Patriotic DuckThe All American RunnerDuck Review
June 7, 2008
 Welcome Back

Welcome Back: 

Gas prices, weather and politics, what else is there to talk about? Gas prices continue to soar hitting new records every week. The thing we're trying to understand with all of this is in the morning I hear that
the price of crude oil has dropped 10% over the last few weeks and by that afternoon I see my local gas station going up another $ .10, I guess they didn't get the memo.

We do believe that if you want the gas prices to go down drive less and conserve when you do drive. If less gas is used then there will be more gas available and the law of supply and demand should drive the prices down. I did a little experiment this past week and while driving stepped very gently on the gas peddle as thought there was an egg under it. I also planned ahead
when I saw a stop light turning red and got off the gas peddle and coasted. I also turned off my engine when I was stopped at a stop light that I knew was exceptionally long. Guess what? I increased my mileage from 21 miles per gallon to 24 miles per gallon. That means that I got an extra 36 miles out of that tank of gas. Another good way to save gas is plan your trips so you are not going back and forth but instead going in a circle. Try to accomplish several things on one trip.

As far as weather goes we set a record here in Western Washington State for the earliest 90 degree day in history on May 17th. That got us all excited about an early summer but it only lasted two days and since then we've been unseasonably cool in the high 50's and low 60's with rain or drizzle almost every day. For more information on saving fuel enter "Hypermileage" Google.

And then there's politics! Since this is a family newsletter we won't go there except to say "may the best man win".

Ken and Marilyn

Wood'n Wares

Wood'n Wares Maple Spoons

Father's Day is just around the corner and speaking from experience we know that dad would love one of these beautiful hand made, hard maple, kitchen spoons and other utensils. Our friends Bob and Jean who make these wonderful wooden kitchen utensils in their little wood shop in Montana.  Most items ship within a day or two but if Bob is out of something it can take a week or more to get your order. Order now and beat the rush!

Check out all the great kitchen tools by going to,

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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
Cookbook of the Month
Woodworking Project
Free Rockler Catalog
Please Donate
Wood Plans
Woodworking Tools
Rockler Father's Day Special
Just click on the picture below for some great Father's Day savings from Rockler.

JessEm Mast-R-Lift with Porter Cable 75182 Motor - Special Limited Time Offer!
JessEm Mast-R-Lift with Porter Cable 75182 Motor - Special Limited Time Offer!

What's New?
As we mentioned last month we moved our boat to the Oak Harbor
Marina. We immediately pulled it out of the water and went to work on the bottom and outdrive's. If any of you have a boat moored in salt water you know how harsh an environment that can be. A boat moored in salt water should be hauled out once every year for maintenance or two years at the very most. Out boat had not been out of the water in over six years, ouch! As a result we really paid for it.

The outdrive's were the worst and needed to be rebuilt and painted. Here's a before and after picture just to show you what we were up against.

Several weeks and several thousand dollars later we are back in the water and the bottom is happy again. Now we have lots of work to do from the waterline up. Just the teak bright work will eat up more then a few evenings.

Site Of The Month
We had mentioned this web site last fall because Roz Savage was preparing to row, yes as in rowboat, across the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately she was beaten back only after a few days. She is trying it again and is off to a pretty good start. The bad news is that she's facing a force 10 storm this weekend. It should be a rough ride for her the next few days.

To follow this fascinating story go to For the latest update click on her daily blog. She sends a daily update through email each day. If you are new to her site we'd suggest going back a ways in her blog's to follow her adventure.
Marilyn's Corner

Fire Starter 
The camping season is upon us and what's more fun when camping than a nice campfire. It keeps you warm, makes neat sounds and provides a perfect place to cook hot dogs or roast marshmallows for smores! The only problem is getting the campfire started. Sometimes the wood is a little wet or you don't have a good supply of kindling. This fire starter will get your fire going fast. Here's what you'll need:
  • Cardboard
  • Candle Wax
  • Tuna Can
  • Candle Wick 

Cut a strip of cardboard a little taller than the can.
Roll up the cardboard to fit tightly in the can.
Insert a wick in the center of the cardboard that goes all the way to the bottom.
Melt and pour wax all over the cardboard filling the tin most of the way to the top.
You can use it two different ways, put the can in the center of the fire and light the wick. You'll have to remove the can after the fire has gone out and throw it in the trash.
The other way is to warm the can and remove the cardboard center, place it in the center of the fire and light. You can reuse the can as many times as you like. Make a bunch of them for dad on Father's Day and then go camping!

Remember we have all of our past projects archived on our web site at Just click on the Craft Egg.

The Tempos Big Swing Band
  The Tempos are getting ready for their summer concerts. If you are interested in seeing and hearing The Tempos keep an eye on this column for performance dates.
Right now they are scheduled to perform at the Bothell Landing in Bothell, Washington Friday July 18th at 5:30 and at the Ballard Locks in Ballard, Washington Sunday August 17th at 2:00.

The Tempos
News and CD of the Week

"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 months joke came from Michelle C. Thanks for the laugh!

Fifty Dollars......
Morris and his wife Esther went to the state fair every year, and every year Morris would say, 'Esther,I'd like to ride in that helicopter.' 

Esther always replied, 'I know Morris, but that helicopter ride is fifty dollars, and fifty dollars is fifty dollars'

One year Esther and Morris went to the fair, and Morris said, 'Esther, I'm 85 years old. If I don't ride that helicopter, I might never get another chance.'

To this, Esther replied, 'Morris that helicopter ride is fifty dollars, and fifty dollars is fifty dollars.'

The pilot overheard the couple and said, 'Folks I'll make you a deal. I'll take the both of you for a ride. If you can stay quiet for the entire ride and not say a word, I won't charge you! But if you say one word, it's fifty dollars.'Morris and Esther agreed and up they went.

The pilot put the craft through all kinds of maneuvers, but not a word was heard. Up, down, back and forth, even sideways, he did his daredevil tricks over and over again, but still not a word.

When they landed, the pilot turned to Morris and said, 'By golly, I did everything I could to get you to yell out, but you didn't. I'm impressed!

'Morris replied, 'Well, to tell you the truth, I almost said something when Esther fell out, but you know, fifty dollars is fifty dollars!'

This Month's Free Recipe
Lemon Dessert 
Summer is almost here and this lemon dessert will go nicely with those great patio meals you have planned.
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 3 level Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 2 Egg Yolks, beaten
  • 2 Egg Whites, beaten until stiff
  • Juice and Rind from 1 Lemon
Add the ingredients in the order given.
Fold in beaten Egg Whites.
Pour into a buttered casserole dish and place in a pan of hot water.
Bake in slow oven until the cake leaves the side of the dish.
When done the cake is on top and the custard is on the bottom.
Serve plain or with Whipped Cream.
Every month we post a new recipe on our web page. Be sure and check out the New recipe at the
RunnerDuck Kitchen Store.
Cookbook of the Month
 Chez Bernice: Easy but Fabulous Recipes
by Bernice Kohn Hunt 

Barbara from Jupiter, Florida had this to say about this cookbook: "This fabulous cookbook, written by a very hip and modern grandma, has become my essential tool for entertaining and feeding my family. Filled with easy but very impressive dishes she's culled over the last several years, it is my first and generally last stop for finding the perfect recipe to fit my needs on any given occasion. From great appetizers, salads, entrees or desserts, this book is packed with one mouth-watering idea after the other. I have just purchased several copies to give my foodie friends for Christmas! Highly recommended. Waiting for Volume 2, pleasee."

Woodworking Project


Download WOOD Store® woodworking plans directly to your computer and start building in just minutes! OR, we'll mail them to you, your choice!


This Months Woodworking Project

Shop Vacuum System

For those of you who follow this column you know that I've built a
new woodshop and have been in the process of finishing it up, if that's at all possible. One of the things I always wanted in my shop is a vacuum
system and I put in a nice one. I thought that you might be interested in
hearing the story of how it went and some of the pitfalls.

There are many different ways to get rid of sawdust and wood chips when you are cutting wood. Portable shop vac's work well but they always have to be moved around to the work. They are also quite noisy and can spew out fine dust if they are not configured correctly. A dustpan and broom work OK but the dust from the tool gets into the air and settles on everything in the shop.

I opted for a cyclone type vacuum system with drops going to each of my sawdust generating tools. I bought it and all the supplies from Penn State Industries,, although there are many other
companies that sell these including Rockler,


I used steel pipe and fittings to eliminate any possibility of static discharge. It was expensive and fairly difficult to install but it's been well worth it.

Carefully lay out the piping ahead of time on paper to get all the fittings and tube length. Since the shipping on everything is expensive it's best to get it right the first time and not have to make additional orders to complete it.

I had the fortune of having a room behind my shop where I could place the vacuum. Unfortunately the ceiling in this room isn't very high so I really had to squeeze it in.

Because of the limited height I was not able to choose the height where the vacuum pipe would enter my shop. I thought I had it pretty well scoped out but when I cut through the wall I discovered that I was right in the middle of the attic floor.

I came through the wall with 6" pipe and used a 90 degree elbow to drop down through the ceiling of my shop.

From there things got easier. While I did it all by myself I would recommend having a helper. The fittings all went together really easy. I cut the pipe with a sawsall using a long metal cutting blade. After each cut I filed the edges smooth.

I just worked one area (run) at a time, which seemed to make it a lot easier and manageable. I used a metal furnace tape to tape all the joints. This tape is good for sealing joints but not very good for structural support. I managed to provide good support to all the pipes with hangers so this tape worked well.

To hang the system from the ceiling I used heavy duty molly bolts where
there were no ceiling joists and screws where there were. I hung the pipe with steel hanger strap.

You should have a blast gate at every drop. I screwed them into the pipe by drilling and taping the blast gate then wrapping with the furnace tape. I originally tried tape alone but it let go after awhile.

I used reducers to go from 6" pipe down to 4" flex pipe for the machines. I further reduced the size to 2 1/2" for a standard vacuum hose at my workbench.

When I first turned on the system I could barely open my shop door because of the heavy suction. To say this system really sucks is an understatement. This system really works great! I still have some routings to refine for my tools but it really does keep the chips and dust down.

I did install a ceiling mounted dust collector for the really fine stuff
that gets into the air. These are highly recommended to help protect your lungs.

I'm very glad that I went for the full system and took the time to do it
right. It should last for may years and make my woodworking much more
pleasant.That's about it. 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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