February 2008


Erin is in “Many Moons” this semester and the performance was last night.  Tonight she switches off with another actor and will be in the stage crew.  Last night a bunch of her friends, including the boy friend, came to see her and we all sat together.  It was as fun as usual with the extra twist of having all her friends sniffing around for a look at the boyfriend who is from another school and had never been seen by any of them.  It was pretty exciting but probably a bit uncomfortable for him.  He didn’t show it though.

Good times.

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The New Doors Installed

Originally uploaded by gregwest98

Whee! The project is done.

When I made my Springfield trip, my friend also bought himself a new jointer.  It was pretty large.  He was apparently replacing the one he had which was no slouch of a jointer.  He offered it to me Saturday.

Let me hear you say OMG!

I’ve never had one nor have I ever considered buying one; it’s a floor-standing tool and floor space in my garage is precious so I’ve just always used a hand plane for that job and learned to get the edges square enough that way.  But this was too much to pass up so I went and got it.  That leaves me with three items that are taking up floor space that must be dealt with.  Hello craigslist!  My old tablesaw was offered to and accepted by my brother-in-law so it’s still around; it’s just in somebody else’s garage.

I listed two things last night.  The first was an old belt sander that I picked up at a garage sale years ago that was on a homemade stand with an old motor that won’t start when it’s cold.  The other thing is a rubbermaid tote full of golf balls.  When a friend offered it to me I thought that it would be really cool to have 10,000 golf balls.  I was wrong; it’s really more of a burden than anything else.  Floor space.  I don’t suck at golf badly enough to loose that many balls – ever.

I had my first responses withing within 10 minutes.  Within 20 minutes I had sold the golf balls (the guy should pick them up tonight) and had some pretty firm interest in the sander.  I must admit that the sander sucks pretty badly but surely somebody will pick it up for $20.

That leaves me with my bandsaw to deal with.  I actually use that every so often but not as often as I would like. It’s always been in the corner behind my table saw which I use a lot.  Perhaps if it were more accessible I would use it more.  But now I’m afraid that something has to go.  The new jointer or the bandsaw.  It’s a struggle.  I don’t want to give up either.  I’d like to build a proper workshop and move them all into it but my back yard is not large enough for that.  I could just start parking outside all the time but that doesn’t make too much sense either even though most people do it.

So the jury is still out as to selling the bandsaw.  It uses weird-sized blades and so I have to special order them which is a pain.  Perhaps that is reason enough to let it go.  Or perhaps I could put in my brother-in-law’s garage.  He never makes any attempt to put a car in it.  Yeah!

Anyway – free jointer!  It’s awesome.

The buyers of our china cabinet came and got it last night.  That took mere moments but as I was in the garage tinkering around, I heard them out in the street discussing how to tie it down in their vehicle for the trip home and they must have stayed out there for at least one hour working the problem out.  At one point, they departed for WalMart to buy some tiedowns and then continued their project.  I was a bit worried about it myself; I’d hate to see them buy something only to have it fall out of their truck on the way out of the neighborhood.  But they eventually managed it.

I put another application of stain on my cabinet doors and they’re looking excellent.

As predicted, it rained all day Saturday – a perfect time to stay inside and finish my cabinet doors.  Literally.

Unfortunately the part I like about woodworking is the wood part.  I’m not so fascinated by the application of the finish.  But it must be done but I always get impatient.  Nevertheless, as I get older I find I have more patience to do what must be done and so I took the time to sand everything properly as well as mix up some shellac.

As always, the shellac wants weeks to dissolve and in spite of my accelerating methods, it did not all dissolve.  But enough dissolved to do the trick and the rest can dissolve at its own pace.  My method was to put the flakes in a food processor and grind it to dust.  I reasoned that the increased surface area would lead to more shellac entering solution with the alcohol and so it did but not all of it.  More than normal though.  I also put the jar into a pot of hot water to hasten it that way but I didn’t wait long enough – I should try that again and just leave it for several hours.

Anyway, I got the wood sealed and also got the first coat of stain on.  Looking good!

We gave up on the newspaper ad trying to get rid of our china cabinet and I put it on craigslist.  In a matter of hours I had numerous responses and the first person to email me was the first to show up and look at it and they bought it.  I’m sold on craigslist now.

Erin was gone most of the time to rehearsals for the high school play.  They’re doing some serious work now and it takes all day on the weekends.

Meantime, Evan had all his buddies over to use our bigscreen TV to play RockBand on.  A friend brought over his Xbox and game stuff and they played from late afternoon until midnight.  They would have gone longer had there not been a curfew in place.  I wish I could have taken a turn but such things are not meant for parental involvement.  I had to limit myself to watching classic movies on PBS on the little TV in the bedroom.  They were showing two boring movies about nuns so it was a pathetic second place to RockBand.

Hopefully this week those people will bring a pickup and get that china cabinet out of my living room and I will battle laziness and finish putting the finish on my cabinet doors.  Maybe play GuitarHero once or twice.

Spent the day in bed yesterday.  The head cold that had been stalking me since Saturday caught up with me.  I did manage to stagger out of bed enough to glue together those cabinet doors (which wore me out) and to take Mel to TiAmo for valentine’s dinner.

I did an idiotic thing regarding my cabinet door project which involved an inaccurate measurement.  Last night I used my new saw to cut small bits out of the door pieces to make them the correct size.  That went well although I screwed up the joints on two of the pieces and had to remake the entire pieces from scratch.  Nevertheless, I’m back on track now and can probably glue up the doors tonight.  After that comes finishing.

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