Friday, November 17, 2017

Some random thoughts and a word about my LLL3 interview

It must feel like I constantly say this - but it's been a little hectic around the shop lately. I've been working on some intriguing commissions, like building a cabinet that mimics one of these speaker stacks. 

It started like this, 

and it currently looks like this.  

When I'm done, it will have more bells and whistles that this! 

We're still adding components, but I'll keep you posted. It's another one of those "top secret" projects, so I can't divulge too much about it, but suffice it to say ... it's quirky and fun as hell! 

As always, the shop always needs attention, so my boy wonder (Denny) and I have been tearing apart tools and getting them back in shape for the classes that just started.  

We tore down the SawStop, and gave it a good cleaning.  

The air compressors got some love this week, too... 

with new drain plugs, and some much needed maintenance.

Speaking of Denny, he's had his CNC smoking this week with very cool work for the shop... from these Genie lamps that we designed and cut for a local fraternity, 

to these Star Wars medallions. These are for sale, BTW - very cool, and perfect for the Star Wars lover in your life.  

The Festool tracksaw has been getting a workout, and with a little luck, 

 I'll actually get some progress made on a table I'm building. This isn't for an order, I'm just  fooling around with this slab, because... well, sometimes I just need to fool around on pieces. 

Meanwhile, I had the good fortune to be interviewed by Kri Edholm, a local force in the podcast world, and owner extraordinaire of The Leadership Excursion Company. 

Her work (and enthusiasm) for the community is amazing, and I'm so honored to be featured as this week's guest.  

Click here to listen to it, should you be so inclined. 

If you'd like to follow her Instagram feed, here's a link, too... 

Here's what's so amazing about this - I've literally heard from people all over the country (and a few out of the country!) who listened to this interview. Including my old high school woodshop teacher, who lit this fire in me. It's truly a testament to the power of the internet, and how vast our networks can be. 

Thanks Kri, and thanks to all who sent good thoughts my way.. it's always nice to hear from people in your corner. 

Monday, November 06, 2017

Eye protection?

This is one terrific video - don't be put off by its length - grab a cup of coffee and check out how FrankMakes!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Where Have I Been?...

Where have I been? 

To tell you the truth, there's a bit of depression and "getting back to normal" going on over here with most people I know. It's slow going, and I won't lie - I'm feeling it, too. 

We are starting to heal here, but it's in small steps. Part of that process (for me) was visiting the "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign, located right in the shadow of Mandalay Bay. 

Yes, that Mandalay Bay. 

As you approach the historic landmark, you'll see some interesting signs. Like this one that gives you the history of the sign, 

and this one, which gives you a tip about the reality of life in Sin City. (Lock your car, and take your gear with you.)

 At the LV Welcome sign, there's an incredible outpouring for the 58 victims who were killed on One-October, as it's being called.

 It's overwhelming,

and emotional,

sad and celebratory at the same time, if that's possible. 

Here are just a few of the things left for Charleston Hartfield, our local cop who was killed at the concert.  

 The tributes, photos, velas, 

Stars of David, stuffed animals, and more....

 it goes on forever. 

Tucked in with everything were plenty of handprinted rocks.

Have you noticed any around your town?

I found this rock a few weeks ago, while I was out of town. 

So I took the rock and relocated it here, at the base of the sign. Who would have thought this rock would take a 2100 mile journey! 


Anyway, I'll try to post here a little more regularly, but just know this -  it's been tough here in the past few weeks.  I'm actually working on some fun pieces, which is good for the soul. 

Hopefully, I'll get back to posting something about them soon.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Not my typical type of build...

There was nothing typical about the job I just finished, but let's face it .... nothing has been typical in Las Vegas lately. 

We're still in recovery mode, and you can tell people are still in a state of shock. Strong, resilient, but... we've heard it all. Nothing really will ever surprise us again. At least that's what I believe. 

So when someone called the shop, asking if I could build something like a "tiny house" - I wasn't surprised, but I needed a little more info before I could commit. 

Turns out - a convention in town featured this machine - an expensive thing-a-ma-jig that no one could quite say what it did, but everyone agreed - it was a damn expensive piece of equipment. If I wasn't mistaken, I think this machine portions food products, but hey - that's none of my business. 

All I know is - they wanted a 2x4 shell built around it, and they had a limited budget.

 And sure enough - against my better judgement, I agreed to build it - complete with joists across the top of it, so that the tarps wouldn't flap in the wind and damage the machine. 

I suggested that we sheathe it with panels, to make it much stiffer. But with a low budget for the "crate" - they said the 2x4s would have to suffice. 

When the truck pulled up, it was pretty quick work to build this shell. 

 Luckily, one of the near-by businesses loaned us their fork lift, which helped us get the tarps up to the top. 

These tarps weighed close to 200 pounds, so it was hard enough unwrapping it. I can't imaging putting that tarp on my shoulder and walking it up a ladder. 

No way!  

But the driver told me he's done it hundreds of times. 

Getting it pulled over the shell was a chore, 

but with the two of us (the truck driver and moi), 

we got it pulled and tied down in no time. 

A job well done!

Imagine my surprise when the driver called me the next morning - to say that he'd overtightened the gut-strap, a horizontal strap that secures the tarps in place, breaking one of the corner posts. (If you'd seen the muscles on him, you'd know that he probably didn't even  use all of his strength, he was a beast!)


I had tried to persuade the company to let me sheath the 2x4s, for strength and added protection, but they said there was no money in their budget for the additional material.  


You're protecting a machine worth $750,000 and you can't afford extra sheathing?!  

Well, you know what they say..... 

Working on Sunday isn't my favorite way to spend the day, but 
  • A - It was their "emergency" 

  • B- Someone had to do it

  • C - Ch-Ching!

 So I made a quick trip to the local BIG BOX store to buy the sheathing. 

 I knew that stapling the sheathing in place would make the job a breeze - and BAM!...
Did I mention that I won the Senco Giveaway at the AWFS show? A huge booty of Senco products including five nail guns, a compressor,

 a new hose, 

a variety of nails and fasteners, and yes....

 ... a stapler. 

Just what I needed for attaching the sheathing!

This beast worked beautifully for attaching all 14 sheets, and just a few hours later, we rolled the tarps back in place, 

and my new BFF was on his way...