Sunday, July 20, 2014

bbq paddle

   These two things go together, though how is not too obvious.  No this is not a BBQ brush, there are no wire bristles hidden on the underside.


  It is a Grill Paddle.  I can't claim it as my own invention, I saw a similar tool at a restaurant years ago.  I suspect that just like you and I they got tired of buying grill brushes.  Over the years I have bought many brushes, I even used a welding shop wire brush for a while. Getting the grill clean with a brush wrecked the brush quickly and didn't really clean the grill all that well.  

   As this BBQ season got rolling I chewed up another brush, then had an inspiration. As we drove by the neighbourhood that had the restaurant I thought of the Paddle. So, I knocked out this little beauty  on my band saw and softened all the edges with my random orbital sander.

   The grill paddle works best when the grill is HOT.  I crank the gas up and scrap the grill down before putting the food on.   After cooking, I just ignore the grill until the next time.

  My Grill Paddle is 22 by 4 1/2 inches at the broad end and made from clear pine. You can see here I am  pushing the paddle along the hot grill.

  There are burn marks on the wood already and I've only used the paddle twice. The hot grill cuts channels into the wood that align with the grill bars and make cleaning quick and easy.  Effectively I have a 'custom grill paddle'. Since this paddle is 3/4 I can use it to clean between the steel bars on the grill too.

  Why use this instead of a steel/brass wire brush?  

Have you ever wondered where all the little bits of wire go? I do. 

Do you hate wasting money on cheap junky tools like the standard BBQ brush? I do. 

Do you like making stuff that is useful in your house? I really do. 

And this paddle cleans up the BBQ as well as any wire brush I've even used.

Heat up the BBQ and try it out.

cheers ianw

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pocket Sized Wood Working

6 3/4 by 2 3/8 by 1 3/4

  In the summertime there is lots of travelling about, lots of sitting around with friends and family on the deck and lots of out of the shop time.  Part of the reason I make things is that I have always needed to be doing stuff. I have tried nearly every crafts that you can imagine to keep me busy.  I even used to knit mitts and scarves while sitting in lectures at university. Polite folks call me a fidget, when I was little kids like me were called 'High Strung' or brats and people tried to keep our troubled little hands busy. 

  Little has changed, and so I still need to try and keep my hands busy. Keeping my hands busy keeps my feet out of my mouth, too. 

6 3/4 by 2 3/8 by  1 3/4

  This box, which once held a wrist watch maybe my woodworking salvation for this summer. It contains enough stuff to keep my hands busy and my mouth shut, and the out put is useful too.

  Full credit goes to my daughter-in-law Jen.  I did not think of this craft myself though I did turn it into a travelling woodworking system

Beads in various stages of completion,
 from bark still on to ready for paint.

  In this box is all a simple fellow like me needs to keep himself amused, because it has all the ingredients of a wood working shop.  There is wood, in this case short bits cut from shrubs in the yard, mulberry and cherry. A sharp blade, with which no wood working shop can exist. And two grits of sandpaper for finishing.

  I do one part of work in the shop at the end of the process.  I drill through the pith of the sticks so that the bits of wood becomes a hand shaped bead.  If you have Granddaughters you know that there can never be too many beads. I will make them and they can paint them and everyone is a winner.  Since I am a slightly obsessive Opa I will seal the beads with a water based product before giving them to the kids to paint.

  As a wood carver I have several very good knives and as a general knife lover I also have several really nice folding knives.  I opted for the utility knife because I doesn't need sharpening once dull.  I can carry a couple of extra blades in a much smaller space than a strop or fine stone. I have taken carving with me on holiday in the past but this set up is even smaller and lighter.  

  The trick is to not get too serious about the carving project, it is not art, it is a way to quietly pass the time while hanging out with folks.  The art is in the painting, isn't everyone's grand children great artists?  Our's are.

when a penguin likes rock n' roll.

cheers, Ian W