“Current Affairs” or “Just Another Update”

Not much to report in the world of Casa de la Gossa. Though under the weather, we are plugging along and moving on with our lives and our affairs. The final death-throws of my season’s work with Seawatch are almost over, and the winter chill is in the air. I’ve received most of my work-related expenses and we enjoying the windfall. Buying more wood (before we begin a cycle of winter harvest for following-years-burning), I’m upgrading my phone and bought a nice new camera for my shop. I say new, but I bought the Nikon Coolpix L120; a $500.00 camera for $100.00 used; the thing is still shiny and has that “new toy smell”. I also have a new helper for my shop, am upgrading my cellular phone, I’ve begun doing localized I.T. repair work for the area, will soon be completing my first shop commission, and have an idea in my head for a small assortment of indoor herb gardens. Please allow me to share some of the recent updates, in summary, with you in a group article. Continue reading


“Router Almost Complete” or “Mixed Saturday Activities”

IMG_1477SO I was up at near the crack of dawn this morning, was up and caffeinated, and IN the garage by 7:30am… I know, I know, the day was half-gone already, but I needed my beauty sleep… obviously. Now that my new M5 screw tap arrived last night, I was ready to make the final three threaded holes to accept the 12mm M5 fine-threaded Button Head Cap Screws into the extruded aluminum maker slides (yes the directions actually READ like this… for something on the order of 60-80 pages. It was a crisp +6C (~43F), and we had frost in the ground last night. There was a nip in the air and I could see my breath fog before me… IMG_1422I ran the 20′ (~7m) from the house to the shed. It was like walking into an ice-box. Holy hell that building is tight (firmly wrapped to resist the air flowing from the outside environment to the inside, and visa versa). It took until the after noon for me to take my gloves, touque (woolen, insulated Stocking cap) and two fleeces. I couldn’t light a fire because the chimney had detached, seen here. There had once been a loft, upon which the chimney rested, but having taken the loft out of there the weight became too much, one would suppose, and it shattered the couple that connected the bottom of that charred T-junction to the back of the furnace. More on that later. Continue reading

“CNC Routing Machine” or “Shapeoko 2 Joy”

So yesterday morning I wrote my 9/11 post and received a LOT of positive feedback through private messages, email and on Facebook, and was really pleased. A number of people commented (though NOT in the thread, shame on you ALL) about how gentle and respectful it was to the tragedy, while reflecting favorably upon what can be taken from such heartache. Just HOURS after I wrote that post, I was in the garage with a young friend of mine, a former student of my wife’s, organizing the scrap wood pile by size and I had to run to the store to get some cardboard boxes to tote it into the basement for the furnace. Anyway, while in the store, one of the lovely ladies saw me and perked up, “Are you here for your mail?” I kinda started, “No? Yes? Sure! Why?” She went on to explain to me that a “real heavy” parcel was there by my feet, and she didn’t want to heft it into the back of the store only to drag it back out to the post office desk for me to check out. I saw the label, “Inventables” I remembered where my new CNC Router was ordered from. “Yes. Yes I am here to get mail. What boxes?” Continue reading

“Hand Saw Compendium” or “They’re All The Same, Aren’t They?”

Handsaws are, ultimately, all meant to do the same job: They turn wood into sawdust. It’s how they go about that, by this I mean the manner in which the metal causes this transition to occur, makes all the difference. If you ever used a “crosscut handsaw” to rip a piece of lumber into two slightly thinner pieces of lumber of equal length along the grain, you’ve probably decided that a powered tool would be cheaper than physiotherapy; unless you’re this guy from the Chop With Chris youtube series. Without the proper tools, any job can be a pain. I’d hate to have to chop an oak tree with a flint axe, and I’m sure you would to. That said, finding the appropriate tool for the appropriate job can mean the difference between loving woodworking, and setting your shop on fire and claiming the insurance money to fund a new hobby. Continue reading

“Plane Old Hard Work” or “Recovering, Retuning, Resurrecting!”

IMG_1462So, the morning began nice enough, 12C (~53F) as of 0930 and the sun was peeking through the clouds. There was a warm breeze on the air and I felt unable to resist the urge to go out and play, rather than stay in the house and be tormented by the dogs. IMG_1467Sarah left for school and I knew that now was my chance to get a little work done and get some fodder for another article. So here it goes!

I decided to completely dismantle my hand plane, and clean it thoroughly. I removed every single screw and sprayed it all down with what I happened to have on hand, since I ran out of WD-40 the previous day, honing my chisels. I managed to find a can of de-icing spray, which is pure methanol. It did the trick, though a proper lubricant, rather than an alcohol-based semi-solvent, would have done a better job. Must pick some up before too long. Continue reading