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.

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