Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Surf's Up!

Definitely NOT for the feint of heart!

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Monday, January 28, 2013

Custom Fence

I'm currently in the process of modifying my table saw again. The new Excalibur #40-070 cast iron surface wing with an insert for a router plate, and a new Jessem Mast-R-Lift II to install with it have arrived. This past weekend I built a few custom "bench beams" (below) to act as a third hand support system during dis-assembly and installation. That work will be documented here once I get on with it. But over the last couple of nights I've been working on the design of a custom fence system to compliment the setup.

Router fences are completely different than table saw fences in both use and function; they're actually much more like sacrificial dado fences, so for everything to work properly in the new setup I need to come up with something custom for my equipment. Nothing "off the shelf" is going to work unless I completely replace the table saw fence. And that I'm not going to do even as much as I might like a new Biesemeyer table saw fence system! At least not now.

The video above shows the design I came up with for my system. It's a compilation of ideas found on the internet, custom systems for sale, and the basic router table fence built by Norm Abrams of the New Yankee Workshop many years ago. The drawing work was prepared using Trimble SketchUp 8 and the video captured with Techsmith's SnagIt 11.

A couple items I inadvertently omitted in my narration of the video include the fact that the main anchoring section (the dark brown piece) gets clamped to the cast iron surface to keep the system locked in place. Most router table surfaces have slots cut perpendicular to the feed direction to allow in/out fence adjustment. Unfortunately the Excalibur surface does not have these slots, so my design makes provision for that using the dark brown base design shown here. Also, T-bolts, washers and wing nuts will be used to connect sacrificial and other facing pieces onto the main assembly. If it turns out that unfinished Baltic birch isn't smooth enough for efficient use I'll replace them with pieces fabricated using melamine.

As noted in the video, comments and suggestions are always welcome. If you see something that looks like it could be improved I'm wide open to hear your ideas.

Bench Beams 4"x4"x36" - 1/2" Baltic birch

Sunday, January 27, 2013

4 Hrs

Slow Cooked Chicken Stew


Boneless, skinless chicken thighs, 2-3#
1/3 cup water
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) cream of mushroom soup
salt and pepper, to taste
3 medium potatoes, cubed
2 medium onions, cubed
Fresh garlic, diced, to taste
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) kernel corn, drained
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce


Cut chicken thighs into bite size pieces.  Mix mushroom soup with water in slow cooker.  Add chicken pieces, salt and pepper.  Cook for 1 hour on HIGH, then add all other ingredients and cook on LOW for 8 hours or cook for 4 hours on HIGH.  Serve hot with crackers.

Serves 3 to 6... or 1 for 3-5 days.

It’s been a long time between crockpot uses... never quite understand why I wait so long.  But it was finally time once again, so I got the ingredients above and made a pot of goodness to enjoy today and into the new week.  The house smells great and of course it's delicious!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Moon Hoax Not

A question frequently asked but seldom convincingly answered is, "Did USA astronauts really go to the moon in 1969, or was it all faked?" Well, it turns out that in 1969 it was probably more impossible to fake than to actually go.

Watch this and judge for yourself.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Top 10 Ways

Just in case global warming doesn't get rid of it for you.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Nowadays... that is to say, in the digital age, we have evangelists. No, I'm not waxing theological here, I'm referring to the software gurus (and gurugals) who seem to eat, breathe, live, and love the complex software packages we alternately love/hate. I have two evangeli; one I've met personally (and she's as sweet as she looks in her various and sundry videos), and one I'd like to meet some day.

Lynn Allen is my go-to AutoCAD evangelist. I've taken classes from her and met her in person at AU a few years ago.  I never miss Lynn's bi-weekly Cadalyst Video Tips either.  You can sign up if you like them and get email notices when ever a new one comes out.

Julieanne Kost is my Adobe evangelist. One look at her work and you have to believe she has plenty to share. Take your eyes off her blog for a while and you're sure to fall behind the curve.  Every day, Julieanne shares Instagram photos from her travels (and she travels a lot!).  Here she's compiled a year's worth of her favorites.

You've gotta love (and use!) the internet these days. And hitch your wagon to every "evangelist" you can find!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Autodesk University 2012

This summary is a little late going up on the board, but a quick review of my Autodesk University 2012 conference in Las Vegas a month ago is still worth doing.  Some may have noticed the black AutoCAD panel at the bottom of these pages.  The certificate above validates it.