Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Woodshop Projects - Tea Rack

My wife is a big tea drinker, not of that bagged stuff either, its pretty much loose leaf or nothing for her. As the tea "boxes" continued to take up more counter space I offered to make a tea rack for her, just to keep things a bit more organized. Quite frankly its odd that its me that wants to get it organized and not her, if you seen my work space you know that neatness is not one of my strong suits!

The wood she picked out is called Tzalam also know as Caribbean Walnut and the rough hewn nature meant I needed to get a straight edge on one side before I could really start cutting out the pieces. Since I don't have a jointer I needed to make a jig that would let me cut a straight edge on it allowing me to square everything up.

I bought the plans from Fisher's Shop through his online store: fishersshoponline.com

Once I had a good edge on the two boards I cut the pieces that I needed to length and ran them through the planer to get a smooth surface on the top and bottom. Then I ran the piece for the two shelves through the new band saw to get the right height. That band saw worked a charm on this wood as well, it just took me 15 minutes to figure out how to get the blade on. And then another 10 minutes to figure out why I kept losing power. There are only a few outlets in the garage so I use an extension cord that rolls up and has a place to plug in four power cords. In addition it has its own breaker. The band saw was pulling enough amps starting up to pop this little breaker. I ended up maneuvering the band saw closer to the back workbench so I could plug straight into the wall, that solved the problem!

It doesn't look like much yet. The long pieces are for the shelves and the two shorter pieces are the sides.

Now that I finally have everything cut I can pull out the router and chamfer the edges and then do all the sanding work before I do the final assembly.

Monday, September 27, 2021

What's Going On and Tool Purchases

A gift to me on the front porch, of course its on its side contrary to directions on the box.

Its been quiet on the blog, to quiet, and its been going on for most of the year. I have mentioned a couple of times that things have been busy and there is probably a bit of depression to go along with it. Nothing like a pandemic to steal all your enthusiasm. Not going to Reaper Con this year has certainly played into it, there just wasn't any reason to get stuff in the painting que ready for the show. Heck the BFG has been was intended to be an entry for 2019 and its still not ready. I think the hardest has been dealing with Lani our Great Pyrenees/Anatolian Shepherd mix being ill with cancer.

Her particular cancer is a sarcoma and it started in her nasal cavity on her right side. Even though we found it early, it was already in the bone and inoperable. We changed her to a raw diet, that has helped a lot, but the other treatments (we didn't want to do radiation therapy, she wouldn't have survived the treatment I don't think) were not as effective. But here she is as stubborn as ever, she could put a mule to shame, and feisty just not as active as the other dogs and her poor face is distorted by the growing tumor. She is three months past the best estimate by the vets with radiation therapy but it still makes my heart cry to look at her and know the inevitable cannot be put off. So we spoil her absolutely rotten.

Back to the title though. A new tool arrived this week a Jet 1221 "midi" lathe. Weighing in at 115#s I can't wait to get it fired up and start turning some wood with it. I need to build a stand for it first and, hopefully, get rid of the small craftsman 10" table saw that is just taking up space now. I'll need to re-arrange the garage a bit as well to get it in a good spot. Naturally, this tool is one of those that requires a whole raft of other tools to make it usable so my wife and I ended up dropping quite a bit more on those things as well as kits for some of the projects we anticipate needing the lathe for. Hopefully good news on that front in the near future.

The traditional in the box shot. There was enough damage to the exterior box that I was worry the lathe itself may have been damaged in transit.

Wrestled it out of the box and, temporarily, set it up on my little assembly table. I have spun it up to make sure everything was in working order but the chisels hadn't arrived when I took this photo.

Friday, September 10, 2021

New Tool - Laguna 14/12 Bandsaw

 I just finished putting together the new band saw a Laguna 14/12. Big machine and it should serve me well for a lot of years to come. I already have an old Craftsman band saw but since I anticipate working with a lot of rough cut hardwood I needed something with a better resaw capacity. The throat on the Craftsman is impressive but the horsepower is just not enough for my wood working plans.

It really didn't take me long to put it together, although I would say the instructions are only adequate, they could use a little help. Good enough to get the job done though. This thing is heavy weighing in at around 250#, which means you really should have two people for some of the assembly. I didn't really have anyone that could help so I did it all myself. Not recommended but possible, you just need to pay attention to what you are doing and think through all of the steps first before applying muscle.

The main body comes assembled. With a little careful thinking I was able to get it out of the box on my own. Basically I just cut the end of the box off and tilted up into position.

Putting the base together. I have never seen screws referred to as "fixings" before.

Here I have laid the main body on its spine supported by 2x4s, with a couple extra under the motor to keep it straight. The base is ready to be attached. They sell you the mobility kit at the same time, another quick $150 bucks...ouch

Like the body I used 2x4s to support the base while I adjusted everything into position and attached the bolts.

Base attached and upright again. To get it back to standing I placed the back wheels into one of the expansion joints in the garage floor and tilted it up, carefully!

All assembled. The table is a heavy slab of metal and the fence is aluminum and moves using a sliding bar. Pretty effective.

The few tools I used to get it all together, 12 and 14mm sockets, a couple of different sized allen wrenches.  The final assembly need a 5/16th socket and yet another allen wrench to deal with a set screw. I think I made notes on the sizes of the two larger allen wrenches for reference on the back of the manual.

I was pretty happy being able to get it all together and relatively quickly on top of that. Like I said the assembly can be done by one person but you do need to be careful so that you don't hurt yourself or the band saw. I am annoyed that it didn't come with a blade, I figured for that much money they could have at least included one blade.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Game Design Thoughts - Financial Shenanigans

If you are an 18XX player, especially 1830 and its variants, then you are aware of how volatile the financial part of the game can be. Between stock market manipulations and train rushes money can quickly run right through your hands in these games. And while Colin and I added even more, potential, madness to that in 1869 it doesn't begin to approach reality.

I'm still trying to figure out a good point in time for my version of 18CO to start, right now I'm focusing on 1870 or there about. I know for sure the Denver & Rio Grande Railway will be in the game and likely one of the public companies. I started jotting down notes about what was going on at the time. After a little light reading I don't even know how to go about recreating the kind of financial manipulations that were going on. Here are some quick notes that I took in about 15 minutes this morning:

1870     Articles of Incorporation filed in Colorado

1871    First Spike

1878    Loses the race to Raton Pass to the ATSF, both companies are in dire financial straits at this time. In an effort to stave off the creditors Palmer leases the D&RG to the ATSF. ATSF goes into a rate war with the UP which is controlled, at that time, by Jay Gould.

1879 Palmer files to break the lease of the ATSF due to poor management (true, ATSF is basically plundering the D&RG in the fight with Gould and the UP). The D&RG goes into receivership and Gould starts buying up stock to take control.

1880 In a deal brokered by Gould the D&RG cannot build south of Trinidad or Espanola NM. The ATSF cannot build into Denver or Leadville.

1882 the D&RGW (note that at this time the D&RGW and the D&RG are not the same railroad, Palmer created the D&RGW to build the Utah side of the empire that he envisioned) leased to the D&RG

1883 the D&RGW completes a through line to Salt Lake City, Palmer resigns from the D&RG but remains president of the D&RGW

1884 the D&RG goes into receivership again, trackage right agreement with the Denver, South Park & Pacific terminated since it has its own line to Leadville now.

1886 still under receivership the D&RG Railway is sold and reorganized as the D&RG Railroad, lease with the D&RGW is terminated

1890 D&RG completes standard gauging to Grand Junction via Tennessee Pass.

And these notes only are highlights and I didn't really get into depth with the financial maneuvering, like leasing your line to your biggest competitor, or Gould coming in and buying up stock to take control.

And I completely skipped the fight for the Royal Gorge, the ATSF used proxy railroads to build that line but the D&RG won the fight for the rights to the canon and acquired the ATSF proxy railroads. Pretty much makes the biggest 1830 shark look like a newbie at the game.