Archive: » 2019 » December

donsbarn.com Store Inventory Re-filled

For the past several months just as I have been working feverishly on re-siding my daughter’s house my polissoirs maker has been concentrating on wrapping up his several years’ project building their dream house.  They have been moving in recent days, but the broom-making studio is not yet fully installed in the new house,  As a result the stream of new polissoirs dried up, and for the past couple of months at least I have been out of some inventory.  I am happy to report that as of yesterday I am now fully stocked with all the varieties of polissoirs, with the routine of making new ones back on track.  For the next several months we will be building the inventory for next year’s Handworks.

In addition I got the guy who makes the blocks of specialty waxes (that would be me) to get on the stick and re-stock them and Mel’s Wax as well.

I will be spending the next couple of days filling and shipping all the orders I have outstanding, and should be caught up by Thursday.  I’ve got a couple trips over the mountains in the meantime or I would get them done tomorrow.

The Three-Legged Pig

One of my favorite jokes of all time is the old one about the heroic three-legged pig, with the punch line being, “A pig that good, you just don’t eat him all at once.”

This past week I was able to spend the evening visiting with my long time woodworking pal Tom in his shop.  If you recall, Tom and spent Wednesday evenings for many years working in his shop and it was such a delight to reprise those evenings.  Anyhow, to tie the joke to this post I tell you that Tom was clearing some space in his shop.  Translation: he was making me take a bunch of my stuff with me so he could get some more space.

One of the treats he threw into the mix as I was loading up the car was this exquisite slab of birds-eye(!) walnut, measuring 36″ x 16″ x 4-1/2″.  Now that is a spectacular pig and I do not want to eat it all at once.

I have some ideas about what to do with this treasure and the current front runner is this lovely accessory for the bench top.

Before It do that, however, I want to make a prototype from my stash of old growth, premium cypress staves from a c. 1840 water tank I bought during the mezozoic era.   Once I get that done I can turn my attention to the walnut one. 

In fact, the walnut slab is so thick I can re-saw it and make two of them.

No sense in wasting a pig that good.

Cockroach’s Cousins, Part 3

With the repairs completed on the south side of our daughter’s house it was time to start the re-siding.  It was the beginning of a process that included singing the praises of the Hughes Flying Boat.  It was on that project where the first pneumatic nail gun was invented, which in turn was the grandfather of the shingle stapler I used for attaching several hundred cedar shingles to the house.  (A project that will continue through the winter no doubt, making it about six months’ of work intermittently.  The crazy thing is I can still work as hard and as long as I used to, but I just don’t get as much done.  Huh.)

I finished the new shingles up to the top of the first floor, dealing with the area I had excavated to repair and replace the window framing before re-inserting the window.

Compared to the stating point I was not displeased.  I will be even less displeased once the entire wall is completed.

Once that milestone was reached I wrapped around to the east side of the house, peeling off the cedar shingle panels that had served us for the past thirty-plus years, and nailing on the new shingles over new tarpaper.  NB – the shingling “mistake” on the right side of the door is simply a “cover up” for a box to the defunct lighting that will be replace.  Some day.

Another week of work done with many more to go.

In The Neighborhood

When I blogged ten days ago about the sensation of being thunderstruck at the fellow who brought in a Studelyesque petite Prentiss vise to a recent PATINA gathering I mentioned that I had something sorta similar.

This is it, a charming little piece.   It’s a smidge bigger than the prized Prentiss but definitely in the neighborhood.  I do not know if any original japanning remains but perhaps one day this winter I will take a swab and solvent to it to find out.

You cannot really see in this picture but the base has been broken through-and-through and remounted to a new metal sub-plate, which is the only reason I could afford it.

I guess those differences really do delineate a $15 vise from a $1500 one.