I took the day off Friday. I had waited until the hot part of summer was over and the forecast was for a cool day to spend the day playing in the garage. Unfortunately the forecast was revised between the time I scheduled it and the day itself. It was not terribly hot but was terribly humid and I sweated like a pig.

I first went to the lumberyard to get some wood to continue my fence project. After that it was all playtime. A friend is moving out of the county and is selling some of his large tools. I bought his dust collector for cheap.

It was wired for 220 so I had to figure out the either/or diagram to rewire it for 110 and return to the hardware store for the appropriate plug. I got it working though and it does indeed suck (but in the right way). It does a poor job with large things like planer shavings and leaves ( lots of these find their way into the garage) so I will eventually need a separator but for now I just need to limit it to sawdust.

My garage is at capacity and so I had to retire something. I chose to put the shopvac in the attic.

I have had a fantasy for years of doing all my woodworking with hand tools only. This would solve several problems. It would be quieter, would require much less floor space, and generate less in the way of fine dust. But I can’t seem to do as good a job with hand tools

I spent the remains of the day Friday attempting to tune up my handplanes to do what they were used for back in the olden days. I failed utterly. I know it can be done; there are entire magazines devoted to hand tool woodworking and I’ve looked into week long classes. It may involve buying some higher quality tools but I’m resistant to that. The guys back in the day used what I have so I should be able to make these work.

Still, a bad day woodworking is better than many other things so it wasn’t wasted time but it was frustrating and very very sweaty. Last year I spent a Saturday afternoon with an expert up in town and was convinced that I could work wonders with hand tools but so far I can’t do it with MY hand tools. For the moment, I’m stuck with my large power tools.

On Saturday I had to return to the fence. It went smoothly and I replace 16 feet. I’m coming down the home stretch. The neighbor whose yard this meets has four dogs so I was a bit nervous about it. They predictably went crazy when I started banging on the fence but when I knocked down an entire section, they were pretty scared. That had never happened to them before.

I stayed on my side and they eventually came up to sniff and hopped over into my yard. They smelled everything and marked all the territory and then went back to their yard and stayed. They ignored me from then on.

So it was a hard working weekend but pleasant. I’ll beat those handplanes into submission eventually. Until then I have a dust collector.

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