I’ll spare you all the gory details (well, really I’m sparing myself retelling them one more time), but I will say that my grant application was ultimately submitted and accepted. Now, it’s wending its way through the inner workings of the peer review machine and I should hear something back in… a while?

In the meantime, there’s plenty to do — I’ve started doing some contract work again to pay the bills, I’m working on my business in the background, and of course there’s no shortage of other projects to keep me busy.

Hand plane in progress
posted August 28, 2012 – 10:07 am

I’ve had an exceedingly frustrating week trying to submit a grant proposal for an SBIR. I say “trying” not because I had trouble writing the proposal, but because I’ve been fighting a series of technical problems, with sites taken offline randomly, cryptic error messages, and wait times for support reps of over an hour for every call. It’s a mess, and unfortunately, it’ll be a couple days more at least before it’s totally resolved.

In the midst of all of this, I’ve found myself longing for things that I can actually accomplish. The other day, I took Dina’s car to have the emissions inspected, because I knew it was something I could check off my list. Woodworking definitely falls into the category of things I can do, and so I started in on one of the projects I wrote about recently, the benches for Faye and Nick.

Whoever took down the trees in their backyard included the center of the trunk in one of the slabs. The wood is cherry, and because the ends of the log weren’t sealed when it was cut, because of the way it dried, because the center was included, the middle section of the log was a bit rotted out. Happily, it is wide enough that the middle can be removed and the two outside parts glued together to make a bench, but all that depends on sawing. Which is what I did tonight.

Slow going, but satisfying.

It didn’t actually take too long, to make these two rip cuts down the 6 feet of board — maybe 45 minutes or an hour? And it worked, on both levels — I got rid of the rotten part of the log, and I did something today.

posted August 7, 2012 – 10:03 pm

I’m happy to report that my thumb is healing quite nicely. After about 10 days, I’m down from an oversize gauze bandage that stuck out like, well, a sore thumb and just using a band-aid. Other than some minor annoyances, it’s been a non-issue, and which makes me happy as I recently made a list of upcoming (woodworking) projects.

Coffee table #1 — This one’s for Dina and me, made primarily from a small cherry tree trunk cut down by my friend Mike in the course of his landscaping job.

Coffee table #2 — Another commission, this one is for some friends who recently moved in to a new house. Size, style, material all TBD.

Frame for lacework — As we sorted through my grandmother’s apartment after she passed away a couple years ago, we discovered a cache of beautiful, hand-crocheted (or tatted?) lace. I took a few of them, and aim to make a big, hexagonal frame from some oak I have in the shop. A good project to get good on the router table.

Door — Another friend is in the middle of a renovation and hasn’t had a bathroom door for months, so I’m making him a barn-style sliding door.

Robot arm table — Now that it’s closer to ready for the big time, the robot arm needs a platform worthy of its bar tending future. I’m thinking veneer over plywood for robust but attractive construction. I’ve also got some brass sheets cut for the bottle holders.

Benches — The same folks who host my workshop took out a few trees a couple years back, and saved some big slabs to turn into benches for their backyard. I’m gonna weld up some steel bases and varnish the heck out of the wood.

Rocking chair(s) — Jared and I have had visions for years of building a small run of rocking chairs as gifts for close friends. We actually have the inklings of a design and a couple prototypes, but there’s plenty of work left, even before we start “production.”

This all made me think back to the last time I publicly listed the projects I was considering and/or working on. Again, I’m happy to report quite a bit of progress on most of them, and even a few completed altogether! Although the sweater languishes, there’s been movement on everything else. Since October 2010, the robot arm has poured its first drink, I made (and frequently use) a sous vide cooker, and I built a workbench and then a dining room table for my friends. The last project, the photography one, is just getting underway. I’ll post something here when it’s ready for primetime. Not bad, all in all!

posted August 3, 2012 – 8:02 am
Old News
Log in