Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Bookcase for my Mother.

Well my mother wanted a new bookcase to go in her living room. She dreamed up a simple and a bit modern design that featured full overlay drawers and a smoothe clean look all around the piece.

Pretty simple but nice. I used 3/4" and 1/2" birch plywood for the construction and some 3/4" poplar for the face frames. I bought some full extention drawer slides from a local wholesale supplier for about $13 a pair, talk about a deal. I was paying somewhere around $20-$25 a pair, I'm glad I found these!

Anyways, I finished it will some red mahogany stain after I applied a bit of prestain right before. It was my first time using prestain and I think it may help a little bit, but not a really big difference. I then aplied 2 coats of high gloss poly to finish it off and seal the piece. I don't have a photo of that at the moment but I will try to get one up soon.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Consider Lasik eyes surgery, I am.

I just saw this morning on the news that nearsightedness in the US has risen by 41% since 1971. Thats a pretty big jump and no one really knows why, it's a fast we must live with. Another fact that is a great one is the advances in eye surgerys has advanced greatly since 1971. Sadly, I am definitely a near sighted person although it's not bad enough yet that I have contacs or surgery yet but that time will soon.

One of these surgerys is Lasik eye surgery. Not only is Lasik surgery the most performed surgery in the US, but it can reduce or eliminate the need for contact lenses. For me this would be great, because I love spending time on and in the water and contacts aren't the best things to have around water.

You can find many eye centers across the US who perform Lasik surgery but one in particular stands out, Stahl Eye Center. Stahl Eye Center has been serving their patients for more than 35 years, they have been independently verified by nonprofit Lasik patient advocacy USAEyes to meet or exceed the national norms for lasik surgerys, their doctors are graduates from top universities such as UCLA, John Hopkins and Yale.

So if you are one of the many Americans who suffer from nearsightedness or farsighteness then consider Stahl Eye Center in New York for your treatment. For some good general information check out this link.

Good luck with your choice, I know I will be getting eye surgery sometime in my future, no doubt.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Simple Lumber Rack Plans

I finally built myself a simple but effective lumber rack system. I built it entirely out of 2x4's and it took me probably three hours to complete, not to bad by myself. It is large enough to store 12' long boards, and plenty of them!

The way it is designed, the lumber is supposed to be slid in and out on end. This works perfect in my shop because it is shaped like a "L". The lumber rack is right on the top of the bottom, flat part of the "L". It was definitely the best spot for my lumber rack and I will go into more detail of why in a later post.

I have drawn a little set of plans on sketchup that better shows how it was put together. I built each unit with pine 2x4's and I nailed them together on the floor with a pneumatic nail gun using some old ring shank nails that I had laying around. You can use screws if you want to take the time but I think the ring shank nails will hold just about as good as a screw would. I spaced the units 16" apart to provide plenty of supports for my lumber to lay flat on and not bow. When you space them 16" apart this lets you nail each on into a stud in the wall which is needed to hold them up. I put one board down the outside of every unit to hold them all together, also it is a just the right height for a small counter top down that side. (I plan on covering the lumber rack and using the rest of the area as a finishing room and the shelf will give me somewhere to set finishing supplies.)

This was a great addition to my shop and really helped me get organized!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Homemade Cornhole Boards

Just today, I finished building my third set of cornhole boards. The first two sets that I built were for myself and the third set is for a freind who is also addicted to cornhole on Friday and Saturday nights.

The boards are made of 5/8" plwood trimmed in 3/4" select pine grade boards with 3/4" oak legs. I used pockethole-joinery to join the pine to the plywood and screws to attach the hinges and the legs. Glue was used on all joints.

The first two sets of cornhole boards I made where not as good of quality as these boards are. I used 3/4" plywood and 3/4" pine for the first set but I didn't join the pine to the plywood flush with the top like I did with these boards, that should make the edges of the board more durable and it looks great also. Also I just screwed the top down into the pine framing leaving the screws exposed in the top of the boards. On my first set I used a simular hinge setup for the legs which never gave me any trouble.

On the second set I build I used some scrap pine 1x12's that I had laying around and I biscuited them together since I had just purchased my first biscuit jointer. This worked fine but I was learning the biscuits and my joints weren't perfectly flush. For the legs I bolted through the 1x4 pine framing, that again wasn't mounted flush with the top of the board, and into the legs that pivoted on the bolt. This method was agrivating because you would have to tighten the wingnut on the legs very tight to make them stay put during gameplay (even then they would close up little by little with each through of a cornhole bag.

So I think I finally did it right this time joining the pine framing flush with the top of the plywood board and hiding all my joinery with pockethole screws. Using oak for the legs should be an improvement also. I really like the hinges and they are good heavy duty ones too. The legs don't slowly fold in on you like the bolted legs because the angle at which they sit is close to 45 degrees.

These are some great boards, I will have to build a set like these for myself! I think I will take photos or maybe video the building process to post on the internet too.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Buying some Reconditioned Tools

Browsing the LumberJocks forum, I have found that Hitachi sells reconditioned tools for pretty good deals compared to buying brand new. Reconditioned tools are pretty much new tools, they are tools that have been returned by customers to the retailer. They are all tools that could have had defects, been returned by an unsatisfied customer, returned after a weekend project, some returned brand new just because. When a tools is returned to a retailer, they cannot just put it back on the shelf, instead they have return it to the company. When this happens the company, in my case Hitachi, fixes whatever was wrong with the tools and sells them at discounted prices.

I think this is a great way to buy like new tools for great prices. The tools come with the full factory warranty.

I ordered two tools from Hitachi, both of which have great reviews on different websites like Amazon and LumberJocks. I bought the Hitachi DS18DFL 18V 1.5Ah Lithium Ion Driver Drill for $109 and the Hitachi NT50AE2 2" 18-Gauge Brad Nailer for $53 since both of mine where stolen.

Seems like a good deal to me, we will see once the tools get here!

Had a Break-In

This past Tuesday when I arrived at my shop I realized it had been broken into in the night. The burglar broke a set of aluminum double doors on the side of my shop and stole about $600 worth of tools out of my shop.

They stole
-Senco Framing Nailer
-Senco Brad Nailer
-Bostitch Roofing Gun
-Dewalt RO Sander
-Dewalt 14.4v Cordless Drill
-Case of Kreg Pockethole Screws
-Face mask Respirator

I was so disapointed when I realized what was stolen. I hadn't gotten my insurance finalized yet so none of the items stolen where re-inbursed. Not much I can do about it now except hope that the police find my tools or that I find them in a local pawn shop. Now I am getting insurance as soon as I can!

Poplar Offereing Table

There is a small church next door to my shop and the pastor asked me if I could make them a simple offering table with a couple of drawers in it. I said sure! My first paying job, although it didn't really pay anything just materials since I am pretty new at this stuff.

Anyways, here is how it turned out, this is the first time I have ever really built drawers into a piece and I think they came out great. They are just on some wooden slides that I fabricated since the chuch didn't want to spend much money at all.

The poplar was great to work with and so is my kreg pockethole jig system. It was used to joint pretty much every piece on this table, although you would never know just looking at the table normally.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Beer Pong Table

Alot of my Friends enjoy the occasional game of beer pong. It's basically a game played with Solo cups, Ping Pong balls and beer. You put beer in the cups and put them in a pyramid shape on either side of an eight foot table. Then two teams alternate turn throwing a ping pong ball into the opponents cups of beers and any cups they miss the other team has to drink them. The game keeps going until one team has run out of cups and they loose and have to drink whatever beer is left in the winner's cups.

Anyways, people always seem to be using a flimsy folding table that is either to short, to soft (the balls can't bounce for a special shot), or just not ideal for the game. So my buddy wanted a table made just for beer pong and that is just what I built him.

The table is eight foot long and two foot wide. This one is built with select grade pine to be both affordable but good looking. The entire table was coated with polyurethane with about 6 coats on the top of the table and probably four everywhere else except underneath the table top where there is only one coat. It works great and the balls bounce pretty good on it too. It only cost about $150 to build counting lumber, poly, pocket hole screws, etc.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Got some deals on some woodworking supplies!

Firday, my mother and I decided to go to a local salvage house to do some bargain shopping. The place we went to is a large freight companies "scratch and dent" store (AAA Cooper). While there was plenty of interesting things in there I only saw two things that I might could use in my shop.

One was a large roll of heavy duty paper that would be perfect to go on the side of my workbench so that I could stretch a sheet of paper across it when I want to paint or finish something, or just draw something really big. It was only $5 so I picked up a roll that should last a long time. I also grabbed a box of 100 latex gloves for one or two dollars that would come in handy some time or another.

When we were leaving the salvage house I recieved a call from a friend that was at an estate sale where there were alot of woodworking tools for cheap. I decided to ride over and I found some good tools for a good value.

-2 24" clamps $3 each
-2 2 1/2" C clamps $.50 each
-1 heavy duty square $2

I knew I could definately use some more clamps and every square that I have is a little bit out of square, even brand new ones! This one tested to be right on the money. I think from now on I will test every square before I buy it in the store.

Workbench / Outfeed table is looking good.

I finally took some pictures of the table today after I finished putting the trim around the edges. It really looks good and I am proud of it. It's a great work surface and is very study and stable.

I trimmed the top edge with some Douglas Fir 1x that was ripped down to the width of the table top. I fastened it with some odinary drywall screws and wood glue, countersinking every screw so that I can come back and put some dowels in the holes to clean it up a bit. Be sure not to over tighten the screws when your attaching these and I put on plenty of glue expecting the MDF to soak it right up.

I still plan on putting a vice on the right end of the table and I am going to have to order some leveling legs for it because what I had planned for legs just didn't work out (some threaded shafts and a couple nuts).

Homemade Vacuum Cyclone Test

I completed the dust cyclone for my shop vacuum. To finish up, all I needed to do was to secure the pipe through the plywood on the top of the funnel. I did this with some rubber strips, zip-ties, and caulking. It may have been the bost choice so I may go back and do it with some 1 min epoxy (I like that stuff!).

Then I glued the plywood into the top of the funnel with a small rubber strip around the plywood to tighten the fit and to help seal it. Then I just used some normal wood glue to hold it in place. We will see how this holds, epoxy would have worked well here also.

Then I simply put the two couplings on each pipe and attached my shop vac hose and I was done!

Overall, the system really worked great. The only problem was that the 5 gallon bucket wasn't strong enough and would try to collapse if I covered the open end of the hose completely. The bucket I have is thinner than normal buckets so i'll just have to get a thicker one then I should be fine I hope.

It really amazed me at how clean the filter and shop vac can was. I sucked up a pretty good bit of saw dust and smaller particles that I swept up off the floor, all in all about 1/3 of a 5 gallon bucket. The shop vac was empty except for a few long shavings some other larger pieces of trash that I was curious about. The filter looked good and clean so this thing really made a big improvment, glad I built it. You should really consider building one too!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Starting some Adirondack Chairs for a wedding gift.

My sister is getting married in one month and I have decided to build a pair of Adirondack chairs to give to her and her fiance. I have never built any before but they look easy enough, can't be to hard!

I hear of people building and selling the Adirondack chairs. I wouldn't mind selling a few if I could make a decent profit on them but I will have to find somewhere to sell them. This weekend my girlfriend and I went to the local flea market and there were some nice Adirondack chairs there that were selling for $75 for the most basic single design. They were all completely unfinished and would need some sort of finishing before they could be sat outside in the weather.

Sounds like if I primed and painted them I could sell them for at least $150 each. It doesn't take alot of materials to build one and shouldn't take to much time, especially when you could get a system going and good pattern.

We will see.....

Friday, July 17, 2009

Not a very productive day....

Went to the shop this morning and checked on my cyclone. The caulking wasn't are hard as I was hoping it would be. It was still pretty soft to the touch and I am afraid that it may just suck into the seams when the vacuum is turned on. Maybe it just didn't cure enough, so I am going to let it sit for the weekend and check it on Monday.

Today I did work on my workbench a little more though. All I really had left to do was to put the trim around the edges of the table top. I went to Lowe's and bought some 1x3 Douglas Fir and ripped it down to 1 5/8" which is the thickness of the table top. Then I cut the pieces to fit on miters and began countersinking/drilling then glueing and screwing them on.

I had a pretty busy day and I wasn't able to spend as much time in the shop as I had hoped. We will see how next week goes, maybe I will start on some of the cabinets for the shop!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Homemade DIY Dust Deputy - Part 1

I have decided to make my own dust collector for my shop vac, something very similar to the Dust Deputy just cheaper and hopefully just as efficient. I got the idea from a member of Lumberjocks, jcoulam . He built one himself and put a couple of photos on the Internet and basic drawing which gave me inspiration in making my own. I figured I would create basically the same thing and I would provide more photos and descriptions of how it was done.

I went to Lowe's and bought a few supplies that I would need.
-1 8"x24" piece of galvanized pipe that is split down the length
-1 new 5 gallon bucket and a lid that fit securely
-1 2' piece of 2" PVC
-2 2" plumbing couplings
-1 8'x2 1/2" Shop Vac hose
-1 syringe of 1 min epoxy
-A small amount of self tapping metal screws
-1 tube of caulk

The first thing that I wanted to accomplish was to get the funnel made. I tried it without cutting the piece of pipe hoping to just trim it when I had the final shape and it held securely. This proved to be pretty difficult so I went for a little professional help, my mother's engineer at the truss company who is brilliant at this sort of thing.

We sat down and he came up with pattern that I could lay out on my piece of sheet metal and just cut out my funnel. To do this he used all sorts of math from college that I have forgotten and some odd formulas. In a few minutes we were drawing the cut pattern onto the sheet metal. When I put the cut piece of metal to the test and fastened it together it came out perfect! No cutting necessary. When you screw the funnel together it's best to predrill holes in the overlapping piece so that the screws will pull the underside piece tight.

(I will come back and post the dimensions and figures at a later date so that everyone can do this the easy way.)

The next thing I did was cut a circle out of a piece of 1/2" plywood that was a little bit smaller than top of the funnel so that it could sit down in the funnel just a grunt. This ended up being about a 7 7/8" diameter circle with a 2" hole cut in the middle of it to allow for the PVC to pass though.

Next I had to cut a whole in the funnel so that a piece of 2" PVC could be inserted at an angle. This wasn't very difficult, I just held the piece of pipe above the funnel and drew what looked like the correct cut on the pipe then whacked it off on the band saw. It really doesn't have to be perfect I don't think, just close. Then I took that piece of PVC with the angle cut and placed against the funnel where it would go through at and traced around the sides of it to give me a hole to cut. Cutting this with my jig saw was pretty easy with a fine tool metal blade.

Next I cut another piece of plywood that was a bit smaller than the size of the 5 gallon bucket lid and cut a hole in the center of it large enough to allow about an inch or so if the funnel to pass through it, I think the hole was about 3". Then I cut slits in the part of the funnel that was sticking out and folded them back and screwed it to the plywood. Since I was using wood screws to get a bite in the ply wood I predrilled all the holes in the metal flanges first.

Next I cut a hole in the lid of the 5 gallon bucket and fastened it to the bottom piece of plywood.

Now it was time to start gluing a caulking things. I first used the 1 minute epoxy to secure the piece of PVC in the side of the funnel. Don't put the plywood in the top before doing this because it helps to apply some epoxy on the inside of the funnel here.

Then I caulked around the base of the funnel, the seam in the funnel, and in between the bucket top and the piece of plywood. I loosened the screws between the bucket top and plywood so that I could get a good bit of caulk in here. I sat the funnel upright for the night to let it dry before tightening the screws. The weight of the funnel is pretty good at this point and keeps the joint there decently tight. Now when I tighten the screws in the morning the caulk will act as a gasket (learned that from sailboats although most of you reading probably already know that).

That is all I had time for today and I hope to finish it tomorrow and see how well it works! As you can tell in the above picture I didn't have the top piece of plywood fastened or caulked in place.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Shop Vac as a dust collector.

Currenty in my ever evolving shop I am using a 12 gallon shop vac as my only means of dust collection. It works on some machines pretty well: my sander, miter saw, Kreg Jig, and router table. I can't hook it up to my table saw yet or my skil saw which I have been using to rip panels of MDF the past couple of days (which is working pretty well!).

I can't hook it up to my table saw because the dust port is larger than the hose on the vac, probably 4" when the hose is probably 2 1/2"-3". I checked at my local Lowe's but I was unable to find a converter that would work. I haven't really tried to hard to jerry-rig some sort of setup. My Dewalt skill saw just doesn't have anywhere to attatch a vaccuumm hose.

A bigger problem is the fact that the filter on the shop vac gets clogged and the vacuum's suction power deminishes. I have been looking online at the Onieda Dust Deputy system. Basically it's a 5 gallon bucket with a funnel on top that removes the particles and suposedly most of the dust that clogs up the filter.

The Dust Deputy

I have read reviews online and people have given the Dust Deputy pretty good remarks, so I guess I will give it a try. If it works it should be worth the money!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My Shop: The Beginning

I have what I consider a fairly large shop and I am very thankful to have access to it. The building is owned by my mother's truss manufacturing company which is located in a small industrial park in Dothan, Al. The building I am using is one of the smaller buildings in the park but it is turning out to be a good workshop.

I have actually had tools in the shop for over a year now, I first put them in there when I was making furniture out of some reclaimed heart pine that I had easy access too and was able to get it at a good price. The economy was falling out when I started that so it seemed that no one wanted to buy furniture made out of the expensive wood. Anyways, that little venture opened my eyes up to the world of furniture making.

In the past few months I have gotten serious bout fixing the shop up and getting some quality tools inside. I have fixed a few leaks in the flat tar roof but there are still a few which I am hoping to spend some time on this week.

Here are some photos of the shop right now. The things that I have added in the past couple of months are: the 3 different sets of shelves, the Grizzly table saw, the sawhorses that are being used as lumber storage, the stackable saw horses, the small pegboard board, shop vac

Here you can see an old metal drafting table that I have been using as a workbench and an assembly table and it does neither one well. The top on the thing is warped big time so everything is out of wack that I try to assemble on the table. I usually work on the side with the drawers so thats where my clamps clamp onto and the drawers always get in the way, and the overhang isn't sufficient.

Behind that you can see a small pegboard board that I put up to get some of my handtools off the floor and the old desk, boy was this helpful although the clips in the pegboard don't stay on as good as I had hoped even with the little black clips that are supposed to help. The shelves there are some that I recently put in the shop that I got from a remodel job.

In this picture you can see my "miter saw stand" that I built with some 2x4's. It serves it's purpose to hold up longer boards when they are being cut but that is it. I plan on building cabinets down this wall with the miter saw built into them. There are my stackable saw horse, and some green metal shelving that we had in storage. I think they came out of a grocery store or something, they aren't very sturdy as they stand there because they don't have the correct bracing. I am probably going to do away with these.

There are a few sheet goods stored against the wall there and one half sheet of pegboard leaning against the metal double doors. Last but not least my new Grizzly table saw (if you look closely you can tell this picture was taken before I had the saw hooked up to 220v).

In this photo is a shelf that I built about a year ago just to get a few of my power tools off the floor. I recently put a few pieces of 1 by between the braces to hold a few clamps. Underneath that is a small table that I build while I was building my plywood sailing dingy. Also right in that area is my new Grizzly air hose reel. At this point I hadn't installed the hose on the reel yet.

Just beyond that you can see a few air hoses hanging up in the entrance to the hallway which goes back a pretty good ways. Down it are two bathrooms and a side door.

There is a poplar table that I built for a local church as an offering table. To the left of it is another area that i am currently using to store lumber and my shop smith stuff.

Here you can see the storage area with the lumber and the shopsmith. I bought the shopsmith when I was getting into the heart pine furniture in hopes that it would do everything I needed to make the furniture. It is capable of doing alot of things but not many of them very well so I think it has to go. It has the table saw, band saw, scroll saw attachments and I even have the planer/jointer.

To the right are two rickety "tables" I made out of 2x4's. One has a skil router table on it which I don't plan on using much longer. I want to build a router table and maybe incorporate the skil table into it.

Here is the front corner of the shop with some big windows that let in alot of natural light (and alot of heat!).

Here you can see the boxes that the table saw arrived in, I am keeping them few a few days to make sure that the table saw is in good working order. If something is damaged I would need the boxes as proof that the damage could have occurred during shipping. Luckily it looks like the saw is unscathed.

Just to the right of that is a table that I built out of heart pine that I am using as a desk right now. Behind that is the door to a small office that I am currently storing some of the heart pine furniture that I built in. Also you can see the 3rd shelf unit that I added to the shop recently to the right of the table.

That's about it! I plan on making alot of improvements in the next few months, maybe I can get some furniture to build too!

My first workbench and cuts with the table saw.

With a new table saw I of course wanted to start cutting with it right away, what better way to do that then to make an outfeed table for it? I decided to make a hybrid outfeed table/workbench to save on some room in the shop, although I am not cramped yet I think I will be satisfied with the bench.

Every woodworker wants something different that fits their needs. I knew that I wanted a good outfeed table and I also needed a workbench I started looking online for different ideas. I found a good video done by the Wood Whisperer about an outfeed table built from 3/4" plywood. I really liked the table and I was going to build that at first before I decided to make it a multifunctional table.

I wanted a good heavy table with a vice and maybe some bench dogs, I wanted to be able to clamp things to it, and I wanted it to be stout, sturdy and flat. So I changed the WW's outfeed table design a bit and added a 4" overhang on three sides of the table and about a 9" overhang on one side for a vice. I wanted to table good and heavy so I decided to put two pieces of plywood on the top instead of one and then a piece of hardboard on top of it.

So I went to Lowe's and purchased three sheets of 3/4" birch plywood for about $42 a piece, talk about expensive! I brought them to the shop and planned on starting the bench the following day. That evening I was talking with the engineer at my mother's truss manufacturing company and he suggested that I just use some "1 by" pine instead of the expensive plywood for the framing. Also, I had been debating using MDF on the top instead of plywood to save on a few bucks. So this is the way I went, a bench built out of "1 by" pine and MDF.

The difference in price was a pretty good bit. The three pieces of MDF were $78 total compared to the $126 plywood sheets. I had enough pine scrap on hand to build the frame and then some. Overall it was much cheaper and now I have three sheets of nice birch plywood in the shop.

I didn't have much 1x4 pine to use for the framing but I had plenty of 1x10 and 1x12 pine boards that were old and warped to the point that they were unusable as a large piece. When I ripped the pine boards down to size they warp wasn't noticeable. This turned out good because I was forced to rip all the boards down on my new table saw!

Anyways, I cut all the boards for the framing to length before I began assembling the frame, which didn't take long. I got the frame glued, tacked, and screwed together and it is pretty sturdy.

I did get one piece of the MDF top cut but not attached to the frame yet. I was by myself so I was unable to cut it on the tablesaw by myself so I used my Dewalt skill saw and a long metal ruler as a guide. It was the first time I had used a guide to cut sheet goods and it worked surprisingly well.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Assembling my Grizzly 1023SL

Saturday I was unable to get away to the shop but I made it Sunday morning with high hopes about getting my new table saw put together. Overall the assembly was pretty easy and straight forward, and I have it all together except for the blade guard witch I may or may not put on later.

Although, I didn't have the resources or the time to get power to the saw so I never got the chance to cut anything with it. That will be my assignment first thing in the morning though. The saw is 220v so I can't just plug it up to a regular socket. Luckily I do have 220 in my shop but the plug isn't really close to the saw and it looks like I will need to purchase about 16' of the appropriate cord to get it ran. I also have to buy a plug because the saw doesn't come with one since there are various 220 plug arrangements. This shouldn't be a problem but it just means another trip to Lowe's. Can't complain about that because when you are setting up a shop it seems like there is ALWAYS something else you need.

I even went to Lowe's today in search of some wiring things to get the saw running but when I arrived it seems that I didn't do enough research back at my shop to see just exactly what I needed to get the saw running. I did however pick up three sheets of 3/4" birch plywood to build a nice outfeed table out of though. That will be the first thing I build using the new table saw, I can't wait.

It arrived.......

Well, I called UPS Freight the next morning and I was notified that the saw should be delivered that day sometime between 2-4pm. So, I wait around another day in anticipation and at 4:30 I receive a phone call from the truck driver asking how much longer I was planning on waiting. I told him that I didn't want to stay past 5 so he came right over before his other stops.

About 15 minutes later I was unloading the saw with the forklift from my mother's truss plant right next door (this saw isn't something you can just lift). With only a few minutes till I had to head home to get ready to go out to dinner with some friends and slid the pallet through the door of my shop and took off the box and there she sat. Luckily the box wasn't in horrible shape so the saw looked pretty much untouched and in great condition. Sadly, I didn't have time to put it together and get it running so I had to leave my new toy until Sunday.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Let down today......

I wake up this morning early without an alarm clock excited about my new saw. According to the tracking information the saw should be delivered sometime today because it is already in town so it just needs to be trucked over to my shop. I even called UPS Frieght yestarday afternoon to ask for an approximate time that should be expecting the delivery, they told me that were no sure but would call back withing 30 minutes. Well of course I never heard back from them, until today....

This afternoon at 3pm I recieve a call from UPS saying that my saw will delivered the following day......... So that means that I wasted an entire day waiting for nothing! Nothing was accomplished!

We will see how tomorrow goes.................

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I ordered a new table saw!

Great news! I have ordered a new table saw and it should be arriving some time tomorrow, I can't wait, its like Christmas.....

I ordered a professional grade cabinet saw, the Grizzly 1023SL. I have been wanting a new table saw for quite some time now but I have been putting it off due to a couple reasons (the leaking roof which isn't perfectly fixed but it is much better than it was, and lack of funds for a new toy), but I decided that it was time to jump.

Deciding what table saw to purchase was definitely a tough decision, but it was fun researching and learning so much about different table saw on the market. When I first looked at table saws I was looking at something in the $600-$900 range. I was liking the contractor saws that I was finding on the Rockler website, they were the only ones that fit in my budget and that was the only place I really knew to look for saws.

So I decided on a saw but then I couldn't decide which fence I wanted with it since there were three different options, the best which was about $300 dollars more than the basic fence. I decided to join a woodworking forum and ask people who actually knew what they were talking about. So that is when I found, and I am glad I did as the community was most helpful.

I asked my question and people started chiming in with suggestions. A few people said that I should skip the contractor saw and just go with a professional grade cabinet saw for $200 more than $900 contractors saw that I was eyeing. The saw that was suggested was the Grizzly 1023SL. After reading countless reviews and asking more and more questions on the forum I realized that all of the experienced folks at Lumberjocks knew what they were talking about so I decided to fork out a bit more money and get the full blown cabinet saw.

I think I will glad that I choose the cabinet saw over the contractor saw because the price wasn't an extreme difference but the quality of the saw should be a big difference. Looks like we will see tomorrow!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Working on my shop!

I have been putting in alot of effort improving my shop lately. I bought a shop vac that was on sale (50% off so it was $40) and cleaned up alot of sawdust that had been sitting in my woodworking shop for over a year.

I have been looking alot lately at power tools and shop equipment. I have decided to go ahead and start investing in some high quality tools that will serve me for a long time. I want some nice woodworking tools and I figure if I am going to buy some I may as well by some high quality stuff.

My first big purchase will probably be a hybrid or cabinet style table saw. I need a good table saw because the one I have now is my stepfather's and it was probably $120 dollars or something like that. It is a good saw but just not up to the amount of work I want to thow at it.

I am also looking at buying the Festool plunge saw kit with the guide rail for cutting plywood and the like. It is $500 but every review that I read, the people say that it was probably their best investment. Sounds like a good tool for me!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Trying to repair a flat tar roof.

I have a small shop that I do some woodworking in that has a very old (30+ years) flat tar roof. Of course, it has a few leaks which are definately not a good thing in a carpentry shop. I can't have very many expensive tools in there becuase they could get wet and ruined. I can't store much lumber in there because of moisture the possibility of them getting wet and ruining also.

I have been reading up on the subject online and it seems that repairing a flat tar roof isn't garanteed to stop the roof from leaking. On the sites I looked at, it was suggested that it is more cost effective to replace the roof than to repair the leaks. Because, repairing the leaks doesn't always work so you will probably end up replacing the roof entirely anyways. We will see....

So I am off to Lowe's to get some tar and see what I can do. I have never done it before but it can't be to hard to spread some tar around. Maybe I can do a little better than that though.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Building your own house!

Have you ever thought about building your own house?

Think about it.... When most young couples buy a house they finance it for many many years, they will be paying for their house almost until the day they retire. Most house payments around the Southeast are in the $1000 a month range. Also, the first ten years of payments on a house are generally just enough to pay the interest off, so until the eleventh year people are just now paying for the actual house! It's so difficult to imagine, but it's true.

I have putting alot of thought into building my own house one day. There are alot of different things that I want my house to be.
-energy efficient- solar panels, excellent insullation, lots of natural light, LED light fixtures, and many more "green" things
-designed with future additions to the house in mind
-modern looking

I love the thought of not having a house payment every month, have low or no utility bills, the satisfaction of building my own house. I am a carpenter and I am capapble of building a house on my own right now. But like most people, money is a current issue but things can be done about that!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Becoming a Personal Trainer?

I am a bit of a health nut, I like reading about nutrition and exercise and I think I know a good bit more than the average man about fitness. Whenever my friends and family bring up exercising or loosing weight, I always end up explaining my understanding of it all. Whether I am right or a little bit wrong, I enjoy talking about the subect. I also love to work out and stay in shape, looking good is just a perk.

I went to college to major in business and I lost the my motivation so I dropped out and began doing odds and ends. I think all the tme what I want to do with my life, as a career. People ask me if I plan on going back to college and I always so probably not unless I can study something I am interested in. Fitness and exercise is something I am interested in and a subject that I would enjoy studying. I actually study it often on my own accord, reading books and reading on the internet about fitness and nutrition.

The other day I was talking with my mother and she was asking me to help her get on a diet and exercise program (she asks often but never goes through with it). Somehow she or my sister said something like "Why don't you be a personal trainer for a living?" My mind lit up! So then I explained how I have talked about doing that if I ever did go back to college and my mother thought it was a good idea.

So now I am looking into getting a personal trainer certification and going back to college and studying Exercise Science. If I do go through with it, I believe it would be something I would enjoy doing. Besides, if I didn't enjoy it, it wouldn't be hard to get out of it and into something else if a better opportunity came along.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Talladega Time!

It finally time to head back to the Talladega Infield!!!!

This has been an event that I have been attending for about 8 years now, twice a year and I have never missed a NASCAR race at Talladega since the fist time I went.

I pull my camper up there and we stay in the infield and party for 4-5 days, it gets wild. There are about +60,000 fans in the infeild staying in everything from RV's, tents, and horse trailers. Lots of rednecks, lots of beer, lots of wild activities.

This year, we are going up on Wednesday and staying until Monday. We went on Wednesday last race and it was great getting their early. Usually I don't head up until Thursday though.

I can't wait but I have alot of work to do, getting the camper ready, buying the food, getting all of my friend's beer and luggage in the camper, getting LOTS of ice, fixing some ruined cornhole bags, the list goes on and on........

Monday, March 30, 2009

Building a Computer Desk

I consider myself a decent carpenter. I have built all type of things out of wood from decks, houses, boats and furniture. For a while now I have been day dreaming about build myself a nice big computer desk with plenty of shelves for all of my books and other junk. This past weekend I decided it was time to put all my thoughts to work and build the desk.

The desk needed to be cheap but good looking. I chose to build it out of 1" pine lumber because it is the cheaper lumber, soft and easy to work with, and looks pretty good. I plan on painting the desk a light color so I am not concerned about buying expensive wood with beautiful wood grains running through it. Pine is just fine!

So my work began and in about 4 hours I had my basic structure up, no problem.

There is still alot to be done but it is coming along nicely and was pretty simple.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Just got back froma cruise!

March the 7th my girlfriend and I went on a 5 night Royal Caribbean Cruise Line cruise and had a wonderful time. We went to Cozumel and Costa Maya, both of which are in Mexico. The weather was warm and beautiful, just a little windy, to bad we didn't get to go sailing.

One of my favorite things about the cruise was the food! Each night, we went to the captain's dinner and had gourmet meals, things like: duck, escargo, lamb, lobster, pastas, exotic fish and excellent desserts. The best part was that you could order as much as you liked. So usually, I would order two or three appetizers, two or three main courses and some sugar free ice cream for desert. The platters were a bit small so any grown man would need more than one.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sailing and Sailboats

Sailing is a big part of my life, it's my main hobby, it's what my website is based on, it's what I think about every day, it's how want to live for the rest of my life.

I am fairly new to sailing and sailboat though, I have only been around them for about four years now. I have learned alot in that short amount of time though.

When you own a sailboat, one thing that you have to always do is, maintenance. Performing maintenance on a sailboat is not something anyone can just do, there are alot of things that you need to learn before you go messing with a sailboat. This being true, if I want to get serious with the sailing thing I need to learn maintenance.

So in order to learn more about working on sailboats, I have gotten into buying older sailboats and restoring them and then selling them for a small profit. It's fun, a great learning experience and way to make a bit of extra cash.

The first sailboat I owned purchased for about three thousand dollars. It was in working condition but it wasn't perfect. I learned how to sail on it and fixed it up a bit and sold it and nearly doubled my money. Now, I have a sailboat that wasn't in sailing condition when I bought it, but it's a project. It needs alot more work than my first sailboat but that's partly the reason that I bought it. So that I would have to do the work and then I would learn the trade and become knowledgable on the subject so that I could apply that knowledge to larger and more expesive boats.

So, with the Lord willing, maybe I can make my mistakes on a small cheap sailboats so that I hopefully will not make large expensive mistakes are on a high dollar sailboat.

Why I train with free-weights.

I excersize alot but I am not a memeber of a gym or anything like that. I don't want to have to spend the money on a gym membership when I can get a better workout at home.

My older sister has moved out of the house and I now have the upstairs to myself. I have turned her old bedroom into my excersize room, how great! My personal gym consists of; 7 dumbells (2 45lbs, 2 35lbs, 2 10lbs, 1 40lbs), a basic weightbench that can be adjusted to various inclines, a balance ball (the big beachball thing), a pull-up bar that hangs in the door-frame, and an eliptical machine. Other than the eliptical, everything is pretty cheap. The only reason I have the eliptical is because my mother wanted to start excersizing so she bought the eliptical but NEVER even go on it, so I have it now.

With this meager bit of equipment, I think I get a great workout.

Freeweights (dumbells) give you a better workout than the gym's fancy excersize machines. The machines kind of "assist" you in the movements, the guide and balanace the weight. With free weights however, your muscles have to work harder to balance and steady the weight which gives you a much better workout and builds a wider variety of muscles. With machines, specific muscles are targeted rather than a large number of different muscles.

So, if you want to start working out without having to spend much money, then dumbells are definately the way to go!

I love the water!

Water is big part of my life, from sailing to freediving to drinking it every day.

I became a certified SCUBA diver about two years ago and it has been a great hobby. My dive buddies and I have dove in the Gulf of Mexico many times in about 80' of water. We have seen alot of really neat things that most people never have to opportunity to see in person. One time we saw a live shark! It was swimming around are boat as we were preparing to dive the wreck we were anchored at. One of my friends spotted the shark and I immediately dawned my mask and dove in to get a closer look. It wasn't a large shark, probably 3-4 feet but it was still a shark.

A little over a year ago I bought a 29' sailboat that stays in the water in the Panama City, Florida. During the summer you can find me down there nearly every weekend enjoying the wind and water life. On the boat, SCUBA gear can be awkward so I have taken up freediving.

The freediving I do is pretty much snorkeling, but I train so that I can hold my breathe longer than a normal person underwater. I also have a pair of large fins tat are for freediving and allow you to propel yourself underwater with a lot more power than a pair of smaller "normal" fins.

The water is great and I can't wait until warmer weather comes so I can jump in!

I'm a bit of a capenter.

If I had to pick one skill to describer myself, I would probably say carpentry.

I have been around carpentry all of my life. My mother started a roof truss manufacturing company when I was born and I have worked there four summers and periodically throughout my life (today actually). Now I work there whenever help is needed.

I have also worked for a construction company for three summers and a little more, this is where I learned most of my house carpentry skills. I learned alot of things from the owner, who is my first cousin. He has taught me alot of valuable skills which will benefit me throughout my life, I have no doubt.

I have dabbled a little with furniture making also. I started designing and building furniture out of antique heart pine by hand about a year ago. I built a few beautiful pieces, but the business never really took off.

My latest carpentry project is a plywood sailing dinghy that I am building. It has been great fun so far and building a boat is a lot different than building a house. I plan on using the dinghy as a tender for my Watkins 29 sailboat that is slipped (docked) in Panama City, Florida.

I'm a bit of a health freak.

Yes, I am.

For the past two years I have been pretty persistent about working out and I have been strict on my diet for about the past six months or so. I could really tell a difference when i stopping drinking beer and eating fried food and other unhealthy things. Being in shape makes you feel great a make you feel good about yourself.

I work out at least two times a week. Right now it about to be spring and I am wokring on building up my arms and chest. I have never really focused much on my chest until the past four months or so and I can definately tell a difference since then. When I first started my chest workout I couldn't complete much of the routine, now I have completed the routine and added another twenty pounds to each excersize so I think I am progressing. Although, I think it is about time to change up the routine because my body may be getting used to the exercises and I will not benefit from them as much like when I first started.

I love my guitar.

Like a lot of people, I love music! My favorite music is country, and Merle Haggard is my favorite artist. He sings about the hard times in his life and his songs really have meaning too them.

I started playing guitar when I was about 14 and I enjoyed it then but I really wasn't very good. I have never taken lessons but I have had a few people show me a few things here and there, but most of what I have learned has been from the internet, what a great resource.

I love playing my resonator, and it is sitting beside my computer in it's stand as I type. I pic it up a few times nearly every day and play for a little while. I have certainly progressed since first days playing and I think I have above average skills.

I enjoy singing too, a karaoke bar is a great place to laugha and have fun. I mostly like to sing and play to myself in my room when no one is around. I will play for freinds and family but not if I am pressured or bragged about to much. I am definately nothing to bragg about so when people do (mostly my mother) it makes me uncomfortable and I think people are expecting more than I have to offer.

I am a Sailor!

About four years ago I bought a sailboat off of Ebay. I had never set foot on a sailboat but I had and interest in them and I liked the thought of going somewhere without having to pay for a lot of fuel, so a sailboat was my answer.

I had been boating all of my life, but only on powerboats and never a sailboat. I knew next to nothing about sailboats but over the years I think I have learned a great deal. Most from reading online or sailing books and then a little from trail and error. Learning to sail and learning abotu sailboats has been great fun, I think it is something that will have a place in my live till the day I die.

If you have never been sailing, TRY IT!

How I am making money online.

In October of 2008 I created my first real (non-free) website, Sailing and Such. My intentions were to help other sailors and information that I had been looking hard for, easier to find. Mainly, this information was about sailboat project, sailboat maintenance and anything to do with sailboat work.

Once I created the website, people started visiting and complimenting the site and saying what a great idea it was to have a lot ofthat kind of information in one place. I really enjoyed the comments and they made me work harder and make the website larger and larger.

Then, I started reading up on making money online and I registered for Google Adsense which was a great decision. I wasn't getting alot of traffic to my website so I really havn't made all that much money in the first three months but it's a start. Making any money online is a great thing to me and the website is something I do not have to actually "do" to make money, it just does it on it's own.

Now, I am venturing into something called PayPerPost where I plan to post articles on my blogs about certain products and stuff, and get paid for it. We will see how it works!

My dream is create a steady income online so that I can someday live on sailboat and cruise wherever it is warm!

A little bit about myself.

Thanks for checking out my blog!

My name is Trip and I was born in Alabama in 1987 so that makes me 21 at the moment. I have lived in the country most all of my life but I have always enjoyed new technologies like computer and other electronics.

In the past year, I have really started getting into the internet and I am looking for different ways to make money online (which I will blog about in a later post). The internet is an amazing thing with endlss oportunities, I can't wait to see what it is like in ten years!

I was born in raised in the country and I spent my years living on a farm working with horses and cattle. I have enjoyed the country live immensely but I do enjoy the more "city slicker" things in life to like the internet. Some of my friends, even my girlfriend call me a nerd at times but I am many things and a computer nerd just happens to be one of them.