It’s Time To Plan Your Plans

True, this is a twist on words but it will make sense once I get further into this holiday post. Tomorrow is October 01 as we all get into Fall/Autumn. You all know how time flies and the holiday season will be here before you know it. I don’t know what gift ideas you might have lined up but I can share that I love to make all my gifts. It’s for that reason that I must get started early. My gift list is short these days so the gifts I do give are meant to be enjoyed by families.

Below is a set of plans for a cool jigsaw puzzle tray that slides together to continue puzzle anytime you want to continue the challenge. We do a lot of puzzles at my Senior Center so I’m thinking this might work well for them. In full disclosure the plans came from an email flyer from Rockler Tools online. They sell woodworking tools and materials.

Jigsaw Puzzle Tray 02

Jigsaw Puzzle Tray 01

Alpaca Or Llama?

Often confused these two cute animals are valuable for their exotic fur as well as meat. I’ve know a few friends investing huge sums into livestock that brings more cash than simple cows. While in Oregon I had opportunities to photograph llamas up close and personal. They can be hilarious as the one seen below kept demanding his portrait be taken or he wouldn’t move from in front of my camera. Pointy ears = Alpaca.


Llama 01

Michelle Olama

Gasoline price jump $.21 a Gallon

It’s not like the government didn’t predict a jump in fuel prices after some camel jockeys decided to attack two oil refineries in Saudi Arabia. “If I were King….” I would send a couple of high altitude bombers to the offending country and flatten their equivalent of our White House. I’m talking a couple of 2,000 pound blockbuster bombs that will leave just a pile of rubble.

We cannot just sit back while asshole terrorist nations attack the world’s oil supplies. Next I would find out where their King, Shah, raghead leader lives and flatten his home. Sooner or later they’ll get the point. We’ve got lots of bombs!

Shopping For Bargains

Living on a fixed income as I have for the past 10 years of retirement I must watch my spending carefully. I shop for bargains by considering all factors such as price, tax, shipping or the cost of physically driving to a brick & mortar store myself. I’ve determined that it’s really hard to beat Amazon’s Pantry online.

I’ve been an amazon Prime member for years. Free shipping and no sales tax can make all the difference in my final decision to buy from them rather that at my local stores. I don’t care if it’s a can of chili or 100 Lipton tea bags. If it doesn’t spoil I’ll shop for it online.

Below is an example of one item IĀ  regularly purchase and stock in my kitchen pantry, chili. Since I live alone on occasion I don’t feel like cooking for scratch and just want a quick, nutritious meal. Hormel chili with meat and beans fits the bill, containing plenty of protein and a serving size I might eat in a single sitting. The price is right too at $1.79 a can through Amazon. It’s delivered to my front door tax free in 48 hours. I have a steady stream of pantry items like this arriving all the time. Beats fighting traffic, weather and crowds at the supermarket.

Hormel Chili

Don’t Fret The Small Stuff

I’ve neglected to mention one of the smallest of saws in my tool collection, a fret saw. Most of you may be familiar with a similar tool in your home collection, a coping saw. A fret saw is a coping saw on steroids. It’s blade is smaller with a number of adjustments possible to get that blade in just the right position and tension. This particular has cornered the market in woodworker’s hearts, especially when cutting dovetails. You can spend an hour chiseling out your cut dovetails or grab your Knew Concepts Fret saw and be done with it in seconds. This high a quality specialty tool doesn’t come cheap as it sells for about $85. Your old hardware store coping saw will run you about $15. You get what you pay for.

Knew Concepts Fret Saw

My New Old Saw Arrived Today

I’m like a kid in a candy shop. My new Lie-Nielsen Crosscut Panel saw arrived today in what seemed like record time. I’m always so pleased with how careful their shipping department prepares my orders. Each tool is individually wrapped in a special paper that prevents rust and damage. I’m always careful to save this paper for future use.

This completes my collection of Lie-Nielsen hand saws that includes 3 joinery saws and 2 panel saws, one crosscut and one rip configuration. It’s the perfect time of the year to work outside and get my sawbench started along with its built-in saw till to hold all 5 of my saws. This whole assembly can be carried outside and used as a saw bench, sitting bench or small workbench. I’m likely to build the saw bench out of pine or poplar even though the plans recommend a hardwood. I have softwoods in stock and don’t want to add to my lumber pile in my single room apartment.

LN Panel Crosscut Saw


Traditional Saw Bench

Next on my build it plan list is a traditional saw bench, one that you can sit on when not working on it and using your knee to hold a workpiece for sawing. I have enough new wood in my apartment to build it from scratch following the plans I ordered from James Wright, a favorite YouTube woodworking channel of mine. James uses strictly hand tools to build everything shown on his channel and has proven very talented without being fanatical about the final product. This is a shop bench, a tool that’s not intended to be a piece of furniture. It needs to be sturdy and utilitarian.

I want to slightly modify the design to include a saw till on an addition shelf I intend to add to the bottom of the saw bench. When finished I’ll be sure to photograph it and send James a copy along with a thank you for his design and plans. It turned out I had already ordered and received these plans as I like the video and his design. At $5 for the plans I’ll not be complaining about ordering it twice. šŸ™‚ Wish me luck!

WW Saw Bench

September 11th – A Day Of Infamy

Everyone who was on this date remembers exactly where they were when the twin towers came down in New York City. I and my coworkers, was transfixed to our shop radio while listening to all that transpired that day. We were all confused and then horrified as the story unfolded. The world as we knew it changed that day. We became a little less trusting, a little less secure in our everyday lives. New security measures were instituted that made travel by air a long drawn out affair. First responders soon discovered they had a great deal of physical consequences for what they inhaled from the collapse of those twin towers.

I don’t like the word “celebrate” when used with this date. I’d prefer the word “remember’ because I’m sure nobody wants to forget. So, for the rest of this day I’m sure the media will dig up some of their footage of events that unfolded in front of our lives. There will be memorial services in many cities and towns. We will stop and pray, each in their own way, for those who survived the worst man made disaster of all times.

“What A Rip Off….”!

This post is another play on words in my attempt to write about more basic hand tools in my growing collection. Through the years I’ve come full circle with my woodworking hobby that has provided many years of pleasure. I grew up with a hammer in my hand, literally. Once I got old enough to realize I was right handed I stopped smashing my hands and fingers with that hammer. I still bear the scars of those early years! šŸ™‚

So being a male I will always need toys. As I aged the toys that went with my lifelong hobbies got more expensive but simpler. I learned with power tools and reverted to hand tools for the most fun and enjoyment. Just making sawdust perks me right up. When finished making a pile of sawdust everyone that sees it knows exactly what it is. šŸ™‚

Thus I’ve built my hand tool collection slowly, very slowly. My dad taught me to always buy the best tools you could afford but forgot to tell me how to afford what I desired. LOL That came with age, experience and wisdom. Now I save for months to buy one tool at a time. It took me over a year just to complete my collection of chisels.

I’ve tried to stick with just a few select tool makers who make the best tools out there. They’re not cheap but there are other companies way out of my league. Lie-Nielsen Tools in Warren, ME is my favorite tool maker. I have their bench planes, saws, chisels and specialty tools. They are beautiful, putting a grin on my face every time I hold them or use them.

Below I’ve included my most recent acquisition while building my hand saw collection. Each saw was purchased one at a time as money allowed. Each is a specialty tool, built to do one task particularly well. Thus, the 20″ rip panel saw seen below is designed to cut wood along the grain in an aggressive manner. “It’s a beautiful thing”, stealing a quote from a a good friend back in South Carolina.

LN Rip Panel Saw

Planning Another Day In Retirement

I am never bored! I have way too many friends and activities that keep me happy and challenged, whether it’s working on one of my hobbies or sharing time with my senior friends. In between I have chores that include medical appointments and shopping trips.

Since I’m under doctor’s orders to cut down time on my feet as well as time behind the wheel of my car my Senior Center supplies what it takes to continue living and enjoying life. I get picked up for lunch 5 days a week as well as a shuttle bus drive to our local supermarket on Tuesday. Everything’s on a donation basis so I show my appreciation when I’m able. No more mile walks on these feet. I’m grateful for all the help I get!

This morning a cashier at a local McDonald’s stopped me from picking up a dime I’d dropped on the floor beneath me. She came all the way around the counter to pick it up for me. When I thanked her she said it was easier to help me than try to pick me up off the floor if I were to fall. šŸ™‚ She has a point there. Few people would be able to resurrect me upright at 275 pounds. LOL