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Archive for the ‘Woodworking’ Category

I tend not to push my grandchildren on the projects we do together,  so this cane took some time to complete.

Madeleine wanted to make a cane for her Nana. She picked the stick she wanted and chose the hardware from my Lee Valley Tool Catalog. I was slow to pick up on the fact that she didn’t want to make any changes to the cane because she liked the wood just the way it was. She’s a purist ~ let the wood speak for itself, no need for embellishment. She did, however, like the idea of putting her name on the cane.

She did some finish sanding and then asked me to write her whole name on the cane. (We use only first names online for our grandchildren, so the rest is blocked out.) When we got to the other side of the cane she wanted her nana’s name. Before I had a chance to write it, she grabbed the cane and pencil and wrote it herself. As an afterthought, she said I could fix up the letters when I woodburned them. I didn’t, of course. I’m a purist that way.

What did I learn? Children are keenly aware when an adult is controlling a project and I was probably doing this more than I intended to. In any case, the original idea was hers. She is very happy with the result and will be beaming when she presents it to her Nana.

Monalisa, in her comment, asked who was luckier, Madeleine or I. When Madeleine was four, I overheard her telling someone that her grandpa did everything she said, but then added “and I do everything Grandpa says.”

I think that sums up how lucky we both are.

Nana's cane completed (click ti enlarge)

to Val / Nana

to Val / Nana

Close up (click to enlarge)

Close up (click to enlarge)

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We had a rusty old chain link fence and gate between our house and the neighbor’s that was handy for keeping friend’s dogs and young children in, but did little else except define an area. Aesthetically pleasing? Hardly. Our friend Gail made a concept drawing of some gates for our backyard, and we were thrilled with it.

I helped with cutting metal, grinding and some welding. Gail did the bending, shaping, placing and more welding. Together we completed the project in about a week, working my kind of hours ( 9:00 until lunch).  Yesterday I installed the gates, using cedar posts for support.

Pathway from the street.

Pathway from the street.

Our prarie roots are showing.

Our prairie roots are showing.

Welcome to our patio and Silverspring Studio.

Welcome to our patio and Silverspring Studio.

A view from the patio.

A view from the patio.

Needless to say, the thrill we felt upon first seeing Gail’s design has been greatly superseded by the gates themselves. We think they are a stunning addition to our backyard patio.

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I was going to sell my 1981  Sears 10″ radial arm saw and checked online to see what I should charge for it. I noticed there was a recall on the saw guard. I called and was assured that my saw qualified. 

Last night I arrived home to find a large package leaning against my mailbox. It was the new guard and table.

the old guard

the old guard

new guard and table

new guard and table

A big improvement. Very nice guard and no more chewed up table. Thanks, Sears.

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My granddaughter and I were walking through the woods at her great grandparent’s place. She does not like to stay on the beaten path. so we were struggling through the wood and up rocks, inclines and over fallen trees. She told me she wanted to make a cane for her Nana. Thus began the idea of making a cane.

She came over a few weekends ago and brought a branch with her. Unfortunately, it was too brittle and had already broken before she got to our house. I took her into my backyard shed, which is attached to her play house, and let her look through the many branches I had stored there. There was walnut and maple. They were all peeled and dry. She made her pick and it really was the only suitable stick there for that purpose. She found another stick which had a Y at the top and she proceeded to make a crutch for her little brother (he really doesn’t need one). I asked her later if she wanted to see the handles and cane tips that we could order from Lee Valley Tools. She was very excited and made her pick. The parts came and I quickly mounted them on the stick to see what it would look like.

Nanna's stick

Well, there it is. My granddaughter will be here this weekend and she can sand, stain, wood burn, or embellish the cane in any manner she chooses. Then she will varnish it and I can glue on the head and tip. I’ll post a picture of her finished project when we are done.

It will be interesting to see how she will finish the project.

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