Patriotic DuckThe All American RunnerDuck Review
February 27, 2010

 Welcome Back


Well February was a lot better for us. While the groundhog may have seen his shadow in Pennsylvania and extend your winter by six weeks our local Banana Slug did not see its shadow and we've been having some pretty nice weather. Funny business this weather with climate change happening. The east cost all the way to the deep south gets slammed with snow and ice and we have mixed sun and clouds with temperatures in the 50's.

Our local newspaper had this to say; El Niño delivered balmy January temperatures over Western Washington. Coupeville in particular enjoyed the warmest January average monthly temperature in the 94 years of Coupeville weather records.

A normal January would average 39 degrees, but in January 2010 the average was 46 degrees - 1 degree warmer than the previous warmest January in 1986. You might be thinking the term "balmy" is an exaggeration, as you still needed a coat and hat when venturing outdoors. But in a normal year we wouldn't see average temperatures like this until mid- to late March.

Unfortunately all with the good weather comes some bad news. Since we live on an island we depend on the winter rains to fill our wells for summer water. They are low this year and the town just north of us instituted a stage 1 water alert. It's the earliest stage 1 alert that anyone can remember.

We already have lots of plants starting to bloom.

It's really getting pretty out there. Of course our front yard flowers are getting mowed down by the local deer, that's why we have an eight foot fence all around our back yard. If it weren't for that we wouldn't have any plants.

We've been out in the yard getting the soil and wine barrels Ken made last year ready for planting. It's still a little early to plant but at least we'll be ready when the time comes later this month.

Ken and Marilyn


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Wood'n Wares

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In This Issue

What's New

Site of the Month

Marilyn's Corner

The Tempos Big Band

Joke of the Month

This Months Recipe

Woodworking Project

Free Rockler Catalog

Please Donate

Wood Plans

Woodworking Tools

Rockler Specials
Rockler always has great specials, here's the latest! 

What's New?

Next weekend is the 24th annual Mussel Festival which is always a lot of fun. There is a lot to see and do and you can read all about here,

Coupeville sits on Penn Cove where the world famous Penn Cove Mussel's come from. This year one of the new events will be the "Mussel Hustle" a 90-minute scavenger hunt around historic Coupeville.

Participants, who must be on foot, will start at MusselFest headquarters, where they will pick up a map and a list of questions. Using the map, they must find the answers to a list of questions within the 90-minute time limit. Prizes will be awarded to winners in individual and family or group categories.

Cost is $2 for individuals, $5 per group of three or more; children under 6 can participate for free. Entry forms are available at the Central Whidbey Chamber of Commerce, 23 NW Front St., Coupeville. Call 360-678-5434.

We are fortunate to have a very vibrant art community on Whidbey Island and also next weekend, March 6th and 7th, twenty four of the local artists open up their shops for the general public to come see. They will be giving live demonstrations of how they create their art and of course selling their art as well.

If you are going to be in the Western Washington area and Whidbey Island in particular be sure to stop by and check it out. Here's a link to the Whidbey Working Artists web site,

You just have to love small towns! We finally sold our custom PT Cruiser. We had it on the market for almost six months and finally and nice couple from Marysville, Washington picked it up. They seem like good people and will take good care of it. We put a lot of work into customizing it and would hate to see it all go to waste.

Ken got a new camcorder and is spending time learning how to get the best video out of it. His plan is to start adding some video content to his woodworking projects that he posts in this newsletter and on the web. We'll let you know when the first one is posted and look forward to your feedback, good or bad!

Site Of The Month

Last month we featured the cool Utah 3D site,, and brother-in-law Del's site,, and this week we have more photos for you. This time they are from the U.S. National Archives' photostream.

We have to warn you that you can get lost for a very long time on this site. There are wonderful historic photos and documents from American history, Mathew Brady Civil War photos, Ansel Adams photographs and many many more. We really liked the Civil War pictures and those from Ansel Adams'. Carlsbad Cavern pictures were good also having been there as a child.

To occupy your next rainy or snowy day go to and have a look around.

Bird Nesting Wreath

 Yesterday we modified our birdhouses to make the entrance hole smaller. We have Sparrows that live in the birdhouses but the Cow Birds could get inside with the large 2" hole we had and wreak havoc. Making the holes 1 3/8" in diameter should help keep those pesky Cow Birds out.

It won't be long now and the little birdies will be building their nests in these birdhouses and in the trees. Something you can do for them is give them some nice soft material to help them out. You could spread some dryer lint around and that works pretty good but if you want to make your yard look nice during the process then this wreath is just the ticket. Be sure to help your children with this project since it uses hot melt glue.

Here's what you'll need:

Small Grape Vine Wreath
Hot melt glue gun
Spanish moss, green moss

Glue bunches of nesting material on to the wreath.
Wrap Raffia around the wreath and tie it into a bow at the top.
Hang it outside on a tree and the birdies will love you!

If you have a craft project that you'd like to share with our readers just send it to


The Tempos Big Swing Band

 If you have an event planned in the Seattle area and are in need of a great band, The Tempos are ready to perform for you. Just drop a line to

The Tempos

The Tempos CD, "Big Swing", features fourteen great swing songs from the 40's and 50's. If you love the old big band swing music we think you'll enjoy this CD. It's the kind of music that makes you just want to get up and dance, you do remember how to swing don't you?

The only place you can get this CD is from our web site. Go to and click on the "Click Here" at the top of the web page or click the album cover.


If you'd like to get a taste of this CD just go to The Tempos web site. When you are at the Tempos web site click on the horn valve button that says "Hear our CD". Then click on the song titles to hear a little bit of each song.

The Tempos big swing band is available for hire. If you have a special event that could use the wonderful music of a classic sixteen piece big band be sure to contact We perform all over the Seattle area for all sorts of events.

Joke of the Month

This weeks joke comes from sister Susie, very cute :-)


A man and woman had been married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. They had kept no secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about. 

For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover. In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoe box and took it to his wife's bedside. she agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box. When he opened it, he found two crocheted dolls and a stack of money totaling $95,000.

He asked her about the contents.

"When we were to be married," she said, "my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll."

The little old man was so moved; he had to fight back tears. Only two precious dolls were in the box. She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness.

"Honey," he said, "that explains the doll, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?" "Oh," she said, "that's the money I made from selling the dolls."

A Prayer.......Dear Lord, I pray for Wisdom to understand my man; Love to forgive him; And Patience for his moods; Because Lord, if I pray for Strength, I'll beat him to death, Because I don't have time to crochet.

If you've got a funny family friendly joke send it to

This Month's Free Recipe


Chocolate Coffee Cake 

This months recipe came to by way of Coffee Bean Corral. We've been buying green coffee beans from them for years and roast our own coffee. Coffee Bean Corral published this recipe in their newsletter and it was authored by Mahes Subrahmanyam. If you've ever been interested in roasting your own coffee the Coffee Bean Corral is a great place to get started. Coffee Bean Corral supplies only green coffee beans and a great line of home roasters. Thanks to Terry Richards for sharing this yummy recipe.

Cake Mix Ingredients 

2 Cups Flour
2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Cup Coco Powder
1 Stick Butter
2 Eggs
2 Cups Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Chocolate Extract
2 Cups of your favorite Coffee Bean Corral Coffee, brewed

Preheat oven to 350º
Grease and flour 9 x 13 cake pan.
Brew coffee.
Sift together flour and cocoa powder.
Mix eggs with melted butter.
Add sugar, salt and chocolate extract to butter and eggs, then pour in hot coffee.
Mix in dry ingredients.
Pour into prepared pan.
Bake about 30 minutes or until done.
Allow cake to cool completely before icing.


1/2 Stick Butter
1 lb Powdered Sugar
Pinch of Salt
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
3-5 Tablespoons Milk or Water

If you have a recipe you'd like to share with our readers please send it to We'd love to share it with everyone.

Woodworking Project




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This Months Woodworking Project

Steampunk Toolbox Computer

This is a little different kind of project that hopefully will inspire more than instruct. I call this a Steampunk Toolbox Computer. If you are not familiar with Steampunk I'd suggest going on-line and doing a search for it. According to Wikipedia Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction and speculative fiction, frequently featuring elements of fantasy. The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used - usually the 19th century, and often Victorian era England - but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date.
I had just rebuilt a computer in my home and still had the old motherboard, power supply, hard drive, optical drive, sound card and other pieces lying around. All they needed to come to life was a new home and the old toolbox would be that home.

This old toolbox belonged to a model maker that worked at Boeing making model airplanes for wind tunnel testing. As best I can guess it was made by him back in the 1940's. While it looks kind of cool it was pretty tired and not worth much as a toolbox any more. I wanted to have a computer in my shop and this fir the ticket perfectly.

To begin with I gutted the old toolbox.

To mount the power supply I got the dimensions from the internet and laid them out on a piece of paper.

I taped that paper inside my toolbox and marked the holes to drill and the cutout for the fan.
Using a saber saw I cut out the holes for the fan, power switch and power cord.

Because the motherboard should be grounded and that happens through the standoff's on the back of the board I cut out a piece of sheet metal to mount behind the motherboard.

I screwed the motherboard to the toolbox running the screws through standoffs and sheet metal.

Next I cut holes in the top shelf of the toolbox for all the connectors.

Because the plywood shelf was too thick I had to use my palm router to thin out the areas for the connectors.

Bosch Colt Variable-Speed Palm Router Kit
Bosch Colt™ Variable-Speed Palm Router Kit

This is how the top looked.

I later cut out the area for the mother board connectors and mounted the metal plate that is designed for computer cases.
Next came the CDR and hard drive.

The toolbox wasn't deep enough to allow the CDR to fit properly so I had to drill out some relief in the back.
I decided to suspend the CDR and hard drive on a piece of sheet metal.

After cutting the sheet metal to size I bent it by clamping it to my workbench with a piece of wood and bent it up with another piece of wood.
I drilled all the mounting holes for the sheet metal and screwed it to the top of the case.

I wanted the CDR to look and function like a drawer in the toolbox. I removed the old plastic nameplate that was on the drive and replaced it with a piece of wood as a spacer.

I took the old drawer front and counter bored about halfway through the piece to make room for the eject button on the front of the drive.

I drilled a hole to access the eject button.
I glued and clamped the old drawer front to the door of the drive.

Since the drawers would no longer fit into the toolbox I cut them down.

They are no longer very functional but they look cool.

Here's the back and end of the toolbox.

You can see the cutouts for the power supply and the hole I cut in the end for a chassis fan.
This is the toolbox opened up with the CDR opened also.

This should give you an idea about this project. To see the rest of it go to We hope you liked this project. If you build it and your friends ask where you got such a clever idea, please tell them that you got it at

If any of you have wood projects to share I would be happy to put it into a format for our newsletter. Just send me an email at and lets see what we can come up with. Thank you!
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     If you want to talk about something just drop us a line to any time, we like to talk about most anything. We are always looking for content for our newsletter so if you have something to add we'd love to publish it, assuming it meets our strict family oriented requirements!

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