Coping: May Day and Shop Talk

First, let me wish you well with your celebrations today in honor of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, after which the modern May Day was fashioned.

Like Christmas and Easter, there’s a heaping tablespoon of subjectivity to the date.  You see, originally it was April 27th, or close-enough.

The Celtic Beltane (spring festival, not to be confused with Samhane, a/k/a Halloween) was about April 30th.  So, like Christmas and more, the Church started pushing around dates and “rebranding” the population.

(Continues below)

 

The Church, of course, has lost most of its franchise, as the key media is no longer the pulpit or the one-in-twenty, usually less, who could read.  That role has been taken over my MMM (modern mass media) which has been pushing holidays, such as MLK Day.

At the same time, the corporate budgets and media have axed the traditional February 22 date for Washington’s birthday and tossed it in with Lincoln’s (February 12) and split the difference.  The result?  One less holiday in the “new and improved” corporatized America.

Speaking of socialist agendas, we call your attention to this also being International Worker’s Day.  To get a clearer take on what socialism is, you might take the time to read the monetarist Mises Institute‘s Socialism An Economic and Sociological Analysis.pdf.

In Europe, this is a fine day for Morris dancing, which is you must know, click and be schooled.  We’re more moon dancing types, but that’s probably because of Van Morrison’s music.

May Day has never been as big a deal here in the colonies as in jolly kneeler land.  In fact, Wikipedia reports “May Day was abolished and its celebration banned by Puritan parliaments during the Interregnum, but reinstated with the restoration of Charles II in 1660.

The result is that in about 80 countries, today is Labour (brit spelt) Day.  Here in the US it comes later early September as Labor Day (Amerispelt).

It’s important to differentiate today’s date (May Day – two words) from the distress call “Mayday” )one word).  As Wikipedia reveals:

The “mayday” procedure word was originated in 1923, by a senior radio officer at Croydon Airport in London.[2] The officer, Frederick Stanley Mockford[3], was asked to think of a word that would indicate distress and would easily be understood by all pilots and ground staff in an emergency. Since much of the traffic at the time was between Croydon and Le Bourget Airport in Paris, he proposed the expression “mayday” from the French m’aidez (‘help me’), a shortened form of venez m’aidez (‘come and help me’).[4] It is unrelated to the holiday May Day.

Before the voice call “mayday”, SOS was the Morse code equivalent of the mayday call. In 1927, the International Radiotelegraph Convention of Washington adopted the voice call mayday as the radiotelephone distress call in place of the SOS radiotelegraph (Morse code) call.”

It’s a bit of a slower day globally because of the holiday. Although we are not particular fans of the New York Times over Trump-bashing, there are some useful reporters there putting together a fine calendar of market holidays here, which you might consider bookmarking.

By doing so, we can skip the 2,400-word essay on Constitution Day in Japan we had planned for Thursday’s column.

I, Cabinetmaker

In the greater scheme of things, living in a double-wide modular home as we do, it’s often difficult to decide what level of design/build to put into our dwelling.  After all, modular homes are quite disposable.

On the other hand, this gives a couple of creative crazies an opportunity to really have some fun with tools and remodeling.  The home is very much like us: eclectic, quirky, fun, and whatever feels “right.”

Which brings us to the bathroom makeover project.

You’ll remember, this was occasioned by a water leak and that was followed by a major re-engineering of the bathroom floor.  Which, I have to say, looks peachy.

We will get around to setting the plumbing today and then I’ll be building cabinets for the bathroom.

Elaine’s given me a sketch and a few photos with a note “Build this for us…

Although I have all the tools now, there are still some “holes” in the project.

Don’t know how much cabinetmaking you’ve done, but there are a couple of approaches.  One is well-described in Danny Proulx’s Build Your Own Kitchen Cabinets.  This approach involves simply making melamine covered MDF “boxes” and then finishing.

The pluses here are it’s easy to get everything square, especially if you don’t mess with the table saw fence between opposing pieces.  Plus, if you have the melamine side facing the innards, you end up with a pre-lined cabinet.  Toss a Forstner bit in the drill press, punch in neatly aligned holes and now you have adjustable shelves using pins.  Slap some 1/4″ birch plywood on the outside, finish, and looks great.

It’s called a Eurostyle because it doesn’t have the frontal framing used in the other approach…

The other approach is seen in Constructing Kitchen Cabinets (Back to Basics): Straight Talk for Today’s Woodworker.  In this approach, you build a simple frame and cover with solid material (sheet goods and finish).  It’s what I made for my office.

There are lots of trade-offs.  The Eurostyle gives you a completely hidden hinge.  Gives as nice flush look when done.  On the other hand, the box and frame approach is fast, tolerant of lower skills, but you will see the hinges.

Hinge shopping will drive you unhinged:  Euro type hinges are much more spending than “slap up a panel” hinge.  Either style can be fitted with full-extension drawers…which is another one of those l’il details “suggested” by management…

A couple of tools in the shop are worth mentioning.  I finally picked up a planer (WEN 6552 3-Blade 15 Amp Benchtop Thickness Planer, 13″) so I can dimension my own wood.  I don’t know if you’ve priced 1-by-4’s lately, but you can rip 2-by-4’s  and toss them through a planer and come up with a couple of 5/8th’s thick pieces…a convenient size.

Some years back, Harbor Fright (sic) sold a 1-horsepower benchtop shaper suitable for 1/2″ router bits and 1/4″ with a collet.  It’s far from an ideal machine – so I’m planning to add table extensions to it.

But the old machine still works and offers a super-cheap way to cut your own molding designs.  Process is still:  Take one of those 5/8th’s cut downs and run it through the shaper with whatever design makes sense.  Then, depending on the piece, whack if off on the table saw.

This way, the wood going through the shaper is of a decent (*safe) size for handling and using an 80 tooth or finer blade on the table saw gives an acceptable edge for most projects where the cutoff edge is hidden.

I love woodworking, but there is always some personal risk to it.  In general make it a practice to always work with the largest pieces you can for any machine process in order to lessen risk of injury.  Kickback on the table saw, or a wildly spinning small part on a drill press can be painful.  Keeping your hands behind the blade is the #1 safety rule at all times.

Do I need cut-listing software?  Oh boy! Suggestions welcome on this front.  Seems to me I’d have to build a house or two in order to get any kind of payback on the $200 programs to layout cuts.

I could go on…but time to get to work….

Peoplenomics tomorrow deals with how to prepare for lower incomes.  To be clear, this is an article about real income.  In other words, your income on-paper will likely go up in the future.  But you will be able to buy a lot less.

Go back in your economic history and you will see how we have gone from “so many loaves per dollar” to “so many dollars per loaf.

At the old Langendorf bakery in Seattle, I remember times when you could buy day-old bread at three loaves for a dollar.  Not only have American values deteriorated, but so has our money.

Hate it when that happens…

Write when you get rich,

George@ure.net

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George Ure
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/George-Ure/e/B0098M3VY8%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share UrbanSurvival Bio: https://urbansurvival.com/about-george-ure/

18 thoughts on “Coping: May Day and Shop Talk”

  1. going back in history re: bread….1960/65…bread at big star 4 loaves for a buck and glass jar baby food 10 cents a jar. worked in a box factory @ 1.87 an hour.times were great raised 4/four children and bought a new car at the time. now we pay more in rent than i made in a year.

    • I remember coming out of the grocery when I stayed with my aunt and uncle on their ranch during the summers with three shopping carts full of groceries for them and “the guys” that worked for them on the ranch. Hunnert bucks for it all and that “C” note was quite a bit of money back then. Now you can’t even get out of H.E.B. for less than that and it doesn’t even fill a shopping cart.

      Why th’ Hell have we not marched on D.C. for doing this to us?

      • Seventy five for a months worth of groceries for a family..Phew.. old as dirt comes to my mind when you said two loaves for a dollar as if that was during ancient history lol. Seems like yesterday the store had three loaves for a dollar, ten cent a dozen eggs and four cans of tuna for a buck. 50 cent a pound hamburger and at the bread store ten loaves for a buck.
        Now.. consider this. Wages were buck seventy five an hour. My paid first job I made a dollar an hour. When my wife and I met she working as a nurse made four seventy five. I was about three with her as my boss. ( well being honest she still is my boss lol) during those years till now wages for the average laborer has been two percent.
        Many ask me on how to prep. Well with food etc. slow one can method on the other hand with money. Considering money and savings the new slavery comes to mind. Society has moved to a singular society. Average home is a quarter million unless you move so far out.. then it’s travel expenses. A car I remember new cars for 2500.00 now your shooting twenty. Kids today working at the local fast food have to take home minimum of fifteen an hour just to scrape by. We are talking ramen noodle diet.
        Cost of an education nothing special but student loans three dollars to ten take home per hour. My grandson graduating as an engineer in a couple weeks.. he will have to take home seven just to pay the school loan back.. modern day slavery. Very few are able to save a dime almost all are three paychecks away from homelessness jmho here

      • When I was about 9 or 10 my Mom would send me to the grocery store on my bike to pick up odds & ends. One day I checked her list and brought the stuff up to the checkout counter and when the total rang up I was panicked because I didn’t have enough money.
        I had forgotten Mom gave me a Dollar bill this time along with loose change. Guess I wasn’t big enough for “folding money”.
        That’s how much prices have inflated today.

      • Because the congressoids have brought up the heat so slowly that most people haven’t noticed…

    • Bread is $1.00 a loaf at Dollartree, if they have it. Often the trucks will end their run at the dollar store and sell them what the other stores didn’t buy. Sometimes it’s high end and sometimes not. Either way, it’s the same stuff cheaper than at the grocery store. They usually sell out quickly, so get what you can. I buy and freeze loaves, though I’m doing my best to reduce bread and keep my weight down. Winter really does a job on fattening us up, and it’s time to use the Spring energy effectively.

    • Phew.. old as dirt comes to my mind when you said two loaves for a dollar as if that was during ancient history lol. Seems like yesterday the store had three loaves for a dollar, ten cent a dozen eggs and four cans of tuna for a buck. 50 cent a pound hamburger and at the bread store ten loaves for a buck.
      Now.. consider this. Wages were buck seventy five an hour. My paid first job I made a dollar an hour. When my wife and I met she working as a nurse made four seventy five. I was about three with her as my boss. ( well being honest she still is my boss lol) during those years till now wages for the average laborer has been two percent.
      Many ask me on how to prep. Well with food etc. slow one can method on the other hand with money. Considering money and savings the new slavery comes to mind. Society has moved to a singular society. Average home is a quarter million unless you move so far out.. then it’s travel expenses. A car I remember new cars for 2500.00 now your shooting twenty. Kids today working at the local fast food have to take home minimum of fifteen an hour just to scrape by. We are talking ramen noodle diet.
      Cost of an education nothing special but student loans three dollars to ten take home per hour. My grandson graduating as an engineer in a couple weeks.. he will have to take home seven just to pay the school loan back.. modern day slavery. Very few are able to save a dime almost all are three paychecks away from homelessness jmho here

  2. May marks the pick up of the pace at work for me George. May to November. That’s the construction “season”. I do work year round at the company I am at, however between these months the checks get substantially bigger. I’m unsure if the pace will be as hell bent as it was last year. One can hope. So far it has been gradually picking up. From working 8’s to 10-11 hours a day. More day light to git er done.

    I have danced naked under the full moon a few times. Lol

    May day not to be confused with mayday from the French m’aidez(‘help me’), a shortened form of venez m’aidez(‘come and help me’).

    “Mayday” has been in my long term data sets for a while as it relates to the markets. i have had that tied to the year 2019, when I look at my internal filing system.

    Came to me during one of my meditations. And I just kept softly saying it over and over without realizing I was saying it. May day. Mayday sounding it out…

    I should probably keep a log book. Just occurred to me this morning that I need to log what comes to me in my meditations. Like a dream journal.

  3. “(modern mass media) which has been pushing holidays, such as MLK Day”

    When I worked in my government job we had to be open a couple of the regular holiday’s that were mandatory off days. But they let us take off any other holiday we wanted..
    as a joke I suggested and we did take off Poinsettia day religiously..

    http://www.poinsettiaday.com/

    Yes I know.. I am a smart Azz
    it was always funny.. Just don’t tell Congress…. OH NO.. forget not telling Congress they already take it off LOL LOL LOL..

  4. “After all, modular homes are quite disposable.”

    I don’t know about that one.. there is very little resemblance of modern modular homes to modular homes of the past. they have just as much insulation factor of a stick built home and in many cases has a ” manufactured homes have standards that are even stricter than those found in the International building code ”
    https://www.yescommunities.com/news/manufactured-home-vs-stick-built
    of course you hear the jokes about what is the first thing a tornado will head for .. the mobile home park..
    the only reason that modular homes are more susceptible to damage is people don’t anchor them to the ground by placing them on a basement or foundation.. this allows wind to get under the home flipping it end over end.
    around these parts there is a home that everyone calls the million dollar home.. it is beautiful and of course owned by a multi millionaire.. I was there for a picnic the day they set it on blocks.he use to be a retaliative of my ex.. . beautiful place first class cabinets.. Fieldstone.. not today’s fieldstone cabinet company a member of Masco.. ( they are made out of plywood today still one of the best.)But the old fieldstone that was made solid timber.. sheet rocked walls insulated to the max.. well today that home sits on a basement.half brick..beautiful place.
    todays modular homes are really nice and are built with strick guidelines..the difference.. they are built on a table.. the big slider.. each wall is framed and numbered then when it is being assembled on the chassis to be moved. once it arrives they pull the axles out.

    • a mobile home costs as much as a modular home.. actually you can build a stick home cheaper..

      I never made enough money to qualify for a giveaway first home owner mortgage.. ( they don’t count part time jobs. even though what I paid into social security is double that of what my wife has paid in as a professional) the only way I could have a home was to build it myself.. ( it was nice to when I was hanging garage doors an person that crossed my path.. Owns cottages on jekyll island.. nice guy was going to a business meeting and stopped by to say hi.. helped me hang the doors and have a couple of cold adult beverages to boot.. )
      I have built two homes… ( I always wanted to build one out of dirt.. rammed earth.. LOL the kids don’t know it yet, but one of my summer projects and since I can’t do the work anymore they are building my shed storm shelter out of rammed earth blocks LOL)
      but depending on what you want in the water works electrical you can build a house land and all for under a hundred dollars a square foot..

    • It is reassuring that in event of EQ our old 1989 is built on steel I-beams, for sure.

  5. God I feel good.. a friend that’s crossed my path a while back ( Pulitzer) wrote a book it totally took me by pleasant surprise . knows how much I like to read and sent me a signed hot off the press first copy.. I will have to place it with my others.. AMA ( not his name but short nickname for him of Amadeus ) the future of physics and the client by John.. ( super nice guy well he was before he became famous.. my bet he still is ) and my favorite a diary from a farmer sent to teach Russian farmers how we raised food in the USA to feed the starving people of Russia. Which was overthrown by the Bolshevik’s while they were there trying to get home. ( took pictures)

  6. re:cabinetry,
    Well, if you, or Elaine, wants ‘modern, go for it.
    I have just never really like that ‘style’
    Traditional just looks quite right to me,
    Trad. was developed by Carpenters through centuries of craft, a few points about it..
    Considering wood swells across grain more than lentgh wise, this is how and why it was done;
    1>offsets, like top overhang and panel inset, are used because this is the way to minimize the view of the joint.
    2>Frame and panel construction is used for sides, doors, and back, as this was the best way before plywood, what with limited board widths up to about 14″. Panels can be cut thin, saving wood. The strength is in the rails and stiles where it is needed. This is also why ‘Cristian’ doors were built, the panels and frame looking like an upside down cross, strength where it is needed. And frame jpints are morticed & tenioned looking butt, never mitered, again for strenght.
    Even ply panel benefits from frame & panel as it is easy to drop the ply panel in the frame and secure with stop strips allowing it to float with expansion, do not glue in, glass including art/stained is put in the same way.
    3>joined edge planks are used for the top and base and shelving as needed, sometimes with an end cap, as this is the simplest and again most economical use of wood to get the required strength.(if you are naive enough to think you can get shelves that will not sag with weight and humidity changes made from melamine laminated chip/strand board, well you will just have to find out the hard way.)
    Traditional includes framed doors set flush with the cabinet face frame, with an even ~1mm/
    1/32+ gap all around for clearance and good appearance. This allows use of the simple butt hinge, again for economy, edge or face mounted.
    No need for the much more tech/expensive offset hinges needed for face mounting doors.
    Surface(protruding)proud doors have always looked wrong to me. but it ‘seems’ easier not having to do precision craft, they can just be slapped on.
    Well, if you must have ‘modern’ attach the ply, there is some nice panel very cheap (check label for kind of glue used, water resistant) at the builders supply, ash, mahogany, oak, etc., from the inside ‘hidden’ with screws through the framing or clamped, while the glue dries, or constuction adhesive like PL 200+, not Liquid Nails brand. You do not want to have to fill any finish nail holes. They will show no matter what is done to hide.
    A plywood top can have a trim strip glued on all around the edges, wood tape (veneer on a roll) can also be used. But you have a joiner, why not edge glue planks if you ever want a beautiful table top! A plank top has cross bearers screwed, not glued, on underside, to allow for wood expansion, and to stiffen and keep flat, prevent warping, and to fasten to.
    Again, avoid fastening holes that marr the finished surface. Attach the finished top from below inside the frame with screws driven up, into the cross bearers. Then the top is removable for refinishing.
    Me thinks it is a crime to paint nice wood, wether for a paint or clear/stained finish a good primer is linseed, it will fill and harden the wood grain surface.
    Watco or roofing lap cement in turp.+L.oil will stain nicely for floors and wall panels for the dark antique look.
    For a hard counter finish a good oil paint or spar varnish over the linseed prime can work even in a shop. Not poly-urethane, it does not flex with the wood changes, is impossible to refinish, and had to be reformulated so it would not wax preventing second coat from adhearing.
    For a wet place like bathroom, the top can be cement board base, tiled, grouted, so many pretty patterns available.
    Do not forget to set your cabinets on an inset toe-kick base for comfort. Usually a simple ‘2×4’ frame, redwood would be good in bath.
    Good luck with all your projects, and take a look at the how and why of tradition some time.
    Victorian houses were trimed the way they were because the joinery shed water, most important for longivity of wood as a material. And they also ‘looked right’ proportioned.
    Remember the phi ratio 1:1.6,(3/5/8/13/21/34/55/89/etc.)for door and frame works without fail.
    One last note;
    Is the melamine/os/chip board toxic-fume & dust worth the health hazard risk in making and occupying? formalgehyde has been known to tarnish & decay metals, like jewelry, stored therin.

    • Oh, forgot to say, oak does not perform well in a wet environment(bath), the natural tannic in the wood makes it go black when wetted, so not a good choice.
      p.

    • This is perhaps the best essay I’ve read on carpentry in the past 30 years.

      Thank you for sharing…

      BTW I share your opinion regarding particle/chip/os/mdf and other manufactured board. I’ve never been a fan of formaldehyde, and prefer to limit its use and potential to leach into the air I breathe…

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