Monday, June 16, 2008

Tool thoughts and acquisitions

After a very busy week of traveling, between a trip to albany for work and a mini vacation this past weekend, no progress on the shop itself since last weekend.

Lori and I took a very belated honeymoon trip to Allentown this weekend, plus a jaunt over to Carlisle to meet up with my mother and collect some items she and my Dad had gathered for us. She brought up a new driver's seat for Lori's Protege, a new sewing machine for Lori and an Eden Pure infrared heater/furnace unit for the shop. No pics of that yet, as I'm planning on leaving it in its box until I get the shop dried in. Besides with heat in the 80's or higher, who wants to turn on a heater?

However, I did managed to spend a little money on some tools;

The booty list is as follows:

There was a Black & Decker outlet at the shops in Reading, so I picked up a Black & Decker 18V drill/driver. replacement drill for my old B&D 18v whose direction switch broke recently, in reverse. Grrr. Batteries from the old drill kit still work fine, so now I have four batteries and two chargers. These are in addition to the Ryobi 18v kit. I like the ryobi kit, but the drill always seemed a little wimpy. I'm going to designate that one as the household drill and keep the B&D in the shop.

Side note about the trip. My Mom had her college 50th reunion, and that's about half way between our house and theirs in VA, so I was all set to drive down, meet up with her and return, but Lori suggested that we make it a vacation. SO, off to Hotwire I go, and find a 3 star hotel for $56 a night. Hmmm... ok, I can deal with that. In retrospect, maybe not so much. The hotel was undergoing renovation, having switched over to Holiday Inn from formerly being a Crowne Plaza. It was right in the middle of downtown Allentown, they have a deal with a parking deck, which was a very good thing. $6 a day unlimited access to the parking deck with validation.

There was a slight cleanliness issue with the room, but we overlooked it and decided that we could deal with it for the moment. The pool was closed when we got there, though it did open up later in the weekend. several little league teams made it less than desirable to my eye, but we didn't miss it much.

We splurged on a great dinner at the Allentown Brewhouse, which was half a block away on the same street as the hotel. I tried two of their house brews, and enjoyed them both. The food was excellent, I had meatloaf with beer-laced gravy and Garlic mashed potatos. Lori had peel and eat shrimp for appetizer, and drowned clams over penne. I heartily recommend the restaurant if not the hotel.

The rest of the trip was unremarkable, and I'll get back to shop stuff. One happy note was that there is a Woodcraft store in allentown, and they were in the middle of a father's day Bag sale, 15% off anything you can fit in a moderate sized paper shopping bag.

I meant to just get a couple of turning accessories;

That's a pack of exotic pen blanks, two pen mandrels (one for me, one for Mark), some bushings (since learned that even at sale prices, I paid a bit much for those), some Cyanoacrulate (CA) glue, and some CA glue solvent.

across the aisle from the turning stuff, however, were the Kreg Jigs. I was eyeing the $39 kreg kit, plus a $25 clamp, when Lori piped up and suggested I get the $79 K3 kit, which is the core of the Kreg pocket hole jig system. Her reasoning was that once I bought the smaller kit and the clamp I was within just a few bucks of the larger kit, so why not get the K3. She didn't have to tell me twice, so in the bag it went. Budget, what budget?

I looked at a few other pen items, and long and hard at some Rules, finally settling on the Incra 6" Rule.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


The guys came back this morning and finished up the roofing. At the point that photo was taken the rains had just left, and they still had a few more screws to install, and the ends of the purlins needed to be trimmed off.

there is the 'money shot' from the corner of the house.

Lastly here is the view of the new roof from deep in the shop.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

end of the day...

Originally I was planning on stretching my dollar a bit, using some off-cuts from the 12' roof panels to cover the 'back' side of the shop. I basically underestimated when I picked up the panels last weekend. Dave talked me into buying three new panels so he can finish it off with it looking good all the way around the building.

I'm heading off to the Blue Borg in just a few minutes (Lowes for those who aren't familiar with the woodworking community's nickname (Home depot being the BORG Big Orange Retail Giant))

Last week we used Mark's truck, today I'm going to bring a blanket to put under the sheets to protect the roof when I strap them down to the roof of my truck . I figure that with maybe a couple of 2x4x10's from the borg will get them home safely. Normally I buy all my lumber from Blandings' Hardware in downtown Bridgeport, but this time I think I may just buy a few sticks from the Borg to help with the transportation.

Here's a few shots of the shop late last night (Took the family out to dinner after the guys wrapped things up last night, so no daylight shots)

I'm SO happy about the progress made yesterday, especially this view:

That shows the view up into the loft from just inside the main doors.

Speaking of which, that is on my to do list this weekend, we have a wedding to attend today, but tomorrow I'm hoping to close in the end walls and work on building the two main doors. Which of course means I'll have to buy some hardware, like hinges, a lockset, etc...

Off to the Borg, more updates later today. (I hope)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Whole lot of roofing going on!

That is Dave up on the ladder, he and his assistant Josh are hard at work today installing the metal roofing which I honestly would have had a hard time with. They fixed the alignment problem with some of the blocking, and are moving right along with the top set of blocking. Actually, in this shot, Dave is setting the first panel of roofing in place. Loud cheering going on at chez Bulken today.

different angle, same event.

Dave and Josh making sure that critical first panel is set correctly.

There it is, the top row all installed on the side of the shop which faces the house.

and jumping ahead, here's the front side of the shop with all but 2 panels installed, starting to look like a barn to me.

They've had to work around some of my handiwork, but for the most part, say that I did a decent job for a homeowner. I told them I just took my time and did my best to make it 'right'.

There it is, the front face of the shop all roofed over. They still have to put in a few screws on the lower run of panels, but it sure looks great to me. I would be a day and a half to get to this point, and they've made it look easy and there is still plenty of daylight left.

and a little more straight on view of the face. Looking great to me.

almost forgot to add this shot:

I like the white under-side of the roof, too bad it will be covered up when I insulate later this year.