The good news: now I have more time to develop my woodworking skills and do some non-blog writing. I can probably finally get the garage and basement cleaned up, too.
Given the current crazy economy, this may just be an unplanned vacation, or it may turn into a whole new career path as long as I have a place to maintain a workshop. Opportunity is as much what you make as what you take.
I'll be posting here more frequently for the duration, since I have a backlog of things I've been wanting to work on. I'll also add some e-commerce features that I've been thinking about, though I'll continue to keep the ads to a minimum, since I like a clean, uncluttered site.
I received my brochure for the Littleton Parks, Recreation, and Community Education Winter 2011 session in the mail today. It's not online yet, but will be available at http://www.littletonrec.com, listing my Introduction to Hand Tool Woodworking and Hand Tool Woodworking, Part 2 classes.
Since the part 2 class focuses on joinery, I came up with this adaptation to my portable work surface for holding workpieces upright after watching Bob Razaieski's video on workbench workholding. He added a twin-screw vise to the front of his bench, similar to Moxon's removable twin-screw.
A simple T-track version of a twin-screw face vise. This holds the piece securely for dovetailing, tenoning, or resawing. The movable crochets do a similar job, but this can apply better clamping pressure for small pieces. If necessary, I can drill holes for the T-bolts closer together.
The final classes of the Fall session went well. Here are some photos of chisel night, showing what every instructor likes to see: heads down, busily at work.
Keri rolling out the waste from a dado with a chisel held bevel-down. This was everybody's favorite operation.
I've known Keri's husband, Bob, for nearly 15 years. He taught me many of my outdoor skills, rock and ice climbing, winter backpacking, light mountaineering (New England mountains, not K2!).
Keri had signed up for a power tool woodworking night class over a year ago, but it was canceled due to insufficient enrollment. I had been focusing on my hand tool skills for a while, so that gave me the idea to do a basic hand tool class. Thanks for the inspiration, Keri! I was very happy that I could do some skills exchange after everything I had learned from Bob.
Rob (no, not Keri's husband Bob) working backwards along a rabbet with a chisel tucked up against his right shoulder, again bevel-down. This method gives both power and control. The upper body mass provides the power, the hand on the blade provides the control.
From left, Erik forming a fillister on the end of a board with a moving fillister plane, Rob cleaning out a dado, and Lance marking a dado for shoulder cuts.
Finally, speaking of outdoor skills, indulge me in a few proud fatherly moments with my daughter, Shelby. Nothing to do with woodworking.
She was an infant when I met Bob. Now she's doing these activities with us. Last week she asked when we could go snow camping and spend the night in a hollowed-out snowcave. Brings a tear to my eye!
Shelby on her first ever rappel. Bob's on tug belay below for safety. There's that magic moment as you lean out over the edge and your center of mass crosses the vertical plane of the cliff face. Your brain screams THIS JUST AIN'T RIGHT!
Here she's doing an Australian rappel at the same spot. This is a surreptitious entry method used by SWAT teams, MP5's in hand. Her harness is reversed, with the figure-8 in back and brake hand in front; Bob ran a separate top belay safety line for this one. This takes a lot of nerve, because she's facing down a 40' cliff the whole way. I don't think we need to worry about her suffering from acrophobia.
Shelby top-roping on a frozen waterfall near the MA/NH state line (not too far from the Merchant of Ashby).
Now that's what I call quality father-daughter time!