“I’ve Fallen & I Can’t Get up”!

That’s the first thing that entered my mind as I scraped myself off yet another sidewalk two days ago. After enjoying a great meal at a new tavern restaurant I fell after leaving the dining room. Of course I landed on my favorited left knee where I added yet another scar on top of the ones from previous falls. What is it with old people and falling? Darn, now I are one! LOL I’m also sporting a giant Bandaid bandage covering a 4 inch gash acquired during that same fall. I’m beginning to look like the walking wounded in a zombie movie. I still have no idea what caused me to fall except I was sore and stiff from working outside before we left for a late lunch. I stiffened up riding in the car to get to Rhode Island and stiffened more sitting on a stool chair in the tavern. It was Saturday and the place was packed.

I managed to survive the fall with just scrapes and new scabs. Of course I’m still healing from the trauma of every fall when you tense up before hitting concrete. I’ll survive. It could have been much worse as there were more than two steps to traverse upon my exit. I could have broken something. I didn’t!

I know enough to have immediately put an antiseptic on the gash and take two Aleve when I got home. That helped everything that night before going to bed. So having lived through this next episode in being a senior I will redouble my efforts to be carefull when I know I’m tired, old and rickety. I will take the extra two seconds to look BEFORE I step inside or outside a doorway. I will endeavor to persevere!

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My New Router Table Is Built

The stars came into perfect alignment yesterday to allow me to get outside on a beautiful day. We’ve been experiencing light rains this past week, leftovers from hurricane Jose. I’ve been sick for 10 days so it was good to get outside and get some fresh air as I had a short period between hurricanes to get a project completed.

The Kreg precision benchtop router table went together like an erector set. The directions were not very good but I managed to figure out what needed to be done. The build quality is very high with Kreg tools. I just finished mounting and assembling Kreg’s K5 pocket hole station last weekend. I needed just a few basic hand tools to finish their router bench. Everything was predrilled on this benchtop tool. I still need to mount it onto a 1/2″ sheet of Baltic Birch plywood that will allow me to quickly clamp it to my workbench for use. The router table is made of a heavy gauge steel that’s very sturdy, rigid and stable. The top is a thick laminated MDF with T-track and slots for its moveable split fence. This will be a valuable tool when added to my growing collection of woodworking power tools. I have mounted my 1 3/4 hp Porter Cable 690LR router permanently to the table. I own a 2nd DeWalt plunge router for handheld router duties.

Kreg PRS2100 Benchtop Router Table

Remembering Friends

One of the advantages of being a photographer is having lots of pictures to remind you of good friends. Fortunately I lived near them long enough to capture some really nice ones. They reflect the love in their eyes which is always my goal in capturing portraits. Two of my dearest friends, Micheline & Richard Stubblefield, are the parent of my best friend, Warren in Portland, OR. I spent many a holiday with the three of them and always felt loved.

Miche 01

Richard 2010

So here’s to good friends. May they live long and prosper!

Keeping In Touch

Time slows down for no man! I don’t know if that’s an original thought or a quote from someone else. It applies to me of that I am sure. I’ve moved countless times during my 68 years on this planet. It seems the last few have been cross country affairs. There was Aiken, SC to Portland, OR life followed by the Portland, OR to Uxbridge, MA jaunt. 😦

Wth each massive relocation I leave behind everyone I know and love to move to a strange land with strange new cultures and climates. Take the St. Louis, MO to Aiken, SC move as an example. I lost my job of 13 years, my wife of 9 years, and my truck to repossession, all in a span of a month.

All these drastic moves have had one thing in common, money. Or should I be more specific, work. I retired in 2010 primarily because of the recession that swept across the country. When the recovery came suddenly my Social Security check combined with a small retirement check from my 13 years at McDonnell Douglas in St. Louis was insufficient to rent a closet size apartment in the Northwest. Trust me when I tell you I lived for 4 years in a 13’x13′ sub-studio apartment that suddenly cost me over $850 a month without any utilities included. I was, again, forced to relocate.

If I’ve learned anything by all of these things happening it’s that we’re constantly being challenged to just survive in this cruel world. Getting older in our country has damn few benefits. Do you know that my Social Security income is less than unemployment benefits in Oregon? Did you know that unemployment benefits were never intended to be sufficient to live on full time. What’s that say about Social security, a dying government program. Medicare will die next! I can’t even afford Medicare on my fixed income but I have VA medical coverage that covers almost everything, as long as you don’t care about your teeth. 😦

So I’ve learned to trust in God to fulfill His promise to take care of us in all things and all ways. Just keep your possessions lightly packed because you might be moving again at any instant. LOL God bless!

South Carolina Friends – Jack, Marion, Sam

JackMarionSam

Portland, OR Friends – Dianne, Donna, Pat

Gang Of Three

More Portland, OR Friends

Best Friends

Uxbridge, Massachusetts Friends – Marsha, Pete, Edith, Sue, Omer, Mary

Bob's Table At Savini's 2016

Share Your World – September 18, 2017

Share Your World – September 18, 2017

Complete this sentence: I want to learn more about …

….drawing a blank here. I’m not saying I know it all but I’m really not interested in tackling anything new right now.

On a vacation what you would require in any place that you sleep?

Quiet! Outside noise, conversations and unfamiliar sounds can keep me awake away from home. I don’t want any party animals or barking dogs disturbing my sleep.

What is your greatest extravagance?

That’s easy, my hobbies. I’ve run the gambit on all the photography equipment I will ever want so now it’s on to woodworking. I’ve just about saturated that pursuit as well so I may lie low for a while until something else spikes my interest.

What inspired you this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

Again, not much of anything inspired me last week. Keep in mind I was sick the whole week so recovery was foremost in my goals. I’m almost healthy again, about 80% at this point.

Gettin-R-Done

I’ve been sick for two weeks with a head & chest cold. After not having any energy or enthusiasm to do much of anything I sensed a bit of life yesterday at my local senior center. I arrived at home and immediately set up my outside workbench and started building. I made a mounting jig for my new Kreg K5 pocket hole tool. That allowed me to use it immediately to make a new drill press table with a two drawer storage unit below. Both the K5 jig and drill press table utilize a great design with a removable center section shaped like a large dovetail pin. That way I can remove the K5 unit or replace a worn out drill press sacrificial piece of wood in the center.

I was covered in sawdust as a light misty rain began to fall. I ended my first day back into woodworking in over two weeks. I had a smile on my face as I finished cleaning up. I slept like a log last night, ready for another day. It’s Tuesday and hurricane Jose is close enough to New England to bring us some much needed rain today. There’s a 90% chance of rain so I’ll be inside assembling my new Kreg benchtop router table and maybe even get a start on unboxing my new WEN 10″ drill press. I’m not going to work myself to death but I have plenty of projects to keep me busy. Life is good! 🙂

So Much To Do

Yes, I am retired! No, I’m not bored! I have so many projects going on I must prioritize. I’m in no particular hurry it’s just that projects have a workflow that requires planning. Fortunately, in this case, money isn’t an issue. I have a livingroom full of unopened boxes containing new hardware that I ordered weeks ago. There’s a WEN 10″ workbench drill press, a Kreg benchtop router table and a Kreg K5 workbench pocket hole machine. All these require some assembly along with methods to mount them to my workbench. The drill press needs a drill press table, complete with T Track runners to attach a yet unbuilt fence. Then there’s the router table that needs assembly and a mounting plate cut and attached under the table that will allow me to clamp it to my workbench. Finally, there’s that K5 pocket hole jig to make short work out of building fixtures, table tops & jigs for all the other stuff in the loop. I think the K5 needs to be mounted first so I can immediately use it for the rest of the goodies I need to make. It’s also the simplest project, requiring a 24″x12″ flat piece of plywood used to mount the K5 and allow me to clamp it to my benchtop. Everything gets temporarily clamped, used, an unclamped before moving on the the next step in the building project. The more efficient the setup the easier it is to use and then store away.

WEN 4210 Drill Press

The drill press comes next. I’m reusing previously built boxes and a table as my stand for the drill press. Once assembled and functioning well I can move on to constructing a good table, 12″x24″ to it to give me a wide variety of capabilities beyond the original tool out of the box. That fence will be adjustable, riding on T Tracks I must purchase and install in the table top. I already have T Track clamps purchased from Rockler Tools waiting for the construction to be completed.

Rockler Hold Down Clamps

Finally there’s the new Kreg benchtop router table. It’s pretty much a self contained tool once assembled. I’ll measure the finished unit’s base and cut a bigger sheet of 1/2″ Baltic birch plywood to become its base. That will allow me to quickly clamp it securely to my workbench when in use.

The plans I have will keep me busy without the need to purchase much of anything else. The exception is a chunk of Rockler T Track for use on my drill press table. The router table already comes with them installed.

Kreg PRS2100 Benchtop Router Table

 

The Beard Is Gone

I knew it would happen sooner or later. While getting over my cold this week my new beard started irritating me. I decided to shave it off for the time being. Who knows when it will make another appearance? 🙂

Bob's Glasses 01

Giving Online Vendors A Chance

I order a bunch of stuff online. Because I live in a one horse town by choice I find it most convenient to purchase everything from online businesses. Through the years I’ve built up a rapport with certain vendors such as Amazon.com. Most of the time Amazon has good prices, fast shipping with my Prime account and a super wide assortment of stuff available. They are usually my starting point for all orders.

I have discovered Amazon prices can be beat, however, so I shop around on big ticket items. Large power tools or accessories always get a second look elsewhere because Amazon.com charges sales tax for Massachusetts. Other online tool vendors don’t.

When I spot a significant price difference with no sales tax & free shipping I’ll shy away from Amazon. That can be a risky business until you establish the bargain vendor is reputable. When straying from Amazon I’ll check online reviews of an online vendor, reading personal reviews. Then I decide if the risk is worth the savings. A lot of personal evaluations come from people that are hard or impossible to please. I add a big dose of salt to these type of reviews if it’s because of demanding, impatient people. I’m happy to report my instincts are generally right on with regard to my choices.

Such was the case of my first two purchases through Essential Hardware, located in Edison, NJ. If you read their reviews you would run away and not do business with them. I chose the opposite approach, I placed two orders. I’m happy to report I got a great price on name brand items, each over $100. I received both items in 5-7 business days via UPS shipping and in good condition. That’s a 5 star rating in my book, great price, quick delivery and no sales tax. They easily beat Amazon’s bottom line. Believe me when I say they passed my test and now hold a prominent spot on my bookmarked vendor list.

So, shoppers beware, but learn to read between the lines and give vendors a chance to prove the negative nanny reviewers wrong. I’m now much more likely to check out at Essential Hardware in Edison, NJ.  I’ll also look for a way to give them a thumbs up after my first two purchases. Maybe a few positive experiences will raise their ratings for the next buyer doing their homework. 🙂

Kreg Benchtop Router Table – $208.33

Kreg PRS2100 Benchtop Router Table

Kreg K5 Pocket Hole Jig – $127

Kreg K5 Pocket Hole Jig

http://www.essentialhardware.com

Auntie Chandra

I never tire of watching elephants as a family group. They demonstrate such love and care for their young it’s heartwarming.