The Warehouse is Painted White

In the middle of the Bible, in the book of Proverbs, it says “The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul”. So it is with painting the warehouse white. I’ve waited several years to get to this point.

The wood was old and dried, so it soaked up the first coat. The second coat looks terrific though. We’re in the process of painting a Betsy Ross flag on one side, that will be seen from the street. A friend gave me a very nice and sturdy set of entrance steps, they will be installed soon.

Making a Brass Punch

When you need to hit a steel part, to move it a little, a steel hammer can leave marks on it. It’s best to use a punch made of brass or hard wood, between the hammer and the part.

I needed to adjust the position of a small part, so I made a brass punch. I started with rounds brass bar stock I had, and cut it to length with a hack saw. Then I tapered the end with a bench sander. Next, I sanded it with 150, 320, and 400 grit sandpaper. It still wasn’t polished, and I didn’t want to set up the polishing wheel on my bench grinder, so I found some more sandpaper. These were 800, 1500, and 2000 grit papers. The brass has a better luster than the picture shows.

I Start With a Pencil Sketch

I can make ideas in my mind, but it’s usually easier to refine and revise them on paper. After that, I make a scale drawing on the computer, to see the size of individual parts. Here’s the process in regards to a large steam bender I want to make.

I start with light pencil lines, when I’m sure where I want a line, I make it darker. The scale computer drawing not only shows the size of pieces, it also helps me decide the height above the ground. The whole box needs to be angled, so that steam rises to the end opposite the steam inlet. But I had to be sure that a twelve foot long board wouldn’t hit the ground when removed.

I need this box not only for bending wood, but also for heating it, to kill parasites that might be living in it. I will sell not only finished wood items, but wood blanks for DIY guys to make their own.

Irreducible Simplicity

I probably didn’t coin the term, but it’s new to me. Micheal Behe, in his book “Darwin’s Black Box” used the term “irreducible complexity”. An important book and term; I highly recommend it.

Most of the time, my best solutions are the simplest ones. It can take try after retry to reduce an idea down to its essentials. It’s also good mental exercise. Yesterday, I once again needed a tool to help draw a border around a sign, using a pencil. I have one that’s broken, so I decided to make a better one.

My nearly final idea was what’s shown in the sketch below. It would use two flat carpenter’s pencils, so that the one drawing the line would stay on its edge, not fall to its broadside. The problem with this design was that I didn’t leave a wide enough lip . So I thought about it more, using only the same wood, leather strap, and flat pencil.

“Close, but no cigar”

I realized that the strap could be tied around the wood, as an immovable guide for the pencil; and that I could change the edge shape of the pencil, so that it could be held in a staedy way. So that’s what works. I hold the pencil against the strap, and draw a line around the sign. Once again, the free pair of metal shears I was given shows it’s practicality by doing a nice job of cutting the leather strap.

The first picture is the Eastern Red Cedar piece after sanding, but before shellac. The second picture is after shellac. The third picture shows the strap in position, and the flattened place on the edge of the pencil. The last picture shows the line I drew with the tool.

Like heaven to touch.
Brings out the beautiful color.