Scrap wood and salvage

Today I deconstructed some more old furniture. It was in worse condition than I realized. I also used a hand plane that was in pretty bad shape to plane off the rotting layers off of some otherwise good boards. Found some boards that had become ant nests… and generally cleaned up a bunch of scrap wood lying around.

I want to get an inventory of what all is here so I can avoid buying any unnecessary wood. Wood is expensive. It also requires a place to store it, and at the moment anyway I don’t have particularly good wood storage. Looking again at some of the things lying around, I realized there are some huge boards being used as a shelf that I intend to get rid of eventually anyway. I will be keeping those in mind.

The saw horses and clamps were wonderful! I could stabilize pieces I was working on with the circular saw, meaning I could actually cut some pretty small pieces. I am already seeing though how useful a tablesaw would be and also how much space you need for clearance of the pieces you’re running through it.

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Woodworking Project 1: Sawhorses

So many designs. I opted to start with something simple. At the moment I only have a circular saw and an impact driver.

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I also don’t have a set of saw horses, meaning I don’t have a proper work environment yet.

I followed some nice instructions. They turned out well.

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The hardware store let me borrow the truck for free

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My stand in work table...

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First cut with the saw.

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All pieces cut

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Time for the vroom-vroom (aka impact driver)

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It doesn't stop until you let go.

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I-beam shape.

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Lining up the pieces

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One sawhorse complete

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The recessed middle plank gives clamping room

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One and a half

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All together

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Stackable

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In relaxing after a job well done

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I'm relaxing on a job well done

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Not that well done though.

This was an excellent starter project to get familiar with my new tools. I learned from some mistakes with both the saw and the impact driver. Namely, don’t drive screws too close to the edge, because the wood will split. Also, be very aware of what’s in the path of the screws for their entire length for this project, since to get the most purchase they have to come in at an angle.

The legs aren’t perfectly level, but I can fix that later, it likely won’t matter much anyway. The sawhorses are so much better than that plastic table as a work space.

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Home Improvement – Brick Corner

I had some unused bricks in a stack. I had an ugly little corner baring itself to the neighborhood. So I took care of both problems.

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Before improvement.

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The Best of the Web: 2015

A list of some of the best quality content I’ve seen on the web in the past several years. You might be aware of these, but if not do take a look: Continue reading

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Uguisu – short fiction

Every now and then a bird cries at the window in my room. I have never once thought about what it means. My mind has been stuck on a nagging discomfort for the past eleven months. The bird is called an uguisu in Japanese. It has an English name too, but why would you call a bird endemic to Japan by its English name? I’ll have to look into why it is that birds cry at people’s windows. Continue reading

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Linux Application Highlights: catfish and gnome-activity-journal

One of the perks of open source software is that upgrades are as free as the originals, and the software is constantly getting better. The recent version of catfish, a graphical file search utility and gnome-activity-journal are tool extremely useful tools that have been made possible because of major improvements in the zeitgeist framework.

Catfish used to basically just be a graphical front-end to the “find” and “locate” command line utilities, but because of the way it was set-up it made actually finding files difficult unless you knew how both of those utilities worked. In recent versions these pieces have been either put in the background, or done away with (I don’t know which), presenting the user with a simple search box that will actually successfully find files being searched for. The results can be displayed either as a simple list, or with thumbnail previews too. In general the layout improvements are very good in my opinion.

Gnome-activity-journal is basically a glorified recent files list. It shows you what you’ve been working on and when. It works, works well, and looks decent.

Together (or apart for that matter), these tools make finding your files easier than ever. Props to the developers.

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Project: English Language Grammar for TESOL

Over the past few years I’ve been piddling about working on an English Language grammar that covers the language in a comprehensive way that is also useful as a single go-to reference for teaching. I have a few goals with this project: Continue reading

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