Saturday, March 4, 2017

Paradise ponders...

Paradise ponders...  We've been visiting Tim D., our friend and neighbor, in the hospital every day.  He had back surgery to fuse three vertebrae on Wednesday.  The surgery went very well, and he's recovering faster than they'd predicted.  We saw him a couple of hours ago, and he's smiling and ready to be up and at 'em.  I warned him that I'd take a baseball bat to him if we caught him trying to lift anything (he's got a 15 lb. limit for a year!).  It's really good to see him doing well – he's one of the good guys, and we've been worried about him.

Debbie's out having her nails done at the moment, and she drove her new truck by herself for only the second time.  She's had it for two months now, but didn't want to walk by herself when we had snow and ice.  So we've been going together, in the Tesla, while her new truck sat in the garage.  It started right up after we figured out how to do it (there's no key, and it won't do a darned thing unless your foot is on the brake).

My brother Scott went with me to pick up some lumber today.  I'm building a set of stairs to get from our bedroom to our new sun room; there's a 12" drop involved, so just two steps.  I'm making them from redwood, which I'm going to bleach, artificially distress (basically, I'm going to bash the hell out of it with a variety of bashers), then finish with a two-color system to accent the dents, and finally a coat of matte polyurethane to keep the natural wood look but protect it well.  It should be an interesting experiment.  Just getting the wood was more trouble than I expected.  First, redwood is rather expensive these days.  Second, in both Home Depot and Lowe's the lumber had been handled roughly and left outdoors – so it was quite dinged up and in some cases soaking wet.  Lowe's had more of it in stock, so we went there and picked through a pile of wood to get the 9 4x4's that I needed (I'm gluing up the 4x4s to make a thick slab for each step).  One item I wanted didn't exist in the store: pipe clamps.  You wouldn't think pipe clamps would be scarce in an area with so many woodworkers, but they only had one in stock.  Lots of bar clamps, but just the one pipe clamp.  I had to order them from Amazon...


  1. One of the major makers of fairly good quality clamps (Pony, aka Jorgensen) went out of business last year. That's going to put a dent in the clamp supply. I caught a cabinet shop going out of business and bought a pickup load of pipe clamps for me and some friends. They are well used but functional, so I'm set, I think.

  2. Amazon had quite a few to choose from. I ended up picking some from Rockler (who now sells on Amazon), mainly because they look like the ones I used to have, and liked, and they had good reviews. The pipe I can still get locally. :)

  3. The pipe will probably cost more than the clamp kits. :)

  4. I didn't think you were serious until I looked online. You are absolutely correct! Five foot pieces of 3/4" galvanized are going to cost $3 more than the clamp. Why on earth is a piece of pipe so expensive? Obviously I haven't bought galvanized pipe for a long time...