Friday, January 26, 2007

Concentration & Pride

When I visited New Jersey in December D and I worked on a project together. This is the second year that we have done this. When D was 3 I worked on a project (shelves for the downstairs bathroom) but he didn't help much.

Last year I milled the parts for a wooden tray, and D painted the bottom and helped assemble it. I posted one picture at the time since D couldn't wait to surprise his parents.

D is a little older now and more able to do more of the work on the projects and to keep secrets. So, this year's project remained a secret until Christmas (at least as far as I know). Which is why it's taken until now to post these pictures.

This year we created mosaic pictures within store bought frames sized to either be pictures or to be used as coasters. I'd like to have made the frames but all the travel I did this fall prevented that. In the shot above D is masking off the edges of the frame so the adhesive and grout wouldn't get on it. With the confidence of age I didn't mask all of the frame I filled, you can see it to D's right in the picture. I ended up getting grout on it and D was able to tell me that I should have done it like he did.

Here is D with the finished result (no pictures of the one I made). He's also holding the "god's eye" he made in First Day school that Sunday. I love this picture for the almost bashful pride he's showing.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Out with the Old

This is the before, outside and inside views. We finally reached the last straw when the mechanism to open the door from the outside broke several months ago. The door was hard to open - the method for opening it from the inside was by pulling on a chain, and squeaked when raised or lowered.

So we decided to replace it. After many trips to the local big box store - order placed, order revised (the original order wouldn't work with our _very_ low ceilinged garage), paperwork they forgot to have us sign...)- the door was delivered a couple of weeks ago.

Over the last couple of weekends, and a few weeknights we varnished the door sections. It's kept me out of the workshop, but it sure does look nice.

In With The New

The installers arrived this morning, and quickly got to work removing the old door. Soon all that remained was a pile of debris in the driveway.

After trimming the door, and lowering the header, the door started taking shape. Several hours we had ourselves a brand spanking new garage door, complete with an electric opener.

The blue in the after pictures is masking tape put on to keep the varnish off the glass. It's coming off first thing tomorrow.

Now we just need to decide what color to paint the trim. Any suggestions?

Monday, January 15, 2007

New Socks

Amy went clothes shopping today. I don't know if she found what she wanted but she did buy me a bunch of new pairs of socks, including the patterned and striped ones pictured here. I also got a few pairs of solid colors, but they really aren't photo worthy.

I don't know why I like brightly colored socks, but I do. And there's nothing better than a bagful of new socks. Thanks Amy!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

A New View

I spend a fair amount of my free time masquerading as a woodworker. I've set up a new blog so that you can have a peek at that part of my life, if you're interested. There isn't much there yet, just my project list, but I promise to add to it soon.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

A Kiss

Two sets of lips
lightly brush,
Is it a kiss?
Hours pass,
the lips meet again
long slow kisses.
Life shifts.
Love grown over
months of late night
long talks,
friends become lovers.

Twenty one years,
societal shift
a wedding kiss,
made sweet
by the wait.

The fearful,
claiming faith,
can't erase the love,
the legacy of that
first kiss.

Thanks to Shelley and Sunday Scribblings for the inspiration.

Friday, January 05, 2007

My New Nickname or Gravity Always Wins

I'm a very careful woodworker and I have all ten fingers to prove it. I get splinters regularly, I have gotten cuts from the edges of chisels, I've even sanded off skin (not recommended), but I have never had a major woodworking injury. I know how to use my tools, I think about how I'm going to accomplish the task at hand, and I stop working when I'm tired.

My workshop is cluttered (like much of my house). One of the home improvement projects on my list is organizing the shop - it'll happen one day soon, really it will. There are parts for numerous projects, bins of cutoffs, tool containers, and of course saw dust covering most surfaces. While this isn't the best way to work, I do make sure I clear off the space where I'm currently working. This frequently means that I make use of a work mate (small folding workbench) in addition to the workbench top. I sit on a counter height stool most of the time while working in my shop.

So Monday night I was working on the latest project - cutting dadoes with a router fitted with the plunge base using a homemade jig. The work piece and the jig were clamped to the work mate, which was sitting perpendicular to the work bench, and when not being used the router was placed on the work bench. After making a pass with the router I decided that the bottom of the dado wasn't even enough. So I turned to the bench picked up the router (plugged in but off) and turned 90 degrees to my left to position it on the jig. That's when gravity took over.

In turning I became unbalanced and tumbled off the stool toward the concrete floor (and the tool bags sitting on it). There wasn't time to catch my balance (my left foot was probably on the rung of the stool rather than on the floor. Because the router was in my left hand I didn't try to catch myself with my hand - which was for the best since that's a quick route to a broken wrist.

Amy heard the noise - the stool crashed to the floor shortly after I did - and came down to investigate, and helped me shut off lights, unplug the router. We left the sweatpants I had been wearing next to the washer. The sawdust they'd picked up while I was working had been supplemented by most of the sawdust from the floor - they looked like we'd dusted with them.

I ended up with a dime sized scrape on my elbow, an impressive bruise just above my elbow, and a very swollen knee which also has a couple of small cuts - I landed on it. The injuries are too gruesome for pictures! The good news is that the swelling is going down thanks to regular icing. The bad news is that the bruises have only just begun the inevitable journey through the spectrum. It's a really good thing that it's winter so I'm not tempted to wear shorts.

Amy overheard a couple of the guys at work talking about calling me Crash from now on (just what I need another nickname). The moral of the story - I need to organize the shop, including adding more rubber pads to the floor (I've got a few and they are very nice to stand on. While I don't plan to take any more dives I expect that they might have cushioned the impact a bit.); I need to pay more attention to my position when moving in the shop and remember _gravity always wins_. In the words of Beakman - "gravity - it's the law".