Friday, December 21, 2012

Wooden Bandsaw Project

I came across an excellent website call Woodgears. It is by Matthias Wandel. He does an excellent job designing and documenting all kinds of woodworking projects. One of his projects is a 16" Wooden Bandsaw. After I saw it, I knew I would like to make one. Yes, you can buy a 16" bandsaw, but I thought this was a great and unique project. The plans were $21 and for what I got, that was very reasonable. He provides very detailed 3D drawings done in SketchUp as well as pictures and videos from the build process. I figure I am about 75% complete at this point. I am building the enclosure now and then will mount the motor. More to come later...

Garage Door DIY Spring Replacement

One of our garage door springs snapped a few weeks ago. My initial thought was to call someone to have it repaired. I remember reading about how dangerous a garage door spring can be under tension. Then I thought to check YouTube for videos on garage door repair. Sure enough, there was a 4 part series on fixing and repairing a garage door. Bill Farmer does an excellent job in explaining the entire process and always emphasizes safety. Even though Habpro is in Atlanta, I wanted to order the parts from there to give him my business since he provided such great free content. I did the repair over several days. One day I removed the old spring and bent bracket. I took all the measurements and ordered the parts. When it came in, I did the replacement. When it came to tensioning the spring, I was a bit nervous but everything went well. The parts cost me $72. I am not sure but it probably would have been over $200 to have someone do the repair, so this really saved me money. The door works great now.

Plywood Yard Art

It has been a very long time since my last post, so I will try to catch up on things I have done this year. One new thing I started this year was to make plywood yard art. I became interested in it from my brother in law. I made some skeletons and a zombie for Halloween. Then I made Peanuts characters skating on a pond from "A Charlie Brown Christmas". I also made a velociraptor which I put a big Santa hat on. It is fun. My Black and Decker jig saw gave out last month and I replaced it with a Bosch jigsaw. The difference was like night and day. The Bosch jigsaw is expensive, but almost a must have to anyone who cuts patterns out of large pieces of wood. I plan to do Greg Heffley from "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" next.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Our Eden Garden Preparing For Spring

Here is our small garden plot. After watching Back to Eden yesterday, I put on 3" of compost that made behind our garage. I found a source a great well aged wood chips nearby and put a 2-3" layer on top of the compost. I won't plant anything for a while, but this will provide a good start while we wait for spring.

Back To Eden film

I watched a wonderful movie yesterday named Back To Eden. It is free to watch online but I ordered a DVD of it because it was so good. It is a very inspiring account of a man's experience in the garden. It is a great reminder of all of the miracles happening in a garden.

Paul Gautschi is a great teacher with so much enthusiasm for what he is doing. I can't say enough good things about this and I hope the information in it can spread. The results speak for themselves and hard for even a skeptic to challenge.

Trailer is here:
Back To Eden

We have been making compost behind the garage in two piles for the past few years. I started yesterday by putting 3" of it over our garden and I also found a nearby source for free wood chips for covering. The wood chips I found are even well seasoned and not just fresh cut. Tons of it. I am really grateful for finding this film and the free wood chips nearby.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


After reading about all of the articles on “finding out what you love to do” and “pursue your passion” I am beginning to wonder about it. It leads us down the path of postponement, continues a cycle to discouragement, and provides no clear answer.

Even if we are in a job at McDonald’s, it can be done with love and passion. If you adopt the attitude that you despise or hate the situation you are in, it will be the mind’s job to prove you are right. The mind will filter out any people or opportunities that are right where you are. We could be in the perfect job for us right now, but we may miss opportunities everywhere in it because we convinced ourselves that we are not pursuing our passion by wasting time at this job.

Even after all of the reading, skill inventory exercises, listmaking and journaling, I still don’t know what my passion is. So instead of pursuing a passion or finding what I love to do, maybe I need to realize that I am already in something I love to do, but just have not realized it yet. I can make use of the wealth of people, excitement, and opportunities right where I am.

Work is always the same. A cup of water in a glass will still be a cup of water even if you put it in a bowl. It is the same water taking form of what contains it. The use of the water to purify and refresh is not altered by the container. It is the same with our work. If drudgery and apathy persist, a change is required. The worker.

Will this lead me to be the next Bill Gates, Walt Disney or Oprah Winfrey? I don’t know. Years ago my uncle worked in a sewage plant, slinging the muck around as a laborer. However, he did it with such enthusiasm and determination that it made him stand out. He was quickly noticed by a VIP and was quickly promoted. Would this have happened if he was so discouraged and down that he was not pursuing his passion by slinging sewage all day?

We can rise only as high as our thinking. Not passionate about anything? Start today to be passionate about whatever you are doing now, no matter what it is. Don’t put off passion until you can someday find it. You may never with that attitude. I am committed to working like no one else at what I do, even if it is cleaning toilets, pushing paper or sanitation engineering. Opportunities don’t just appear. There is no such thing as magic. Opportunities are always right where we are. Our attitude determines whether we see them or not.