Friday, December 23

Shop Opens: 7:30 AM Build a fire. Check e-mail – BellSloth’s e-mail servers are down again this morning. Do some piddlin stuff to kill a little time without actually wasting it. The air temp out there is up to 45° so I can go to work. OK, it’s time to break for lunch and I’ve gotten the 8 pieces for the door panel blanks rough cut, planed smooth (but oversize), jointed and two pair glued up and clamped. I also planed the door rail and stile stock smooth (but oversize). I don’t want to plane it to final size until my router bits come in. I bought a rail and stile set that should be calibrated to ¾” stock, but I’d hate to plane them down only to find they’re too thin. So I’ll wait on that until after Christmas when everything has arrived. Mid-day monologue: A word about workshop conditions. Yesterday I took the day off to work inside because it was just too cold out there and I wasn’t able to get the place warmed up above about 38°. Does that make me a wimp? Maybe. I do wear 4 layers of clothing including a layer of thermal undies and socks to protect from the cold. I wear my Radar O’Reilly hat to keep my head and ears warm. Once I get the air temperature up around 45° this is sufficient to keep me comfortable all day. If it’s sunny, the roof of the shop heats up in the afternoon and my ceiling fans pull that heat down and warm the whole shop to where I’ll shed a layer to avoid sweating. In the summer sweating is good. In the winter it’s bad. But, regardless of the air temperature, if the equipment and tools are still at 20° - 25° working with them is a bad idea. First off the bearings in the machine tools wear out much faster and drive belts are stiff and thump as they run inducing unwanted vibration. Secondly, having to work above and touch a 300 pound slab of cast iron that is 20° is very uncomfortable on my hands. I have actually had my fingers stick to my saw once. Not good. I can’t do this work in gloves, I work as much by touch as I do by sight. Third, the table saw blade slings that ice cold air in my face. I have enough trouble with my sinuses from the sawdust, being smacked in the face by an artic blast too is just not something I need. And finally, glues and finishes require certain temperature ranges to work properly. In regard to the glue, both the glue itself and the material being glued must be at a minimum temperature or the glue powders and you get a poor bond – if you get any bond at all. So call me a wimp if you like, but there is a method to my madness. Lunch break is over. Time to go back to work. Click Me I glued up the other two door panel blanks and scraped the glue blips off of the first two. I’ll let them set up overnight before trying to break them apart. If they don’t break, then the glue job this morning took and they’re ready to use. If they do break, I joint them again and re-glue them in warmer temps. Next I went outside and dug into the lumber piles to get a few boards that will be suitable for making the maple top. My lumber yard needs some organizing. I have a couple of teenage boys coming to visit over the week between Christmas and New Years, I think I’ll try to shanghai them into helping me restack some of this stuff to sort it out properly. Marie called, said she’s on her way home and our Christmas vacation is officially started. Put down the tool and back away slowly. Workshop closes: 3:30 PM I have some details to finish up before quitting for the weekend, shouldn’t take more than an hour. Work day ends: 4:30 PM

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