Half-week Off

I turned 10base52 (not 1, sigh) this week, on Wednesday. So I took that day, and the next two, off work so that I could spend some quality time in the woodshop. I finished building all of the cabinet doors and inter-shelving, installed the cabinet backs, and tested all the hardware:

Cabinet door fittings

Cabinet door fittings

Then I pulled, bagged, and labeled all the hardware, and started applying finish to the small pieces:

Finishing doors and shelves

Finishing doors and shelves

Today, those get a top-coat of polyurethane and a bit of distressing. And I’ll start applying finish to the cabinet carcasses. At least that’s the plan. But the yard needs some attention, too. Hmmm…

Spring games

Friday night surrounded by wind and rain, we played Scrabble. Turns out that there is a body part you can use to not just win, but dominate in this game:

Winning at Scrabble takes balls.

Winning at Scrabble takes ______.

Fertilized and rained on, the lawns demand an aggressive mowing schedule. The good news is that following Friday’s storms, the temps were down significantly, making the yardwork a lot less sweaty. I also made progress on the cabinet building in the woodshop, fabricating the perforated screen door for the computer cabinet.

This metal screen cabinet door will aid in ventilation for the computers that will live in this cabinet.

Metal screen cabinet door

All of the components for the lower cabinet are now done. I need to build a couple of intermediate shelves for the upper, and three more doors. Then I can sand and finish that, taking another week or two. Next up, the cherry and maple desk.

*      *      *

Our condolences to the families, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:

Chief Warrant Officer Matthew P. Ruffner, 34, of Tafford, Pennsylvania, died April 9, in Pachir Wa Agam District, Nangarhar province, Afghanistan.

Chief Warrant Officer Jarett M. Yoder, 26, of Mohnton, Pennsylvania, died April 9, in Pachir Wa Agam District, Nangarhar province, Afghanistan.

Spring is exhausting…

Last weekend, spring cleaning. This weekend, yardwork, all weekend long. The front is all pruned up, and first mowing of the year done. Looks pretty good (but the front fence needs a full redo). Today, I spent as much energy as I had (several hours worth) weeding out and tilling the garden beds in preparation for spring planting. In the evenings this week, I’ll get the rest of the back yard cleaned up, too. At least then I’ll have a starting point for the rest of the spring work.

Upcoming: This is going to be an expensive week, since a rock thrown a considerable distance by a truck cracked my windshield beyond the trivial repair stage. I’ve also got router bits to purchase for the cabinet work, and a bit more maple, too. Have to keep going on the office redo, or I’ll still be “working on it” months from now.

*      *      *

Our condolences to the families, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:

Staff Sgt. Christopher M. Ward, 24, of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, died April 6 in Kandahar, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit in Zabul, Afghanistan with a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device.

Spc. Wilbel A. Robles-Santa, 25, of Juncos, Puerto Rico, died April 6 in Kandahar, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit in Zabul, Afghanistan with a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device.

Spc. Delfin M. Santos Jr., 24, of San Jose, California, died April 6 in Kandahar, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit in Zabul, Afghanistan with a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device.

Springing

Some leaves and flowers are starting to make a for-real appearance around the neighborhood. Spring is very nearly here. So is yardwork, more’s the pity.

Most of the weekend I spent down in the woodshop. I have pictures, but no time to process them for you  right now. I did get the table top for my office desk assembled, cut and cornered, rounded over all the edges, and sanded to 220 grit on the flats, and 320 grit on the end grains. Today I finish-cut and did the dadoes on the pieces for the new corner cabinet that will hold computers, a printer, and other things. Tonight, I executed a DNS migration at work. A bit tricksy, but ultimately successful.

*      *      *

Our condolences to the families, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:

  • Tech. Sgt. Larry D. Bunn, 43, of Bossier City, Loisiana, died March 7 as a result of a non-combat incident at an undisclosed base in Southwest Asia.
  • Capt. Andrew M. Pedersen-Keel, 28, of South Miami, Florida, died March 11, in Jalrez District, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when he was attacked by small arms fire.
  • Staff Sgt. Rex L. Schad, 26, of Edmond, Oklahoma, died March 11, in Jalrez District, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when he was attacked by small arms fire.
  • Chief Petty Officer Christian Michael Pike, 31, of Peoria, Arizona, died March 13 in Landstuhl, Germany, as a result of combat-related injuries sustained on March 10 while conducting stability operations in Maiwand District, Afghanistan.
  • Spc. David T. Proctor, 26, of Greensboro, North Carolina, died March 13, at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, from injuries sustained during a non-combat incident on March 3, in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan.
  • Staff Sgt. Steven P. Blass, 27, of Estherville, Iowa, died March 11, in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
  • Chief Warrant Officer Bryan J. Henderson, 27, of Franklin, Loisiana, died March 11, in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
  • Capt. Sara M. Knutson, 27, of Eldersburg, Maryland, died March 11, in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
  • Staff Sgt. Marc A. Scialdo, 31, of Naples, Florida, died March 11, in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
  • Spc. Zachary L. Shannon, 21, of Dunedin, Florida, died March 11, in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
  • Chief Warrant Officer James E. Groves III, 37, of Kettering, Ohio, died March 16 in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Progress

Installing the second set of shelves

Installing the second set of shelves

Yesterday, I ambitiously decided I’d get the second set of shelves installed after work. So I cleared out that side of the office (and piled crap into the guest bedroom). I carried all the pieces and assorting tools upstairs in three or four trips, assembled the backs to the carcasses, and started setup.

The floor on this side of the room is considerably less level. Fortunately, on all of these units I’ve been installing screw-adjustable feet, which makes quick work of the problem. You can also see how I bracketed the lower unit to the wall.

Second shelving unit assembled

Second shelving unit assembled

With the lower in place, I added some LED rope lights to the top of the upper section, lifted it into place, and screwed it to the lower unit, from below. I *really* like the dark teal – it’s grown on me further since I picked the color out a few weeks ago.

Today, I jointed and started laying out the cherry boards for the desk top. Next step for that? Biscuit cutter, biscuits, and glue.

Preparing the cherry desk top

Preparing the cherry desk top

 

Clear and Cold

Thankfully, we didn’t take the winter storm hit that nailed the North East – one of the “advantages”of being mid-Atlantic, I guess. It was quite windy, especially over Friday night into Saturday morning, that much did swing south, but other than a bit of rain on Friday, there was no precipitation for us. All it takes is half an inch of snow to grind this place nearly to a halt.

I will take note that my 328i really does do well in the snow and ice. Earlier in the week, I was joking that I’d have a chance to see how much of a big, fat liar the marketing folks are, showing me commercials with BMWs slewing around on snow-covered areas appearing to be in fairly decent control… We did have some frozen stuff on the ground for the morning commute, in the early part of the week, and the traction control systems on the car are simply excellent.

*      *      *

I made progress on the shelving, mostly, over the weekend. I also picked up a piece of poplar, ensuring it was straight and true. With that, I fabricated a sled to use for truing up rough-sawn stock, like the cherry 4/4 lumber I’m going to use for the surface of my “desk” table in the new office:

Ripping sled for rough lumber

Ripping sled for rough lumber

At least one edge of most of the 4/4 lumber I have is raw edge, that is, the part of the tree from which bark is removed. The two main surfaces are nicely surfaced, and one edge is sort of straight. I screw through the two uprights on the sled (or with narrow stock, using a buffer scrap) to hold the piece stable. I run the sled through once, yielding a straight edge. I can then unmount the board from the sled, turn it over, and make the second side straight and parallel to the first edge. Now the board is ready for the jointer. Seven or eight of those, and I’ve got a desktop!

*      *      *

Another week with no casualties announced by DoD! It doesn’t mean that we don’t have folks in harm’s way … but I’m grateful that we haven’t had any losses announced since 23 Jan! Thank you to every warrior out there – you do us all honor in the execution of your duty!

There’s a game on? Also, a Red Letter day!

Ah, but you see, the Ravens ensured that I wouldn’t have to watch football this year. But this morning I did get rolling on the first shelving install (the new five-foot wide unit), following shopping…

Old shelving setup... w/dog

Old shelving setup… w/dog

Lexi always has to “help”, but actually through most of this process today she was a good girl, and slept on a chair in the library. I unloaded all of those shelves into stacks in the guest bedroom, then hauled the shelves downstairs. I’m going to make use of the white one in my storage room, for paints and such. The brown one is a bit crufty, and likely to sport a “free” sign on it, by the roadside, come the next sunny weekend day. Then I hauled the new shelves up stairs, and did final assembly in my office:

Final assembly of the new shelving

Final assembly

The shiny dark teal backers really look good! I got the deeper bottom unit together, then stood it up and down a few times while I adjusted the feet to match the floor: and the unit is level side to side, and canted just a bit back. Then I brought up the upper section, assembled it, and put it up top. It’s screwed to the lower section with countersunk stainless screws.

Shelving in place

Shelving in place

Now all that was left was to haul all the books back in, migrate my paperbacks over from their triple-deep stacks on the other side of the room (behind the camera in most of these shots), and load it all in:

New shelves loaded

New shelves loaded

Some of the media there is likely to move across the room to the four-foot wide shelves I’m going to build next, to leave room for more books here and there. But it’s big, stable, and I really do like it. It isn’t perfect, but I built it, and I’m happy about that.

*      *      *

I’m chuffed to bits – DoD reported no casualties in the last week. I don’t think there’s been none since I started this ritual to ensure that I gave attention to the cost our troops pay for our foreign policies. Huzzah!

 

 

 

 

Another weekend gone

Also this weekend, I baked cookies, and made an army’s worth of chili. I used the last of the summer’s freezer-reserve tomato sauce, a couple of pounds each of ground turkey and ground spicy italian sausage, and mixed red kidney and black beans. Heat and chili powder added. Yum! Sadly, the cookies are almost gone…

I got the second coat of white on the shelving today. A small roller with a smooth-coat cover, and a gallon-size rolling grid solved the problems I was having with painting. I still have to decide what to do next: Poly or no poly. I’m thinking yes, because it’ll make the finish much more robust. And I shouldn’t be lazy about it.

*      *      *

Our condolences to the family, friends, and unit of Sgt. Schoonhoven:

  • Sgt. Mark H. Schoonhoven, 38, of Plainwell, Michigan, died Jan. 20, at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas from wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device on Dec. 15, 2012 in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Finishing in Stages

The woodshop isn’t big enough to build everything, then finish everything, then put everything in place up here in my office. SO … I’ve assembled the first set of shelves (which was done by the end of last weekend). Since then, I’ve been applying finishes. Four days of finish, just for the shelving backs. A coat of the dark teal, knock down the grain, and recoat with the teal. Coat once with satin finish oil-modified water-based polyurethane, sand with 320 grit, and recoat with the poly. The backs are stunning, but not photographable as standalone objects. You’ll see what I’m on about when they’re installed.

Last night, I started painting out the shelves in the selected off-white:

Painting the shelves

Painting the shelves

I didn’t finish that step last night – I was paged by work at about 80% completion. Since I had to put the brush in water, I ended up calling it a night. The painting is, frankly, a bit fiddly – I see why spray booths are so popular. But I don’t have space for one of those, either. I am going to go shopping tomorrow for applicators that are more suited to the work I’m doing…

I finished up the first coat of white today. I’ll work it tomorrow and recoat … by the weekend of 2 February these should be pictured in my office. Then I can start building the next set!

Have you been by Marcia’s Makings lately?

Happy 2013

Or as Jenny puts it, “The Library opened yesterday.” I like that metaphor. It’s a bit Doctor Who-ish, but cool.

I spent most of New Year’s Day doing production work down in the basement, trimming and cutting dadoes and rabbets for the other three shelving units. Tonight, I started assembly:

The Second Shelf in assembly

The Second Shelf