Showing posts from July, 2022

Torsion Top

Above you can see what the inside of a torsion top assembly table looks like. It is essentially a honeycomb of wood that makes the table somewhat "lightweight" compared to being of solid wood and not prone to warping so it remains extremely flat. I will put another sheet of plywood on top of this that will be my actual work surface and give it a more finished look. On the underside between each leg will be some cabinets that will help stiffen things up even more and provide lots of needed storage. That part will probably wait though for a bit while I get started on another project. The only drawback to this whole build has been the weather. When it gets to be 70 to 80% humidity outside as it has been the last three days, glue cures VERY SLOWLY. So creating the honeycomb took me three days instead of the one I had been planning on. After the glue dries, I will do a little sanding to flatten everything nicely and then apply the top skin with nothing but glue and some small brad

An Inch and a Half Short

  After releasing my leg assemblies from all the clamps, I cut a rabbet (not to be confused with a rabbit) around the inside perimeter on one side and eased some scrap pieces of plywood I had laying around into the rectangular openings. This serves a few purposes. It will prevent the legs from racking if large side load was applied to the affair, it provided me with a place to attach the center web which will keep the table from bowing in the center and help me attach the table to the legs. Finally, there will be a shallow recess on each end that I eventually plan to put some shelving into so I can store small things like bottles of glue or frequently used things like tape measures, pencils and small clamps. But that will wait for a future date, perhaps later this fall depending on how my next project(s) goes.  I also attached castors underneath so that I can accomplish the mobile portion of this project and true to the word mobile, it required me to be mobile twice to the local hardwa

Showing Off My Legs

I was referring to my assembly table legs of course. What were you thinking? After finalizing my design, I made a trip to the local big box store where I sifted through an immense stack of "premium" studs to find nine that were fairly straight and knot free. I brought them back home where I cut them into rough pieces and 30+ gallons of sawdust and shavings. The end result is that I end up with something that looks like finished boards instead of rough studs but it takes a lot of time and energy to get them that way. Over the winter I splurged and bought a pair of bluetooth earmuffs that not only reduce ambient noise but allows me to listen to music for entertainment. That made a dull job slightly less boring. I glued up all those boards into large rectangular legs with overlapping joints for increased strength and applied a thousand clamps to them to dry overnight. Because I don't have an assembly table, or really any table for making things anymore, I am proceeding a bit

Some Assembly Required

  Now that the he/she shed is done for the time being, my wife has moved another project up from the depths of my list to the top. She wants a porch swing for our front porch. I think that would be great, but I have one little problem. When I started my garage remodel project during the early days of Covid, I had to tear out my fixed workbench along the wall. I was happy to do so at the time because it always just collected clutter and due to it being up against the wall, really limited me to what I could do on it. By getting rid of it, it allowed me to redo the cabinets over it and push all my tools now on mobile carts underneath up against the wall. This freed up space and allows me to park both cars inside at night.  My master plan was to replace the fixed workbench with one on wheels so it could be mobile. This would allow me to pull it into the center of the garage where I have room and plenty of light and it could be bigger to allow me to work on bigger projects easily. Ideally i

Defining Moments

Looking back in ones life, there are always moments that changed things as we knew it. They are easy to spot with hindsight but sometimes are illusive in the moment. The explosion of the space shuttle Challenger is one that was easy to see at the time it occurred. I would guess to most, the moment when one realized that smart phones would change the world was harder to spot. For me, one of those defining moments happens recently with the revealing of the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope. I'm not a space nerd by any means. I can recite the original 9 planets in order before they got whacked down to 8 but that is about it. I remember the excitement of Hubble only to learn that it was essentially blind. Fortunately some corrective lenses were installed and it got better but I don't remember a defining moment when I was awe struck. I didn't get that awe struck feeling when the first people launched into space post mothballing of the Shuttles occurred nor when th

Odds and Ends

I thought I would close out this series of posts on my vacation with some odds and ends. One evening, too late to really do anything else, we decided to go visit a World War II memorial built near a full size replica of Stonehenge. It was built on a bluff overlooking the Columbia River. Although not particularly my cup of tea when it comes to things defined as "must see", I found it quite nice to wander around the inside looking out the various gaps in the rocks at the views. Up on the high ground of The Dalles, there is an old building that remains of a long abandoned fort that is now a museum. The above is not that building. Above is an old cabin that belonged to the Anderson family that was taken apart log by log and moved onto the fort/museum grounds to house authentic historical items found in The Dalles. As it happens, my ancestor Henry Lincoln Kuck married a lady by the name of Minnie Anderson and although I don't know exactly how (on my list of research projects),


The scenery was simply captivating to my Iowegian eyes. There was diversity in every direction I look that was so beautiful. One evening while taking a drive, we passed by hill upon hill of fruit trees and vines in every direction. This one shows Mt. Adams on the Washington side of the Columbia gorge in the background. Just a few miles different and the scene is totally different with wheat fields as far as one could see with Mt. Adam again in the background.   On another day we headed south to see Mt. Hood, the highest point in Oregon. Coincidentally, it was the day before a publicized high altitude rescue occurred here.  On another day we drove north into Washington to visit Mt. St. Helens, a mountain that has been in my consciousness since my youth when it erupted the last time. The entire time I spent on the ridge named after a scientist killed in the eruption, I felt woefully small and insignificant in the grand scheme of life. It was a different feeling for me but one I was glad

Paying Homage

Some of you may recall a picture similar to this one nabbed from Google Streetview when I wrote a post hinting of our then upcoming vacation. The above picture is one I took with my own camera and was the former home of the brother of my 2nd great grandfather, that he had built. Although I won't go into great detail yet, here is a brief synopsis. My immigrant ancestor John Kuck immigrated to the U.S. in the mid 1840's and ran a leather goods shop in several places in the Midwest before settling down in Charles City, Iowa and owning a very successful store there. He and his wife Mary has seven children and a very nice Italianate mansion before disaster struck. A diphtheria epidemic killed five of his seven children and his wife in a few months span. (A tornado long after John died took care of the mansion.) The two surviving children were George Washington Kuck, my second great grandfather and Henry Lincoln Kuck, his younger brother. George stayed in the Charles City, Iowa area

At the Beach

To start off our vacation, we flew to Portland but not without issues as many have heard in the news about flying. Fortunately, our planes weren't cancelled but the first one had oil under the engine which required a cleaning and then cycling at full throttle to pressure test it before taking off. That meant our generous connection in Denver was a sprint and just making it onto the plane. Fortunately, we didn't have any checked bags, the benefits of packing light. So before heading east to The Dalles, we headed west for a day on the coast. After doing some research, I set my sights on Ecola State Park which happened to be the filming sight for a few scenes from the classic childhood movie The Goonies. Above, is a the view (only seen from reverse as it was portrayed in the movie) where Mikey lined up the coin with Haystack Rock to locate the Inn where the treasure hunt started. Unfortunately we found the beach shut off when we got there due to a landslide. We walked around a bit

I'm Back In the Saddle Again

We made it back from our vacation and so I thought I would create a quick post to give you the synopsis and then as I get time, I'll fill in some of the details. For this trip, we focused our sights on The Dalles, Oregon for one big reason. Maybe ten years ago while doing some genealogy research, I discovered my 2nd great granduncle was a noted saddle maker in that area as well as a state senator and prominent business man. As successful as he was, his son who is my 1rst cousin three times removed, would be even more successful in his life and when he died in 1992, he left nearly his entire $9 million estate to the county to be used to build a history museum after purchasing the land upon which it would be located for $500,000 while still alive. Nobody in my family knew about it and to my knowledge has ever seen the place and so I wanted to represent the family so to speak.  While there, I have never been to Oregon or Washington states and so I wanted to roam about a bit and see wh