Glenn

I wish I had time to . . .

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Due to coronavirus, stores are closed, businesses shut down, jobs eliminated, and we are told to stay at home. How are you using your time? 

What is on your list of things to do or things your working on?  We need ideas. 

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I had to come in to work to read the email telling me not to come into work...

I plan to reread "The Knight and the Blast Furnace"  by Alan Williams; foremost book on the metallurgy of European Armour.  To be followed by: "The Sword and the Crucible"  similar but for swords.

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My job has me working from home, so my workday hours are largely unaffected. However, since my son's robotics club is cancelled, I've got a bit more time available in the late afternoons and weekends; I'm currently making a new gas forge.

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It's actually giving me more work to do. Everyone is home all the time now. We've had nothing but rain for over a week. With 4 people and 3 dogs in and out, it's all I can do to keep the floors clean. I've organized my kitchen and cleaned out my freezers to make room for the extra stuff we've gotten. I'm a creature of habit, so it's taking a bit to get used to the new normal. I'm sure that's the case for nearly all of us. I am reading a bit more though. 

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Yo, what do I want to do in the upcoming days of our celibacy is a lot (at least in my optimistic point of view;)). There is the new 150kg anvil that I would like to put on a new and mobile (metal) anvil pedestal. There is also a new project 'Bones & Sprokets' in which I want to unite bones and mechanical components into a new sculpture 'The hybrid steampunk boar'. Hopefully, the bacteria have done their job of ridding the skulls and bones of all flesh during maceration. For a forthcoming exhibition I am also working to bend the spheres of a fairly large iron atomium, which again contains bones that have been extracted by a fellow artist from road kill and other sources. In addition, I will of course dig around Diana's vegetable garden, set up the greenhouse for the tomato plants and lettuce plants and yes, I will sculpt with Lisa to fill the raku oven with new work:P.

150kg.jpg

Sculls.jpg

scul.jpg

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With a work backlog so deep that I may never see daylight again, at best it allows me to catch up with .01%.  In my office, I generally work alone anyway--and the main plant is a critical operation so isn't shutting down.  So basically it's business as usual for me.  Same hermitage, different day.

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Our jobs out in the field are shut down, but luckily we have a decent backlog of work in design so I'm working from home for the next 2 weeks, but with reduced hours. Between saving an hour of drive time and 1-2 hours of overtime each day I will have some extra time. In the wood shop I have an island for my wife's house I need to finish. If the weather cooperates I'm hoping to get the tractors and equipment prepped for spring field work, along with some fence maintenance. In the smithy I have a dozen wine bottle holders to make, and then hopefully start on the solid fuel forge....oh, and some dies for the press.

As far as what things on the "list" am I going to get done? I've stopped making list because I always run out of paper....

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With the weather moderating, I will probably be on the tractor moving dirt to back fill the outside of the new addition (if the rain holds off). There is a lot of inside work to keep me busy on it too. Need to run the electric lines and wire in the lights. Plus a lot of moving stuff around inside to make the best use of the new space.

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I"m spending a lot more time talking here than I have been lately. I was contacted via PM by a fellow who thinks it's a good idea to introduce yourself with a snootful and a little name calling. Hope he sobers up before he sends anything more. HULU is getting a workout but with all the people staying home, online and watching TV the live streaming services are being overloaded and are cutting resolution and building more equipment. Moving snow as it melts so it's closer to the drains. (low spots leading to the woods and old creek beds so we don't flood.)

I'm engaged in a number of conversations on the side and those are leading to web searches and . . . You know, rabbit holes.

Been doing some writing, maybe refine a story I've been messing with, sketching out a maybe sequel and a couple other story ideas, not even up to rough draft levels. Deb's started doing pencil drawings again. Taking care of and entertaining the dogs of course, they're confused, they feel our tension but can't find a threat to chase or bite. Baxter's almost glued to me all the time, he's sleeping between my back and the chair's. 

I have propane and steel in the shop but I have to shovel the door clear and that makes things icy so maybe later. Keeping the fire in the stove small so I have to tend it more often and we worked through last season's fire wood and getting down to the wood from the guys we don't buy wood from anymore. That wood has been there for about 4 years, 4 years of really warm winters meant we didn't get to it and by now it's starting to get punky. Anyway, it's time to use it or throw it away though a goodly stack of the better will end up in the shop for that stove.

We're staying away from people and doing pretty well not taking each other's heads off. Deb and I are treating this stay home order like it's practice for touring the lower 48 in the RV. 

When it looks like it's going to stay above freezing I think I'll make my next set of NARBs and start the forge they're designed for. Probably not for a while, I sure hope we're not self isolated by then. 

And that's what's going on here. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Took a bit of inventory and pulled out the 5 gallon plastic buckets.  Those in usable shape got the handles reworked with air hose or garden hose and wrapped in electrical tape.  Now they no longer hurt your hands when you carry them.  The remainder of the buckets had 5 inches cut off the bottom to make pan type containers.  They come in handy for small parts, or cleaning what ever will fit in the pan.  The left overs from the bucket went to the trash.

 

 

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Old automotive heater hose makes good bucket bail handles, anything beats those narrow things they call handles.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I split 4" long pieces of PVC in half, then glue them back together around the bucket handle.  Just the right size and don't bend.  Seems everyone has their favorite handle fix.  Seeing as how heavy a 5 gal bucket of paint is, you'd think the mfg. would make a more comfortable handle,,,,,,,but no.

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Well I started fencing in/out a chunk of our back yard. My scrap pile will be fenced off from our new fenced area for dogs belonging to visiting friends. Which is separate from our fenced in front yard where our dog lives. I did the simple short sections yesterday and put in one fence post up near the hose to run a line to the shop so my wife could see what I proposed.   Since I'm back at work I plan to drive at least 1 post a day---keep my hammering arm in shape!  I also have to excavate a couple of old stall doors to use as gates and have been prodding my calligrapher wife to work on the design of a wrought iron gate with our surname being the body of it.  I had some ideas; but she is better with fancy writing than I am...

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I have a lead on a possible new job, but I will have to tell them I refuse to work residential, I am not entering all those peoples homes during this crisis.

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That's good news Steve. We started major cleanup around the farm and since we have more people to do it and more time, it should go fast. Finished tearing down old chicken tractors yesterday and harvesting good parts from them. This is some of the hardware I had made for them. Pretty sure I could do them much better now, but the new tractors are of different construction so we don't need latches or handles like these. 

20200325_120750.jpg

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Wish I had time to work on my fiction and non-fiction projects. The fiction is a series of concurrent novels with all the characters ending up in the same place at the same time. The non-fiction is an annotated review of an historical book. The projects are related and will easily take ten years to complete.

Bit the sun is starting to come out and there's work outside to do. By the time I come inside I'm pretty tired. Sometimes I get some research done but usually I'm working on non-thinking stuff, like a scanning project or something like that.

So it may have to wait until autumn again. At least maybe the Wonder Hut will be operational.

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Although my work was deemed "essential" by the stay at home orders, there's precious little of it to go around.  Whenever the market tanks, we're inundated with pricing requests from clients who seldom build anything.  Most of the time it's developers who couldn't get financing when the market supported the business plan.  Now they're hoping that a decrease in construction costs will be enough to push their project through.  Since most commercial ventures need revenue to start on day of opening, it's too risky for entrepreneurs to start construction before they know the stay at home orders will be over.  I'm fairly certain that the finance people are just going to punt on everything until they see evidence of other banks making loans.

It's incredibly frustrating because these shutdowns would be a perfect opportunity to safely and cheaply perform a big chuck of the annual public school repair work.  Instead, they're sticking to their typical summer schedule which means near zero revenue for 1st and 2nd quarter.  We have repair projects for office buildings that are on hold because the clients are staying home!  Seriously, these are projects that would have disturbed the client to perform, and they're not letting us get them done while they're at home.  All essentially, because decision-makers from top to bottom have all opted to "wait and see".

When/if all this comes to an end, it's probable that there won't be enough surviving contractors to attend to the smaller work.  The distributed damage done by the constant and systemic uncertainty is far worse than a few weeks of lost work. 

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3 minutes ago, rockstar.esq said:

Since most commercial ventures need revenue to start on day of opening, it's too risky for entrepreneurs to start construction before they know the stay at home orders will be over. 

My wife was in the planning stages of opening a yarn shop when this hit, and I for one am delighted that she hadn't committed to a lease or financing just before any possibility of cash flow disappeared.

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At this time! 

We have a friend with a Yarn shop down near Yellow Springs who should be shutting down her business if she hasn't already.

The door of the shop has a picture of a rocking chair with a skeleton in it titled something like: "My wife said she'd just be a minute in the shop".

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