Thursday, October 28, 2021

Happy Fall!

My favorite thing in the Fall is tree-watching... in fact, I think this is the best time of the year. 

What's not to love? 

There's football on Sundays, cooler weather, and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. The best holiday, IMO. I spent the morning out at an orchard near my house - it's an extension of the University of Nevada, and a hidden gem in the northern part of town. 

There are so many varieties of trees, it's insane.  It's open to the public on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and they sell amazing produce. 

Well worth the drive! 
They have rows of grapes, perfect for winemaking. 
But the colors was what I wanted to see - glorious oranges and reds - both in the fruit, and the leaves. 
Everything is labeled, and you get an agricultural lesson just walking around. These Tamopan persimmons were practically falling off the limbs. 
Just peek under any tree and you can read about it. 

These Fuyu persimmons were so sweet, 
you almost felt guilty eating them. They're like candy! 
And the pomegranates - well, they might be the biggest ones I've ever seen. Almost the size of small cantaloups. 
Seriously, they were almost a hazard, and could drop on your head at any minute. 
I love how this one tree was labeled. 
But the leaves were my favorite... such amazing color that we almost never see here in the desert.

Finally - I was driving back to work and heard this amazing story on NPR. 
It's definitely worth a listen if you're fascinated by trees.  Enjoy!

Saturday, October 09, 2021

It's been a weird start to October

Holy hell, I've been working on a nice variety of projects, large and small, but one area is standing out from the others - furniture repair. 

In the past, I wasn't fond of repairs - I just don't like working on older pieces, unless they're really interesting, like mid century modern furniture, or possibly something that was handmade, but damaged. I'm not sure when I changed my mind, but I like doing repairs these days. It keeps me on my toes, skill wise, and challenges me to make the piece better than it was before.

So when this chair leg found its way into my shop, 

the owner suggested I turn a new one on the lathe. And I had every intention of doing that, but honestly, the leg was in decent shape - all that was broken was the top, where the corner braces screwed into it. 

As I was searching around for a blank of wood, my buddy Jeff suggested that I just cut off the broken area, and glue on a new piece. That saying - two heads are better than one! - is so true! 

So I marked off the area to be cut, and set up the table saw.  

Getting the blade height was important, as I didn't want to cut into the turned area. 

Some tape on the tablesaw top gave me the precise location of the cut, 

and a few stop blocks on the fence held the leg in place. 

It took longer to set up the saw than it did to cut the piece off! 

Once it was cut, I sliced the remaining area off with the bandsaw, 

revealing a clean, flat surface for the repair. 

Cutting the new piece was easy, 

and with a few clamps, the repair was complete.

I drilled the new holes, glued the piece in place, and made one fella pretty happy that the repair was cheaper than I'd quoted, and fit perfectly. 

Of course, I forgot to take a picture of the finished piece, but once it was stained - you couldn't tell it had been repaired. 


Speaking of - Bam! - one of my students inlaid her cutting board with a Breast Cancer Awareness ribbon for a family member who is battling the disease. 

How lovely is this!?!

And unfortunately - speaking of cancer, one of my students passed away this week. Ken was a great guy - full of life, and all about family. 

I will miss him... this is happening far too often, and it makes me so sad.

 RIP, buddy