January Woodworking

It may seem like Jay is only machining things right now, but that’s not true.

There are a few wood projects in the works that are keeping him busy.

First up is yet another project for church. This time it’s a little baptismal font thing for the religious education classes.

Holy Water Holder

I’ve only been Catholic for a little over five years, so this is something that is new to me. Apparently you put this by the entry door, place holy water in the glass, and then you can bless yourself as you come and go.

Holy Water Holder Base

The most difficult part of this project was getting the design information. Jay had three different people telling him three different things. Finally he laid down the law and told them that they either agree on a design or he wasn’t doing it. Well, maybe he didn’t quite say it like that, but time is running out because they need these by Ash Wednesday (Feb 26th). We still have to paint them.

Pile of Holy Water Bases

We were told that they need 45 in total. The original number we were given was 70, but luckily that was updated to the 45.

The next project is one that I gave Jay. I love my utilitarian projects and I had yet another request for him. This is my current utensil holder:

Current Utensil Holder

I hate it, but it was the biggest one I could find. I don’t have a utensil drawer like a lot of people, so this is where all of my big utensils live. The biggest pain with this holder is that when you’re trying to shove another spoon or spatula in there something ALWAYS comes poking out through the spaces in the wire. Then it creates a bigger mess because now the sideways spoon is in the way. Not to mention that my cutting boards slip and slide down flat unless the holder is pressed up against them. It’s a big ol’ mess right there.

So I drew up a picture of what I wanted (after taking some measurements) and Jay translated my poorly-drawn diagram into a SketchUp design.

Utensil Holder SketchUp Drawing

Because I don’t have a lot of time to spend on the finishing end of projects I wanted to just slather some butcher block oil on it. Thus I wouldn’t let Jay use plywood for this project. He went and bought some poplar, which should work just fine.

Utensil Holder Pieces

I’m not very picky and really don’t care if my wood grains match in the kitchen (or any other part of the house). He put his own artistic flair on it, too.

Utensil Holder Assembled

Doesn’t that look nice?! The side slot is for my cutting boards.

Utensil Holder

Then I have two big pockets for the utensils. Jay is worried about the utensils flopping all over, but I don’t mind floppy things. Also, I can always have him draw up a grid that will fit down into it with holes for the utensils to poke into, and he can use plywood for that if he wants. I envision this nestled in close to the fridge. We’ll have to see how it looks once I get it done.

Which may not be very soon because look at my work bench:

Workbench 1-18-20

That image is a perfect representation of my summer and fall. Numerous projects haphazardly worked on, and all collected in one area. Some are finished, some are in process, and others are barely started. And just for good measure you should throw a jet in there because you never know when it might be handy.

One other project that Jay has been working on is a stool for his mom. Sunday at church she asked him if he could make her one, so he did. He’s doing the finishing work on this one (because obviously my bench is a bit crowded).

Karen's Stool

This stool isn’t meant to hold a person. It’s going to sit next to her chair and give her coffee a place to rest. He was able to use some of his smaller scrap pieces for it, too.

Speaking of scraps, while I was taking the pictures for this post I noticed a new addition to his area.

Scrap Storage

Very clever!

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Machining CNC Router Parts

Jay and I share many things in common, but one of them is the fact that we both have numerous hobbies that we tend to work on at the same time. Or at least, we tend to have numerous projects going on in different areas at the same time. For me it’s crochet, sewing and finishing/concrete statue painting. For him it’s wood working, electronics, machining and anything aviation. It shouldn’t surprise me that he has been using one of his hobbies to improve another.

Jay has been messing with his CNC router for a little bit. He had to replace the router part of it earlier this Fall. While tearing it apart and putting it back together he became very unhappy with the current equipment.

CNC Router 3D Holder

He has been using mounting brackets that he 3D printed quite a while ago. I was told the other night that he’s unhappy with the slop that they create and so he needs new ones. Except, again from what I’m told, the company no longer sells parts for this particular machine. And even if he can find the parts online, what’s the fun of having your own machining equipment if you’re not going to use it?

The first thing he wanted to do was replace the mounting brackets.

CNC Router Current Spindle 1-18-20

The current mounting brackets can be seen in this picture. They are what hold the spindle on the machine (the spindle is the round spinning thing that does all of the cutting). After work one night Jay stopped by his favorite place for buying metal stock. He picked up a nice piece of aluminum.

Aluminum Stock

He said an incantation, did a little Machining dance, and then tapped it with a hammer.

Taaa-daa!

Machined CNC Router Holder

Isn’t that amazing? He’s so talented!

Except, now he needs a back plate to actually mount the brackets on.

CNC Router Back Plate

Found it! Never mind… we have one right here.

I’m sure he told me, but there’s a reason why he had to make new carriage wheels for the machine. He might have had to make them just because he could. Who knows.

Either way, he dug up a piece of HDPE.

Sheet of HDPE

Instead of cutting wheels, though, he cut squares!

CNC Router Carriage Wheel Step 1

See, Jay, wheels are ROUND. Not SQUARE. *sigh*

CNC Router Carriage Wheel Step 2

Using a Jedi mind trick on the squares he started to shape them… putting a bit of an arc on them… smoothing out the edges…

CNC Router Carriage Wheel Step 3

Using the Vulcan nerve pinch he then pushed the middle of the wheels into the inside… so that there’s a groove running along the outside of the wheel and a lip on the inside.

Finally, he installed bearings to complete the wheels.

He did that by hand. It was very boring.

CNC Router Carriage Wheel Step 4

These wheels will be used to carry the spindle all over the frame.

CNC Router Carriage Wheels - Old

The Jedi mind trick did a really nice job of creating smooth wheels for the track. And the Vulcan Nerve Pinch gave the groove the perfect measurement for the track.

CNC Router Carriage Wheels on Track

But wait, there’s more…

If you order this piece of aluminum to be used for the corner plates within the next 10 minutes…

Aluminum Plate Stock

… we’ll throw in three more plates all for the price of one!

Aluminum Plates Stuck Together

Imagine how jealous your friends will be when they see your CNC router with brand new aluminum corner plates. They will cover their ugly old ones with sawdust just to hide their shame.

CNC Router Frame Plate

Actually, this frame is the second one that he built for this router. The first one was MUCH smaller. And is currently in pieces.

Original Shapeoko Frame

Don’t you worry! Jay will have more parts machined so that he can get this one put back together, too. After all, why have one CNC router when you can have two?

Small CNC Router

I mean, um, three! Three machines.

I can hear the song now…

FIVE HDPE wheels…

Four corner plates…

Three CNC routers….

Two 3D Printers…

and a Jay in his machine shop.

Okay, so it doesn’t work perfectly with the 12 Days of Christmas music, but close enough!

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Too Many Projects!

I thought that once Christmas was done I would have more time to work on other projects. After all, my obligations would have been fulfilled. Right? Nope.

What ends up happening is somebody will mention how much they like something… and in my head I’m already thinking about which pattern I’ll use and if I have the correct yarn or fabric. Once I’ve picked those two things out I feel like I’m obligated to make the item. Even if the person who will be receiving it has no idea that I’ve decided to make them something. Let me give you an example.

For Christmas I made my sister the Warm Embers Cardigan. Last week my brother-in-law texted me to say that she practically lives in it and barely even takes it off to shower. Then he sent me a picture and mentioned that Chloe (their Chinese Crested “dog”) likes it, too.

Droof in her Warm Embers Cardi

To be fair, Chloe has more hair on the top of her head than anywhere else. But what happened? I instantly thought, “I still have a skein or so left of that yarn. If I can get Chloe’s chest measurement I’m sure that I’ve got enough yarn to make her a sweater, too.” Because apparently I need another project.

I received this in the mail last week:

Joanns 1-10-19

That is yarn that I am going to use to make my friend a Prayer Sweater. I’ve already made her a shawl and I thought a sweater might be cozier. She’s having a bit of a rough time lately so I thought the pretty color would cheer her up. (Not that you can really see the beautiful color since it’s dark – it’s called Dragonfly)

That doesn’t count all of the baby projects that I have lined up because two of my friends are expecting little bundles of joy this year.

Baby Blanket Yarn 1-16-20

I already have some yarn prepared to make a cushy baby blanket that will be great for the floor. Plus I received a Crochet! magazine and saw the most darling baby dress… so I have that in my head now.

That’s on top of the yarn that I purchased a few weeks ago for another Project Linus blanket.

Project Linus Yarn 1-16-20

Plus, I found some yarn on clearance that I think will make a great shawl for myself.

Shawl Yarn 1-16-20

Keep in mind that I’ve still got the yarn waiting for this shawl that I want to make:

Erigeneia Shawl

With this yarn:

IceY Magic Light and Glitz - Blues 7-3-19

I still have two totes with about a dozen Project Linus blankets kitted up:

Kitted Blankets 5-19-19

Did I also mention that I have technically started this afghan:

Rose Cathedral Window Afghan-edit

Using this yarn:

IceY Cathedral Window Colors 7-2-19

You guys, that’s just SOME of the crochet projects that I have lined up.

This is what my cutting table looks like in my sewing room:

Cutting Table 1-16-20

I did not stage this nor did I clean it up.

That’s just the crochet portion of my hobbies. I haven’t even mentioned Project Custom Clothes, the kitty couch Jay made for me that needs to be upholstered, moving my sewing room downstairs (and moving other rooms around to accommodate this move), plus the numerous concrete yard statues that are in need of paint.

If I didn’t have to work a full time job to feed Mr. Whiney Pants

Bob 1-9-20

then I would definitely have more time for my hobbies.

*sigh*

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Still Grieving

In my last post I mentioned that we were going to take in a cat who was in need of a loving home. She arrived Friday evening, but by Saturday morning I had to have her picked up and taken back. It was not due to anything that she did. In fact, she is a sweetheart of a cat and will make a terrific pet for anybody who does not have any other animals. It wasn’t until after I spent a few hours with her, and dealt with anxiety attacks during the night because she had been very aggressive with Bob, that I realized that I wasn’t ready for another cat. I still miss Chester too much.

Chester - Mama pay attention to me

Saturday morning I was right back in the same exact emotional state I had been in when I left the vet’s office after having to put Chester to sleep. It hasn’t quite been two months. I thought I was doing okay. I thought it would be good. After all, I’ve lost a few cats during my life.

Me and Frank

Frank

Zhu-Zhu In front of the Barn

Schwartz (“Baby Zhu-zhu”)

Jackson

Jackson

I loved all of these cats with my whole heart, so why does the loss of Chester feel so much deeper? Is it just because it’s more recent? Or is it due to the fact that Jackson was the cat that I had the longest at 8 years, whereas I had Chester for 14?

Was it because she was a unique cat who carried on conversations with me and was always supervising me?

chester-sewing-arm-covers

Whatever the reason, I decided that it was unfair to bring another cat into my house and not be able to really give it all of the love it deserves. I could feel that I was walling off my heart and holding Bob even tighter. That wasn’t fair to the cat and so I wanted to give her a chance to find a better human. I know that she will. I just feel bad that I put all of us through the attempt this weekend.

I know that non-pet people don’t understand. “It was just a cat,” they will say and dismiss it without hesitation. If you’ve ever had a beloved pet, though, I know you completely understand what I’m going through. I thought that by now I would be a little stronger. That I could handle talking about Chester without tearing up or looking at her picture and not wanting to break down sobbing. Apparently not. It’s going to take a little longer.

If you have a pet please hold them a little tighter tonight and give them lots of kissies. All too soon they will be gone.

bob-and-chester-7-24-15

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Real Life 1-10-20

I thought it was about time that I give you guys another reason for being glad that your life isn’t as messy as mine. There used to be a show called, “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” Well, this blog is the exact opposite. Welcome to “Lifestyle of the Non-Practicing Hermit.” Life is so busy and a full time job seems to always get in the way of real productivity.

I have SO many projects currently going on, but I haven’t been able to crochet for the last two days because my wrist has finally had enough. While I’ve been resting it I’ve been working on other projects.

Jay has finally de-planed the Pink room!

Pink Room 1-9-20

That means I can start preparing to move this furniture upstairs, and my sewing room downstairs. You can see the black garbage bag in this picture. That is full of t-shirts, long sleeved shirts, sweaters and tanks that will be going to Goodwill.

Before I can move this stuff out I need to move my sewing room stuff downstairs and the office stuff into the current sewing room. In order to do that I’ve been trying to minimize the junk that I will be moving around.

Office 1-9-20

Somehow I’ve managed to find enough papers to shred that it fills up almost two leaf bags. Plus I still have more! These will go to my dad for use as bedding in the barn. He has some piglets that I’ve named ‘Links’, ‘Patty’, ‘Ham-let’ and ‘Yummy’.

As you can see, my house is a disaster area. Well, except the library.

Library 1-9-20

No more desk!

That is, until you walk into the living room…

Living Room 1-9-20

I had to move the desk because this weekend we are getting an addition to our household. I’ve had a conversation with Bob, but we’ll see how well he listened. I was told about this poor little cat who is 9 years old and doesn’t get the love and attention that she deserves. So I was asked if I would like to take her in. How could I say no? My heart hurts whenever I hear about cats who aren’t spoiled rotten like they deserve.

This new cat comes with her own cat tree (which will be good because she will feel like she has a piece of her own territory here), so I want to put it in a room that is in the middle of everything. The poor dear has been relegated to the basement of her current house and doesn’t get nearly as much attention as she would like, so we are going to fix that problem quick, fast and in a hurry!

Again, the Bob is not impressed.

Bob 1-9-20

He feels that there are plenty of cats in the house.

Let’s end this blog post on a giggle.

My sister and brother-in-law gave Jay a shower curtain for Christmas because when they saw it they instantly thought of him. What do you think is on it? Airplanes? Beer? Wood working tools? Cats? Are you ready for this…

Jay's Shower Curtain

Our bathroom is small so this is the best picture that I could get of the curtain. I told him we need to get a picture of him peering out the vinyl window.

The funny thing is that this curtain goes perfectly with our bathroom decor!

Bathroom 1-9-20

Again, you won’t ever see anything like this on the rich and snooty home shows. You can only get this kind of designer style here at Kerry’d Away!

You’re welcome.

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A Horse Puppy

My sister and I are cat people.

Me and Droof 8-18-19

Dogs are okay, but we would rather surround ourselves with cats.

Droof and Cats

When she got married, her husband brought a “dog” into the relationship. You can’t really call Chloe a dog (she’s in the picture above). She’s small and acts more like a cat. In fact, she’s often much better behaved than my sister’s cats. So I only count her as 1/2 a dog. Anyway, this past summer my sister’s husband decided that he wanted another dog.

You know how sometimes when you’ve been itching for something you might go WAY bigger than you intended? For instance, when you’ve been really craving lasagna and then you finally get it, you cut too big of a piece and then can’t finish it all. Well, I think that’s what happened with Chuk and his dog.

Meet Rando.

Rando Puppy Pictures

Rando is a St. Bernard/Australian Shepherd mix.

If I remember correctly, the time that lapsed between the picture on the left and the picture on the right was only two weeks. I want to say that Rando was around 16 weeks old. Chuk kept saying that Rando is a Tea Cup St. Bernard. I told him if by that he means a Disney World Tea Cup, then I would agree.

When I traveled for work at the beginning of December I stopped in to visit with my sister. At this point, Rando is 7 months old. Do you want to see a picture of the little puppy?

Rando - 7 months old

Yep. Seven months old… and 90 pounds!

I guess that Rando’s dad is 160 pounds (his mom is the Australian Shepherd).

When he’s biting you and jumping on you it’s hard to remember that this giant horse is still a puppy. Thus, a Horse Puppy.

Rando 12-5-19 7mos old

I think that once he hits full maturity and gets out of the puppy stage he will be a really good dog. It’s just getting through that puppy stage that is a pain.

For Christmas we bought Chuk a Rando Pooper Scooper Set. I hope he liked it!

Rando Poop Scoop Kit

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A Wooden Surface

I don’t know what to actually call one of the gifts that Jay made me for Christmas. It’s similar to an adjustable computer tray that you see in living rooms, but yet it’s slightly different. Let me tell you why I wanted this adjustable tray.

This is what my family room looked like on December 24th:

Family Room 12-24-19

It doesn’t get any more real than this! Those weren’t gifts that I had opened. Nope. What you’re seeing there are gifts that still needed to be wrapped. Okay, divert your eyes away from the clutter and focus on the stand that is sitting next to the couch. Do you notice how it and the cushion next to it are covered in crochet paraphernalia?

Jay and I have been married for seven years and we still like each other. When I sit with him in the family room I sit right next to him on the couch. That is my spot where the pillow is sitting, thus all of my crochet stuff has been dumped on the cushion next to me.

When Chester was still around I had to keep that spot open for her because she liked to sit next to me.

chester crochet

I told Jay that I wanted something similar to a computer tray that would sit over the couch cushion, but could be adjusted up or down as needed. I wanted something that I could set my coffee on, keep my scissors handy and hold my pattern. Since I sit in the middle of the couch I don’t have the luxury of a stand. I also didn’t like how much room the stand that I had in front of the couch was taking up.

So Jay started working on it. I knew that it was being made because he needed some input on what I needed it to do and how the design would work.

Adjustable Tray

He used some scrap boards that he had on hand, so they have screw holes in them. I don’t care, though. As long as it does what I need it to, it doesn’t have to be pristine. After all, it’s going to be covered up most of the time.

When I got home from Christmas Eve mass I had a hard time guessing what one of my gifts was that had been placed by the tree.

Adjustable Tray Wrapped 12-24-19

I was very excited to get it placed in the family room.

Adjustable Tray in Place

Doesn’t that look so nice??

He made it adjustable and 3D printed the knobs for the legs.

Adjustable Tray Hardware

The legs can telescope, they can tilt at the bottom and the tray itself can be adjusted to different angles. Jay even contoured the support brackets to snuggle up a little better to the couch. I guess that if we ever buy a new couch I’ll have to take this with us to make sure it will fit.

Adjustable Tray in Profile

It looks so much nicer and I love it.

I think I’ll keep Jay around for a little while longer. 😉

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