New Year’s Soup, Drill Master Collecting, Rustica

New Year’s Soup Time!

2024: Making project 1:  Making is what we do.  Gets old just doing “head work.”  Can’t eat a good idea, but a good soup?  Horse of a different something or other.

We cleaned up the lean-to greenhouse a bit and did a good harvest of the bok choi.  Taking ’em into the kitchen, a made New Year’s soup, Asia style.  Here’s how it goes (feel free to modify as your Inner Guide suggests):

In a large 8-quart pot throw in:

  • 3-4 cups water (bring to boil while slicing and dicing)
  • 2-3 cups fresh bok choi, mainly stems not too much greens
  • Half a sweet onion finely diced
  • 1 cup small to medium frozen shrimp, cleaned, de-veined, rinsed to remove excess salt water.
  • 2 cups freshly thin-sliced mushrooms
  • 1 packed Lipton Cup of Chicken Noodle soup mix
  • 1-cup of finely cut (1/4″ slices) pork sausage links
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Hoisin Sauce
  • Big splash of Mirin Japanese rice cooking wine
  • Pepper to taste

Boil (not too hard) for 10-minutes, or so.  Let sit for another 5, stir as you’re moved.

No idea the nutrition values, but it’s reasonably low carb and extremely good served piping hot.  Grilled cheese sandwich on the side, if you’re super hungry.  Stores OK in the fridge for a day, or two.  Much better than tea on a cold morning if you’ve been dieting, too.

2024: Making project 2:

Wife Elaine and I worked in the yard Sunday because it was unseasonably beautiful weather for this time of year. My emphasis was going around the yard looking for deadfall from trees that will make good “Rustic Furniture.”

I’ve collected two of the Lumberjack tenoning bits.  These are designed to turn the end of rough logs into something than can be fitted into a matching hole.  I got the 3/4 inch one (already had a Forstner bit for this size) and the 1 1/2-incher.

For now, I’m collecting the wood.  But here’s the hint on buying the bits.

If you look at the poop sheet on the 3/4 incher on Amazon, you’ll see it can be used on raw wood from…

This is where that (wildly overpriced) MBA-think kicks in.  You look at this and immediately put numbers to it.  So, log diameter to tenon diameter becomes the way to shop for tenon making gear.

2.5 divided by 0.75 equals? 3.33 times.  In other words, this cutter will handle logs up to 3.33 times the tenon size.  Not all will, though.

Just for comparison, let’s look at the 1 1/2″ cutter tear sheet:

Here we go, some math:  3.0 inch diameter divided by tenon size 1.5 inches.  That’s a ratio of just 2!!!

As a seasoned “tool slut” this has to be carefully weighed.  The 3/4-inch has the widest log to tenon range.  BUT the 3/4 inch is not really a big enough cutter to tenon projects which have a lot of weight involved.

And now we’re to the useful (I think) learning part.  That is, what makes SOME log rustic furniture look good (after hours of image study) is when the log size and the tenon size really are close. This is because if the tenon cut is visible, having a tiny tenon from a 2 1/2-inch log will look spindly and stupid. Weak and wussy.  But if the starting log (limb at this size, really) is 1 1/2″ and the tenon is 3/4 inch, it won’t look stupid.

This reduced me to a fugue for a couple of hours, contemplating whether I should buy the LJ big chamber bits (to countersink everything). The answer is “Hell yeah.”  But that pushed me back over onto the Peoplenomics meta stock price charts. Because that’s going to take more money.

Because this week’s tool budget was spent on?

Drill Master Collection

Actually, we’re going to talk about both Drill Master and Lifetime Carbide because both have recently become “objects d tool slut” with me.

A seller up in Federal Way, WA on eBay has a fair collection of ham radio geart that comes and goes.  And while cruising their offerings, I spied a Drill Master pocket joinery clamp set up.  These come in two sized (cheap and cool) so guess which one I just had to freaking have?

The other item I spied, realizing a knowledge gap on Drill Master product was a New In Box (NIB) Drill Master 120-volt 1/4″ Trim Router (Model 64314).  It should be along in a week. But it was only $39 bucks including the shipping.

What got me started on all this?  I ordered the Milescraft Drill Mate angle guide off Amazon a while back.  Slow shipping on this, and while I was waiting, got to looking and…oh-oh….

Then there’s Lifetime Carbide so a set of router bits with quarter-inch shafts was added to the collection.  Another eBay poverty follows search…

Oher Additions this Week

Want to add an inexpensive vise to the covered (but still outside) welding workstation.  So Vevor that has a good rep with me (because their diesel heater has been working 2-years in the greenhouse) had a “deal” on a 3 1/2–inch vise.  I figure that will work great.

Well, except.

I have the draw knife and spoke shave for rustic woodwork, already.  But, what I haven’t made yet is a shaving horse.  A what???!!!

Yeah, it’s a green woodworking sort of sawhorse/clamping rig and there’s actually a book about it for Kindlizing this morning after I hit publish on this note.  Called “Making a Shave Horse: The Traditional Way (Bushcraft & Woodcraft Series Book 4) Kindle Edition” it was like $5-bucks.

Making Rustic Furniture is way up my project list this year. Because seems like most of the furniture these days is either sawdust and glue or horribly overpriced.  Since we have hundreds of pines on the property, what have I been waiting for?

(Inspiration, of course!)

Also snagged this week, a Japanese draw saw on a 48% off sale.  Still 23 percent off ($20) at click time NY Day.

Ham Radio Notes

As you know, doing a lot of ham radio repairs and restorations here, I am often seen grabbing for the spray can of De-Oxit and the companion Fader-Lube  to make switch contacts and volume controls (potentiometers or rheostats) quiet.

But variable capacitors…ah, special case.  Wisdom from the 3806 LSB group gleaned Saturday morning was to try a product called Tri-Flow which you can get on Amazon. Geta high marks for not insulating the shafts of capacitors from ground while at the same time doing a good job of lubricating.

By the way, WD-40 is more like a penistrating oil, so we don’t use it for much in the way of lubricating.  (Did you people in prison workshops with gout have been known to spray it on the afflicted joint and swear it helps?  I wouldn’t recommend that, but interesting among the odd stories held hostage in the old newsman legendarium.)

There, sun is up in the trees so time to hit the chow line and get something done around here while plotting the future of leftover prime rib bits as the base of beef stroganoff for Day One Dinner.

Oh, almost forgot.

Reader Elanor asked, “What happened to your plan to cut back working so much in 2024?”

Good point.  I decided that I would give myself just 3-hours a day in the writing chair.  That way, content may continue, I will not spend so much time and money being a tool slut, and more will get done around here which was the whole point of cutting back.

Not sure if it will work, but one way to find out. With one minute left in the chair….

Time to go bang on something…

9 thoughts on “New Year’s Soup, Drill Master Collecting, Rustica”

  1. I’m not sure what you’re calling “deadfall” wood, but around here, wood that falls off a tree fell off because it’s rotten.

  2. “I ordered the Milescraft Drill Mate angle guide off Amazon a while back. Slow shipping on this, and while I was waiting, got to looking and…oh-oh….

    Then there’s Lifetime Carbide so a set of router bits with quarter-inch shafts was added to the collection. Another eBay poverty follows search…”

    The Drill Mate is a nifty bit of kit. I suggest you find a vintage drill — a “corded” one with a trigger lock so you can lock the drill on, and maybe a speed control so you can adjust the locked-on speed — kinda like this:

    They work much better in manual drill presses than drills you have to keep your finger on the trigger of. B&D made these from about 1965-1985 for both themselves and for Sears; Skil, Wen, Bosch, DeWalt, and others made them, as well. I’ve owned B&D, Craftsman, Skil, and Bosch. The Bosch is the best drill, but unacceptable for use with a Drill Mate because it only locks on at full speed.

  3. A shame things change, but as everything is a business model, Greenwoodworking had a web site back in 2009 and I downloaded a PDF of their shaving horse plans and a jpg of the horse with dimensions. I never got around to building it though, that’s another shame.

  4. Tri-Flow is awesome!
    I found it some years ago when doing work on bicycles and it has now become a primary household lubricant. One thing I like it the way it flows when applied and you only need a little.
    Another handy lubricant is a tube of the food-grade silicon grease. Works great in roller door tracks and is very handy for improving the action of sticky zippers.

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