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What did you do in the shop today?

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7 hours ago, Pat Masterson said:

…I thought I was bad at forging…then I tried welding. Way more difficult than I thought but I did manage to make my first hardy tool. It’s super ugly but I’m excited as it’s going to do the job and well…it’s my first hardy tool. So it was good weekend.

Pat, you're not bad at anything, just under practiced. Welding takes a while to get the hang of. Even then a weld will go south from time to time. You can always use the old "fill and grind" technique: fill in the holes and grind off the excess. 

Your tools may not be pretty at first, but if they work they're good enough. Just don't get discouraged when your first tries don't turn out like the video you saw on YouTube. Most of those guys don't show you their own scrap bin. 

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After reading about everyone's yard exploits, thought I would add mine. Doesn't involve a mower but my tractor. After the month long monsoons we had, our front driveway which is steep with three turns and a half mile long. It really took a beating with all the rain. Sooo I fired up the tractor to grade it and put in some berm's/swale's to control the water that runs down in torrents.

After about four hour's I had it looking good and the water will be less of a problem (I hope). I planned to adjust the angle of the box blade for the final pass but the adjuster screw for the connector between the lift arms was frozen tight. Up to the shop we went. It had plenty of grease in it so I took it off and clamped it in the leg vise and applied a liberal amount of Kroil and let it soak.

While it was soaking I looked at the crank handle and thought someone had straightened it out some, so I bent it to what I thought was right. The Kroil did the trick and I installed the link back on the tractor. Well keeping with my if it ain't broke, I'll fix it till it is, as soon as I turned the crank it hit the roll bar shucky darn and a few other phrases later I had it back in the vise to straighten it and on the tractor again.

I have always been amazed at how hard it is to wash dirty tractor grease off my hands.:D

Good to go now...


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Oh I hate it when I see something crooked or bent, straighten it out and when it jams, hits something, etc. I THEN remember why I bent it in the first place.

When I lived in a trailer court in S. Mountain View, Anchorage I didn't do much yard work. I was usually in the field somewhere so I hired trailer court kids who wanted to earn a little money.

A fellow I worked with a couple years earlier bought a trailer across the way and down a bit. A good guy, you could trust him with a stack of $100 bills in sight and it'd be there later. He was just slow, not dumb, it just took him a while. 

His boys knock on the door and want to mow the lawn for $10. Sure, just DO NOT mow here, there is a 20' stick of 2" x 3" rectangular tubing laying in the grass. I didn't tell them the dimensions, or particulars I walked them over and pointed to it. OKAY, we'll use the weed trimmer! Excellent, be careful and let me know when you're done. 

I go back in, the mower fires up, I almost sit down at the computer and I hear BANG . . . silence. I head back out the front door and sure enough they'd pushed the mower about 4' from the end of the tubing and ran straight into it. The oldest is standing there pulling the recoil over and over but nothing else is turning. 

It's not going to start you broke the mower. Didn't I tell you not to get close to the pipe? 

I was going to cut the grass so I could see the pipe and not hit it. 

Yes, of course, the logic is inescapable. Take it home and tell your Dad what happened. Off they go. MAYBE 5 minutes later there's a knock at the door and they're back with their other mower to finish the job. 

What did your Dad say you DID tell him yes?

He said to finish mowing your grass. 

Okay, go get the string trimmer and do all the trimming first so you can see things where to mow. 

Off they went and trimmed, mowed and even raked. I had to MAKE them take the $10, they didn't think they deserved it for not listening and making the mistake.  They were both great kids, just  little slow and I "contracted" with them to trim and mow for me weekly from then on.  

Want to hear about the time that next winter they shoveled my parking space?

Frosty The Lucky.


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Got my work table finished and assembled my new grinder.  Now to figure out where to put it...

Anyway the table legs are treated 4x4 that I cleaned up and roughly plumbed up on my jointer and the frame and table to are treated 2x6 that I did the same.  Now more sparks can fly...after I clean up all the saw dust. 


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Welp, the gator is off to it's new home in Florida. The comissioner is a friend of Elizabeth's and was suppose to be staying the night from her trip back from NY. She decided to head back today from her stop. I was at work so never got to even see how she liked it which is usually a lot of the fun. I also wanted to get it out in the yard in the daylight to get pictures. Seems all I get is the finished photos from last night. Also made a custom scoop and poker which I dont have pictures of. 

I heard she loved it. I'll see if she can get me some pictures in use. It really was function over form on this one. 





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1 hour ago, Daswulf said:

I heard she loved it.

if she didn't even like she would have a  problem that is some awesome work

on the lawn care side of things at work today I was weed-wacking ... for 7.5 hours:wacko:

the fun part of it was this almost was all on gravel you can see were I'm going with this probably tons of tons flying back at you at a high velocity can be painful 

currently the forge is shut down hope to order cast-o-lite tomorrow so hopefully in 2 weekend will be operational oh, never mind thats when we butcher 100 chicken welllll maybe it'll be ready that friday 


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It's a great gator Das, I sure hope the commissioner gets some pics, maybe have the better half remind her?

Okay, the story of the neighborhood kids shoveling my "driveway".:rolleyes: Living in a trailer court my parking area is about 25' in front of the trailer and my "yard." The court plowed the paved street but parking areas are up to the resident. I shoveled mine out to the pavement and piled it off to the side or in front of the trailer so the guy who plowed with the loader could pick it up. They wouldn't plow your parking space naturally but they'd scoop the pile if you put it out. 

Well, the mower brothers asked if they could shovel my parking space for $10. Sure, let me show you how I want it done. I'm having them shovel more than I would have (they're young) and showed them where to pile it. I'll pay you when I get home tonight. 

It's dark when I get home, my parking space is clear even wider than I asked so I'm a happy guy. The boys knock, I pay them and all is well. The next morning I'm getting in my little pickup and I notice my next trailer neighbor shoveling snow and he glares at me. I take a closer look and his car is buried, literally buried. My parking space is shoveled to within maybe 4' of his car and it is packed solid in snow. 

I walk around and he'd cleared the other side already but they'd thrown it far enough to bury the far side too. I can't tell you how sorry I am this happened, I'll be right back! I knew I was going to call in late for work but it was still 6:30 in the morning and I was getting a couple boys OUT OF BED!

I woke their folks up banging on the door. Sorry to get you up so early Bob, the boys in bed? Good, wake them up and get them dressed, PRONTO. They're actually in trouble for this one. Send them right over and have them bring the $10 I paid them. I'll tell you about it later, I have work to do right now.

Bob brought them over shortly, the neighbor and I were still shoveling. The boys were pretty reluctant to come, Bob had them by the hand all but dragging them. Morning Bob, the boys shoveled my parking space but buried their neighbor's car rather than push it to the road.

Where did I tell you to pile the snow and why didn't you?

Yes. It was too far to push it.

Who has the $10? . . WHO?

shuffle shuffle I do. 

Give it to this gentleman and say you're sorry. You two owe this gentleman a clean parking space the rest of the winter. 

Bob is sputtering and turning red. The boys are hemming and hawing and Bob snaps, Say YES SIR. NOW OR YOU'LL BE WASHING HIS CAR ALL SUMMER!

The neighbor is mollified but doesn't want either of these two anywhere near their cars with a snow shovel. Don't worry, they will clean your parking space while you are at work and WILL stack it near the road. You WILL come home to spick and span parking places and walk to your steps. 

The older boy Joel asks do we get $10 to shovel?

His Dad yelled for the first time. NO, YOU DON'T GET PAID ANYTHING!

We made the boys stand quietly and watch us did the car out so he could go to work. His wife left for work shortly after and Bob put the boys to work cleaning their parking space, carrying every shovel full where it was supposed to go. Bob stood there watching. I told Bob I had to head for work, don't get too rough on them, they're just kids.

An hour late was no big thing we were in town for a week or so and the story was good for more goofing off time than I lost being late. I had to repeat it several times. 

Our parking spaces were nice and clean when I got home and the neighbor's place was to bare gravel. 

There was never a repeat.

They were good boys but kids are kids.

Frosty The Lucky.


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I was in the house one day and heard a noise outside. My neighbors son was out in my driveway with a snow blower. He did the entire driveway with out even asking if i wanted him to do it. He flat refused a $20 i tried to give him and i had to go and give it to his mother. He did not only mine but all 4 houses on the street and the sidewalks all the way up the block. Good kid, he even taught my granddaughter to ride a bike...now if he would just notice my grass.

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  Das, I think you nailed both form and funtion on that one.  Gator turned out fantastic.  I'll bet she gets some double takes going down the road to Fla with it in the vehicle!

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Das, that’s a good lookin’ gator. Nice job. 

Frosty, I was on one of my business trips once and was spending the night at a hotel in Marine. There was snow overnight, so I woke up in the morning to the sound of the hotel workers clearing the parking lot with snowblowers and a small plow. Okay, no surprises there. Shortly thereafter, I was somewhat surprised to hear a leaf blower running, so I went to the window to look. One of the hotel workers was going around and blowing all the snow off the guests’ cars, so that they wouldn’t have to clean the windshield and windows themselves. Nice touch. 

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Ted, that's a beautiful candle holder! I especially like the leaves.

I have been busy with life the past couple of days, but found the time this weekend to make finish a leather foraging bag I've been working on for a while. The bag rolls up to take up less space when not needed. The bag itself is pigskin and the rest veg tanned leather.


I also started practicing some stuff I wanna start selling this summer.

Last weekend I talked with a friend about fire strikers, and wanted a fancier one for myself, so today I found some time to forge one out of coil spring..


I like the way this turned out, and maybe I'll make a few more to sell.


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