A friend of George, II’s was down for a week. You know how that goes, what trying to be the “good host” and all. When in the “useful parent mode” I don’t wake people up until they get up on their own accord. But, let me tell you something, oh my God, can people sleep.
Eventually, I got back on the “work plan” and this week that included a quick cleaning of the stainless outdoor workbench. Here’s the Before:
You’ll see on the right this beast of a machine I picked up on eBay a while back – when they first came out – it’s called a burnishing machine. Basically, take a low speed, high torque grinder/buffer, put a right-angle drive on it and toss in a 4-inch wide burnisher head.
Here’s the after (3-minutes of work because we don’t get carried away until after the second coffee-hour:
Still, a reasonable improvement. But, in case anyone should ask, welding spatter is a 24 kt. bitch to get off, even with a chip hammer. Our patience doesn’t show up at the job site under long after quitting time, most days.
Two things about the burnisher: When they came out I got it for $65 bucks on eBay. Today, the same tool is going for about $150. Investing in tools is no joke. Get new ones when introduced.
Second thing is, I noticed a similar looking tool Craftsman has come out with on the Zon. This is called a “Restorer” and is a hundred bucks, or so. But take a look. Just eye-balling, it would be a hell of a lot more balanced than the Chineseum behemoth. But the Chinese rig works dandy – though you can spend a small fortune on burnishing heads.
No tool (or human, come to think of it) is perfect. So the Craftsman won’t get into corners or as close on the end, looks like.
Solve the Right Problem, George!
Yes, it was a stroke of genius to get a stainless outdoor bench for under $100 on sale last year. I’ve used it as much as the inside bench. Mainly because for welding and the like, a shop full of wood and some sawdust around doesn’t seem, oh…you know…
Finally broke down and bought a proper welding table, too. Klutch makes it and not quite free. Home Despots, though, has better pricing than the online Biggest Box on a few items, though, and this was one of them:
Unlike the stainless bench, this one is much thicker – which means it won’t get burn-through as easily. Plus, I keep a couple of fire brick around (yes, like your fireplace is lined with) to further reduce risk.
You can save $30 bucks, or so, by not getting the “fixturing” (a machinist does fixturing, day laborers like us just do “workpiece clamping”).
Of course, then comes the problem of where to put all the parts so they don’t wander off with the first passing pack rat. Real critters; like small shiny parts. The answer is Plano. Which makes a dandy assortment of fishing boxes. Shield your eyes, though, this is greener than Ireland:
Now, I’ll be able to keep metal-marking pencils in at least five or six places: the metal lathe, the vertical mill, the plasma and tig cart, the MIG cart, the gas rig, and now in the green fixturing box.
I still won’t be able to find a damn one of them when I need it, but so-goes shop organizational development.
Elaine still thinks the shop is a mess, but she will grudgingly admit to some progress. Not the least of which is occasional sweeping and no cardboard boxes on the floor.
Still, I’m sorting out the kind of shelf for the underside of the Klutch welding table because it has a frame, but nothing to stick in the void:
Probably will just make some 2 by 4 slices out of outdoor (treated) wood and make it all “pretty-like.” Still got a gallon of two of Penofin too, since the art department changed the color scheme of the garden room late in the construction and supply chain business.
What kills outdoor wood is standing water. If you build a shelf from a solid board, it won’t last as long as a grate – made of treated wood cutoffs – which in turn won’t last as long as the big concrete patio blocks which, when set in a solid frame, are like rock. Cheaper than granite, though.
Speaking of rocking thing…people do ask: “How’s Ure’s garden room doing?”
Front is bok choi left and carrots right, beans right and squash left above and then beets and more squash with radishes on high, looking down on their companions.
The biggest disappointment has been troubleshooting why the radishes haven’t set large bulbs yet. Answer is? I set them too close when planting. Do NOT fudge on the square foot garden spacings when comes to spacing. We have tons of carrot greens but the bottoms are too close. Seeding for eating is definitely a case of more (plants) is not better yield.
The radishes are big as hell, but not budding into bulbs, so if you have some added Mater Gardener insights, pass them along.
Tip of the week?
Been buying (now and then) twenty pair packs of cheap cotton gloves for general dirty, but not too dangerous chemically, kinds of chores.
These go for about six-bits a pair in bulk and honestly, they are really my preference for hand protection when the weather is hot. Which it is fast becoming.
White is much cooler in the sun and with an open weave, you can see how they get good airflow through them. No more sweaty vinyl gloves for me, thanks. Well, until we need ’em, of course.
Saturday, G2 and I were out doing some maintenance logging. Hot and humid. Leather gloves are great, but too hot. Nitrile are too sticky and hot. White cotton is relatively cool affording some protection.
Starting to look at how much power to run overhead to the snazzy welding area. Right now, the 220 and 110 are on the exterior wall behind me when at the bench. Means power and equipment lead wires can be walked on. Not meeting Elaine’s OSHA-like approval. (We don’t part it no mind and as soon as she leaves, the jobsite “red flag” is torn up.)
This is one of those “projects you dream about” while driving (just before impact, ahem).
The argument is: I am 73 and I’ve had a great run in Life without overhead power to outside bench. Why screw it up now by overbuilding?
Then on comes the Voice Inside.
“But you know, if you run power, you could put in a high intensity light and have a bench plugin for the UV light curing glue. And you could have another Alexa box out here, too…”
Damn voice in the head.
Although, instead of walking across the room from the table saw and bending over to kick on the central shop vac, it really is deliciously lazy to say “Alexa, turn on vac!”
She get’s hard of hearing at the “ALEXA!!! Turn the F**KING$%^& thing off!” command. But in the main, a good safety item.
Using the Alexa intercom, I should be able to summon a beer from the house with the intercom…and that’s a safety feature in the summertime. I have recent dehydration experience in the ER this week…make it a water instead.
Write when you build something (send pix)