know, your thinking "holy cow, I thought those would be done ages ago!" well that's not the case. and it's ok. I've talked to the lady that's getting the chairs and she reported that she's had the same flooding problems that I've had. she said another week or so is fine if I need it. I'd like to get them done though. I've got two more chairs built that I need to get painted for one of the girls at work. the nice thing is that the new "finishing" area that I mentioned earlier, has room for 3 chairs to be worked on at once!

my dungeon has expanded!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

clean enough to eat off of

I've got my fingers crossed that my water problems are over. the water has finally stopped seeping in through the cracks in the floor. I mopped bleach water across the basement floor tonight (forgetting that I was still wearing my dress pants) so I think I'm about ready to begin the process of restoring my workshop.

my dad was admiring my handy-work when mentioned that he could bring over his industrial vacuum that he uses in his cleaning business to get the remaining sand off the floor. I could only give him a blank stare and say... "you realize that 4 days after getting my tools down here there will be 4 inches of sawdust on the floor, right?"

so now it's clean enough! I wouldn't eat off it though...

Sunday, October 16, 2005

why must people be so freakin annoying?

One of the many reasons that I moved away from software development and into woodworking is that spammers and virus writing jack@sses cannot get into my woodworking.

I'm not sure how many people actually read my ramblings, but I cannot stand SPAM, so I'm turning on the word verification feature for comments. I'm not doing this to be a pain in the @ss, but simply because I find these stupid SPAM comments irritating.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Enough Already!

ok, it's been a while since I've posted. let me explain why...

in my last post, I mentioned that before going to bed, I had some water creeping across the floor of the workshop (basement). well if I had only gotten an inch or two, all would have been ok. Four and a half feet later and I'm SICK of water! Holy Cr*p!

my nephew helped me get my tools and wood up to the first floor, where my lovely wife enjoys the concept of sharing the kid's play room with my table saw, four adirondack chairs and a large stack of wood. the jointer's hanging out in the kitchen, while the downstairs bathroom is stocked with plenty of hand tools clamps and everything else!

oh it's been exciting this past week, but enough already!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

what the...?

Like my workshop (a.k.a. basement) isn't bad enough. The ceiling is so low that I can barely stand up straight, and I have to be on constant lookout for the low hanging heating pipes. Now it's been freakin raining all day and as I was finishing up for the night on the NY Adirondacks, I turn around to find this little lake inching closer and closer to me!

So I've got everything up on blocks and we'll hope for the best that we don't get more than 4-6" of water down there. I'm not really looking forward to lifting the 100+ pound jointer out of there!!

Keep your fingers crossed!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Always Be Selling

We have this phrase at work "Always Be Selling". It comes in handy sometimes... a deal feels close, push a little and lock it up. So when one of my co-workers was discussing a new BBQ grill they won, I took the opportunity to try and move the second set of Adirondacks that I assembled at the same time as the NY adirondacks (which are nearing completion). So I'm happy to report that the deal is done. I need another paint color, but she's going to take the chairs.

I've also been working on the designs for a Wishing Well that another co-worker wants for their yard. This project won't be painted (YEAH!) and not cheap either... Let's hope that his interest doesn't fade when he hears the final cost...

Friday, October 07, 2005

no pain, no gain

So I'm coming up on just one week remaining before the NY Adirondacks are due. I'm not concerned that I won't hit the due date, I'm sure it won't even be an issue. But... having a due date hanging over your head and just the right mix of Rancid on the iPod can make painting tolerable.

...and knowing that my lovely wife is going to pitch in to help out on this now public hatred of painting makes life a bit more easy going! Love you baby!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

I hate painting

there, I said it. I'm not ashamed.

I'm just afraid this is an evil side of woodworking that I'm not going to be able to escape. And it's not just the fact that the paint covers the beauty in the grain of the wood. I don't really care for staining either.

It's definately the task. I just don't like it.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

You can do it, we can help.

Sometimes, my self pride can get the best of me. The last couple of Adirondack chairs I built (one for my dad and one for a co-worker at "the real job") I painted white. The reason for the choice was simple: I really hate the idea of painting wood (another rant all together) and I wanted to keep the chair color neutral.I am happy to say that I am quite pleased with the results, but that's not the point of todays ramblings...

I went to the great Home Depot the other day to discuss the "Windy Pine" color I've selected for the NY Adirondacks. I've been a fan of Home Depot since we got our local store just over a year ago. I've watched their "You can do it, we can help" commercials and have thought "what a load of cr*p! you guys don't know anymore than I do and don't care what I'm doing to boot."

Much to surprise, the person working in the paint dept appears to have known what they were talking about. AND they did help me. I was going to go ahead and slap on the couple coats of white primer before applying the lovely "Windy Pine" when they showed me an example of what it might look like. Apparently the white primer would bleed through several coats of of my "Windy Pine" had I continued with my way...

So I walked out of the store happily with my cans of "Windy Pine" and tinted primer (grey in color even... not the lighter shade of "Windy Pine" that I had assumed).

I applied the primer to one of the NY Adirondacks tonight and am quite happy with the results. So there may be some truth to it afterall...

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Adirondack Chairs for NY

My current project is to build to Adirondack chairs to ship to NY. I am happy to report that they are coming along quite nicely. As of today, I need only attach the arm rests to the chairs and apply a finish.

For these chairs, I've got a nice looking forrest green semi-gloss exterior paint. I'm looking forward to seeing how these look when they are done, they should look pretty nice.

Well it's back to the dungeon for now, still have a couple of things to wrap up for the day...

Saturday, October 01, 2005


This is my initial entry... just to get things going.

In my real life I work in computer sales for a fortune 1000 company. What I like doing is woodworking. In fact just the other day I received payment for the first item I have sold. It was an Adirondack chair and foot stool. I'm quite happy with the results. It's the fourth chair that I've built, but the footstool was a first.

Currently I am working on two more Adirondack chairs. I have donated these to a company that I work with at "the real job" that held a silent auction with their national sales staff to raise money for the Red Cross to help with the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.

I'll post some pictures as soon as I figure out how...