ShopTalk Sunday: Prime Working Weather

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 ZonThis 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.

Shelving Opportunities

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.

Looking Ahead?

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)

16 thoughts on “ShopTalk Sunday: Prime Working Weather”

    • Brits, French, and the U.S. all have special forces “trainers” in-theatre. The Russians reportedly bagged a U.S. SpcOps General a few weeks back. There is reputedly a Delta Force unit at the Azovstal steel installation the Russians have now placed under siege, which is why Putin has such a hard-on for it and why we’re throwing everything but the kitchen sink into Ukraine’s arsenal. We won’t know whether either is fact until/unless Russia trots American sojers in front of a camera or uses the General as a bargaining chip.

  1. Is there any fertilizer in your potting medium for the radishes? They do not like that at all. Thinning carrots, beets and such bites when you get old.
    Made a trip north to see my oldest son for his birthday yesterday, and my grandkids. When he was abut 10 I was under a sink and needed a tool. I couldn’t let go of the pipe and sent him to the garage to “get me a crescent wrench from my rollaway”. After about 10 minutes of me yelling for him I figured it out so I had to crawl out and went downstairs to find him staring at the rollaway with a bewildered look. He was about to cry and I asked him, Don’t you know what a crescent wrench is? He has always been more the scientific type and as hard as he tried just never caught the tool bug. No matter he’s still the best son a guy could ask for. He has recently though been trying to do things on his own house and his wife mentioned he wanted a drill so I picked him up a Milluakee drill/driver and as a bonus I still have my first set of Craftsman mechanics tools I bought myself when I was in high school so I decided it was time to pass them along. Sitting in the living room looking over his presents I had my 3 year old granddaughter on my lap while my wife had the 2 year old brother and the 8 month baby. Her dad opened the aging toolbox and was picking through the tools when he picked up a crescent wrench. I asked, Know what that is? WIthout hesitation my granddaughter said, it’s a crescent wrench! So I guess the tool bug may have skipped a generation. I havent laughed so hard for a long time.
    On the long drive home I pulled into gas station. Wife asked why. I told her it just occurred to me the crescent wrench event was almost 35 years ago. Took a few minutes before I was able to drive on.
    Stay safe 73

    • 1) osmocote pellets – but that shouldn’t over power ’em
      2) neat on the son and tools. Nothing like passing on industrial arts to make life feel worth it. That and the best sp[ouse in world and that’s the Big Fishing Trip

      • They only really need Potassium, the K in the NPK. Any nitrogen makes them grow all greens. Which are actually pretty good in a salad. Here on the ranch we specialize in sandy rock soil. Radishes and grass do really well here.
        We grow some in containers in the hoophouse during winter. Just some equal parts peat moss, perlite and vermiculite.

        I do like your grow room. Any plans to expand it yet?

    • these grinding discs for a 4″ right angle grinder are the cat’s meow
      that craftsmans is over kill, special tool taking up valuable space, these discs have followed me from the power plant job to retirement and just playing around in the garage/shop $20 for 10 discs

      when I was in the flower/power plant I had my machinist make an adaptor to mount these as a side wheel for my Delta bench top belt/disc sander model 31-460

  2. 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.

    Not so safe if the summoned is Eileen.
    That voice in the head ruins a lot for me. I hear it. I see the solution in my mind. Then I look and dang, it’s not there. Dreaming is good. Doing is better.

  3. Sorry. Elaine. I have an aunt named Eileen.

    FYI. Make the carrots and radishes produce bulbs by snipping out the stems between them to the desired planting spacing. Scissors work great.

  4. G Dude,

    You not thinking like a Plant – grab hold of a leaf, close eyes and try to imagine what is to be green plant & connected to everything on the planet.Take a few minutes , no one will notice what Ure doing out there just standing next plants. I would introduce myself to said Leaf and ask for its Codes. Sound crazy ? ahahhahahahhahahahhhahahahahhahhahah

    Dont fear the Power/NRG that is all of Ours for eating/absorbing/processing – transmuting. !??

    R U broadcasting(thinking) fear, sadness and worry into the “realms” – then that is what U bee attracting 2 Ureself.
    Broadcast(think) Love… Joy and Humor …Guess what will be attracted to you? ahahahahahaahahahahhah Now know why the Buddha is always highly evolved funny mofo that dude.

    Back in that “doomed” country I call the UN-united States, Pennsyltucky to be exact – it is understood that Radishs are tough, and and will grow in just about any crap soil. They do spectacularly in the “RGE’s (Refuse to be Governed by Evilassholes)” huglekultur raised bed gardens.

    ..Time is coming to an end….all the pollution,anger,evil scheisse, wars, more evil scheisse in science perpped on otherz(bioweaponz/chem weaponz/low yield nukes/disgusting genetic life experiments – ALL that and more combined was designed to push Humanity & Earth (were connected -geniuses) past the limit – We are there Now..See Russia v nato/usa.
    In order to survive/evolve/move onwards and upwards will require keeping Ure head about U, and Participating any way U can – participation in this, the CLEANSE- Transformation is NRGetically essential to “Soulz” advancement…or just go for the slave life review – and keep repeatably eating this shit sandwich of a “modern life” for another enternity..

    I would send/share picture of what it looks like to be 60 yrs old and connected to the Earth, and Source – but you would not believe Ure eyes..been working (gong) on it for 25years – almost out of elementary school…almost!

      • Some people spin the cosmos frequency dial on a different band? Today following an imbibement of eau du café bean at a retailer of the same, I was waiting at the bus stop in my winter parka due to snow flurries and strong north winds. An agitated young woman stood in a large ice covered puddle offering f-bombs to passing traffic. Her attire included a pair of flip-flops and she boarded the first bus that showed up. I took the second bus not being so pressed for time.

        The notion of plants and time brings to mind the 1968 Star Trek episode “Wink of an Eye”. The super-fast Scalosians accelerate crew members with a special brew and try to turn the Enterprise into a cryogenic cold storage.

        This could well be a fine time to consult a Cresograph of the type found in the Internet Archive recorded works of the late Indian scientist Sir Jagadis Chandra Bose. The device measures infitesimal plant movements through time and tells their story. Perhaps the lavender essential oils have been to the growroom plants’ liking at the disapproval of Zeus?

        Speaking of timely matters, Mr. Gates has sent a “note” reminder to the herd. His prescient 2015 Tedx speech on a future pandemic risk is to be joined by a Tedx sequel. Apparently the world needs a global effort against future pandemics overseen by a UN sponsored body. It’s rather a contemplation to imagine one environmentally conscious Mr. Gates maintaining 4 Gulfstream jets when even Mr. Biden gets by with merely 2 Air Force Ones.

        Well, over to DJ Ure spinning that 1937 Depression classic, “Wheels on the Bus”. Folks desiring faster transport around town can apparently fit the words in with Madonna’s 1998 “Ray of Light”.

  5. Flambeau also makes great tackle boxes… even in your favored ‘radioactive green glow’ trays. That was a godsend for my dremel tool and all the associated tiny bits. Another yuge Flambeau became my coax adapters and line connectors box… all sorted out by types and sizes.

    And you can count your blessings about how easy it is to run overhead power to your outdoor bench. I had to run 90ft of #10-3 in my crawl-thru attic trusses… under a sunny steel roof oven… to get 240vac amplifier power to my ham shack. I lost about 5 lbs of sweat in that ceiling sweatlodge.

    Outdoor raised beds are doing fine. We put about a two-foot ‘fence’ of thick linoleum-like stuff on top of the lava and filled it with bagged ‘garden soil’ and ‘potting soil’ after first laying in a bunch of mulch. First crop of Taro harvested, second crop now growing. I have three fist-sized white pineapples growing. Mountain apples are dropping from the tree faster than we can pick them and give them away. Lemons getting ready on the tree. Tangerines about done for now. Papaya replant trees doing OK, maybe fruit next year. My district is the only one in the islands not under drought conditions. The joys of living at the windward ‘tip of the spear’ on a tropical mountain. 130 inches of rain a year.

  6. George,

    Are the wall panels on your garden room single wall or double wall? By the way, the garden room looks great. Hope all the veggies do well.

    Running behind, but plan to plant about 3 acres of sweet corn this week. Weather has been so wet, we couldn’t work the ground. Here it has been to cold at nights for the corn to grow off properly. Not planning to sell sweet corn, but have plant that much so that after the deer and raccoons have their fill; there will be some left for me. By my rough guess, there are well over 100 white tail deer that call my farm home.
    Just put out the first hummingbird feeders for the season. Now the fun begins. By July/August we will have over 1,000 birds visiting our home. Somehow we got on the AAA hummingbird list of stops.
    Looking to use clear panels on a project and like the looks of those you used.

    • It is so cold here.. the ground is still to cold to even plant corn.. Normally the garden plants are out and being sold.. we are making a trip to a green house.. the guy grows year round.. he dug in a fresh air tube like the ancient romans did.. using the ground to head the building.. then has it coiled beneath it.. I can’t wait to see it.. grandkids are going to haul to the place to buy our garden plants.. I of course will have a million questions..

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