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Old 01-08-2012, 08:49 AM   #286
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1958 Ranch Home, Full of Character - First Home, First Major Project


For the cabinet doors on the bookshelves (and possibly future kitchen cabs):




For attaching the drawer fronts to the drawers on the bookshelves (again, possibly kitchen cabs):




For the stiles on my book case face frame stiles, and possibly some hand made crown to top it off:


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Old 01-09-2012, 10:27 PM   #287
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1958 Ranch Home, Full of Character - First Home, First Major Project


I think I've forgotten to mention some of the smaller happenings recently. Perhaps it's time to take a step back and mention some of those.

A little while back we bought a Cummins benchtop drill press. Nothing fancy, but it's been rather useful. Another CraigsList find ($35), but I doubt it ever had a bit loaded into it before I did, because I got a bit of goopy reddish factory grease on my hand when putting the first bit in the chuck. The gauge seems to indicate that it only drills "50", which I assume are millimeters (and the specs/manual say nothing of depth at all), so we'll go with that.



The carpenter was using an old bar stool I got at Wally World for under $25 years ago. At 36", it was the right height for my studio's bar. All these years later, I still have one. Where the other go to, I can only imagine, but I'm guessing it was a casualty of my divorce. I had no real use for it, so I wasn't bothered by him using it for his woodworking projects. But after watching him sit in it for more than a minute or two, I realized it just wasn't up to the task. As luck would have it, a Craftsman work stool appeared on SlickDeals as a doorbuster for $36, marked down from $80. Yeah, it's pretty comfy, and the hydraulic works as a spring when you just first sit down.

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Old 01-09-2012, 10:39 PM   #288
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1958 Ranch Home, Full of Character - First Home, First Major Project


On the way back from my new favorite lumber supplier, I swung by Harbor Freight. I know some people here hate their products, while others love them. Myself, I feel that some products are well worth their price while other are completely garbage. Take for example the 18" and 24" bar clamps I bought. They don't have perfectly machined heads or super supply grips, but they easily get the job done with enough force to squeeze a glue joint dry. At $5 (I think?) everyday price for a 24" clamp, it'll pay itself off quickly.. and that's if you don't catch them on sale.

(Admittedly, they bend half-moon shaped when you clamp real hard, but they spring right back when released)

I took my receipt back to Harbor Freight for the clamps, from exactly 30 days prior, along with a stack of coupons. I got the $30/yr membership and the clerk was nice enough to backdate the member's sale price of the 24" clamps for me, putting $6 back in my pocket. I picked up a $40... rolling frame cart thing... for $25 because of the membership. Only $9 until I pay off the membership. It's proven to be an amazing buy. Here you can see the front (wheels on castors, or you can lock it stationary within seconds using the feet) and the rear (wheels on axles).



It used to take two of us to move the planer away from the wall, but now that it's on the stand I can roll it around the concrete patio with one hand. It was a bit odd to assemble, as we had to mill down some 2x4's to 1" square (or was it 1" square?), but it seems to live up to its 300 lb rating. I'll probably be picking up three more before the sale ends on the 31st, one for each of the radial arm saw, the band saw and the large router table.



Tonight I discovered much by accident that my paint can key is also designed to be a beer bottle opener. Literally a perfect fit. And here I was thinking that painters became painters because of the fumes...

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Old 01-09-2012, 10:57 PM   #289
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1958 Ranch Home, Full of Character - First Home, First Major Project


Back to your regularly scheduled programming.

As I think I said before, I scheduled 3 exams to challenge for college credit. What I don't think I said before was that I scheduled them on Friday afternoon. For the following Monday. One has a 91% military pass rate, so I didn't bother studying for that one at all. Another was Introduction to Computers, which I took a practice test for and was surprised at the level of depth it went into (as an IT professional), but again, I didn't find any need to study.

I figured the third one, Management Information Systems, would be the same story as I was a nerd when I was in college, sailed through that course, and finished a business minor. How much could have really changed? Took a practice test Sunday afternoon to calm pre-test jitters... and it absolutely kicked my ass. Scored a 65/100. So last night I look at one guy's homemade study guide for that test, looked up every topic I missed on the practice test, made myself some cheat sheets to study on-the-go, and signed up for a service called InstantCert. Surprisingly, their claims that their study guides were half way decent were actually pretty true.

I couldn't sleep - got maybe three or four hours. Woke up and had some coffee while I crammed the material for four hours. Wrapped up cramming, showered and was out the door in 10 minutes. On the hour drive to the test center, I tried to calm myself with the radio. No dice. Got lost twice. Ugh. Still arrived before the proctor. Made the mistake of trying to take all 3 end of course tests back-to-back (100 questions each, or so). Finished all three in a little over 90 minutes, but by the end I was a bumbling idiot and I watched progressive test scores get lower and lower. I was reading the questions, not understand a word of what they were asking, even though I knew it was easy material that I knew. Just plain fried my brain. Luckily, I took the hardest test first.

Management Information Systems, 466/500.
Introduction to Computing, 462/500.
Principles of Supervision, 435/500.
(400 is a pass)

Not great scores, but who finishes 9 college credits in one day?
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Old 01-09-2012, 10:59 PM   #290
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1958 Ranch Home, Full of Character - First Home, First Major Project


Is that with DANTES?
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:01 PM   #291
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1958 Ranch Home, Full of Character - First Home, First Major Project


DSST, formerly DANTES, though Prometrics. Yup.

I have a CLEP tomorrow and one next Thursday. Those five should finish out another Associates of Science just before my first performance report closes out. I normally would have went through the base Education Center and done it all for free, but I wanted it all done in that time frame, and they were booked for 4 of next 6 weeks that I have days off on a weekday. At test center I went to, they only go in when you people are actually testing, so I had the place to myself. Much nicer than feeling everybody elses' stress.
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:02 PM   #292
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1958 Ranch Home, Full of Character - First Home, First Major Project


Good job, I turned my military transcript in and got around 30 credits.
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:06 PM   #293
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Funny thing is, I was sitting at 170 credits before I went in this morning, but they wouldn't take 80% of my credits from my Bachelor's (from a California State University) for transfer (towards my Community College of the Air Force associates). Ironically, I could satisfy the requirements with CLEPs/DSSTs that had the same name as what showed on my transcripts.
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:07 PM   #294
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You have a bachelors and you went enlisted?
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:11 PM   #295
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That's correct. Unfortunately my degree is considered "non-technical" and the three OTS boards failed to meet for non-technical degree applicants. So I enlisted instead.

Non-technical of course being the friendly was of saying they think a degree is equivalent to Underwater Basket Weaving in applicability (like Liberal Arts or Philosophy). You wouldn't think that the Air Force of all places would give that label to a Private Pilot with an Aviation degree, but indeed they do.
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:12 PM   #296
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1958 Ranch Home, Full of Character - First Home, First Major Project


I would have went a different branch to become an officer. You got screwed.
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:25 PM   #297
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I can still play that card as I have 6 years before I hit the commissioning age, but as it turns out, officers don't get Tuition Assistance. I'm thinking about using that $4,500 per semester for tuition on an MBA or similar, then going the commissioned route anyway. That would let me keep my MGIB intact and the clock at 10 years (plus 10 more years for Post-9/11 Bill transfer), so I'd effectively have 20 years to give it to my child after I got out. Plus, it would really suck to make Lt just to get RIF'd right back out of the armed forces if this budget **** hits the fan.

Indeed, the Marines offered me a guaranteed flight slot, on paper and all I had to do was attend a 10-week summer training course in Pensacola during college. Retardedly, I declined so I could continue working that summer to support my live-in girlfriend (now ex-wife). Probably the biggest mistake of my life so far.

It's not unusual for people in my career field to make 6-figures with 10 years of experience, so there's always that route too.
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:26 PM   #298
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On my way back from the exams, I picked up a tube of thermal paste to rebuild the wife's desktop and put the office back together, now that the motherboard is finally back - after nearly 4 months being out for RMA. I sure hope it works this time and that they didn't just send it back without repairs. I also grabbed some hangers for the living room wall on the way home. What kind of hangers? That's a silly question, but stay tuned.

As it turns out, the hardware that came with them was pathetic. I'm hanging a several hundred dollar item weighing 15 lbs 4" off a wall, and they gave me two 1" wood screws? After " for the mounting bracket thickness and " drywall, that's only " in the stud. No way in hell that's going to work! Here's my upgrade...



...3" wood screws. Much better. While I was at it, I touched up the dirt and pencil marks on the paint and mounted the audio/visual shelves back on the wall.



Too tired to set the 5.1 receiver back up and re-run all the wires tonight. I'm relocating the front L/R speakers just above a/v shelves and the center speaker just above the TV when I get the energy. I think I just need a framed panoramic print to tie it all together.
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:18 AM   #299
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The long week continues. Work's wearing me down. Can't wait until my freedom (relatively speaking) starts tonight.

The carpenter finished up some of his more fun-and-figured stuff and is close to running out of wood to play with. I think he got 6 boxes and a fair amount of joinery experience out of that amount. I'll have to post pictures of them once they're done being finished.

We worked out an understanding in roles. I tend to prefer the design, engineering, materials selection, purchasing, and drafting due to my experience with (and love of) CAD tools. He tends to prefer being handed a set of plans (or working with none at all) and enjoys the process of physically milling/joining the wood. The wife tends to prefer the large overarching go/no-go decisions and admiring the finished product. None of us seem to really enjoy sanding or finishing.

Because of my work schedule being so hectic lately, especially for the near future, I'll be spending quite a bit of my free time making plans and placing material/tool orders to pass on to the carpenter. Yesterday I tossed him some receipts, some items to return (switch plates, outlet spacers), some items to pick up (beadboard, MDF), the "corporate" credit card and two sets of plans (push pad and router guide). He decided to throw in two featherboards.



The wife stained the underside of my shelves, for which I'm grateful. She also stained the other side of the top/bottom, which will never see the light of day. Thanks honey!
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:37 AM   #300
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During the "big find" of stuff we got from Colleen, we picked up a stack of at least a dozen 4"x36"x" plywood rips. I'm not 100% on the dimensions, but I seem to remember them being 7-ply white oak, probably B-2 or C-3. I think she intended them for toe kicks or somesuch, but since they have some sun/water discoloration to the veneer, I don't have a use for them in furniture. If they're still stable and haven't warped, I think they'd be perfect to be jointed together for a Straight Line Rip jig, such as this one that came up in Google:

http://www.southpointhawaii.com/incl...estsawjigs.pdf (Page 5 of 7, #6).

I've got about 65 bf of beautifully air-dried (the seller tells me nearly 10 yrs) 4/4 8' Cherry for the bookshelf face frame, just begging to be straight line ripped in widths up to 13". The different in coloration between it and some kiln-dried commercial stuff I have sitting around is night and day, with the vintage air-dried cherry have a beautiful reddish tone, while the fresh stuff is still just barely colored. I already purchased four 300lb horizontal hold down clamps from Harbor Freight last week, as pictured. The plans went over to the carpenter for review. Seems like a perfect use for long scrap and biscuits. We'll see what he comes up with.

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