July was a good month and the weather has been quite pleasant. It's been a little cooler than normal but lots of sunshine which works for us. We were a little rattled when we wrapped up the month with a small earthquake on July 31st. It was just 3 1/2 miles from our little town of Coupeville and measured only 3.6 on the ol' Richter magnitude scale. We heard kind of a "pop" in our house but that was it and then it was gone (the earthquake not the house ;-)
We did finally get out in our boat and motor around the area a little bit. We went into Penn Cove which just happens to be where Coupeville is. It was fun go putt along the waterfront checking things out. The town really looks different from the water side.
The Warf and buildings along Front Street
As we mentioned last month we were battling the raccoons trying to keep them from eating all our fish. After some fine suggestions from our readers we completed our electric fence and so far it seems to be working. There was enough interest in how we ended up doing our electric fence that it is this week's woodworking project. While it's not really a "woodworking" project it does use some of the tools in Ken's woodshop.
Our friend and fellow band member Gordy is crazy about lighthouses. He told us about a contest to have Jeld-Wen Windows put in new windows in the lighthouse of your choice. He is campaigning for the Grays Harbor Light Station. If you feel inclined please go to www.jeld-wen.com/lighthouse/index_vote.cfm
and vote for the "Grays Harbor Light Station".
Ken and Marilyn
Bob and Jean's wonderful wooden kitchen utensils that they make in their little wood shop in Montana have really been flying off the shelves. We just wanted to remind you that Wood'n Wares Spoon Oil will keep those wooden utensils looking great for years to come. It also works wonderfully on butcher blocks or other wooden kitchen products.
Get your order in for Spoon Oil by going to, www.runnerduck.com/woodnwares.htm.
Rockler always has great specials, here's the latest!
Ken here, I've ordered a new tablesaw for my woodshop. It's a SawStop, www.sawstop.com
, which means that it's much safer than a conventional saw.
While I hate to admit it I am getting older and with older age, notice I didn't say "old age", comes some problems that can be troublesome in the woodshop. I had a long discussion about this with my woodworking brother-in-law Del and he convinced me that it was time.
Some of the most common problems with older people and tablesaw's are a more casual approach toward the saw because of many years working at it. Balance isn't quite as good as it use to be and lack of attention are all contributors to lost fingers.
I pick it up in Seattle this Thursday and should have it running by the weekend. I'll provide a little write up about in the next newsletter once I get it dialed in and making sawdust.
|Site Of The Month|
We appologize for this article being so long this month but we thought it was imortant to share this story.
Once again Roz Savage has surfaced to our pick of the month. In case you're a new reader we've mentioned this little gal of 40 solo rowing across the Pacific Ocean. She rowed across the Atlantic Ocean a couple of years ago and this is her next and biggest challenge. She currently is a little over half way to Hawaii.
The reason we bring her up again is because of all the good she is doing for awareness of the damage we are doing to our environment. I encourage every one of you to visit her daily blog, http://rozsavage.com/blog/, about her adventure and what she's doing to make the earth a little better for a little longer.
A couple of weeks ago she had some information in her blog that really struck us. It was about the decay of products that people toss out every day. Here's what she said:
How long does it take for something to biodegrade?
Paper towel: 2-4 weeks
Milk carton: 3 months
Plywood: 1-3 years
Cigarette filter: 1-5 years
*Plastic bag: 10-20 years
*Plastic cup: 50 years
Aluminium can: 80-200 years
*Plastic soda bottle: 450 years
Disposable diaper: 450 years
Monofilament fishing line: 600 years
In connection with the items I've marked with an asterisk I'd like to
clarify something. This is represented by NOAA as a Degradation Timeline. This is not the same as BIO-degradation. Plastic items do break down - but they only break down into smaller and smaller pieces, and even when microscopically small these pieces still enter the food chain. In fact, they can then enter it at a lower level, so accumulate to higher levels further up - which is even worse.
The truth is that plastic is still too new an invention for us to know just
how long it takes for it to disappear entirely.
This is why I (and many others) regard plastic as Public Environmental Enemy #1, the nastiest of all nasties. We just don't know what its ultimate environmental impact is going to be, and in the meantime we continue to churn it out at prodigious rates.
Don't get me wrong - plastic is not an evil in itself. It has many useful
purposes and enables useful items to be made at affordable prices.
But it is really, really NOT a great choice for "disposable" items.
Just maybe this will make you think the next time you pay more for a bottle of water than a gallon of gas and then toss the plastic bottle in the trash. We're hoping that our grandkids and eventually our great grandkids and so on will still have a planet they can enjoy. Please do your part!
This project just sort of evolved as many craft projects do. I had some long candle stands that held tapered candles and were just too tall to be practical. I decided to cut them shorter and turn them upside down. That way I could use the bases for votive candles. The problem was that there was a nut in the base and the base was concave. I needed something to fill the space that the candles would sit on.
We tried cutting small wood washers to go around the nuts but that didn't look very good. I tried a thin piece of wood but it just wouldn't quite clear the nut. I ended up making Rope Coasters and they worked great. I call them "Rope Coasters" because they could easily be used as coasters.
Here's what you'll need:
Nylon Rope, this comes in tan or white, I opted for white.
Cut the end of the rope with a razor blade or very sharp knife to give it a nice clean end.
Soak the end of the rope with fabric adhesive to keep it from unraveling.
It's best to work just a small section of the rope at a time. I only did about one wrap and then would let it dry.
Apply the adhesive to the inside edge of the rope.
Wrap it tight and tape it in place to dry.
Repeat this until you have the size of coaster desired.
Finish the end with more adhesive.
There you have it a really nice nautical looking coaster for those summer deck parties.
Remember we have all of our past projects archived on our web site at www.runnerduck.com. Just click on the Craft Egg.
|The Tempos Big Swing Band|
|The Tempos are into their summer concert season. If you are interested in seeing and hearing The Tempos you can check them out at the Ballard Locks in Ballard, Washington Sunday August 17th at 2:00.
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 www.thetempos.com 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 email@example.com. We perform all over the Seattle area for all sorts of events.
|Joke of the Month|
This months joke came from Annie U. Thanks for the laugh!
THE ITALIAN ELBOW
An Italian grandmother is giving directions to her grown grandson who
is coming to visit with his wife.
'You comma to de front door of the apartmenta. I am inna apartmenta 301.
There issa bigga panel at the front door. With you elbow, pusha button
301. I will buzza you in. Come inside, the elevator ?is on the right.
Get in, and with you elbow, pusha 3.
When you get out, I'mma on the left. With you elbow, hit my doorbell.'
'Grandma, that sounds easy, but, why am I hitting all these buttons
with my elbow?????
'What . . . ?.. .. You coming empty handed?'
|This Month's Free Recipe|
Here's a great old recipe that we think you'll enjoy.
Spread the bread out in an 8" dish.
- 4 Cups Bread, cubed and lightly packed into cups, approx. 4 - 5 slices. Use four or five day old bread.
- 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 Cup Raisins
- 2 Cups Milk
- 1/4 Cup Butter
- 2 Eggs
- Cinnamon to flavor
Sprinkle with Brown Sugar, Salt, Raisins and Cinnamon
Melt Butter into warm Milk and stir in Eggs.
Pour over dish and bake at 350 degrees F for 1 Hour.
Serve cold or warm with a fruit sauce over the top, yummm!
|Cookbook of the Month|
| "Irish Puddings, Tarts, Crumbles, and Fools"|
While we are on the subject of puddings, you really need to check out this wonderful cookbook. It has 80 "Glorious Desserts" to tantalize your taste buds.
Mary Lou Heiss "her website: www.cooksshophere.com
" from Northampton, Ma reviewed this cookbook and wrote:
No, I am not Irish, but sometimes I wish I was, and this is one of those times. Margaret M. Johnson captures the charm and essence of the style and simple beauty of the Irish countryside and traditional Irish desserts without making them sentimental, or, heaven forbid, contemporary and up-town. These are comfort-food recipes that make me want to sit at a simple wooden kitchen table covered with a cheery tablecloth and a well-laundered napkin and be served a plate full of something gooey and rich and warm from the oven by my 'Irish' mother. I plan to make most everything in this book, but I started with the Simnel Cake because I liked Margaret's head-note about it, and, as she states, it is lovely to serve at tea (and is a keeper !) and the Jameson Chocolate-Walnut Caramel Tart because,well, it sounded so.....good (which it was.)
WOOD PROJECT PLANSDOWNLOADABLE & MAIL-DIRECT
WOODWORKING PLANSDownload 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
As I mentioned in our opening statement we are going to build a decorative electric fence for our fishpond.
We wanted to keep the raccoons out with an electric fence but we also wanted it to look nice. As we found out this was not particularly easy. We needed to be able to see through it and not distract too much from the pond, fish and waterfall. We had an added problem is that there is a wood frame around the pond which doesn't make for a very good ground.
We decided on bamboo for the fence posts and 14 gage electric fence wires for the rails. We wanted some randomness so the bamboo was cut just above each joint and let that determine the length. We also cut it just above the joint so that it wouldn't fill up with water, defeating my electric wires by shorting them out.
After cutting them to length I cut a notch half way through and about 2" up.
This is so that I can mount them flat against the 2" X 12's that surround the pond.
I drilled a countersunk hole for the mounting screw approximately in the middle of the notch.
Next I drilled the holes for the wires. I made the holes just slightly larger than the wire. I wanted the wires to be straight so I used the notch as a guide to keep the holes straight with the edge of the notch. I used a spacer block to set the spacing for the holes from the edge of the notch.
This insured that each wire would be level when it was installed.
The installation was fairly simple. I mounted the bamboo and ran the wires through them. I put the hot wire on top, ground in the middle and another hot on the bottom. On the other side of the pond where I have a wooden walkway I added a forth wire (ground) to the bottom.
For the pond side I needed a ground on the bottom but instead of a wire I went with some square mesh fencing material. I cut strips about 8" wide and nailed them to the deck. I tied this mesh to the ground of the system.
Another problem we had to deal with is our cat, Miss Kitty Kitty. She's pretty much an outdoor cat and we didn't want her getting zapped by the fence. We needed a way to turn it off when she was out and turn it on when she was in. A light switch was one possibility. Plugging and unplugging was another, both would require going outside in the rain, remember we live in Washington, to switch it.
I found a vacuum system remote on-off switch at Rockler, www.rockler.com, . It did not appear to be waterproof so I built a little cover for it and plugged it in.
It works great! The fence can now be easily turned off when Kitty goes out and back on when Kitty comes in. I also mounted the electric fence control so that you can see the light from the house when it's on.
If you are going to put in an electric fence and don't need to bother with wood like we did then you can just drive steel grounding rods into the ground, tie the ground from the control to it and run your hot wire.
We've had our fence up for about three weeks now and have not seen hide nor hair of the raccoons. We sure do hope it's due to the electric fence.
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 www.RunnerDuck.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and lets see what we can come up with. Thank you!
|Free Rockler Catalog|
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