Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Fatigue or Just The Early Stages of Dimentia????

Gail and I visited the greater Detroit area this weekend to visit with Chris Schwarz and John Hoffman who were teaching classes at the Sterling Heights Woodcraft Store. Gail and I didn’t make it to the store, but we did spend some quality time visiting with Chris and John over dinner at the Royal Oak Brewery along with several members of the Southeast Michigan Woodworkers’ Group. They were nice guys, and I once again made new woodworking friends whose talents are far superior to mine. I sat next to a guy named Jason who showed me pictures of original furniture and art pieces he has recently made. I showed him pictures of my latest tool acquisition. I wish I was a better furniture maker, but so far my real strength is spending money on tools.

Comparison: I used my God-given talents to create this…… Oh yeah, well I used real US currency to buy this….

Whining excuse: I have been sooooooo busy lately…..

About three weeks ago I managed to get a great tool I have been wanting. I have been holding off talking about it until I finish the workbench, because I want to show it off on top of the bench. Well, wouldn’t you know it…I acquire this tool that is clearly a “Lifer” for my collection, and before I can even brag about it on my blog I managed to get a better one. Yes, boys and girls, last week I acquired an even rarer tool I have been wanting ever since I first laid eyes on a sample. It’s a “Double Lifer”; that’s one that makes you take up Eastern religions so that you can hold out hope of reincarnating with your stuff. Obviously, I have to finish this workbench so I have a suitable palette for displaying my freshly adopted children.

Sunday, when we returned from Detroit I set to work on the bench. Within minutes it turned into a classic example of why one shouldn’t work when he is really tired. It was SNAFU city. Luckily, there were no injuries.

Sunday night I started my draw boring process. My ebony pegs are 3/8”, so I am going to drill my holes 23/64ths (as I discussed with Chris Schwarz Saturday night). I decided I would pre-drill the holes with a 5/16ths brad point before going back with the 23/64ths metal twist bit. I thought this would allow me to use the 5/16ths brad point as a center punch to better mark the tenons before offsetting and drilling. So I drilled holes into the sides of the first two mortises of the legs.

As I take that leg from the drill press over to my bench, I think, “Hmmm, those 5/16ths holes look almost as big as my pegs.” My 3/8th pegs dropped right into my holes that were pilot drilled with a 3/8th brad point. Apparently I was tired enough to grab the wrong drill bit. So screw it…I will just make 4 pegs a hair bigger than 3/8ths to fix these.

Then I went on to try to end the evening’s work on a high note. So I started on a new leg and predrilled the holes this time with the correct 5/16ths brad point. I used that same bit as a center punch and I marked the tenons. Given the scale of the mating parts, I used a full 1/8th inch offset on the drawbore and I marked the tenons and drilled them with the 5/16ths brad point. I thought I would check the alignment before going back to drill all of the holes on this leg and stretcher joint with the 23/64ths. I dry fit the joint and saw a perfect 1/8th inch overlap. WAIT…. Oh Dear God…NO!!!!!!!!!!!!. Yeah, baby, when I insert a drawbore pin or a peg, it will ensure there is a full 1/8th inch GAP between the face of the leg and the shoulder of the stretcher, because in my fatigued state, I somehow offset the hole in the tenon on the wrong friggin’ side. I offset it 1/8th inch AWAY from the shoulder.

Trying desperately to end the night on a victory, I did quickly make a 5/16ths peg that I used to plug the wrongly offset hole in the tenon, and I am going to re-drill it with the offset the correct direction sometime this week.

Years from now when I finally reach the point where normal drawboring no longer presents such a monumental challenge I am going to raise the bar by having Gail subject me to a good dose of Waterboarding before I lay out where I want to drill the holes. But for now, I am failing without any extra distractions…. other than the internal voices screaming at me to stop sniffing the hide glue before I kill all of the remaining brain cells.

1 comment:

Mark - way out there in Oman said...

This had me ROTFLMAO, because I have had so many - SO MANY - days just like this one.

I'm glad it's not just me. ;-)