Hand Tool Headlines
The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator
An aggregate of many different woodworking blog feeds from across the 'net all in one place! These are my favorite blogs that I read everyday...
It has been two months since I had back surgery.
Recovery has not been as advertised and I have learned more about vertebrae, nerves, scar tissue and various bodily fluids than I ever wanted to know.
At the moment walking and standing are difficult but I have seen some improvement and a full recovery is expected.
I recently worked at the bench for the first time since surgery and it did my heart a world of good.
My personal dulcimer has long been in need of fretwork and this seemed like the ideal project to take on.
I soon realized my lower body has been more involved when doing fretwork than I had imagined. I never noticed I kneel in front of the bench when checking the frets and fingerboard with a straight edge. I also prefer standing when leveling, crowning and polishing frets.
I spent some of the time working while seated on a tall stool. For some tasks I felt more in control of tools while standing and this required taking several breaks before completing the job.
After finishing the fretwork I needed to lower the height of the bridge. I set my action to tight tolerances and on a job like this I often drop the action to compensate for the few hundredths of an inch of height the frets lose after being leveled.
This dulcimer has an ebony bridge and the height was quickly lowered with a pass or two of a finely set block plane.
After enjoying time working at the bench I got to enjoy playing a dulcimer that feels as good to play as when it was new.
Slowly but surely I am recovering from back surgery and lutherie has commenced in the form of cleaning and organizing the shop in short installments.
While cleaning out the shop I ventured into the quagmire of the closet; the dark, scary place where useful things mingle with forgotten somewhat-useful and mostly useless things from the past. Within this portal of doom lurk dead cans of finish, expired bottles of yellow glue, useless tools of questionable manufacture, parts of tools I do not own, mysterious objects that somehow made their way across time and space and into my workspace, etc.
And among these many things I found a small treasure; a box with 3 pounds of dry hide glue. This stuff is probably 3 years old and as good as the day I bought it.
And why, you might ask, do I consider this newsworthy?
Well, I also found a leaky box of very old epoxy that made an 8 inch round toxic puddle on one of the shelves. I have not used epoxy in years and I have no idea how long this oozing abomination has tainted the fine particle board shelf upon which it resides.
It is neither solid nor liquid but something in-between, something not of this world, something evil.
Hide glue does not do this! I’m adding this fact to the list of reasons I prefer hide glue.
Luckily most of the stuff I pried loose from this resinous swamp was going to get tossed anyway.
The real reason for this post?
I am avoiding going back upstairs to cleanup this awful mess!
Related Posts For Your Viewing Pleasure:
Long story short; I’m recovering well from back surgery.
Short story slightly longer; a year ago at a festival I stepped out of the car, suddenly and unexpectedly doubled over in pain, and instantly knew life would be slightly more complicated for a while.
When I got home I visited an excellent physician who ran some tests and assured me that a relatively simple surgery would solve the problem.
I was also assured my insurance company would not cover the cost of the surgery until I spent a year trying other treatments which in my doctor’s opinion would not solve the problem.
For a year I was able to work about one-third of the time I usually work in the shop. People waiting for instruments on order were understanding and kind. Most advance orders did get completed and shipped and a few still waiting for completion are slated for the hands of equally considerate and understanding people.
In a few weeks I will be easing my way back into the dulcimer shop. I’ll be finishing up some orders, making instruments to have on hand as inventory, and finally completing a long-overdue modern rendering of an Ethiopian Begena.
During the past year my wonderful wife Cynthia drove me to quite a few festivals, workshops and other gigs during the times I could not make the drive myself.
During these trips Cynthia met friends around the Midwest she had only heard of and vice-versa.
Friends at festivals throughout the area keep asking if she will be coming to festivals in the future.
I think more people might show up at my gigs if she comes with me because they want to see her!
I understand completely.