Friday, December 14, 2012


Not sure who the rat bastard was who decided it was "cool and stuff" to walk into a kindergarten class and shoot his mom (by report) and all of the kids in her class.   Just sickening.  What kind of culture produces this insanity?

Bet your bottom dollar I'll be giving the little ones a big hug tonight.  The wife too.  Life is so, so precious.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


This little guy is 2 years old today. Oh, how the time flies!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Past Project: Periscope

So, it seems that this would be the opportune moment to show other projects I have done in the past.

The kids are somewhat enamored of this particular species of monkey:

There is a particular episode in which George decides he is a spy, and builds a periscope.  This image is somewhat hard to see:

But that's the construction.  The kids asked for weeks for a periscope.  So...

I built one.

I used scrap wood (which is a recurring theme of my projects) and made the sides out of 1x4, the tops and bottoms out of 1/4 inch plywood.  The mirrors were from Michael's.  I used the Incra protractor (love that little toy) to lay out the 45 degree angle, and it just so happened that the mirrors were exactly as wide as two 2x4s laid side-by-side.  I used E6000 glue from Katie's stash to set the mirrors.  Finishing nails were used in the final assembly, and retrospectively I should have glued it as well.  All in all, it came out well.

Fit and finish wasn't too bad.

And optically it seems to work ok:

The true test is the "use and abuse" test.  The kids still play with it frequently, and so I guess we can call this a success. 


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Construction Weekend, Part 3

The third project this weekend came courtesy of Home Depot.  For those not in the know, the first Saturday of every month, Home Depot has a kids workshop.

The link above goes to the project of the week, which was a picture frame.  However, when we arrived, there was more than one kit available.  And, unfortunately, about 50 kids and their parents.

Logan is not a fan of crowds.  Not even a little bit.  Still, the folks at Home Depot were kind enough to give us the kit, a kid-sized Home Depot apron, and a pin commemorating the construction of the "planter".

As you can see, this little project was not much more than a couple of pieces of backerboard glued and nailed to the two headpieces.  However, its life as a planter was quite short; Myra actually did most of the hammering, and promptly added the pink knitted blanket to convert it to a bed.  At least Buzz Lightyear is sure to have a good night's sleep.

Amusingly enough, during this last week I told one of our attendings about these little projects, and she was "amazed".  I recommended that she either check out my wife's blog, or someone who is actually good at these kinds of projects.


Construction Weekend, Part 2

The second project is one that has been sitting in the garage for nearly a year.  While waiting for the paint on the Duplo table to dry (and yes, watching it dry is just as boring as is reputed) I decided to fix Myra's baby bed.

Here Myra holds the finished product.  The frame that holds the bed is quite well constructed, but the bottom of the bed, when it came from IKEA, was essentially thick cardboard.  I think it lasted less than 1 day before Logan broke it by standing on it. 

So I cut a section of the same 1/2 inch plywood as a new bottom.  Glue up below:

It seems that the bed meets with baby doll approval.

For reasons that are not clear to me, this picture refuses to be uploaded in anything other than this orientation, despite multiple tries.


Construction Weekend, part 1

So, a fellowship typically prevents you from doing anything useful outside of fellowship.

However, I have been fortunate to have three projects come together over this last weekend, all of which have been fun in their own special way.  And, frankly, resurrected my love of woodworking, which was nigh unto dead, buried under a large pile of 80 hour work weeks. 

Project #1:
The Duplo table

The above picture shows the basic design.  The top is 1/2 inch plywood, the legs salvaged from a workbench that was in the back of the garage, the frame is from 1x4 that we brought from Texas.  I framed this out as I knew it would need to stand up to a fair amount of abuse. 

Here Logan is kind enough to help with strength testing.  

We are painting it "global blue" with Krylon.  It's leftover from the project we did that involved creating a whale from an old milk carton and using it to retell the Jonah story.  

Yesterday we started the glue-up for the Duplo plates for the top. 

Turns out that 5 gallon wheat barrels make great weights for a glue-up.

Inspection today indicates that the edges were inadequately glued, so there is a re-glue.  Should be ready tomorrow.  

This project is the one that Logan has been asking for consistently over the last few weeks.  I only work with hand tools when doing woodworking, because 1) then the kids can help with minimal risk of injury, 2) they hate the noise of power tools, and 3) the garage doesn't have any electricity anyway, so power tools are useless.  Both Logan and Myra really enjoy sawing and pounding with hammers.  And I love to see them involved!



I reference above that we required a second glue up before it could be brought indoors.  So final pictures below.

Logan is building a wall.  In point of fact, he informed me that it's the wall of Jericho, and the Evil Emperor Zurg is inside Jericho.  He then had Buzz Lightyear walk around the wall humming "When the Saints come marching in" and then yelled to make the wall fall down.  Should the above not be familiar, I'd recommend a remedial course in VeggieTales.

Myra felt the table was more useful for a tea party.  Duncan was a little unclear but in general just wanted to crawl on it.

Overall, a success.