Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year

The New Year has already begun around the world, I believe that New Zealand was one of the first to ring in the New Year...

Here is hoping that the New Year, 2016, finds everyone in good health to enjoy some peace and happiness wherever you may be residing anywhere on this planet of ours.

From our family to yours, Happy New Year

I recently started to index my 2015 posts by adding labels. Also found out that I can go back and fixed typos etc without screwing up the date time stamp, yeah!

So I will slowly go over my 177 posts and make some small corrections as needed. For example I relocated Ken from Colorado to Arizona :-)
Apparently it is warmer in AZ...

Coming up in the new year, I will shortly kick start my ongoing shop re-organization by making a few more shop projects:
A bottom chest for my small antique joiner tool chest and a couple of boring tills;
one for my hand tool shop and another for the power tool room (garage).

I plan on finishing this on going re-organization and start in earnest on some woodworking projects: I want to try making a chair and get some turning experience under my belt. Then there is that long awaited harvest (dining) table that she want, and Oh, want to experiment with veneers and inlays.

There will also be more posts on various tools, as I acquire new ones or restore some...

So stay tuned, more coming into the new year

Bob, wishing everyone a Happy new year and peace on earth in our lifetimes.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

New cordless drills

I have long resisted buying into the cordless drill bandwagon, because I was afraid that I would not be using it often enough and that the NiCad battery would go bad on me (memory effect, if I recalled correctly? :-)

A few years ago, while I was in Bagotville Qc (2006-2011), I finally gave in and decided to give it a try.
Since I was sure the battery would eventually die on me, and that would mean a replacement drill instead of a new battery pack for it, I figured I should try a middle of the road model.  Not too expensive and not too cheap.
So in 2008 I bought a house brand name from RONA, a large hardware and construction material place in Quebec (like Home Depot or Lowes).

Model 2001516 made by Global Machinery Company
It is a 14.4 Volt 1.5 Ah NiCad Cordless hammer drill driver 1/2 in. chuck.

Came with a hard plastic case and spare battery. 
It was a good deal at Cdn $99, 7 years ago.
It saw lots of renovations projects... The side handle I long ago broke off.

The two batteries idea seems like a good thing, 
but then you end up not using either, regularly enough... 

Most of the time, the charger was plug in with a battery in it, for long periods. It was also a "speed charger" 1 hour charge from the ''too weak to operate satisfactorily'' the drill. That means rapid rise in heat, hard on batteries. And then you still have that damn memory effect to content with. As if I don't have enough memory problems at my age! :-)

It served me good all these years, and since then, these new fangled cordless 1/4 drive impact driver have taken over and having tried a few different models from my friends, I really like these. Makes driving screws with out stripping their heads sooo much easier... If you have a good fitting driver bits and lots of torque. they don't require too much downward pressure from you, the operator, to stay in contact with the screw head.

Problems is, their are not cheap and most often comes as a pair with a cordless drill/driver, and I only wanted the impact driver...

So I figured I will just wait for my Rona NiCad drill to die...
In the last three years, one battery barely hold its charge and the other last OK.
The speed selector switch is hard to operate and the forward reverse switch is giving me fits ... Caused by the trigger switch not releasing forward all the way, all the time. Time for a replacement, I got well my money worth.

Trigger switch fully released, everything works great

Trigger switch stuck in slightly, both selector switches wont work

I can now buy a replacement pair, but which one?

After trying a few, I decided on a 18-20 V Lithium-Ion battery pack and narrowed it down to four brands, to give me the best bang for my buck
Bosch, a tad pricey but I really like the other Bosch tools I own.
Makita, about the best combination of technology for the bucks.
Dewalt, rugged performer, and what most of my friends used.
Ridgid, because it has a lifetime replacement warranty

Milwaukee was eliminated early in the running because they are way too pricey.

One thing that always annoyed me when using my older cordless drill/driver was that I had to stop and switch the drill bit for a screwdriver bit often to complete a job.
There are two way to solve that dilemma;
1- Get another drill/driver, or
2- Get a flip drive drill bit/screwdriver bit combo attachment

I tried a few flip drivers but was never too impressed with them.

The current flip driver unit that I use.

My son Matthew, gave me a Makita combo set for Christmas,... Yippee, problems solved :-)

Looking forward to give it a spin in the new year on my next projects.

It is a Makita DLX2011SY combo set with a soft sided case
Each tools come with their own battery and there is a multi pack/voltage smart charger with it. Smart, because the battery pack has some built-in intelligence to communicate with the tool or charger to prevent damages dues to heat, cells conditions etc. Being Li-Ion technology and with these smart built in features, I'm confident that it would be my last cordless drill... :-)

The line up. All used 1,5Ah batteries, 
the Rona NiCad 14.4V, the Makita Li-Ion 18V

The 1/4 in Impact driver is Model DTD146
The Impact Drill/driver is Model DHP453
and both battery packs provided are 1.5Ah, but it takes the higher capacity ones, 3Ah, 4Ah, etc. I like these 1.5Ah packs; Small, very compact and make the tools well balanced in your hands.

Talking of which, Makita claim that they are ergonomically designed for a better fit in your hands. I mostly ''always'' equated those statements to means: Pricey, look different, fit my hands poorly, and is painful to use. But it this case, bravo, it does fit my hands perfectly, and all the switch controls are right at my fingers.

I like the fit and balance in my hands.
A lot nicer than old clunky...

So there you have it, another addition to my stable of tools :-)
Now what to do with my small pile of LV gift cards which are accumulating...hummm

Bob, getting antsy to drill and screw something :-)

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas around the globe from the Demers family

As we quickly approach Christmas and the beginning of a new year, I want to take the time to wish all my readers around the world, Peace on earth and to all a Merry Christmas (or whatever you happen to celebrate)

Heather, Ruddy and myself

2015 has been a very trying year for us, here is hoping 2016 bring some better "news".

It is also the reason why I started this blog, as a much needed distraction to help me cope with everything going on in our lives. Some day it's working, some days not so much...

Nonetheless I managed to make some progress in my little hand tool shop in the basement, and we survived the Snow Armageddon of 2015.

Snow blowing my way up my driveway, 125 ft of it... 

Some people think that a beard keep you warmer in the winter.
I beg to differ :-)

Blogging has forced me to look at my shop surrounding in a different eye. Since lots of my pic are taken inside it, it has started a cascading effect of organization and beautification projects :-)

First was the bench wall makeover, I fixed the wall then primed and painted it.
I got two walls done and a third in quasi progress...

From this

To  this; Two plane tills and a saw till

and the next wall

and this wall...well lets just say I'm not done with it :-)

It looks a lot better with only those LEDs on :-)

Managed to also built two long needed shop projects:

A dedicated sharpening station

And a saw bench/mortising bench.
It often comes in handy as a small assembly table and finishing stand :-)

My existing small joiner bench also got a due over, and its leg vise got rehabbed

In order to complete my shop make over and make it even more functional, I still need to build a proper base for my small antique tool chest and, gasp, yet another till... A boring till :-)
Other projects will include a better way to store/use my growing I mean assortment of Miter Boxes :-) and probably more storage options.
Oh, and I also need a mate for my saw bench. This time I think I may do a Schwarz's traditional English version.

Another long overdue project is to start in earnest clearing up the garage, AKA the power tool shop.
This year I added two new additions, a wood lathe and a power jointer

The Rockwell/Beaver lathe

The Delta 6 in jointer kit from Ralph 
Still a work in progress, need more space...

This year, I also managed to squeeze in some renovations projects for friends, into my busy social calendar :-)

But I would be remiss if I did not mentioned some of my new friends I made thru this blog.

Ralph Boumenot of the Accidental woodworker and his wife Diane, which we met during our little excursion to Boston this past June.

Our wifes mentioned numerous times that we are very much alike :-)
Found out we even share the same birthday, if someone broke the mold after us, it was after we were both born, spooky (cue music from the Twilight zone :-)

Others I have yet to met, but share kind spirit from across the globe:
Ken Hatch of the I'm a OK guy from Tucson Arizona,
Jonas Jensen of the Mulesaw from Mors Denmark,
Brian Eve of the Toolerable from Germany 
Gerhard Marx of the Jenesaisquoiwoodworking from Namibia, in Africa
Stefan Schreiber of the Blue Spruce woodshop, from North Rhine Westphalia, Germany
And many others who have left comments on my numerous posts, I thank you all for your encouraging comments.

So here is to 2016 hope it brings to you all, health and happiness where ever you are.


Bob, who should hopefully be back in the shop and on line blogging more often in the new year.

Peace on earth to men of good will

Monday, December 7, 2015

Battling technology and putting up lights

For the longest time, since the kids have grown up, I always refused to put out outdoor Christmas lights,
Oh Humbug! Waste of time, money, and I'll be the kind of guy who leave them year round... I hate to see that :-)

But this year, I figured, I'll surprised her and try something different... (Insert huge grin here). So got myself a set of fancy LED icicles programmable... Can we say: Ouuuuhhh :-)

Still don't like to go up ladder, my feet and calves always hurt after.  Spend a good time of my life up a tree, a pole, a transmission tower etc. Been involved with Radio-Electronic since a young kid. I was always building all kinds of electronics devices. Built my first video game as a teenager, PONG,  all with TTLs chips, and so forth. Full disclaimer, I have always earned my money doing electronics repairs, since I was a teenager.

My shop in my parent's basement 1973

So you would think that I would be the first in line for the latest techno-crap, but Noooo. Similarly I most enjoy working wood unplugged. Have no intention of bringing one of these new fangled CAD machine in my shop thank you very much...

I hate useless gizmo or dumb interface, and I rather have a button to touch than navigate thru a stupid drop down menu... Prime example, I drive a 2010 Lincoln MKZ.

Love the creature comfort and convenience of having each our programmable car keys, which memorized our seating arrangements, mirrors etc. She is short, I am tall, we don't have to remember our driver's preference, it knows. Yeah it does more, but that is all I care. And dual temperatures. She like it hot, I like it cold. Harmony return to the interior cabin... I like that :-)

Summer 2014, I had some service to be carried out on my car while we were on vacation visiting family and friends in Ottawa.
They loaned me a 2014 MKZ. Hated it with a passion. Barely any buttons inside the cabin, now it is all on the touch screen.  And every times I raised my arm toward the screen, I would, unknowingly brushed up on the touch bar below the screen.  The interior cabin fan would go full speed, blasting cold air. She would say to me: What did you do? I would answer: I don't know, I did not touched anything Tabarnac!! (for my readers around the world, it means $%#@&^)

I also like to travel, even in the summer with the heat on my lower back. Ahhhh, my poor broken back need that.
On mine it is too easy, I can hit the right button a number of times and a LED bar display let me know at a curtsy glance, were it is set at, Hot---Cold. yes it can also blast cold air up the seat :-) I should try a kilt to have the full effect he he.

On this 2014 dumb thing, you have to navigate the various drop down menus to find it then access its setting!  Really! While driving!!?
I had to pulled over the road, grab the book in the glove compartment to figured out how to turn on the stupid thing!!
Ford, really blew it big time on that system powered by Microsoft.

Maybe younger generations can handle it easily while texting and driving (Please stop doing  that), but Lincoln owners tend to be slightly older shall we say...
It's long been the number one complain against these touch screen system in Lincoln and similarly equipped Fords.

2016, they ditched that system and introduced a better one powered by Blackberry, compatible with IOs and Android. You can scheduled you car to remote start via your phone. Hummm, do I really want to trust my car to my phone and SIRI? Lets just say, I'm in no rush to trade up to the newer model, thank you very much... So my local Ford/Lincoln dealer if you read this, stop calling me to trade up my car...

Now that you know where I stand with technology, back to our Christmas lights...
Instead of just putting on one string of idiot lites, I figured I should be hip and try something programmable, for the fun of it.

So I decided that I should act my age, and pretend I know what I'm doing with this outdoor light set which is programmable from my phone (with an APPs)
How hard could it be? Any teenager should know how to set that up. So I just have to act like a teenager (be myself in other words :-) and chill out man, I got everything under control.  Famous last words, like: Heh, hold my beer and watch this!

While I'm up there, I may as well see if the gutter need cleaning, I keep putting off going up to see. Still see some leaves blowing dear, I'll go up as soon as they stop. One of these days I'll install gutter leaf guards...

OK, so they needed cleaned up. Back to our lights, I got 24 ft of them, 24 bulbs in all. Visited AppLights site to get the App on my IPhone, installed it, but my phone doesn't talk to Bluetooth V4...grrr.  OK, it is an older 4S but still, would have to download the latest IOS upgrade I supposed, sigh!
Tried on my newer IPad Air, ah ah, success it work as advertised. And did not had to update my IOS like it want me every time I used it...
If anyone want to tell me I should always update IOS to get the latest protection...screw that, I use Norton! :-)

Plug them in inside to try out the app on my IPad, work like a charm... after I read the instructions (go figure)
I was going to install them above the garage doors, but she rather I put them along the front of the house. OK, so much for a surprise, but that is what she wants, so... Pst I can always upgrade my light show later :-)

Umpteen trip up and down my ladder later, I have my lights up, and sore feet, hamstring and back.
Now comes the fun part, programming a light show we both like.
Well it is for her after all, so she can have what she want....

There are 140 light show sequences programmed into this thing, the season may not be long enough to try them all :-)

What! That's it? Well, no, still got a ''few things'' to put up, but wanna see the effect before I commit more :-)  This APP control 3 different devices, hummmm... all from the couch, beer in hand, IPad in the other, puppy on your lap, yeah, I can get used to that...

Bob, back inside warming up with my little portable fluffy furnace, Rudy the warm puppy.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Yet another mitre box and saw

Yap, picked up another Stanley No 60 MB off Kijiji (like Craig list in Canada) while we were staying in the city for her treatments.

As picked up, I did not knew what kind of MB and
 in which condition it would be.

For the low price of $15, I was more interested in the saw, but was glad to find a very good condition Stanley No 60 with it.

It used to be, I could never find a half decent miter box, locally, now thanks largely to Kijiji, they seems to be coming out everywhere. If you live in Canada, look up Kijiji, or Craig list in the US.  Ebay? Not unless you are prepared for high shipping charges, and even then, there are no guarantee that it would make it safely home. If you must have it shipped, instruct the dealer to take down both saw post, otherwise they run the risk of being damaged in transit.

This MB is in very good shape, would need a good cleaning and a new bed piece.

Here we can see the two screw points poking out (arrows) which are adjustable in and out. Their function is to grab the piece so it would not shift during the cut.
The wooden bed piece is the correct height (could be original) but it is chew up pretty bad and there is a chunk missing.

No big whoup to fix. If you recall my previous one, the bed piece was too thick and was covering up those two grab screws.

The post are both solid, with no play and are pretty well complete, except for one little screw.
Front post and release trip lever. There is one small screw missing, but I just happened to have a spare MB 60 for parts :-)

Rear post and release trip lever. That part was missing on the other one.
I may used it to manufacture a new one for the other one? 
The front and rear one look identical.

The 24 in saw (60.96 Cm for Ken :-) that came with it, does not appear to be stamped Disston, and the medallion is marked Warranted Superior. The handle shape is very similar to my other one (stamped Disston) except that this one is more blocky and the hang angle is changed a bit. That means it is a bit newer than my other one. Guessing early 70s?

The teeth are still sharp at the heel, but shows signs of being worn at the front (toe and mid section) I doubt it was ever sharpen and judging by the score marks on the wooden bed piece had lots of uses.  It came from an older gentleman who is retiring from woodworking for heath reasons. He was very happy to hear I fully intend to put it back in service, it will go on for a few more generations :-)

Rudy checking out "our" new toy.

It's OK dad, I think it is a good one...

It came mounted on a board, which I will replaced.

Rudy, happy to be back home with his Mommy and Daddy :-)

Bob, back from the city with Heather and Rudy.
Heather is showing signs of improvements, less pain, discomfort and more flexibility in her neck. She has even regained some appetite, bonus!