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Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble


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About Snailman

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    I was born with 10. I intend to die with10

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  1. Snailman

    Needs and Wants

    Ugh!!! This phrase along with "it doesn't look like it would be hard to do" go up my rear sideways. My friend's wife wanted a gate to hide her trash cans. She sent me a photo. No dimensions, no material choices, not even measurements of the area it was going into. I was traveling about 1000 miles one way for a visit (limited tools in my wife's car) {and no, this was not the sole reason for the trip.}. I get there, we start discussing the project and she uttered the above phrase. To which I answered "then do it yourself". I think by my reaction, she realized she may have said the wrong thing . Her husband (my best and oldest friend) and I got into the build. 2 post holes, concrete, fence framing and pickets, this is what we ended up with. As the project progressed into the 2nd day,there were design changes made to accommodate the space, fence height and height differences. I'm still not sure if she fully realized the complexity of what she wanted. We didn't do the antiquing wavy texture thing because I refuse to sand or grind PT lumber. In the end, they were happy with it, which is all that matters, but I don't consider it to be one of my best projects. It was a fun project, and I didn't mind doing it (my friend is not that handy and we have fun the whole time), but boy did she touch a nerve.
  2. Snailman

    Needs and Wants

    I had replied to a similar thread a while ago, that I adopted two phrases: 1) my wife is the only customer I have now; and 2) when asked 'how much would it cost for you to build me ???', I now answer 'more than you want to spend.' I got tired of figuring out material and time costs only to get the reply "oh, I didn't know it would be that much". And I've been a happy woodworker ever since. (not that I wasn't a happy woodworker before, now I have a quick retort for people who are ignorant to material cost, and do not have an appreciation of handmade 'custom' pieces.)
  3. If I'm approached by someone who starts a conversation with "how much would it cost for you to make me a..." my answer is "more than you want to spend". It usually ends the conversation. My wife and family are the only clients I'm interested in having.
  4. I make plenty of mistakes (learning opportunities). I kind of like it when it happens. It forces me to try to be creative, which I don't get to do in my day to day.
  5. Snailman

    Wiping on water based poly

    Neither did I . There were a few tense moments when I started the application. Thanks for the compliments. I hadn't used water based dye before this project. I really liked the application, and it didn't seem to muddy the grain. I used bulls eye sanding sealer that had an amber tone to it. I was concerned my wife wouldn't like the amber tone, but she says she likes it (and I'm going with that!) My only other experience with water born finish was sealing the inside of a pantry I built using minwax polycryllic. I wasn't overly impressed with that application (seemed to raise the grain considerably), but it was the inside of a pantry with rolling shelves, so no one really sees or feels the inside of that carcass. I'll definitely try this again, although, I may make up my own spit coat with blonde shellac next time.
  6. Snailman

    Wiping on water based poly

    Finally finished (pun intended). Thanks for the finishing advice.
  7. Snailman

    Wiping on water based poly

    Thanks for the input guys. I'm using Varathane Semi Gloss. I opted to try wiping straight out of the can, using an old t-shirt. My first impression was 'that was a mistake'. I found it difficult to maintain an even coat as I went. Dripping wasn't an issue. The usual heavy accumulation in corners was a little heavier than I've gotten with oil based poly. For the 2nd coat, I was going to take Gene's suggestion and switch to a painting pad, but then I thought, why change the technique before I tried wiping a 2nd coat. So this time, I took another piece of old t-shirt, and dampened it slightly with water before applying. Much better control on keeping the coat even. I don't know it that was from the damp shirt, or just the way the Varathane responds to itself, but I'm satisfied with the result (and more importantly SWMBO is happy). I'll post a couple of pics once I've got it all re-assembled. Thanks again. Paul
  8. Snailman

    Wiping on water based poly

    I tried to search this here, and maybe (probably) missed it. Can water based poly be wiped on? I've got to move my armoire project into the house (temps got too low to continue working in the garage) so I want to keep smell and cure time down. Thanks in advance. Paul
  9. Snailman

    Raising the grain question

    +1 on what's been said. I'm working on a piece for my wife now, and am using water based dye. I did a test board, raising the grain 1st, not raising the grain, and applying a 2nd dye coat sanding between coats, and applying a 2nd coat, not sanding between coats, and doing a sanding after the 2nd coat. I found I the results to be pretty close across the board, although, not sanding till the end seemed to take off additional color. I opted for the no 'pre-raise' approach, applied the 1st dye coat, sanded and applied the 2nd dye coat. In the morning, I plan on doing a quick light sanding to knock down the grain, apply a spit coat of shellac, and then a water born topcoat. I'll post pictures once done. So far, I'm really happy with the results from the water born dye.
  10. Snailman

    What to do with sawdust

    I forgot to add, that what I did find effective, was to mix the shavings with paraffin wax and made fire starters. I melted a couple pounds of wax at a time in an old electric dutch oven, and added enough shavings to get them moist. I used a muffin tin for a form, and bought the paraffin in 10 lbs blocks online. Those worked real well.
  11. Snailman

    What to do with sawdust

    I tried this a couple years ago. It is a lot of work. I tried it with paper from my shredder, and planer shavings. I made a press out of scrap schedule 40 pvc with holes drilled into it, and used a 6 ton bottle jack I had on hand. I made pucks to get them to dry faster. They all fell apart as they dried. My 2nd batch, I added some all purpose flour as a binding agent. They stayed together, and when I lit them up, they smoldered for about 15 minutes each. I concluded it wasn't worth the effort. I like the above solution. I may have to try that in my wood stove this winter. Leaving it in the paper bags/boxes looks like a reasonable solution.
  12. Snailman

    Kreg Accu-Cut

    My thought exactly. A few years ago, I made a 4' long one out of some scrap plywood I had. Works well enough to break down to rough size with final cut done on the table saw. I'm fortunate that I have 8' on both side of my saw and a 36" rip capacity. I've been able to rip my 4x8 sheet goods lengthwise that way. But if the need arises to go portable, I think I'd buy a sheet of 3/8 ply and make a couple.
  13. Snailman

    Back to the beginning, old (er) school

    Fred, for about 10 years I had both a propane fired grill and charcoal. I had been a diehard propane griller for years, and then bought a charcoal grill to 'play'. The more I cooked on charcoal, the less and less I cooked on propane. Finally, about 2 years ago, I had to replace my charcoal grill (a Lowes special) and got a weber and haven't looked back. The big advantage I found with the weber versus the Lowes special, is you can regulate the heat a LOT better in the weber. And when you're done, you close the top vent to snuff out the coals. I've found about a 50% yield on left over coals, versus total burn with the old charcoal grill. I always thought the time to heat a charcoal grill was a waste of time, but I find that while the grill is heating, I'm getting the meal ready. And I've got 2 chimneys. My weber is about 22" in diameter, and the 2 chimneys give me a REALLY hot coal bed. I've never used lighter fluid And I only burn lump charcoal. Thanks for the info on cooking the ribs. I want to smoke a brisket, but haven't had the time, or weather lately, to do one. BTW, I live in New England, and cook on my grill year round. I'll dig the sucker out after a snow storm. Enjoy, Paul
  14. Snailman

    Bear assistant

    Wow! I like your solution to the balance issue.
  15. Beautiful work Stick. Really clever solution for the WOTH. I wish I had thought of it when I was building my cabinets. But I really don't think a 3 1/2" step would have helped much. My wife's about 5'2". I'm 6'1". My ceiling is 8 1/2'. We both rely on a cheap IKEA step stool to reach the top shelves. (I know, I know, a step stool is on my 'to do' list) :-)

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