| Welcome Back
Welcome Back: It's September and the weather is changing. Labor Day, September 1st, we awoke to 42 degrees F with partial clouds. That's the coldest it's been this whole summer and we still have a few weeks of summer left. Then again today it will become sunny and we'll have temperatures in the mid 70's for the next week or more, yippee!
Summer is a busy time on Whidbey Island with lots to see and do. There are six towns on our tiny island and each one has several events during the summer but mostly in August. Our little town, Coupeville, has a Saturday Market every weekend, a huge art fair that covers two blocks, summer concerts in the park and much more.
We've been busy with that and visits from friends and family. We hope your summer has been as much fun and you slide gracefully into fall.
The Tall Ships do battle in Penn Cove
Here's an update on Roz Savage the young lady who's rowing solo across the Pacific Ocean. She has arrived in Hawaii to end the first leg of her journey. She rowed 2,598 nautical miles in 99 days, 8 hours and 55 minutes. She'll now recoup and fix some of the things that had broken on her boat like the water maker. She'll leave in early 2009 for the next leg to Tuvalu, a tiny island in the South Pacific. Remember that she's doing this to heighten awareness to the global issue of plastic being thrown into our oceans. You can read much more about this at http://rozsavage.com/environment/.
Drawing on the inspiration from Roz and encouragement from some of our readers we are going to start a column on protecting the environment. We don't want this to be a one-way discussion where we sit here and tell you what our visions are for protecting the environment. At the suggestion of Cheri, one of our readers, we are going to solicit your support and suggestions. See our new column "The Environment" below for more information.
Ken and Marilyn
Wood'n Wares Cool Kitchen Tools
Bob and Jean's wonderful wooden kitchen utensils are hand made in their little wood shop in Montana. If you've ever cursed those splintering old wood spatulas you have then you need to treat yourself to something grand. Give one of these beautiful hard maple utensils a try and you'll never go back. Also Wood'n Wares Spoon Oil will keep those wooden utensils looking great for years to come. It also works wonderfully on butcher blocks or other wooden kitchen products.
Get your order in for Spoon Oil by going to, www.runnerduck.com/woodnwares.htm.
Rockler always has great specials, here's the latest!
We got our little sailboat out for the first time this summer. Actually it's a new boat to us so it's the first time ever. It's a 1989 14' sailing dingy built in Anacortes, Washington by the now defunct Freya Boat Works. They made a number of larger sail boats in the 30' to 40' length but this was the only sailing dingy they made.
There are several unique things about it. First it's what you might call a "combination" boat. It can be rigged for sailing, mounting an outboard motor or used as a row boat. The other unique thing about the boat is the sail; it is what you call a "dipping lug". There is no boom at the bottom of the sail only the yard arm at the top. When you change tacks you "dip" the yard to the other side of the mast. It also has leeboards on each side to add stability.
This is Ken with brother-in-law Steve who is behind the sail
Penn Cove, which is right at the end of our street, is a perfect place to sail and we plan to do a lot more of it now that we are learning more about this neat little boat.
|Site Of The Month|
As many of you may know Ken is a drummer in a big swing band and we love music. We generally listen to different on-line radio stations while on the computer. We've found a new one where you create your own radio stations which play only the music you like.
On January 6, 2000 a group of musicians and music-loving technologists came together with the idea of creating the most comprehensive analysis of music ever. They carefully listened to the songs of tens of thousands of different artists - ranging from popular to obscure - and analyzed the musical qualities of each song one attribute at a time. This work continues each and every day as they endeavor to include all the great new stuff coming out of studios, clubs and garages around the world.
You select a musician or song that you like and Pandora will find other music with those same genes. You can click thumbs-up or thumbs-down on a song and that help tell your station what you prefer in a song. It's very cool and we think you'll like it a lot.
The web site is www.pandora.com
. If you don't mind a little advertising the service is free otherwise you can pay a small annual fee.
Bamboo Wind Chimes
I really like it when I can make something nice out of junk. If you remember from last month Ken made an electric fence around our fish pond out of bamboo. He had a lot of left over pieces and I got the idea to make a wind chime out of them. It didn't take much to make something really cool.
I started by sorting through the scraps to find the lengths I needed.
I cut an angle on the end of each piece with a band saw although you could use just about any saw you may have.
I drilled holes through the top of each piece just a little bit bigger than the upholstery thread I used to tie it all together.
Next I marked out the little disks for the cuts and then drilled the holes through the middle of each piece. It was easier to drill them first before I cut them to length. Also I used a "V" block to help hold the bamboo while I was drilling and cutting.
After cutting the small disks I drilled five holes in the cross piece.
I had some beads that fit nicely into the small disks. I threaded everything together with upholstery thread and ended up with a pretty nice wind chime.
Remember we have all of our past projects archived on our web site at www.runnerduck.com. Just click on the Craft Egg.
|As we mentioned in our opening we'd like to do a little something for the environment. Actually we do a little something for the environment and hope to encourage you to do the same.|
Cheri wrote and made some suggestions on how this new column might be structured. She writes: "Maybe you could do your column in such a way that it could be used as a participating thing; What communities in various states are doing, stories of accomplishment within the community and personal idea's for and from individuals, mentioning names if desired. That would help pass ideas around, and I think people may very well respond, like I said, just a thought."
Thanks a lot Cheri for those thoughts let's see what we can do. If you would like to share success stories or ideas on protecting the environment we'd love to share them with our readers. Just send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll do the rest. Actually if it's a great idea we hope that all of you will do the rest ;-)
To start off we've just purchased a number of canvas bags to use when we go shopping. They are strong, reusable and eliminates one more waste stream by getting rid of those plastic bags. One tip on canvas bags, buy good ones so that they'll last a long time. Look over the bags before you buy them to make sure that they are made well and can be machine washed otherwise they will become part of the waste stream sooner than we'd like.
We look forward to hearing your stories and ideas!
|The Tempos Big Swing Band|
|Fall is here and the summer concerts are over. We hope you got the opportunity to get to one of our concerts. Now we'll start doing more indoor concerts and events. If you are in the Seattle area and interested in hiring a great band The Tempos are ready to perform for you. Just drop a line to email@example.com
News and CD of the Week
"Big Swing" features fourteen great swing songs from the 40's and 50's. If you love the old big band swing music we think you'll enjoy this CD. It's the kind of music that makes you just want to get up and dance, you do remember how to swing don't you?
The only place you can get this CD is from our web site. Go to www.thetempos.com and click on the "Click Here" at the top of the web page or click the album cover.
If you'd like to get a taste of this CD just go to The Tempos web site. When you are at the Tempos web site click on the horn valve button that says "Hear our CD". Then click on the song titles to hear a little bit of each song.
The Tempos big swing band is available for hire. If you have a special event that could use the wonderful music of a classic sixteen piece big band be sure to contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We perform all over the Seattle area for all sorts of events.
|Joke of the Month|
This months joke came from Bob L. the lead trombone in The Tempos. Thanks for the laugh!
NEW YORK (Reuters)
A public school teacher was arrested today at John F. Kennedy International Airport as he attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a set square, a slide rule and a calculator.
At a morning press conference, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said he believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-gebra movement. He did not identify the man, who has been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction.
'Al-gebra is a problem for us,' Gonzales said. 'They desire solutions by
means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in search of absolute values. They use secret code names like 'x' and 'y' and refer to themselves as 'unknowns.' We have determined they belong to a common denominator of the axis of median and have coordinates in every country. As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to say, 'There are 3 sides to every triangle'.
When asked to comment on the arrest, President Bush said, 'If God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, He would have given us more fingers and toes.'
|This Month's Free Recipe|
As they say "real men eat quiche" and I think your man will really love this recipe.
Sprinkle Cheese over the bottom of the Pastry Shell.
- 9" Unbaked pastry shell
- 1 1/2 Cups Cheddar Cheese, grated
- 2 Tablespoons Green Peppers, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons Onion, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons Pimento, chopped
- 4 Eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 4 Cups Half & Half
- Dash Cayenne Pepper
Scatter Vegetables over the Cheese.
Beat the Eggs with Cream and Seasonings.
Pour into the shell.
Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes.
Lower to 300 degrees F for an additional 25 minutes.
Let set for 5 minutes before cutting.
|Cookbook of the Month|
| "Quiches & Savories (Le Cordon Bleu Home Collection)"
By Cordon Blue School in France
This cookbook on Quiche is one of the best out there. If you are a fan of quiche then this is a must have for your kitchen.
Barbara L. Pinzka from Cincinnati, Ohio reviewed this book on Amazon.com and here's what she had to say: "This surprisingly good cookbook may look slight but each page is packed with valuable information and hints to help even a novice produce excellent food right away. Recipes are graded as to level of difficulty, also a plus. I do a lot of baking and it's nice to see so much valuable information about pastry collected in one place - even the veteran quiche maker will find some good tips (how to prevent a soggy crust, for example). The savories section is particularly valuable, offering an enticing array of items suitable for appetizers, most of which can be prepared in advance."
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This Months Woodworking Project
My new SawStop Tablesaw
As mentioned last month I got a new SawStop tablesaw and now have it put together, up and running. I thought I'd write a report on the experience including the ups and downs of the process.
My old tablesaw was a Delta Contractors Saw with a professional Unifence and wing extension. I liked that saw a lot and it did a good job for me. By the way it's for sale if anyone is interested. For more information just email email@example.com if you'd like to know more.
My reason for replacing it was a simple one, I'm getting older and planning on doing a lot more woodworking as I head toward retirement in the next couple of years. I would like to move into my golden years with all my fingers attached. As we get older and do more woodworking the chances for an accident go up dramatically. Poorer eyesight, poorer balance, poorer memory and a general casualness from years of working on a tablesaw all contribute to an increased opportunity for an accident. If you're not familiar with SawStop and its finger saving safety feature you can check it out at www.SawStop.com
OK enough of that, on to my new saw! What I bought was the SawStop Contractors tablesaw with cast iron wings, a 36" extension with the pro fence and mobile base. The very first thing I noticed when I picked it up was it's HEAVY! It seemed like every box I picked up with the help of a forklift at the store and a hand truck at home weighed a ton. Upon opening the first box I could see that it was packed very well with little opportunity for shipping damage.
First layer of packaging
Second layer of packaging
The next thing I noticed was the documentation. There was a very large quick instruction sheet and a very nice 104 page instruction book. Both were written by someone who really knows how to write clear and concise instructions. Especially cool was the way the hardware was packaged.
The pocketed packaging had the nuts, bolts, washers, etc. all in separate pouches with the quantity, including if there were any extras, description and item number that matched the drawings in the manual. Not only was the information on the front of the packaging but on the back as well since that's the side from where you remove the hardware.
Even the big items like legs and braces were marked with a reference letter that matched the manual.
The legs and braces are also marked
As I started putting it together I couldn't help but notice how heavy duty all the steel pieces were. They also are powder coated to a very nice shinny black finish. All the pieces went together perfectly! There area even little dimples and holes that help line things up and help prevent making any sort of mistake.
The base assembly
It took me several hours to assemble it but then I'm one of those guys that likes to read all the directions and savor the moment. I'd suggest giving yourself three to four hours if you get one configured the same way as mine. It's also good to have two people when you are putting the saw onto the stand, it's way too heavy for one person. The cast iron wings are also heavy and it really takes two sets of hands to get them installed.
Once it was assembled I made some minor adjustments to get the fence set perfect. The trunnion was very true and needed no adjustment.
Front of the saw
Back of saw
Now that I've had a little time to use it I have some Positive and Negative comments:
On the positive side everything is extremely well made and goes together well. The instructions and manuals are top drawer.
The fence is very nice and smooth. Like everything else it's heavy but that helps keep is rock solid.
The stop cartridges are easy to change from dado to a standard 10" blade.
The riving knife is very nice and easy to remove when necessary.
Tech support is very responsive and knowledgeable. There was very little wait time and when they said they'd call right back, and they did.
I like the left tilt saw blade.
The dust collection set up works very good.
The cranks for saw height and angle are very smooth and easy to operate.
On the negative side;
- I don't like the saw guard due to the strength of the kickback teeth. I realize that they are a necessary evil but they are so strong that they leave marks on my wood.
- This is sort of a negative. The motor is big and really fires off when you start it up. The problem is that the manual says that it draws 15 amps and can be run on a 50' 14 gage extension cord. I have one of those cable reels with 50' of 14 gage wire and after a few starts the saw would not run. I put on a short 12 gage extension cable and it runs fine now. I believe this motor really needs the full 15 amps.
- The 36" extension table has a tendency to bow down in the middle along the cast iron wing. I've added a router in the extension and that makes it even worse. I'm going to add a steel "L" bar along the edge to stiffen it up.
- You have to be careful when removing the arbor nut because it can drop into the dust collector and then you have to remove your vacuum hose to retrieve the nut, speaking from experience.
If you are in the market for a new saw I don't see how you could possibly go wrong getting a SawStop tablesaw. The more I use mine the better I like it.
Happy sawing and I hope to have some sort of project for you next month!
If any of you have wood projects to share I would be happy to put it into a format for our newsletter. Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and lets see what we can come up with. Thank you!
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