Sunday, February 28, 2010

Beer n' Loathing

I need to change the name of this blog to something less self-destructive. Last evening, I put the 'beer' in 'Beer 'n Lathing' and am feeling the effects well into this afternoon. I can count how many times I have done this on one hand since I got back from Korea in 2006. In Korea, well, that's a different story.

Things around here have finally settled down enough to make another blog post. Since my last post I have been getting a lot of things done to prepare for my upcoming retirement from the military, which is less than 30 days away. In preparation, I bought a small RV which is more than enough for me, the dog, and a few ratties.

An RV is a never-ending exercise in organization and making things seem bigger on the inside than they look on the outside. I was fortunate to be able bring most of my tools, with the large bulky power tools being shipped at the Air Force's expense.

I did purchase a small foldable workbench which will suffice until I can further research a more solid colapsable woodworking bench that will fit in the "cellar". I have seen a few ideas on the subject and I'm confident that I can effectively constuct something that will suit my needs for my adventures this summer and maybe even further in to the future.

On my way back from purchasing my new home, I stopped in Waco to take a couple of classes at Homestead Heritage. The two classes I took were "Handplanes-Their History and Use" and "Joinery I: Woodworking with Hand Tools". I really can't express adequately in words just how much I enjoyed these two days and the knowledge I gained from Frank Strazza is immeasurable.

I took very few pictures as I was completely focused on learning as much as I could in the limited time allocated. I whole-heartedly recommend these courses for anybody having the opportunity to attend.

The Woodworking School has some very beautiful stained glass windows on the doors. I would have taken a better picture but it was raining really hard that day.

My only goal in the planes class was to make big boards into small shavings. At the start we each had two boards on our workstations, one about 1/2 inch thick and another at about 1-1/4 inch thick. I shaved the thicker board to the exact same dimension of the smaller for no apparant reason other than to appease my silly sense of humor.

Another picture of my hard work in progress.

Frank told us that during demonstrations, he would sometimes write on the edge of a board and shave it off. Of course, I had to give it a try.

Stay sharp, my friends.