Monthly Archives: March 2016

Time travel is possible through bringing old tools back to life. Most of these tools belonged to Elizabeth’s grandfather. The final reconditioning of the steel needed my pneumatic bronze finishing tools, and an old stick of rouge. There were plenty of other tools resurrected today, but these are the primo.


After yesterday’s snowstorm, and before going to stand in the cold for a few hours to caucus, I put a new top & shelf on this old workbench (after giving the whole thing a light sanding, pulling errant staples and nails, and abandoning ideas of refurbishing the eroded old top). This morning I came up with a system to add/subtract the two vices.


The big lever-arm drives a punch, while the front vice opens at 45 degrees. A very specific tool, for I don’t know what- but handy.  The platform is held in place with wooden dowels that peg into the table top. I need to remake the platform in plywood, but this will work fine until the particle board shatters (I’ve remade it once already, the current platform is a remnant).



This little sliding vice is clamped to the supporting beam of the table via a run of oak.


Having a clear bench top is key to work flow; the vices store below. The steel wheels roll it in & out of the shop with ease.


This is the new best spot in the whole studio/shop.


This is where the woodbench resides. Two new benches and the Impreza still fits in the garage.


Tuning up tools from Wichita in the afternoon sun.


An old wooden level, and a hand plane.


The bubbles are cleared and the wood is conditioned via wax/steel wool rubbing.


Although still able to cut a curl, I took the Smooth Plane apart and addressed issues of rust & dirt & age, then reassembled it.


The Jack Plane is a hard contrast to the Smooth Plane. 


This old Jack Plane will be my next tool resurrection.

This old oak wood bench mysteriously entered the Myers family back in the 1960’s. It had been a well-used bench in its life before appearing to Walt; it might be from Ohio family or possibly from a shop. From the old hardware I would guess it is at least 75 years old.

Last week I refurbished the top using clamps and wood glue and wood filler and a palm sander and sealer.

Today I spent three hours getting the clamps to operate smoothly. The metal clamp on the Front L was a lesson of WD40 & wire brush & steel wool & white grease; it now pulls out smoothly and cranks back in like new. The wooden square clamp on the R-end had lost a carriage bolt and sagged to the front. The old bolt had split the top, and dropped out unnoticed long ago. I used a 600lb lever clamp to pull it all together again, then drilled out the old hole for a new carriage bolt, and used a forstner bit to counter sink the head. Once the bolt was in place I set in a 3.5″ self tapping deck screw horizontally from the face to back the bolt and hold the old split together.

Scrubbing with laquer thinner and steel wool for the entire wooden body came next. The steel wool would turn solid with hard grime if left to sit. The blackened varnish lifted away in a few passes. I popped out the wood pins holding it together and lubricated the hinges that allow it to fold flat, then just cleaned the pins and reseated them. The entire piece was then rubbed down with bowling alley wax and buffed out.

The tough little unit is ready for a new era of helping out Danger.


The Borg have a new business model. Resistance is futile?


Telekinesis is go.


Easy come, easy go. The in-between part may have included a battle with the Borg Queen; that would explain why the “empties” are packed full of Borg henchmen .


Xander wanted to get in that box soo badly.


Unlike my old yuppie neighborhood, I can block two driveways at once with a moving rig and no-one calls the police while going into hystrionics.  


Our new thoroughbred grazes the lawn.


Lucky is a Wichita transplant, the noble stead of the Idiocracy.


Gekko makes room for Froggy.

We had a few pods arrive all the way from Wichita. Kaye & Walt are downsizing out of the home they raised the girls in, so consequently we are down-openspacing (also know as clutterfucking). The best thing is, now we have a Pony. Maybe I should get my dad’s saddle back from my sister…


Froggy will guard the studio, when not a-courtin’.


The ancient wheelbarrow thinks it is dead: the wheel no longer holds air, one handle is nearly snapped off, the frame twists crazily under load. Resurrection via a strap clamp and a handtruck; being dead doesn’t mean you get out of work.


This 50′ area was lawn, and now is where front yard Xeriscaping trials will begin. SLC has the same climate as Albuquerque, New Mexico- so big lawns are unsustainable water hogs. Tearing out the sod was step one. Barrier cloth was step two. No step three yet. 


The shoddy sod went under the ground cover to help fill the dip where I laid in channel tubing to bury the irrigation ditch running behind the studio. It will compress down over time. That or I solved the neighborhood’s barking dogs problem…


A big 80mph snow-wind nearly took down the trumpet vine awhile back. A previous post shows my temporary solution to keep it standing. This week a permanent solution went up. First the 4×4″ x12′ pole went 40″ in the ground with a concrete footing and was left to cure for a day and a half. Yesterday the angled bracing went in, with supports under the major “Eagle’s Nest”, and for the big woody vine bodies. I added the long beam at the top so the vine can continue to climb. This morning I fired up the chainsaw and removed the shattered trunk of the old cherry tree. The big vines follow the negative-space contour of the burl-covered old trunk (a fat section appears in the background of a few images). Bonus: it bases an aluminum sculpture from my MFA show!