Afloat

15284031_10154777250557838_7324432522926969539_nDecember was supposed to be a slow month at work. It didn’t turn out that way.

My boss issued me the key to the shop, and the passcode for the alarm system. I have been coming in early regularly, and working late. I have been working every Saturday. This is a good thing – I am making money, and have no time to spend it. It keeps me out of trouble. Continue reading »

1953 Craftsman King-Seeley shaper

craftsman-king-seeley-shaper I love vintage tools. I love vintage anything. Most of my gun collection is vintage. I have a lot of antique hand tools.

I am not  a technophobe. I don’t have have the latest of everything, but when working around the shop I use my cordless tools whenever possible. I prefer the sound of vinyl on my 1970’s era record player, but prefer the convenience of my MP3 player with a catalog of well over 5,000 songs.

This week I acquired a vintage shaper.It is a Craftsman model 103.920 made by King Seeley. circa 1953-54. Continue reading »

Carl’s Chili Con Carne

Chili ingredients

Now that I have a source for organic beef that is affordable, I can once again eat steak and pot roasts.  I can grill burgers. More important, I can cook up batches of my chili con carne.

Chili con carne – literally peppers with beef. No beans in my chili – that is sort of redundant.  The beef provides all of the protein that you need.  You add beans to rice; that makes sense. Continue reading »

New aquisition

ToolsClub Air Compressor I acquired this air compressor from an estate sale this week.  The pressure switch control valve and regulator assembly is broken – $23 for a replacement. Add that tot he $20 I paid for it, and I have a decent no-name compressor. It will surely suffice for my needs.

I am still researching the brand – Tools Club or possibly OTools Club, or CTools Club. It looks like a Central Pneumatics. Nothing comes up in a Google search. It is a 26 gallon tank, with most likely a 1.8 HP motor.  Whatever it is, it is more than ample for my needs. Continue reading »

New Job

14212562_10154475557387838_7652666857599553801_nLiz says I stepped in shit. My new job is awesome. I love what I am doing.  The owners are the best. My boss gave me two pay increases in less than two months!

There are no ego trips – the latest project was a first time attempt. The company had never attempted anything even close to this scale of an installation.

14063881_10154434652667838_3609363754575964395_nAll ideas are entertained – well, most ideas. If we have stupid ideas, we admit it.

This project took many talents – the lead artist that created 3-D files of the art; our people that converted the CAD files to files that the CNC Router could use; the machine shop that fabricated the armatures and frame of the tree.

14088484_10154446393552838_6576543062757960169_nMy main job, at first, was shaping and sanding and priming and painting the tree and the houses.  They are all Styrofoam, with a coat of pickup truck bed liner. The tree consists of twenty-one sheets of 3-inch thick 4X8 Styrofoam. The sheets are glued together, shaped, filled, sanded. That is over 100 hours on the CNC router to rough the shape. There is possibly another 60 hours in shaping and sanding. Attaching to the wood framework.

The two larger tree-houses were fabricated from two sheets of Styrofoam. All required fine tuning by hand sanding. I did all of the base coats on the houses, and some of the tree. I worked with the artist, Joe, who works at a design studio that creates set design for theaters and such. Joe pulled everything together.

Today we completed the two-day installation at the children’s section of a local mega church. The wing houses classes and school for younger children. The entire project is intense. My employer prints all of the wallpaper which you can see in the background.  The entire wing is wallpapered floor to ceiling.

I am privileged to be involved in not only the creative process, but also the fabrication and installation. What is even more amazing is that my boss encourages me to use what I learned to engage on my own projects. I have complete access to all facilities and equipment. These people are treating me like family. The owner encourages his employees to start their own ventures, and use his equipment.

When I applied for the job, I was looking for solid employment. I was not expecting to become family, to become an integral part of this organization. I not only found a job, but a job that I love.

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