Author Topic: hi folks, have missed ya'll  (Read 2094 times)

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Offline bird

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hi folks, have missed ya'll
« on: July 27, 2011, 12:53:18 AM »
Hi guys,
       I've been missing you folks. A bunch of crap has been going on in my life...... but who hasn't gone through all that?!!  Don't answer that question.  (that reminds me of asking my mother, "Is it just me, or are things going completely crazy" DON"T ANSWER THAT, MOM! )
   Anyhow, I seemed to have buried myself in a bunch of stuff that left me without the ability to remember the things that make me happy, and the persons that make me happy. Oh, yes, I'll sound cheezy.... which isn't normally an adjective that I would be associated with (primarily because it isn't an actual word), but I always find that when I'm unhappy, part of the problem is that  I stop talking to you folks.
     If any of you have continual recurring problems, whether they are mental, emotional, addiction related, ect. you probably know that "cutting off all ties with the world" always seems like a very rational and smart idea.
      My dog has the unfortunate fate of listening to me every day.  I suppose the rest of the world is fortunate that I have my dog!
       A friend of mine showed up at my house this evening with her kid. She said, "Jenny,  I hate to do this, but could you 'watch her' for a while..... I need to use your computer." I suppose she's not that much of a kid-- 11 years old. But, I'm not that great with kids.
       When they showed up, I was in my usual place in the evening, sitting in my rocking chair on my front porch reading..... an anthology of the best "short plays" by American playwrights in the last few years.
     I asked Tara (the kid) how she was doing. I told her, "come on out back with me.  I have to check on my beans, strawberries, raspberries, and tomatoes. "
     She gave me a very disconcerting look. I told her, "well, if you're going to be over here, you may as well make yourself useful!."   Like I said, I'm not great with kids.
     Anyhow, she came out back and said, "wow, your garden is bigger than my house! Do you need to give those plants some water?"
      "Well, yes, they'd like a drink, but I just haven't gotten around to it today."
       "I could water those plants for you."
        I told her to wait a minute while I turned on the hose. After a few minutes of her telling me that the water didn't work, the water got around to traveling through the twists and turns of the hose and showed up at the end of the hose.
    While she was doing that, I ran back upstairs and told my friend Shannon, "Your kid's worth a lot more then you are!  At least she does something around here!!!! (HAHA)"
     We had gone from my front yard through the cattle gate to the back yard.  After I went upstairs I came back downstairs through my shop to go outside.
  She said, "I haven't been in THERE since I was five or six."
       "You haven't been in where?  My shop?"
      "UHha"
      "Well, you can come in here now, if you want to."
The first thing she asked me, "What's all that stuff on the floor?"
     I was hoping and praying she wasn't referring to the all too many cigarettes on the floor (which are definitely PUT OUT before they rest on the floor). But, I was saved. I guess she'd never seen sawdust before---- at least, not in the quantities that I have (several inches deep).
     I couldn't believe it. She had no idea that wood came from trees, and that trees could be cut into "slabs." And that those "slabs" could be shaped into beautiful pieces of wood that persons like me made furniture out of.
       I don't know what she thought furniture was made out of or who made it.... although, these days, who knows what "furniture" is made out of or who makes it!
      She looked at every tool in my shop (well, 'every tool' would take a lifetime).  "What does that do?  What does that thing do?"  She was referring to the power tools in my shop.
 She looked all around my shop, but didn't notice my actual "main workbench." But, eventually, she honed in on a hand plane (OK, that's a little bit of a play on words!).  At that point in the evening, I was happy. I told her, "You know these machines you've been asking me about? Everything in the world was built without them until a certain recent time."
      She said, "Not AHHH.  Are you for real?"
"Yeah, I'm for real!"  I guess that's the way you're supposed to answer that type of question. So, she started looking at my planes.  She had asked about the routing table I have. So, I tried to explain to her that the planes I use do the "same job" that the router does.  She asked me, "why are there so many of them?!" 
    So, I started to explain what purpose each plane had..... I realized I was "losing her" ..... I'm pretty sure most persons wouldn't want to hear about each and every plane I have ..... must be 30 or so that I use..... of course, .... then there are those that I buy, repair, ect.
    Anyhow, she really wanted to use a wood plane. I joked with her, I said, "well, this is my work horse. It can tackle anything."  Her eyes became larger than I thought a child's eyes could become.  I guess that's because I was going to hand her my "work horse" plane, 33 or 36 inches long. I guess that was a bit much.  So, I picked out a "well tuned" block plane for her to use.  I told her to "follow the lines in the wood."  I guess that's the best way I could think of to describe "going with the grain" of the wood.  I had to shut my eyes when she decided to travel across the grain rather then with it....
     It took her a little while, but, she finally had that great feeling of watching a long "curl" of wood show up from the throat of a good plane.
       I couldn't believe it. A kid that spends her life watching TV and playing video games came to my house and left fascinated with the small curls of wood a hand plane produces!!!!!
    WOW!  Maybe there is hope left in this world!
      Maybe that's what I needed to get me out of this mess I've been in. If a little kid from the city could come to my house, learn about gardening and woodworking and not want to leave "my shop"...... well, like I said, maybe that restores my hope for the world!
    Yes, I'm still the "resident rambler"
cheers, bird
Silent bidder extraordinaire!
"Aunt birdie, I think you're the best loser ever!!!!!!"

Offline Papaw

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Re: hi folks, have missed ya'll
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2011, 01:15:32 AM »
Good to hear from you, Jenny!
It is pleasing when a young'un begins to "see" things in a different light. Maybe you will be a small part of awakening her to the real world.

You are welcome to ramble here, we miss you when you stay away.
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Offline J.A.F.E.

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Re: hi folks, have missed ya'll
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2011, 01:19:21 AM »
Glad to see you again. You did a good thing with that little girl. Maybe you turned her on to a working with her hands and mind.

I've been wondering how you are doing. How is the hand?
All my taste is in my tools.

Offline bird

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Re: hi folks, have missed ya'll
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2011, 01:40:05 AM »
The hand's coming along. Of course, my doctor told me I'd be out of the cast/brace I was in within six weeks...... a little over nine weeks and I'm still in it. In his defense, the doc knows me.... he's already done three other surgeries on my hands and knows I'm a stubborn son of a bitch. I don't "take well" to someone telling me I can't do something. In fact, last time I saw him, he said, "jenny, do me a favor. Next time you go to use a tool, beat it against hard metal for awhile until it's dull."
     I asked him how he expected to stay in business if I would do such a logical thing.......  He said, "I think I'll make it without you. But, I have a bad feeling I'll see you again..... you're only in your thirties."   I thanked him for his vote of confidence and left!!
       Anyhow, I've made the executive decision that I can use my hand again.  ... really.... how long can it take for a tendon to re-attach itself?  Who knows, maybe I should have went with the plan of "super glue" and a few days rest. O well, I trust the doc.... he's performed a number of successful surgeries on my hands before.
     Anyhow, I can't stand to be out of work any longer due to two things:  I'm going crazy and I'm broke.!!!!
My brother "dropped off" 40 or so slabs of walnut lumber--- about 5/4 by 6-8" and around 14 ft long. He wants me to joint and plane them for him. I'm happy to do that for him. For some reason, I've always enjoyed taking peices of wood that look like shit, and turning them into beautiful peices of lumber. But, that's a lot to go through. He said he'd buy me a new set of planer blades and jointer blades...... also said he'd give me a 1/4 of the walnut lumber..... I'm SOLD!!!!!!!
       Anyhow, I can't be bothered with a "bum hand" anymore. ....... I'm broke, living without my passion, and unhappy...... I need my hand !!!!!
   Cheers, dear,
bird
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"Aunt birdie, I think you're the best loser ever!!!!!!"

Offline Branson

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Re: hi folks, have missed ya'll
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2011, 03:50:17 AM »
That's a couple of nice rambles.  They made my day.  You and Tara are both  lucky.  What a great story that is!    Kids can still amaze us, and can still be amazed and interested.  It keeps me hopeful.  My wife's boys (17 and 20) have watched me gather tools at flea markets and such, without seeming bored.  But a couple of weeks ago I mentioned, just mentioned, to the older one I'd like to take him to one of the Civil War events to see the tools and their work.  His face lit up and he said he'd really like that.  It was a real "gee whiz" moment for me.   

Mmm... I know the feeling, but don't get too unbothered by a bum hand.  Because you *do* need it.  Give it enough time to really heal so you won't be without it again.  That's really scary.  About ten years ago, I got cellulitis in my right hand. Nasty stuff.  The doctor looked at it and the first thing he said was, "I think I can save the hand."  That scared me about as much as I've ever been scared.  He said, after the surgery, that it would take three months to be usable again, but I did get it back to work (wood work and painting) in a month and a half.

That much sawdust on the floor...  Fond memories here.  Sawdust and shavings...  I've stood in shavings deeper than my ankles from the planer, and also from a long day with hand planes.  Wonderful stuff.


Offline Neals

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Re: hi folks, have missed ya'll
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2011, 01:20:40 PM »
They have all kinds of student foreign exchange programs. I think rural/city exchange programs would be just as valuable.

Offline bird

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Re: hi folks, have missed ya'll
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2011, 09:37:22 PM »
It's so great to hear from you folks.....
   As for sawdust, I supply friends with endless "sandboxes" full of sawdust. I try to make sure that pressure wood sawdust does not end up in the mix. That little kid, Tara, may have "jump-started" my career.  I've got a ton of walnut boards to plane... joint... whatever.... make them usable pieces of lumber.
     I always hate it when I seem like such a .... I don't know, lush, idealist, optimist.......     I wish I was an optimist.... hasn't yet happened to me.   But, I'm back on my feet, so to speak.  I've got a lot of work to do.  I feel like I have the strength to do it. I see my PT person on Monday morning.  So, hopefully she will tell me I can do whatever I want to do----- the tendon is healed!! I'm going on ten weeks since surgery,  and I'm THROUGH WITH IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    And so, Monday morning, holds the "truth" of my tendon situation.  I hope she clears me for "business as usual."  If she doesn't, well, I've got work to do. I've done nothing but lose money for the last three or four months. I can't continue to follow that path.
      I have to make money. I'm going to make money, now.  I'm going to cater a ton of parties, I'm going to repair and refinish furniture, I'm going to build furniture, I'm going to cater parties for certain persons, and I'm going to get enough money that leads me into a life where I can pay my bills and my electric, phone, ect. bills.
   And so, as I've said before, I will not my hand ruin my life. I can do all sorts of things without it. I will continue to live my life without that stupid hand.
cheers, bird
Silent bidder extraordinaire!
"Aunt birdie, I think you're the best loser ever!!!!!!"

Offline bird

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Re: hi folks, have missed ya'll
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2011, 10:13:42 PM »
That's a couple of nice rambles.  They made my day.  You and Tara are both  lucky.  What a great story that is!    Kids can still amaze us, and can still be amazed and interested.  It keeps me hopeful.  My wife's boys (17 and 20) have watched me gather tools at flea markets and such, without seeming bored.  But a couple of weeks ago I mentioned, just mentioned, to the older one I'd like to take him to one of the Civil War events to see the tools and their work.  His face lit up and he said he'd really like that.  It was a real "gee whiz" moment for me.   

Mmm... I know the feeling, but don't get too unbothered by a bum hand.  Because you *do* need it.  Give it enough time to really heal so you won't be without it again.  That's really scary.  About ten years ago, I got cellulitis in my right hand. Nasty stuff.  The doctor looked at it and the first thing he said was, "I think I can save the hand."  That scared me about as much as I've ever been scared.  He said, after the surgery, that it would take three months to be usable again, but I did get it back to work (wood work and painting) in a month and a half.

That much sawdust on the floor...  Fond memories here.  Sawdust and shavings...  I've stood in shavings deeper than my ankles from the planer, and also from a long day with hand planes.  Wonderful stuff.



     I'm glad someone else knows that feeling of inches and inches of sawdust! I used to think that sand beneath my feet was a great feeling. But, that "sand feeling" lost its charm rather quickley when I found sand in every inch of my house!
     But, I have to say, standing in my old work boots (held together with duct tape).... steel toes and all, in a large area of sawdust that has a general 3-6 inch height is rewarding in some odd way.
    Sounds like you know that great feeling created by shavings through a planer or jointer..... but, most of all, through hand planes. I hate to say it, but some of those hand planes I have are my closest friends. 
    HERE I GO AGAIN..... the rambler!!!!
      I have a few old wooden planes that I rely upon.  A few of my best friends are these old, wooden planes... 22 plus inches. They're not planes that someone would "bid on" in an auction.  Most of these old "friends" are full of worm holes. But, their bodies could easily be "leveled."  And, I have to say, they have some pretty nice pieces of iron on them!!!!  Both the blades and cap irons are incredible!!!!!!  I'm talking about some serious pieces of metal!!!!
      My main work horse is a 28 inch hunk of wood, with a hunk of iron--- they've decided to work together. I'm very appreciative to have this particular old plane.
      Persons seem to think that woodworking involves a lot of machinery.  I continue to strive towards my original goal that you folks know from long ago---- I want to be able to do everything by hand before I depend on a machine to help me out. I'm surprised that so many woodworkers overlook hand tools.  Hand tools can save you a lot of time in a number of situations.
    For instance, if you have a rough cut "slab" of wood  that is crooked, cupped, and twisted,  the best way to solve the multitude of problems within that one "slab" of wood is to take a plane to it.  If you find a long plane that you're comfortable with, you can save a lot of time, and save "dulling your planer/ jointer blades" by studying that "slab" of wood, and letting your hand plane run accordingly.
       I truly believe that hand tools are far more important than "electric/ battery powered" tools. After all, anyone can shove a board through a planer. But, without the knowledge of how a planer works,  someone is liable to wind up with a board that they shuved through a planer, resulting in the same "cupped" board they started out with in the first place. 
     Yes, I often sound silly. But, if you cannot "read" the wood you're working with, no amount of machinery can help you. 
     
Well, I've rambled on enough for one evening .
cheers, bird
     
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"Aunt birdie, I think you're the best loser ever!!!!!!"

Offline Branson

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Re: hi folks, have missed ya'll
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2011, 09:06:36 AM »
Another nice ramble, Bird.  Yep,  I'm very familiar with piles of shavings, both from planers and shapers, and from busy hand planes.  I've ended a long day of planing almost knee deep in shavings from the planers.  Time to sweep!  But I worked in a shop with a bunch of Viet-Namese carpenters and shipwrights who used the planes they made themselves who put ankle high piles of curls on the floor.  I learned a lot in that year!  A lot of practical stuff from people who had been making their living doing this work.

It was working at Phoenix Planing Mill that dragged me into the 20th Century -- but not very far.  My metal planes are mostly pre-war Stanleys, from an aluminum pocket plane to a #7 jointer.  Sweet tools.

I still love my wooden planes -- the oldest is an 18th Century carriage makers short rabbet -- and have a bunch of smoothers, one that never had a cap iron, and a hang hole drilled with a quill bit.  I'm fond of razee planes and have several, my favorite is a jack made of a solid hunk of rosewood with an L&IG White blade.

>I want to be able to do everything by hand before I depend on a machine to help me out.

Yep.  That keeps the machine as an assistant instead of a boss.

Nothing like a scrub plane to put things into quick shape.  Got a Stanley and an old wooden horn plane for that work.  I like the quiet of hand tools, and the sound of a sharp blade singing across the board.  And reading the wood, and listening to the plane when it  talks back to you about the work at hand.  Talk about cordless tools...