You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me Lucille (or Oh Wait Yer Back)

I taught a spoon making class this past Saturday, my first time doing so. I forgot to take pictures during setting up and during the course so this will be a words only post.

I got up kinda early on Friday at 5:30 to work on the staked carving benches I was building for the spoon making class. I made all the legs for my carving benches out of oak, 16 legs in all. I was cutting tapers on the ends of all the legs, and those would go into a matching component in the slabs which would be drilled and reamed to receive the legs. I had a slab of ash, and two of maple: I cut four extras to maybe use for a chair I want to build.

At 7:10 (or so) I went inside to help get the kids ready for school and Grandmas house respectively. I made coffee and ate breakfast with my family. What a lovely, funny, entertaining time these breakfasts are. After breakfast I went out to let the chickens out and Janell took Odetta to school. After they left I kept getting ready to take Roya to Grandma’s house and played a game of memory with her. We usually do a game or a puzzle before we go. We left around 8 30 to make the 22 minute drive. After a good bye hug from Roya I came back home to continue making those legs. I went back into the shop, put on some music, and discovered that if I put a little grapeseed oil in the cutter every now and then I really made the process go a lot faster and easier. The cutter is basically a really big pencil sharpener stuck into a vise. So I turn the leg in the cutter then take it out and see where I have to take off more material with the block plane until I have a taper all that fills up the cutter. This will get faster over time I think.

At ten til one I was finishing up the last of the legs and now it was time to go pick up Odetta from kindergarten. It was a beautiful fall day, the sun was shining and the leaves were turning on the maples that line our yard. Maples are one of my favorite fall trees. We have one that turns yellow and one that turns red. They are quite old and large and really give us a lot of shade in the summer plus beauty in the fall. I took along the book I am reading (Small is Beautiful, Economics as If People Mattered, by E.F. Schumacher) since there is usually a bit of a wait until they walk the kids out. Odetta was carrying a bag of stuff she got at school for fall break and she was excited but told me I had to wait until we got home to see what was in it. Sure. These days she wants to listen to “Queen of Hearts” by Juice Newton on the way home from school. Go figure. Its one of the catchiest songs of all time so I won’t complain. We have it burned onto a cd that we labelled Truckin’ songs which I made for Janell a long time ago when we were mere lads in a different time when people burned music onto cds, before we were babies having babies. I hung out with Odetta and we did dishes together while listening to some Todd Snider. Janell got home, one of us made some coffee, and she went to pick up Roya.

I headed back into the shop and by now I was able to start drilling holes in the slabs to put legs on them. I was doing that when my cordless drill stopped working. I discovered that my electric drill did not take the bit I was using (it needs a half inch chuck). This is when I played the country song in my mind “You Picked a Fine Time to Leave me Lucille,” and headed out in the truck to get a different drill. I went to Habitat for Humanity and came up empty. I went to an antique store twenty minutes away where I knew they have a tool booth that sells refurbished power tools. They had an old red brand name drill there (not the beer though I needed one at that point) which I examined feeling very hopeful. Nope. Three eighths chuck not the half inch I needed. Nice drill though. So I headed back toward my house with the intent of hitting the big box on the way. I settled on a ten amp yellow name brand with a hammering option (I find it handy and I might as well have it all in one drill I suppose.)

Back at the shop it was supper time so I sat down with the family. Janell offered to do bedtime that night and I would take it the next night. So I went back out and finished drilling the holes. I discovered that my cordless drill that had set me on that earlier adventure was working again so whatever, man. I thought it was done fer. I guess it just overheated and needed a break. The new drill would still be nice to drive the reamer which I guess needs a lot of torque and causes 8 year old cordless drills to overheat. Moral of this episode is…always get the half inch chuck.

I finished up the slabs and headed in for some sleep. I would get up early and finish setting up for the class.

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