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Thoughts, complaints, and loquacious ramblings.

28 march 2022

I have Elias back, but also random untreatable ailments. This time, it’s a perpetually elevated heart rate that has me constantly exhausted. Hands are shaking so much that fine work is near impossible. I’ve found, however, that the rate doesn’t go up much more when lifting heavy things, nor does avoiding coffee seem to help, so I figure with passing out to rely on as a fuse, I’ll be finishing up all the big stuff moving while propping myself up on gallons of espresso.

There isn’t a lot left in the old dungeon studio to move, anyhow. My go to table saw, which I’ve since replaced with a much older unit. My scroll saw, which, while still fun, has lost a lot of its allure when contrasted with the gigantic bandsaw. A lot of machine parts and materials that I’ll need, but until I decide on cabinetry, then design, build, and install said cabinetry, there’s no rush. Just lots of small and medium bits to make necessary lots of little trips. Getting there, though.

My goal for the first quarter was to complete my two large standing commissions and get functionally moved into the studio. First commission’s done, second one was delayed by Elias’s six week long convalescence and issues with the client’s other contractors, but is moving on, now. Power is still a big issue in the shop, but with spring coming, I won’t need the heater, which frees up a few more amps to hold me over until the new line comes in. Counter to my normal inclination, I’ll count this as a success.

Speaking of spring, I’ve gone through my bags of seeds and my scattered horticultural supplies. By the end of april, I mean to have a miniature herb garden outside the studio.

I’m so excited for the growing season. I haven’t been able to garden since my roommates occurred. I’ve managed to keep a handful of herbs and succulents alive indoors over the past two years and I can’t wait to get them outside and let them grow more fully into their potentials.

I’ve got six avocado stones sprouted. I’ve been playing with designs for avocado rafts and planters, but I won’t really have an idea of what I like until I get some leaves.

I missed horticulture so incredibly much. I can’t wait to get back into it.

Categories
Thoughts, complaints, and loquacious ramblings.

4 feb 2022

Been in a bit of an active slump.

I spent most of jan moving into the new shop in Halifax.  

It’s nice to (almost) have my own space, one where I can flip pieces without hitting asbestos covered pipes or dust covered walls.  The new place is an outbuilding garage, so it’s easy to offload tools and auction junk into.  There’s 220 power, which I’ll eventually have to share, but for now it’s all mine, and later there my be a way to split it or run two lines, as the house already has additional 220 hookups.

The not so nice: there’s no heat.  I like the cold.  I really do.  I never mind shivering and usually wear t-shirts in the winter, but I’ve come to a point I never could have imagined: the thought of the cold studio actually makes me less interested in making the commute.  Which is half an hour over a mountain, or forty minutes around it.  My landlords loaned me two heaters, one which runs on 220 and one that runs on propane. I ran the propane heater for a bit, before a friend forced me to research it and I came across the multiple warnings against indoor use (specifically citing garages as no-nos, as if the article knew!) The 220 works, but it takes up all my amps, and if you’ve followed my Instagram of late, you’ll know my meaning of “works.” Despite the fairly beefy, if aged fuse panel inside the garage, what feeds it are a pair of 20 amp breakers.

So, for now, I have the same power constraints, plus cold driven lethargy, and a half hour commute in place of an asbestos dungeon.  And you know what?  It’s worth it.

I like my new place.  I like driving past the Appalachian Trail twice a day.  I like being able to fit professional tools into my workspace and I especially like not having to take them up or down stairs.

The place isn’t perfect, but what it is, is mutable.  The landlords and I are going to be improving the space.  More power, more light, and something I never thought I’d be excited for: heat.

I’m looking forward to growing into the space and for it to grow into the kind of making space I’ve always fantasized about.  I hope you’ll join me for the journey.

Categories
Thoughts, complaints, and loquacious ramblings.

Upcoming Market – 6/11

I’ll be at the HBG Flea’s holiday market at Strawberry Square in Harrisburg on November 6th. This will be only my second market of the year, and I’m looking forward to getting out there with my new designs and builds.

Hope to see you there!

Categories
Thoughts, complaints, and loquacious ramblings.

2 Aug. 21

Still down, so the last things on my mind are photography and posting. Thus the silence. Still not up to pontificating, so here’s a list.

  • Unburried gaming table from my roommate’s boxes
  • Made repairs to gaming table build
  • Built a set of cat shelves
  • Restarted built-ins previously put on hold
  • Got two antique treadle sewing machines for restoration (one for a client, one to keep)
  • Reorganized studio
  • Maintained Disc.o and replaced sanding pad
  • Re-aligned drive and pulley wheels on table saw
  • Replaced Veritas pull saw after roommate used it to cut carpet
  • Continued working on designs for EV and in-house structures
  • Played with cats
Categories
Thoughts, complaints, and loquacious ramblings.

Hammer Time

Investing in only old tools is part of what keeps ThS ecologically sound. To get the tools and materials I need, I regularly dredge Craigslist, FB marketplace, and take city spanning nighttime walks. I also follow several auction sites. This week, I found a fancy new (old) toy for about the cost of a cup of decent coffee.

I often find interesting stuff at auction. Lots of junk, hordes of kipple, sometimes a lemon disguised as a ford ranger, but amongst all that, I’ve found an old metal turning lathe, nearly all the hand tools I own, and several of the power tools I use most often.

The best experiences are when I find things no one else wants like the above power hammer erroneously called a drill press. I guess it looks vaguely like one if you ignore the lack of a place for a drill bit, the stationary collect, and the overall hulk-ish nature of its design. It certainly beat the crap out of my truck bed.

It’s not a tool I need, or can even use right now. It, like the metal lathe and most of my blacksmithing tools, exist currently only to remind me to keeping looking for a new workshop. But, when I do manage to find a proper studio space, this mini mechanical masher will really help me move some metal.

Categories
Thoughts, complaints, and loquacious ramblings.

Back from the Boat

Last year I picked up a gig refinishing the rails on a 44ft trawler, this year I got to work on it again, and build on last years repairs.

Whoever did the work previously coated the teak rails in some kind of urethane which managed to make the rails look plastic without giving them much protection. The seams had started to weather leaving ugly grey sections and soft spots around the guard rail posts.

So, for five days I hand scrapped the resin until I had all the teak exposed, then sealed it for the season.

This year, I was able to pick up from last season. I scraped again, but this time I was able to smooth out sections I couldn’t get last year and do a proper redressing of all the rails. I also sanded and resealed the flying bridge table and the stairs leading to the bridge.

Brightwork, the name for polishing and cleaning of boat bits, is a seasonal job, and often sequential. Scraping and sanding too much in a given year wears out the wood, as each cleaning removes some amount of material. It’s much better to establish a profile once, and then work to maintain it.

Last year was all back work, undoing the mistakes of the previous brightworker. This year was the first I got to see progress. It was incredibly satisfying seeing seeing the rails back to their proper shape and color, and to see what I’d started last year pay off this season.

Looking forward to seeing how they hold up, and to making them look even better next year.

Categories
Thoughts, complaints, and loquacious ramblings.

Update – 1 March 2021

Getting back into the studio has been a huge relief after laying low for most of the winter.

Last november, I bought a 93 Ford Ranger at auction. It looked great in the pictures, but the frame was so rusted the first mechanic I took it to asked me to sign a waiver to drive it home.

A few weeks after, while waiting for my checking account to recover so I could start Ranger repairs, a flying SUV wheel jumped over a hill and totalled the CARDIS. I was fine, but the Suzuki seemed to dissolve around me.

Another few weeks, and I dipped into savings to buy a 93 Dakota. I’d had pipe dreams of learning car repair by doing a full frame swap of the Ranger, but the reality was: I didn’t have the space, tools, or yet the ability to do that on my own. I needed some sort of vehicle for hauling the salvaged wood, metal, and plastics I build all my work from, and the Dakota was what was available. That was about a month and a half ago, and thus far, I’ve been able to learn car repairs faster than it’s been falling apart.

All that to say, I haven’t had much time to get into the studio, and when I have been able to, I haven’t had the energy for photography.

But, barring unforseen destruction, I should be back. I’ve cleaned up and rearranged the studio, set up some new old tools, and started down the path of turning. By summer I expect to have quite a few new kinds of hollow-forms within my making abilities.

Looking forward to spring and plants and the potential of open air art markets.

Can’t wait.

Categories
Thoughts, complaints, and loquacious ramblings.

New Pages

As I slowly work to pull the website together, I’ll be adding new pages to the menu.

The first will be a wishlist and work trade page where you can go to see what sort of things I’m looking for and, with any luck, something you’re looking for, too. Let’s work together to get you the goods you want and get me the tools I need to make them!

Categories
Thoughts, complaints, and loquacious ramblings.

HBG Flea Today – 5 sept 2020

HBG Flea from noon to three today, check events page for details and directions.