Saturday, November 19, 2016

Shop Shoes and What to do while Varnish is Drying

 My shop activity is a little restricted while I spray the coats of varnish onto the chess board from 10,000 Villages. The chess board is going to get 10-12 light coats of spray vanish. Between each coat I rub it down with steel wool and a tack cloth.  I am trying to keep the air in the shop dust free if possible.

 So this morning I used my time to put things away and to gather up little scraps of wood for my buddy's fireplace. A couple of times a year I need to dive into the chaos that is my shop space and throw away little bits of wood that I have saved for later use.  Experience has shown me later use, just doesn't happen.

  Since I have been having trouble with my back again I have not been able to spend long periods of time in the shop but something that I have found helps create a stable standing posture are shop shoes.  My father wore shop shoes and I thought he was a bit silly.  Shop shoes are warm on the cement floor and have characteristics of modern safety shoes, though they can be slippery on wooded stairs.

As unlikely as it seems, and as funny to look at, these wooden shoes protect my feet, keep my toes warn and seem to extend the time I can work in the shop before my back begins to bother me.  And the shoes are wood, how cool is that. One of these days I will sand off the yellow but otherwise, my Dad was right.

  My shoes aren't hand made, sadly.  Isn't it amazing what a few tools, leverage and experience can do with wood.

  Since I couldn't make saw dust, and I did tire of the clean up process I did a bit of whittling.  As you know I am thrifty. (cheap maybe). I use my pencils until they are just about worn away.  To keep them long enough to be useful, I made a few pencil extenders.

  The extenders keep the pencil from sliding down in the pouch and getting lost and gave me something to do for a while in the peace and quiet of my shop.  I keep little pieces of basswood for just this type of time killer project.  Small carving projects like this are a good to help keep my hands strong and limber.  Older hands need extra exercise to keep working well.

  I carved the pencil extenders with various knives and sealed them.  I think I will have a grand child paint them for me one of these days.

 cheers, ianw


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