The Suspender Store

I was reminded this week where I bought two of my pairs of suspenders. Since I discovered I still have the wrong shape for belts my 3 pairs of suspenders support me just fine. πŸ™‚ I bought two elastic versions years ago that contain no metal so that I don’t set off the security metal detectors at airports. Believe it or not I found them online at where else but The Suspender Store.

They are stylish, comfortable and reasonably priced. Although i love my all leather, handmade suspenders yet I must admit all the brass on them sets off those metal detectors at security checkpoints is dramatic fashion.


Small Turnout For Thanksgiving Dinner

There were almost more volunteers in the kitchen than visitors eating what they cooked. For a number of reasons the turnout was small for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner put on by our church. I would guess that there were about 8 people plus the staff at the dinner table. For one thing the retirement home in Whitinsville decided to cook Thanksgiving dinner for their residents this year. Many more people signed up for the annual affair than actually showed up. I enjoyed the company of those who were there as well as the delicious meal prepared for us by folks that gave up a portion of their holiday for those who would have been alone if not for their efforts. A big hearty thank you to all that participated.

1st Shavings – Rabbeting Block Plane

My new Lie-Nielsen Low Angle Rabbeting Block Plane just arrived late yesterday afternoon. It was actually right on time because these are not mass produced heirloom tools. I had to wait just about 10 days for a production run produced this one for me.

LN Low Angle Rabbeting Block Plane

The difference between my older standard low angle block plane and this rabbeting version is that the plane’s iron (blade) protrudes completely out the sides of the plane body. This allows the woodworker to plane right up to the wall of a rabbet joint.

Rabbet Joint

Rabbet Joint

There many ways to make a rabbet joint that includes a table saw, router table with rabbeting bit, rabbeting plane with edge guide, shoulder planes, rabbeting block planes or a hammer & chisel. The rabbet joint is one of the most basic yet often used joints in woodworking. How you make it is totally up to the craftsman.

I setup my vise clamping station to see what my new plane could do. I adjusted the blade for a fairly thick shaving and clamped a block of poplar into my vise on edge. The resulting 3/4″ shaving curled out of the plane effortlessly. I’ve learned a lot in the past 6 months on how to setup a plane to produce uniform shavings the length of the piece of wood. It’s a beautiful thing that becomes hypnotizing very quickly. Sure I could have used power tools to accomplish the same task but judgement on which tool produces the finest finished edge the quickest is still out there. I love the sound and feel of hand tool woodworking as there is no sawdust and no loud power tool noise. πŸ™‚

A Busy Down Day

What I mean by a down day is one where I have no outside plans, appointments or chores. It doesn’t mean I’m lounging around in my underwear snoozing or eating myself to death either. I kept quite busy actually, cleaning my kitchen, cleaning my indoor work area and taking care of some online shopping chores. I had three packages arrive today that included another new clothing outfit. I also received two new tools that I had ordered a few weeks ago. Ome was a replacement low angle block plane known as a rabbeting plane. The difference between a block plane and a rabbeting plane is that on a rabbeting plane the iron goes all the way to the outside edges of the plane. On a block plane it doesn’t. The rabbeting plane is more versatile in that it allows you to cut rabbet joints. The block plane is still useful but it’s intended for finishing tenon joints and softening the edges of boards.

I also ordered a hotdog attachment for my big No. 62 low angle jack plane. One of the uses for a big jack plane is on its side on a shooting board, a device used to square up end grain and shave straight grain to a marking line. The hotdog attachment fits on the side of my jack plane, acting as a comfortable handle while pushing it through a cut on its side.

That about wraps up all my Christmas shopping for 2017. I have some wrapping to still do and fill candy & cookie containers as stocking stuffers. My new natural wreath look great hanging from my front door.

Tomorrow it’s off to church with my large container of cranberry sauce to add to the huge meal planned for all the single folk who have no other place to celebrate the holiday. I’m so happy this is being done each year. I’ve spent my share of Thanksgiving all alone because of circumstances beyond my control. That includes walking a flightline in a foreign country while in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. Happy Thanksgiving to all who read these posts. God Bless you all!

New Clothes For Bob

It’s been at least 5 years since I last bought new clothes. I’m not referring to my Winter jackets and hoodies when I moved to New England but the casual wear that fills my closet. I’ve been a blue jeans and T-shirt kind of guy since I rode motorcycles and used to work in manufacturing. Only when I worked in an office environment back in the late 80s have I owned nice dress slacks and good quality shirts.

In the case of nicer clothes I used to always buy Haggar Action slacks because the material they use is so very comfortable. Add to that the fact that Haggar slacks have an elastic waistband that doesn’t actually require a belt. They just fit beautifully.

For shirts I prefer Van Heusen or Arrow shirts. Again, comfort is king. I love the fit and sharp looks of a Van Heusen dress shirt.

None of these clothes are what I refer to as cheap. A pair of slacks and one dress shirt can easily set you back $80. That makes it important to select color and styles that can be mixed and matched. I’ve done that with the first 4 articles in my new wardrobe. That potentially gives me 4 new outfits.

I bought the first set to try out the sizes and fit. Once satisfied the brands satisfied my requirements I then ordered my second set. You can see the possibilities below. I couldn’t believe the compliments I received while modeling that first outfit. They are flattering to my my bowling pin body shape. Camouflage and concealment was my wife’s motto and I still employ that strategy. πŸ™‚ Total cost was $103.

New Clothes 01

Who’s Next, Santa Claus?

I was shocked last night after watching my favorite channel, CBS. Charlie Rose was missing from the CBS Evening News team. Suddenly his story was front page news. 8 women had accused Mr. Rose of sexual harassment, walking in front of them nude as if to test the waters. He didn’t deny the accusations but instead chose to apologize for his behavior, stating he was embarrassed by the release of these claims. Charlie is in his mid 70s. Regardless of his age CBS suspended him and removed all the programming associated with his name.

Who will fall next, Santa Claus? There seems to be an epidemic going on in the United States, grown men in positions of power and fame being forced to resign. Some immediately choose to disappear and reports of their checking into clinics for the sexual addiction they claim to have. Doctors claim there is no such thing at sexual addiction and state treatment for it is bogus and expensive. The rich and famous got caught with their hand in the cookie jar and are quick to claim. “I’m sick”.

The days of throwing your arms up screaming “Boys will be boys” are over. I want to see them in jail doing hard time with “Bubba”. Please throw the idiots in jail for killing freshmen pledges while claiming it’s all in the name of good clean fun! If I assaulted the dean’s wife I’d never see the light of day again. Stop covering the crimes being committed here. “Lock them up”!

Share Your World – November 20, 2017

Share Your World – November 20, 2017

If you were having difficulty on an important test and could safely cheat by looking at someone else’s paper, would you do so?


What things in nature do you find most beautiful?

Puppy dog tails, Meows, birdsong, the sound of wind through trees. a babbling brook, the scent of flowers, rolling thunder, rain hitting my roof hard, sunrises & sunsets. πŸ™‚

Complete this sentence: When I travel I love to….

Stop at mom & pop restaurants and local scenic sights.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?

I was inspired by the love and generosity of people. Our large dining hall at church was filled full of bags and boxes of food for Thanksgiving baskets to distribute to the needy. We also manage to fill the local food banks so that others may have a joyous holiday.

Why I Love Woodworking

I just finished watching videos on YouTube by James Wright on his Wood by Wright channel. James is a primarily hand tool woodworker. He does, occasionally, stray to the darkside and use an electric power planer when he’s up against a clock to get his projects for videos out on time. He might plane one board with a hand plane to show how it’s done but then finish 12 more identical to the first piece using the power planer to make schedule. Let’s face it, hand tool woodworking is time intensive.

The other reason I love woodworking is the pride one takes in creating something from nothing. When I got started, about 40 years ago, I had no tools or wood and needed to buy my first basic hand tools. I had one 3/4″ chisel, a 16 ounce framing hammer and a cheap Stanley combination hand saw. I made picnic tables and benches with those first tools and learned how to saw properly. I cut mortise & tenon joints with my hammer and chisel. I never did learn how to properly sharpen a chisel until last year while reviving my love for woodworking. You see, you never really stop learning in this journey called woodworking. As you improve your skills you learn to do things faster as well as make them better. A sharp chisel or plane blade is easier to use and much more precise.

Next comes the “Ahhhh” moments. I’ve been caught with this big grin on my face as I stand, exhausted, covered in sawdust. It’s getting your hands dirty and getting all sweaty. It’s the satisfaction of making things with your own two hands. I’ve made furniture twenty five years ago that’s still being used by the people I made it for, baby cribs, beds, stools, picnic tables and much, much more. Things well made out of wood last for generations. My sister’s deck that I built for her when I got out of the Air Force in 1979 still stands and gets used every single day. That’s about 38 years ago.

So now I’m 68 years old and in better physical condition than a lot of seniors around me. Sure I have issues with diabetes and high blood pressure but I keep physically active with my hobbies that still put a smile on my face even when nobody’s looking. πŸ™‚

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!

We’re about to turn the corner and begin this year’s holiday season tomorrow. There are sales everywhere already as the stores try to get the jump on the competition for your dollars. I hate that every Tom, Dick & Harry has a Black Friday sale these days. I always considered Black Friday as a purely online experience yet TV ads are trying to compete by hinting that it’s better to save on a new truck or car than smaller stuff you get off I guess brick & mortar stores are really hurting due to the switch to online sales with good prices, selection and free delivery. Now WalMart is in an all out war with for its market share of merchandise sold this holiday season. Although I shop a bit at WalMart online it pales in comparison to what I spend at amazon on a month to month basis. Amazon’s selection, price and quality are better across the board. I’m tired of WalMart’s Chinese clothing that isn’t that cheap except in quality. I shop for American goods made by American workers.

I’m in the process of updating my wardrobe from blue jeans and T-shirts to dress slacks and dress shirts. Doing this takes time on my fixed income as a pair of Haggar action slacks and a casual Van Heusen shirt can set you back $50 easily. Now I buy one outfit, try it on and if it looks and feels right I return for more, one set at a time. I’ll vary the colors and styles so I can mix and match. I waited to begin this wardrobe upgrade until my old close are looking pretty threadbare right now. I’m blending in the new with the old for the next year, buying one new outfit every month until I cry “Uncle” from the cost or for a full closet. I’m eliminating the jeans quickly as my lifestyle is changing as a senior who has given up the motorcycles and their inherent clothing demands.

My Christmas shopping is almost done for this year. I’ve sent two packages out in the mail just in the past week. Again, if I purchase online I get free shipping with my Prime account. It works for me! πŸ™‚

How To Spend Nothing On Christmas

The wording for this blog post is intentionally tricky. I put together a Christmas package for my new brother in law, Steve, knowing he comes from a maintenance/handyman background. He just moved to South Carolina from Texas to spend the rest of his life with my sister, Barbara. Steve’s been through hell with physical issues that are just about resolved. I’ve never met the man but through Barb’s description I know we’d be friends.

I boxed up leftover, duplicate items that every handyman would love to own. They include a brand new workbench on casters, just add the 2″x4″s. I threw in a Lie-Nielsen No. 102 low angle block plane that I’m in the process of replacing with an advanced version. It’s already in the mail. He’ll love that solid bronze, heirloom quality tool. I boxed it all up and sent it via FedEx this morning. The only money I spent was for the shipping. Merry Christmas Steve.

Lie-Nielsen Bronze Low Angle No. 102 Block Plane

Bob's Lie-Nielsen 102

Simpson Strong-tie Workbench Hardware – Just Add Lumber

Simpson Strongtie Workbench Hardware

Rockler Workbench Casters

Rockler Workbench Casters