ShopTalk Sunday: Summer Shop Tips, Renovations

(This is the post that “blew up” UrbanSurvival last weekend.  We can’t be sure, but this was the last thing I posted; rewritten from memory…) Summer Shop Tips The weather here has been into the 90s now for a couple of weeks.  With it, the amount of time spent in the shop, not to mention the projects, have changed up a bit to meet this annual “climate change” issue. For newbies to these STS columns, when …

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ShopTalk Sunday: DIY Pest Control Saves $$$

We used to spend $600+ per year on pest control.  Now?  Less than $150 and a little bit of time. Pest Control and Time This is a dandy example of the UrbanSurvival philosophy in action:  Select the lowest cost Vendor.  And remember, you can be the Vendor! Begin by remembering that your time is worth something. You have two things you can do with “personal time.”  You can turn it into savings or you can turn it …

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ShopTalk Sunday: Time Logs – Order of Battle

Project pictures toward the end.  Let’s talk theory first. Being a management sciences-trained geek-at-heart, I thought it would be useful to do a “ride-along” on a typical Sunday in the shop (and ranch) project.  Give you the feel for the “Maker Mindset.”  This is the “as it happened” time log. 07:00: Days Start with Planning There are always competing priorities.  So each day starts with “picking off a few” and resolving to make them happen.  While …

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ShopTalk Sunday: New Life for Used Power Tools

Does Ure want a new top-of-the-line PowerMatic or Laguna, or StopSaw to whip out cabinets and have on hand when G2 gets here (eventually) and puts on his “house-building on the off-shift” pants? But, to tell you the truth, at age 72 even a “convicted tool-slut” (in the Court of Wifely Opinions, no less!), it’s hard for me to get behind buying $2,000 and up cabinet saws. The next best thing?  Buying used power tools on CraigsList and …

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ShopTalk: Ure Plays Wine Receiver + Avoiding Falls

Worth having a discussion about senior housing accessibility for two reasons this week.   First is wife Elaine who will have a hip replacement sooner, or later.  We went to “hip school” last week (more on this in a minute) and learned a lot about what to avoid. Second was – when I went to the store on the semi-weekly food run this week – I managed to trip and fall in the parking lot.  Yeah …

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Small Shops, Large Shops

How BIG is Enough? Did I ever show you my electronics bench?  Total Train Wreck:  (Fully functional, just looks like hell…) It’s ALL there.  Desoldering machine, microscope for SMT parts, even a spetroscope for LED color checking.  Thing is, I never get around to keeping it clean and organized.  Project overlap.  Phones ring.  Martini time comes…And that’s the hole in Ure’s head. An example of a much more  workmanlike shop – and in a tiny …

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Sunday Advance Preps: Ham Gear & Sharpening Tools

While we’re waiting for the market to crater tomorrow…  [May load slow due to length and a zillion graphics]  This may be a bit on the “longish” today, so if you need to pee or get coffee…better do that first.  We’ll wait for you…. Four topics this morning:  Best first ham radio stations, how to bug-out program a 2-meter rig, one of our “Lost Industrial Arts” discussions of tool sharpening, and last but now least …

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An All-Purpose Labor Day Letter

Market are closed, but we never stop working around here.  Menu this morning is a few grisly headlines, shop action, a contributed cardboard miracle begins, and a proud papa note.  Oh, plus a side of weather change and “crank the mower” time. Ready? Dancing Dollars, Destiny Dips Although U.S. markets are closed for the holiday, keep an eye on the POG and the USD.  (Price of Gold and U.S. dollar.) The relationships in things financial …

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IQ versus MQ – Multiple Shop Notes

Several items on the Sunday morning coffee list. You pour while I muse. IQ Versus MQ The couple up the “mountain” from us became parents a couple of months back – as we were reminded when a post card of their ‘work product’ arrived this week.  Cute kid. While Elaine and I talked about the boy’s future in uncertain times ahead at cocktails last night, it occurred to me that he enjoyed something of a …

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One Other Shop Note

Got up early this (Sunday) morning and a few minutes before sunrise, had a successful “test firing” of the new Harbor Fright Dust Collector: Not terribly noisy – and the old (small) unit will remain installed in a through-wall set up.  It will be plumbed to move the 3D printer odors outdoors.  I may upgrade the HF to the Wynn Environmentals 35A filter kit.  These are very good but also nearly the price of the …

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Shop-Talk Sunday: What is “Enough Tools?

Earlier this week another “Tool Project” came home:  The radial arm saw. To be sure, it will be a bit of work getting it into 100% to my standards of readiness.  There may be some paint, a few rust spots to be “cured” and lots of elbow grease.  Plus, a missing elevation crank has been ordered from eBay.  Thriving vintage tool market there. While I was talking to the fellow I purchased it from, he …

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