Monday, January 12, 2015

New Shop Progress.

Here are some more pictures taken between the 6th of December and now. Construction by Pacific Timbercraft.insulation1 Insulation.shop12111401 A sunny day shows off the siding.shop12111402 Nice brackets.shop122214010 Drywall.shop12221401 In process.door0115Garage Door from Applegate Door.01061501Insulation being blown in by Home Insulation Contractorsshop01071501 Felice and I gravelled a temporary/permanent path.01091501 French doors. Need handles.01121501 Here we are today…01121502 Behind the green door…01121503 01121504 The neighbor dropped off a surplus hospital cart for the new shop. I set up a stereo and PC so we could have tunes for the next stage of work.01121505 01121506 01121507 01121508 01121509 01121510 01121511 01121512 There are 20 LED spotlights in the ceiling. If they were incandescents it would burn 2000 watts an hour, with LED it’s about 220W. Bought them for $6.99 each from our local electric company, CPI. 01121513 Two Cadet heaters, one 2KW, the other 1.5KW for heat. They only are needed for very cold days. 01121514

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Time for a Holiday Gift Guide.

Here are some last minute ideas for gifts in case you have just remembered that Christmas and Chanukah are coming up. Basically this is just me telling you what I’ve bought in the last year.

I’m going to start with a couple of great gifts for the people you hate that also have kids. The Korg Monotron Duoand Korg Monotron Delay synthesizers. While in the hands of a trained musician they can produce pleasing tones, in the hands of a child they produce WMD class annoying noises. The Delay has the added benefit of feedback so that the device can continue making noises until the battery runs out. Tons of fun especially if you run the Duo through the Delay. And great for the spacey hippie on your list as well. If you’re too cheap to buy these little synths but want to make annoying noises using the PC, I think that using VST host and some free VST synth plugins is a great alternative.

Another (terrible) gift for children is a javelin. This summer I purchased a used Viking Javelinat the OSU surplus sale. Everyone needs to experience the awesome primal feeling of holding a spear, unlocking the inner centurion in all of us. How delightful that they make children’s javelins then, perfect for the poor child whose parents won’t let them play with toy guns but do encourage sporting activities. Like boar hunting.

Back to music…I bought the synthesizers above because I started recording “music” as a hobby. I use Audacity to record and edit tracks and use a Behringer 302USB USB Mixer to get the various instruments (guitar, bass, keyboards, microphone) into the computer. It works well and doubles as a great headphone amplifier.

After making music you can relax and listen to it in a Mexican hammock. We bought one for the back porch and Felice falls asleep in it a lot when I’m talking.

You probably need batteries. I’ve been having good luck with the Tenergy Low Self Discharge NiMH batteries that Amazon offers. The 9V batteries are especially handy and not that much more expensive than alkaline 9V batteries. Great if you have a lot of 9V powered electronic meters or guitar effects pedals. The best part is that they lose their charge much slower than regular rechargeable batteries do.

I put a Crucial M550 512GB SSD in my workstation last year. I think that few PC users wouldn’t like getting one or the even less expensive MX100 model. Once you get used to instant disk access it’s hard to go back to spinning drives. 

I also bought some stainless steel chopsticks for the family. They take some getting used to but I like how durable they are. Plus you can annoy people by remarking about how sustainable they are when compared to disposable wood chopsticks.

Friday, December 05, 2014

New Shop Building.

I’ve been remiss in posting pictures of our new shop building construction. It will allow us to move all of our work out of the house and gain us an extra room as well as reclaiming other bits of space. Construction by Pacific Timbercraft. Nathan of Pacific Timbercraft just bought the house across the road from us, so it’s a pretty easy commute for him. The shop will be 24’ x 36’. We wanted something enjoyable to work in with windows and well insulated for comfort. We broke ground on October 9th… My reaction to the first bills.shop9801 Framing…henry1stdremel To give an idea of the timeline, here’s Henry using a Dremel to carve a pumpkin the day before Halloween.shop1001 Trusses.shop1003 Bracing and such.shop11071401 Roof sheathing.DSC05442 Insulation for under the slab. We didn’t go with in floor radiant heat but this will prevent the slab from acting as a heat sink. Note the 2x6 walls.shopslab01 Concrete.over1 Paper up, roof shingled, overhang for the door.over2 Nathan really wishes he could timber frame everything.over3 Boards for the siding.henry12 Henry’s birthday last weekend.shoppp1 Interior wall splitting it up into two zones, one for relatively clean and one for relatively dirty.shoppp02 Siding on the west side.shop12051401Siding working its way around today. Probably another month of work but we’re getting there. It’s expensive but it was time to expand our space. The kids aren’t getting any smaller nor are we getting younger. I hope it will allow us to produce more jewelry with greater ease. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Again With The Composting?

Our old compost bin exploded this summer (plastic does that) so I was told to make a new one from a garbage can. The best site I’ve found is the Cornell recycling site:
http://compost.css.cornell.edu/
Basically it’s a garbage can, but you add holes (or remove non-holes).
DSC05445 A Garbage can, galvanized steel.DSC05446 DSC05451 A bunch of holes drill with a cordless drill and a Irwin Unibit. The Unibit makes drilling thin sheet metal easy.DSC05454 You do get nasty burrs on the inside.DSC05455 But then you drill slightly larger from the inside and the hole ends up being clean.DSC05456 DSC05458 DSC05459

Pretty exciting!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Seattle Tilth Worm Bin

I volunteered to make a worm bin for Max’s 4th grade class. The teacher gave me a plan from the Seattle Tilth (PDF) and I followed it (with a few departures) using scrap wood, hoarded hardware and a sheet of plywood graciously donated by Spaeth Heritage House Hardware in Philomath. The only casualty was my poor staple gun which died trying to tack hardware cloth to the underside. It will not be mourned or missed.worm1 worm2 worm3 worm4