Stones River Woodworkers Club Murfreesboro, TN

Jay’s Ramblings

March 2015


Man -- has it been cold!!! Every time I get the notion to go work in the shop, I walk out there, feel how cold it is, change my mine, and go back inside and work on the computer. Mind you I’m not short on project ideas. My grandson in Texas got married last year and I need to make her a jewelry box as I’ve done for all the ladies in the family. Nancy made out daughter an afghan for Christmas and now she would like a wooden box to place next to her chair to keep the Afghan in so it will always be handy as a warm cover. PS - The box will also have to be dog proof. I have wanted to make a mini blanket chest for years and have some 3/4” X 12” wide walnut put aside for such a project. When it warms up I’m going to “Get ‘er Done”.

Some time ago I purchased some mini sea urchins for Christmas ornaments. The stated size was 3/4” to 1 1/2” in diameter. Guess who got sent the 3/4” ones. Man are they tiny and fragile so I put them in a safe place “UNTIL” I can find them again. Sea urchins can be really elusive and I’m still searching.

Ran into a problem recently, Nancy bought me a new wallet for Christmas and I just got around to making the transfer -- BUT -- it didn’t work out because all of the compartments are too small. A standard credit card if jammed into a compartment would require a pair of needle-nose pliers to extract it. People give me a bad time because I’m an engineer but at least I would have thought to do a test run on a product I was selling. I am a firm believer that soon our politicians will have our school systems producing graduates who will have their capabilities stretched when asking if you want fries with your burger. We Were in North Carolina and purchased a new entertainment center, had it shipped to the house only to find that my standard sized electronic components were too wide for the built in compartments. Why would someone build something that doesn’t fit standard components and why would a large store sell it? I think that most of the people who buy them are too stupid to realize how little extra effort is required to do it right the first time. Ahh the curse of an engineering mind.

I’ve had several people inquire about visiting my shop and this has me thinking about the possibility of the club holding a turning workshop. We’ve done it in the past but always theme orientated such as pens or Christmas ornaments. Maybe we should do one with no theme. People could just come with questions and someone could show them “a” solution. While every woodworker has developed the “best solution” that fits his needs and is usually always willing to share that information, an attendee can do what we’ve all done at one time or another, sift through the various methods and select the one that best suits his or her needs.  Since more and more lathes have standardized their specifications, the odds get better and better that a procedure demonstrated on a lathe at the workshop will apply to an attendee's lathe at home or the one to be purchased at a later date.

Every woodworker has selected certain vendors that can provide the best product ant the best price so learning of new options can never hurt even if you never use them. Personally I’ve had good luck with chucks from Penn State, casters and measuring devices from Grizzly and Lee Valley will always be high on my list. Everyone doing woodworking or any other hobby will have their favorites so it is beneficial to everyone to share sources. Good and bad experiences are always welcome. Verbal information exchanges are always the best in this day and age where everything you say can wind up on Face book or You-tube.

After showing my shop to Terry, I wanted to do something on the lathe but nothing big so I turned a lidded box out of maple. Afterwards I set the lid and bowl grain orientation and installed a 1/8” x 1/8” rare earth rod magnets in both the top and bowl lips so when the lid is turned, the magnets align and attract to hold the lid and bowl in the correct orientation for the grain to align. Works in the dark too. Always remember to get the second magnet aligned correctly or they repel rather than attract.

Waiting for warm weather, Jay