Monday, May 21, 2012

Keeping busy.

Me and my little girl. (Alexe feels I need a trim.  I have yet to get a good haircut in MS since Wade retired at 84, so I'm holding out.  I don't need to impress anyone for a while, though it was a hoot to have a job offer walk into my office on Friday.)  

My boy.

I managed to miss my little sister's 25th birthday.  Sure I was busy making some life changes, but it was a quarter century turn for her, so no excuse is really going to get me off the hook.

To atone, I went to the workshop with her bed height in mind, and made a matching pair of night tables.  

These are modelled after the prototype I made using the old glass spotlight lenses, heart pine boarder, heart pine tapered 2-piece legs, and lots of gluing, clamping, and sanding.

They're tall, so the legs look elegant, bordering on spindly, and I wasn't so sure about them surviving a hard knock to one of the legs.  

Pretty, but...

Designing on the fly, I put a cross piece 16" off the ground, joined in the middle with a complementing routed out groove, cut at 45 degrees at each end to fit into the 2-piece legs and bind well on two faces.  Glued and clamped.

And of course, after this stage, I thought of this cross piece being a handy spot to stack books, and how long would that glue really hold if 50 lbs of books is sitting on it? I went back and dowelled those cross pieces in place.  These are now done, waiting to trek up to Vermont, where Natalie I'm sure will come visit us pronto at the cabin and pick them up.  

I've also made 4 other tables of similar design including the prototype, none quite this tall, and that has used up my cool pieces of glass.  The repetition, along with the endless sanding, gluing, clamping, (amazing how a dozen clamps feels inadequate when you're doing many things at once,) and the low levels of scrap wood left in my scrap room are all making me want to move on to other things. Alexe said when she saw the last thing I put together (pictures in some other post,) do we need another table? It struck me that I've ridden this distraction long enough.

I have a mig welder I've never had time to use...

These are the best dill pickles in the world, recipe form "Man with a Pan", the book of essays and recipes Alexe gave me last year.  (The book was also an inspiration in style for Alexe's book.)  The trick is to ice the cucumbers for over two hours, then cut/stuff/top with brine and get in the boiling bath as quickly as possible.  Makes for an incredible natural crunch.  Good way to occupy an afternoon too.  I had some cold cucumbers left over after using up all the jars I bought and could find in various corners of the cupboard, so I'm trying a crock recipe as well.

For interlude.  We had to build two different forts to satisfy the feuding/competing kids, then build a tunnel, (push the couch out a bit,) to connect the two after they decided they were friends again.

Living room game of catch.

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