Monday, October 5, 2015

Mixed Blog

  I am still spending most of my day laying around trying to avoid back pain. Our Canadian Grandchildren were here for Saturday and Sunday and I wasn't able to play with them as much as I would have liked. However Kieran and I were able to get the USS Enterprise finished to his liking and that made me feel better.

front view complete with Kieran's torpedo tubes and
phasers attached to the top of the bridge

  I shaped and whittled the various parts while sprawled on the couch in our basement. It is pretty tough to whittle laying on your back without getting wood chips up your nose, just believe me on this.

  I shaped and sanded the pieces and on Saturday Kieran glued them together and then decided that there needed to be a place for the photon torpedoes, hence the rather odd looking box underneath the bridge. We looked on-line for pictures and he decided on the paint and then fairly carefully painted his Enterprise. It would have been better if he could have helped make the pieces but he seemed pleased to assemble it and then add torpedoes.

  On Sunday I awakened to an attack from the phasers that had been made from construction paper and tape. This kid tapes everything, he will be the duct tape king one day.

  The lesson to be relearned here is that all the toy needs to do is provide a focus for the child's imagination. As adults we can get hung up in the details where a child doesn't need details as much as general ideas and then they are off to the races. The Enterprise flew missions all weekend.

 On another note completely, my blog has now had over 100,000 visits. That is years of from 2,000 to 3,000 visits a month. In the world of Youtube videos  100,000 is small cheese but as a blogger with a fairly narrow focus I'm pleased.

 And I also have a really, really good video to share. This video is long but it is packed with tonnes of good shop tips. I particularly like that the shop tools are the sort of tools that a normal basement shop would have. For example the table saw is small and basic, with out sliding tables and fancy mitre gauges. 

Small Shop Tips 

   This is a video filled with ideas, and jigs that will make it easier to build projects both large and small. Sit back, get your favourite beverage and enjoy what Jim Cummins has to say.

  Cheers, Ianw

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Pencil Case

  Since I have been laying around waiting for my back to heal I have been drawing and painting a bit. I decided a while back that what I liked to do were watercolour washes and then add detail and crispness with pencil crayons. As with everything now days colouring with pencil crayons is not as simple as it was when we were kids. After checking out the pencils on the market I found these wood less ones that I like. the colour is good and they are cheap. After a while the card stock box in which the pencils lived fell apart, not a surprise, or disappointment, and I decided to make a wooden case for this set of colour pencils.

  One advantage of having a wood working shop is you can make exactly the wooden box that you want. Since I have piles of off cuts and bits of wood I can make the box I want, from what I feel is the best wood for the job.

                                     6 1/4 by 5 1/4 by 1 1/4   inches                                             

 I made the two side rails from cedar. I like it better than pine and I wanted the rails to be wide enough to nail into without making the box unnecessarily heavy. I chose to nail the box together because I am trying to show my grand kids that nails are okay for project construction. Gluing and clamping is a bit slow for 4 - 6 year old's and screws don't always suit the nature of the project. If Kieran can get comfortable with nails, he can complete more things while he is here.

  The bottom is a thin strip of elm. I have lots of elm on hand  and I like elm. Elm is tough and stingy and will provide a strong bottom even though it is thin.

 After I burned the pattern onto the box I give it two coats of spray vanish and its done.

 Here are two of the painting/drawings that I've done while laying around lately.

4 x 6 one pencil crayon on mixed media paper

10 x 14 water colour paint and pencil crayon
on 129 lb. cold pressed water colour paper

cheers, ianw