Magic Lives in the Shop
Of necessity, we must begin with a short discussion of Magic. I mean the real, in touch with God (or Universe as you prefer) deal is the setting of our relationship right with Universe. Which in turn sets the tone of our Voyage Through Life. Alignment with “divine winds” is “the groove.”
My exposure to more than the mass-marketed (and thus somewhat superficial) Major Religions took a ginormous leap forward when in 1970 a delightful woman DJ at the radio station I worked at (KOL in Seattle) gave me her personal copy of H.P. Blavatsky’s Treatise on Cosmic Fire. That generous woman, by the way, Max Sartori, went on to become a cross between legend and giant in Boston radio, shortly thereafter.
Contained in the Blavatsky (a/k/a Alice Bailey) book was some extremely useful and powerful concept material for dealing with Magic of the absolute, most real sort.
Central to Magic, which I have come to learn over the years, is the process by which we humans, as loved students trying to emulate a loving Higher Power, involves mastery of creating first good ideas. Then we need to actualize them; workng them past the mental barriers then human barriers to at last, become worthy works in the Physical world. (Heady stuff for a Making site, huh?)
The barriers are called “ring pass not.” No, I’m not into theosophy – being on my own search and discover mission – but it’s an interesting “lake full of ideas” to fish; as all major belief systems are.
Back to point, in terms of being a Maker (and wink-wink, all junior understudies of the Bigger Maker many levels up…) we have times best suited to the hatching of plans and we have other periods more suited to banging out projects.
Now there are two sorts of people, if you look: Singular Project Types and Batch Processors. Singulars and Batchers. I’m a Batcher.
Which allows me to be very comfortable in what may look like chaos. Tons of WIP – work in progress – to put it in manufacturing terms. There are times when the supply chain is filling – and that’s what the holiday period has been about out here in East Texas.
Holidays are for fires and dreaming. That’s followed by Planning incessantly. The supply chain must be filled, and long lead-time efforts commenced. No one says you can’t “line ’em up and knock and down” so with practice, a dozen or three projects can be knocked out sequentially. To innocent bystanders, it looks like amazing results sure as day follows night.
Big Projects Mean Lots of Supplies
With the temperature in the shop nowhere near shirt sleeves, I was able over the holidays to sketch out a number of Big Projects that will get knocked out before the hot weather shows up this summer. Some of them will be just a day or two, but others will take some genuine effort. Let’s go through some and I’ll explain the “supply chain” and “deal points” (ring-pass-not) barriers and obstacles.
The first “new area of Making” for me is Rustic Furniture. Any damn fool can get on Amazon and order a few thousand dollars’ worth of Outdoor stuff. But for me, the making is the Joy. So I try to limit myself to tools from Amazon.
This week, a Milescraft Drill gauge showed up. It’s a dandy tool for cutting the correct angles into rustic furniture.
Remember, as I’ve taught you before (unless you’re a new visitor) there are only a few major operations in Making of anything. Measure, cut, finish, and assemble, though the last two can be pushed around. (You paint a house after siding it, but with fine furniture, finishing shelves before assembly can make more sense, see?)
This was not an easy choice of tools, though. Since Lumberjack which makes the tenon cutter I’ll be using for the rustic joinery, makes a very nifty drilling at angles devices. Unfortunately, it’s about four-times the price of the Milescraft solution and while heavier and more robust, rustic furniture is not a new Career Path for me. Inside the 60-day marker before age 75, so trying to look at not more than 20-year ROI’s on things.
Speaking of the Magic in Making, though, I did spend a little time this week going through the rustic furniture plans in the Lumberjack Bit and Cutter kit. Very useful and good grist for the planning department between the ears.
There was one other thing that came in this week. Since we talked about the right tenon sizes: That 3/4″ tenon cutter is in hand now and it’s the professional grade version with the visual sighting holes to judge tenon depth.
The first project will come down to whacking the top off an old cedar log outside the guest room. Presently sitting on a couple of concrete blocks it just doesn’t look the red-necky part for our Frontier Land mindset. I’ve had my eye out – when out on the tractor – for fallen trees in the 2-inch diameter range that would make good feet.
I haven’t been in a big hurry to venture more than 50-yards from the house, though, since the opening of White Tail Deer season in the fall. But, at least in theory, that closes today according to Anderson County Seasons— Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. We will still put on the orange out here, but statistically it should be safer now.
Hydroponic Plans Advanced, Too
Picked up some great ideas when comes to making 3D printing hydroponic grow towers from this fellow over on YouTube.
You’ll notice, if you watch the video, that he’s keen on using white PETG filament. Makes the point that PLA (regular cheapo often on sale) filament is not as well suited for exterior use. Also, PETG is food safe, too.
So (back to the supply side here) my UPS guy brought out a half dozen spools of filament this week which landed in filament storage above “printer alley” in the shop.
This will not be the main emphasis of our Chillerponics website as the year rolls along, but it’s always better to have too much information (and materials on hand) from which to pull when you get into building in unfamiliar territory.
Shout Out to Robert Nelson
You’ll recall he’s another “Olde Man of the Web” like Ure’s truly. And as a thankyou for splashing a few bucks his way to help keep lights on at his Dandy and Marvelous RexResearch.com site, he sent me literally many gigabytes of information and a ton of it was on Greenhouse design!
There was one article in particular on the design and build of Chinese greenhouses that showed me the many ways I did my lean-to greenhouse off the Studio rather wrong. Way totally cool scoop, really. (Donations to Rex Research can be made via PayPal.)
We will do the corrective rebuild one of these days. 2 by 4’s galore will be required, though.
Back to Food and 3D Printing
Printer Alley was busy this week cranking out plastic boxes for the sprouting trays which will be going into the hydroponic hatchery in the recording studio.
Not exactly a genius level design – just a topless box with a wide end of it open. Two such covers (with one printed at 104 percent scaling) should fit nicely over the two pack of sprouting trays you can get on the ‘Zon here.
Roof Patch Worked Well
I get sick of my son calling me “I just saw you on the ladder on the surveillance system, Dad. How many times do I have to tell you OLD MEN DON’T BELONG ON LADDERS????”
That may be, but I don’t pay roofers $300 to come out and do a 20-minute project, either. I mean, I’m generous and all, but can we get real, please? (He has my best interests at heart and I do appreciate that, but sheesh. I may take some of the camera network down when I need things to happen…and no witnesses.
Meanwhile, the Spring Spray Paint load showed up. Consisting of primer for the metalwork projects, Machinery Yellow for the legs of the radial arm saw restoration. And the spray-on beige for the side of the house where the Roof Leak led to finding where it was more siding caulking than roof issue.
I should get this “base coat” on today. That will give it several months to dry. Thinking about painting the house again, one of these days. But the ladder discussion still rings in the ears.
New Tool of the Week
Very fair price for a new 1/4″ trim router from a new favorite seller on eBay I bookmarked this week.
No, I don’t know why, but lately I have had a “hankering” for a backup to my other routers. Thing is, you can use ’em for so many things. Put one in a router table and if you’re not in a big hurry, you can turn out all kinds of trim pieces. But that puts the router in the table out of the way for rounding off work on saw work.
Then there are the guys who are using trim routers as the power unit for he-man CNC builds. Take for example Ben Makes Everything…
Not like it hasn’t been done – and if I could pick up a brand new small router for $40 bucks (including shipping), it’s hard to be a tool slut and not do that.
One other new tool showed up this week – popped out of my looking at Lifetime Carbide tools on eBay.
$10-bucks for this new in box (NIB) punch set. Which is cheaper than the Glocke punch I bought a while back and maybe useful. We’ll see. But that’s what drawers in the rolling tool chests are for…
What Really Got Done This Week?
Besides writing 33 more pages on my next book? Getting that irritating tiny leak fixed? Besides downloading a zillion invoices and reports from banks and such to line up the process flow for jamming everything into TurboTax in a couple months? Sniping day trades?
Well, yes, there was one thing, and it was not a small one.
I disconnected Elaine’s separate phone line. Which she hardly ever uses except to call her half-sister on and to hear from her boys. Since most men don’t talk to moms on much other than State Occasions (All are over 50 now, too) I figured for 5-10 calls a month that $135 a month to the Century Late Phone Company even if it gave use another onramp to the internet was absurd.
We will also drop the ViaSat link when fiber lands…Spectrum is trying to hire a sales team to sign people up… I applied just to tell them I want the service last week… anyway…
I had distributed the internet connections over two DSLs and two satellite links. So now, I have redistributed to one satellite and one DSL link.
If I missed one of the video surveillance cams, I’m sure I’ll hear about it.
I’ll use the cover of web darkness to get some ladder work done.
Now, go bang on something…