Thursday, August 16, 2007

Construction projects and other things

Last year about this time I was busy crafting a tiller handle for my father-in-law's sailboat. I thought that making it out of Ipe wood made sense. Ipe is an imported wood that some people use for outdoor decking. It doesn't really rot or get water- logged. It does but not real fast. My brother-in-law imports the stuff and offered to provide a piece. I can't resist that kind of deal.

Ipe wood is a very heavy and thick grained wood. Saw blades can overheat and get dull. I also learned that it splinters into very very tiny splinters that can penetrate even my thick skin. But I made the tiller hndle, had a few splinters to show for it. Well, early this summer son #3 went north and went sailing. Unfortunately the tiller handle wasn't secured as tight as it should be. He capsized and the tiller handle vanished. He swears it sank. Maybe it did. Ipe is a heavy wood. I suspect it bobbed just under the surface but it was gone.

So when I was at the shore I grabbed the old handle (the original one that was split from wear) and brought it home. Yesterday I found a lumberyeard with some mahogany and bought a piece. This morning I went tyo the workshop and crafted a new piece. I dragged the belt sander into the driveway to avoid a cloud of sawdust and sanded it and then put a couple of coats of poly on it.

Normally I wouldn't rush but #3 is headed north (again) and can take it with him. Warning! Secure it. (I'm also sending an extra cotter pin or two)

If it needs adjustments he can either make minor ones or bring it home Sunday night. So that was a project.

Of course I'm also working on a couple of railroad projects, some yard work, and sundry other things. JUst before we left last week (the night before) I found water leaking in the kitchen. Turns out the instant hot water tank had rusted through. So I had a cabinet much wetter that it should be. I had to grab plumbing and electrical tools and disconnect the instant water and pull the unit. So the cabinet has been drying out.

Oh the joy of home ownership.

Yes, I could just pay folks to come in and do the work but typically they aren't the craftsmen they should be (I'm better) and they charge too much. I'd say I'm worth my weight in gold but that's not fair. My weight keeps getting higher.

Git er done.