Sunday, August 31, 2008

Teak Legs

Everything is a little jumbled at the moment, Sammy is back safe from his travels, but while the plane is in the air my mind tends to wander a bit.
Actually I was planing a big plank today and not much else, pondering possible timber for more table legs I struck upon the idea of using two lengths of teak that I got during the junkyard trip at the end of last winter. These curvy bits are from a length of timber that the chaps at the yard had laid on the ground to act as a stopper when backing up their trucks. I always end up keeping the cut offs for a while thinking I will find a use.
My main worry is that normal wood glue may not work on this oily wood, so I will have to do some research. For now I have glued two scraps to act as a test.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Glue hour

I found that it took almost exactly one hour to disassemble and glue up the other table.
One practical thing from my gluing activity today as I removed the first table from the hospital clamps and inserted the other. I buy PVA glue in bags and transfer it to one of those wine box bags with a rubber cap that has a little pull up tab stopper. The glue does not stick to the rubber at all, so the spout is easily unblocked even when glue dries in it and the bags are very durable with a double layer structure. What a shame the manufacturers don't make a glue bottle with a spout made of the same type of rubber.
After clamping up table two I had another go on skype and then remembered I wanted to try out something I had read about.
We have a DVD machine that stopped responding to its remote control ages ago and I read that digital cameras can see the infra red light of these devices, so they can be checked for functionality with a quick test looking through the view finder or even through a web camera. Sure enough, the remote control failed to produce a gleam when its buttons were pushed while viewed through the camera and I was able to replace the infra red LED with one I scrounged out of a deceased controller. Incidentally, the D in LED stands for diode and diodes need to be wired properly, if you look at the LED and you can see the inside, the big fat part with the blob of light sitting in it is the negative or ground side.

Friday, August 29, 2008

House Legs

Moving on to the little legs for the low table today. Those are the items with the house shaped profile lying on the bench. I will cut tenons onto the side parts for the table, I just tried out the joint cutting with some of the scraps from the table tenons. The weird shape is mainly because I wanted to get all the legs out of one larger piece and this was the only way to get a reasonable grain orientation to bring some kind of pattern to the outward facing side. Lots of shaping once the joints are all done.
The first table top is still in its clamps.
We had some very heavy rain last night and a few electric outages, the neighboring town looks like it had a hard time, they were just finishing up tidying away the mud and driftwood from where their river had overflowed its banks when I drove through to reach the station.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


This shows the table on its little glue stand offs just before coming apart one more time to have glue applied. It only needed a bit of 5mm plywood to bring the top edges of the two units to be parallel. I just screwed the stands down on to the bench directly in the end.
The final clamp up had these two pony clamps and two over the top in the same lateral orientation. The little ledges on the corners got clamps applied to hold the table flat down on the stands and then I knocked a few little wedges between the pipes of the clamps underneath and the underside of the table to compensate for the end stiles getting twisted downward.
The three disks I use for finishing are still on the bench along with the speed controller I use to keep the grinder from getting over excited. The blue pad in the grinder is the middle step, the final one being a felt buffing disk that brings out a nice natural gloss.
I cut a few U shaped divots in the stands to give room for the clamps, I will cut a few more, then maybe these stands can go somewhere on the wall or even on the ceiling as clamp racks when they are not in use.
The scraps of glue leftover were still wet and white on the board when I came up, I hope they will have dried out a bit more tomorrow, with the humidity from constant rain I think I had better leave the table in traction for at least a day or two to let the glue set good and solid.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Stand off

I was back on finishing and polishing today and then making a couple of stands for the clamping up procedure that lies ahead. I want to try to get the tables as true and flat as I can. I am hoping to set these stands on the bench and twist them in with some shims, then clamp the tables down on to them to hold them true while the glue sets. I must true up the bench top to flat one day.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

In Pieces

Black dust everywhere, so I was glad of the fish bowl helmet today. There was a little complication with one of the parts, so that is in splints at the back. All the parts for table top one are now ready for glue up. Once glued I will do the edges. As with doors it is a good idea to leave a spur of material poking out. This can be tapped with the rubber mallet to get the thing apart after each dry run clamping the parts together to check their fit. I forgot that and cut things to final shape in a couple of spots, which makes it a little bit more work each time. Never mind.

Monday, August 25, 2008


The panel for table two was also a reasonably good fit and I have been celebrating by moving on to the chiseling work. I was a little late putting on the gloves, so I have a fresh crop of blisters. This job just seems to miss all my carefully cultivated callouses. The table top in the background is done, but it still needs the chamfering done. I must scorch it up and polish it a bit, then I think I might as well get on and glue it up and do the final work on the edges before giving it a final scorch and polish. All the panel planks will have to be done very lightly along their edges to make sure the edges don't shine out all whitish from between the gaps.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Here is the first table with its panel in. The rubber hammer is very useful for taping the parts together here. Even on the first fit it seems to be fine. I don't glue the panel planks together, because they need to float independently to avoid the problem of cracking up when they shrink with the changes in humidity. I will chamfer all the edges of the joints as well. I do recommend gluing the splines into one of the grooves they engage with. If they are loose, the guide bearing on the router bit tends to slip in and cause a little divot in the edge.
The tape holds all the planks together well enough to rout around the edge. I clamp the panel on a corner of the bench, which means I can get right round the circumference with one change over. Dust equipment coming in handy sanding out discrepancies in the joints. If you click on the photo you might be able to see how well the router sticks to the pencil line thanks to the double blade cutter knife technique. You can see the pencil line on the part that is just this side of the clamp. In case you have no idea what the router bit might look like or indeed the finished joint, both are in this picture too. One corner of the table frame standing up in the bottom right corner has a groove cut in it. The tongue sticking out on the corner of the panel shown will be neatly housed in there leaving the surface of the panel and the frame roughly flush with each other.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Table openings

I nearly forgot my economies of scale. I started thinking about pushing on with one of the tables, but held back and got on with keeping them both at the same stage so that all the bit changes and set ups are valid for two jobs instead of one. Table one is resting over yonder with its panel cut to size. The panel planks are taped together ready to have a tongue cut all around the periphery.
On the bench we have table two, the panel planks have been cut to size and the groove cut in the table frame. The little splines fitted between the panel planks need to be cut to length, then this panel will be at the same stage as the other. I used to cut tongue and groove joints, but it means more thinking for the width of the planks and different cuts for each side for no aesthetic bonus, so now I use the splines instead. The plank width is easy to calculate and all cuts are the same. I suppose the point when I changed over to this method was when I bought a thickness planer, which facilitates making the splines, with only a router, I guess tongue and grooves are easier if you have the right bits.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Tea timing

So, this is the other important line. On the plank next to the cup you can see the line I mentioned drawn at the edge of the plank and the curved line that has been drawn to mark one of the corners of this inset for the table top. I made up a piece of wood the same thickness as the depth of cut for my little groove cutting router bit. Then I taped a cutter knife blade to either side with the points evenly placed. That is the item on the plank. Now I mark around the whole perimeter following the pencil line with one blade while the other makes a mark outside of it. You can just see the knife cut if you zoom in by clicking on the photo.
Once I took a tea break between drawing the perimeter line with the pencil and making the knife marks. When I came back from the break I forgot all about this step and set to cutting the plank to the pencil line on the bandsaw. As I said, this is no good at all as the resulting cut just leaves you a plank the will fall through the hole in the middle of the table. Anyway, I only ruined one plank, but now I always make sure I follow the process right through to the knife cut marking. The knife cut is a little hard to see, but it gives a much more accurate indicator of where the cut should be.
I suppose there is a better technique than this, but for a one off shape and a finish within a millimeter or two, this is a useful way to get a panel the right size to fit in a hole of uneven shape and size.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Evening falls.
I cut out the interior curves for one of the table tops and have it clamped here with a series of planks underneath. These are planed to thickness and roughly the same width. The central plank (there are five) has a center line marked on it and each of the planks has a line drawn a little over half an inch from the end so that it will be of sufficient length to fill a 10mm rebate into the frame. I then lay out the planks so that they each have a good grain orientation matching up the center and making sure I can't see any of the end lines. Then I turn the whole lot upside down and rest the top face of the table frame on the backs of the planks, which are similarly marked to draw in the final shape. There is some discrepancy between the top of the curved cut and the bottom even when cut with a bandsaw, so it is important to draw out the line in this orientation, but one has to look at the faces of the planks to check for grain first.
It is a good idea to stick little chicken feet marks on any important lines like this to make sure that you don't follow any stray lines about the place when cutting.
The diagonal plank leaning against the arch allows me to flip the table frame up and lean it out of the way. Before moving the planks I number them and put arrows to show orientation just in case I lose track of which way up the numbers go. There is one more mark to be made and it is very important. If you cut out the pencil line now you just have a set of planks that will neatly fall through the hole in the middle of the table frame in an entirely useless manner.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Trying to avoid allowing the snowfall of time obliterating my tracks through the day.
I was going to let the day slip by with a place mark again, but looking back at my entries for March as mentioned yesterday I was inspired not to let things slip so easily under the perfectly formed snowflakes of time.
Just a sketch I am afraid, but it did occur to me that, if you have never used an ink or a chalk line, yesterday's object might be a bit of a mystery. Here I am just snapping in a line on a plank. There is a little handle with a fierce pin on the end of the line (left), you stick that in to match one end of your line and pull the body of the unit along to the other end, while pushing on a little button to charge the line with ink, then you pinch a grip on the line thusly, match the end, pull tight and let it snap onto the surface you are intending to mark. Hey presto, you have a nice straight line to saw along, measure from or completely ignore if you change your mind.
Because the line recoils into the body of the device with some speed, you might want to look away if you lose your grip on the pin bearing part when pulling it out. As it hurtles towards its home, which you hold in your hand, there is some slight danger of unintentional blood samples being given.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ink Line

When I first started out on the woodwork in Japan I had brought hardly any tools at all with me from the UK, so I had to buy everything here. I started with two chisels, a saw, a set square and an electric drill with a couple of bits. Somewhere along the line I also bought my first ink line. There are really nice traditional units still available, but the modern young carpenter seems to prefer bright plastic units. I don't really like the modern Gundam robot world aesthetics of these tools, but practically they have come a long way. The ink line here has a nice spring loaded reel and the compartment for the sponge to hold the ink is well water proofed so that it does not leak ink when over loaded, and thanks to plentiful rubber packing parts it keeps the ink pad wet even if it is left alone for a long time on the shelf. I got this one when I was doing the scaffolding roof project back in March 2007 with Sammy a while back and promptly dropped it off the roof on to the concrete pad. It sprang apart into several bits, but it wasn't five minutes before humpty was back together again. Maybe the rubber housing saved it. The design also allows the whole thing to be taken to bits to replace the line inside and get rid of blockages on the line etc.
The plank standing at the back is unplaned, a couple of passes over the blades and it will be looking like the one lying next to our pinky.

Monday, August 18, 2008


I got done with the end mortices and moved on to the side ones. I made up the little cradle to sit the machine on ages ago. It has casters on, so I can roll the thing around. For any larger timber up to about six inches across the machine sits on the work and can be rolled up and down to cut holes at the desired points. There is a slide lever to the left that gives about four or five inches of travel to drill holes along a line and create a longer mortice. A knob on the left gives sideways travel to position the hole and the big handle on the right works the rack and pinion to drive the chisel and bit down into the wood. The only other handle is the adjustable clamp that holds the work tight in the machine. There are a few markings visible on the side of the plank where I was planing out how big the mortice should be within the final cut out design.
I use the compressor (purple contraption on the right) to blast all the chips out of the holes and clean up.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Today we had the little summer festival in our village, which bears the name in the title. It basically amounts to a quick trip to the local shrine followed by drinking and eating. Like many local priests ours passed his early career in the self defense force and took up priesthood on leaving the ranks. Apparently he has something of a reputation as a lover of the nightlife, but I have no firsthand evidence of that. He seemed very priestly today as about ten of us crammed into a little shrine up the mountain to sit while he made some kind of offering on our behalf.
Someone spotted a big snake lurking under the money collection box, but that kind of natural presence is more of a lucky omen than anything. Some people even keep snake skins in their wallet in the hope it will bring prosperity. Others just don't like snakes and make do with what they've got. It was a good day for the event with a fine mist that could only just be called rain keeping things cool and creating a properly reverent atmosphere.
There is a kind of community organization in most of Japanese rural life, in our village we have about four units, each unit has a representative in the organization and the representatives change every two years. It is our turn this year and next, so we play a part in organizing these kind of events. Tidying up, buying stuff making little speeches and all the rest. The units themselves are just geographical, but if there is an event like a death the people in that unit will help out at the funeral and so on, while those in other units aren't expected to help out as much unless they are related to the departed of course. The group is called the Jichikai so the leader is called the Jichikaicho and what I am refering to as units would be called Han or Kumi... On the priests little table there are an assortment of items divided into two groups, the mountian stuff and the sea stuff. Veg from the fields and fish from the sea. They are blessed here along with a bottle of sake, then put on display back at the hall...just in case you are taking notes on oriental civilization.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


The sofa was my home for most of the day as work took over. I will be back in the shop on Monday I think. I just popped down there today as I needed to fetch my ear protectors to put on over the little earphones to help me concentrate on the transcription work at hand.
I will pop a picture of the work scene in later. I fixed the morticer on the edge of the bench using the little spur that projects from it. I have often blessed the day that I decided not to chop that off and it proved its worth again. This arrangement allows me to clamp the planks I am jointing into the machine with the end grain facing up, I can then cut two mortices leaving an island of material in the middle to stop the wood collapsing under the pressure from the work clamp. I think I will glue my floating tenon into this first and clean it up, then glue up the joint proper once the remaining parts are ready.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Tother way

Not swamped with translation work after all, so I got on and started on the floating tenon joints. I normally just cut tenons where needed, but there were several pieces of timber that were too short to be used without employing the floating tenon technique. This just means cutting mortices in both pieces to be joined and sticking an insert of the same kind of timber into the slots. The shortness of the timber was due to having longer planks that were warped to such an extent that they had to be cut in half to get a useful flat thickness of plank out of them.
The typical jumble in the shop rather enhanced by my letting the panorama software run its course in stitching the pictures together without adjustment.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

One way

Back to evening storms here in Japan. This was the view from outside the workbench bit of the shop this evening. I don't seem to be very bothered by insects this year. Almost every available orifice in the shop is stuffed with moss as those hole loving wasps do their stuff, but mosquitoes are not so prevalent. There were quite a few anesthetized spiders lying about today. The wasps that specialize in spider capture must have gotten a bit slippery fingered or they abandoned the prey as too small for its purpose. I don't suppose that the spiders spring back to life after a few hours unconscious, but you never know.
The planks laid on the bench are to be the framework for table tops. There are actually two sets, one on top of the other. Next job for them is to cut mortices and fit loose tenons, then I can cut the frames to a more curvy shape and cut planks to fit in the interior once I have decided which those will be.
I'll take a picture the other way tomorrow as I am promised a day on the sofa with translation related work to do and that will probably numb my brain a little.
I just had a little look at Google Street View in Tokyo, New york and Alice springs with my daughter. If you take a look at Google maps it is quite interesting to see how much work they have done on putting all that together. I can't get it to show up properly on my machine, but it worked fine on the desktop computator now free from viral infections. You can walk down the streets and see a 360 degree panorama every few meters in the areas covered.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I was on the way down to the shop when I was tempted to sit by the pond for a bit and contemplate the myriad creatures therein. After several moments I stood up ready to confront some more work dust in my fish bowl helmet when my eye was caught by a baby fish. "Ah, a baby fish" I thought blandly, then I remembered about the fish Sammy had bought and that we were to be on the look out for arrivals. During my training as a Piscine social worker I was told to ignore the paper work on these occasions and take immediate action as lives are at stake, so I sped off to fetch a glass bowl and a scoop to save the young ones from their parents. I managed to spot three in the end, once they are big enough they can get back in the bath with their parents as long as they have their own rooms.
It is strange the significance objects take on during their time with us.
The foreign population of this country is obligated to acquire a reentry visa before leaving the country, so back in 2000 when I heard that my mother had collapsed, the first thing I had to do after buying an air ticket was get in to the city and sort out one of these visas. I took Sammy with me as moral support and we popped in to a store called Tokyu hands after we had got the papers sorted. I believe it was there that we bought the glass bowl here and a bunch of sea monkeys. Tough times ensued and it turned out that the last time I was to see my mother alive had already passed by. Now here we are, several years later and the bowl I thought looked so fragile it would get smashed on the train ride home is still with us as safe harbor for these tiny little swimmers.
Sammy is in Canada on a study course at present, I must write and tell him he is now a proud uncle or something similar.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Malware Beware

Malignant software stole my blogging moments. We got hit by some kind of nastiness on the desktop prairie. After several rather ineffectual scans with antivirus stuff on my wifes PC, eventually I downloaded "Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware", the virus scans had found nothing to do, but this young sonny Jim found seventeen somethings and marked them for destruction. Whatever the monster was it had installed something pretending to be antivirus software and took control of desktop settings to display garbage. We are still getting little after shocks as we continue to scan for lurking problems, but so far we seem to have escaped with a light beating. I'll try and post an image for the day on the morrow.
Just a pencil sketch of self down in the shop bandsawing the rotten edges off of more planks. Incidentally, you can tell when I am tired or rushed as I tend to draw myself from behind. This means that one doesn't need to rotate the world in ones head, simply take a step or two backward from the scene remembered while visualizing some kind of remembered sense of the activity.

Monday, August 11, 2008


One result of all the plane work is constant build up of shavings. I guess I could spread them out and let them rot down into soil, but I prefer to burn them and spread the ash on the field instead. It gives a bit of a break point to planing if I keep burning off shavings each time the big bucket gets full up.
I did manage to get to the "switch" in the memorizing room at one of these points as twilight was drawing down, but I don't think I left the lights on for long enough.
With the material preparation I am getting to the point where I can have separate stacks for each type of project, but no definitive plans yet. I am keen to use the wood I have on hand as far as possible, as it would be nice to get rid of some of the stuff that has been with me for a while declaring itself useful, but always seeming to be too good for this or too short for that.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


I have spent a lot of time doing this kind of pondering recently, getting in amongst my woodpiles and stirring them up.
I seem to be having trouble with the drawing muscle, or at least that is what I thought, but now I realize that it isn't that specific. I don't know if you get involved in very different activities at all, but in my case I seem to have trouble switching the brain box between them. So when I have been focusing on materials and how to use them as well as trying to avoid doing myself a mischief with tools or heavy planks all day, when evening comes around my mind has no particular scene to play back when I try to recall something from the day to set down. It seems like my mind has several compartments equipped with various tools or abilities and unless I switch the lights in the scene memorizing room during the day I can't go back afterwards and try to fill in.
I am hoping that I will get more nifty at flicking the relevant metaphorical switches, but unfortunately I am at my most forgetful when planing the assembly of objects in my head.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Happy landings

I had a bit of a breakdown yesterday as the blogger was offline and crashed under the weight of olympia during normal hours and I didn't retry obsessively as I might have done in the past. I was one of the billion or so folk watching the coming out party for China. For some reason that media phrase gave the event a whole new meaning.
As usual today I chatted on Skype with family and the Olymp was one of the subjects we discussed. My pappy said he got a bit tearful watching the proceedings as the marvel and wonder of it all took hold. I found the short hairs standing at some parts, but mainly when I thought, what if all these were just nice people putting on a show. Always the idealist, that is the view I shall stick with until I find out different. I walked in on the thing with all those drummers at the start and from there it was clear the chaps had not spared time or expense in their effort to impress. There were several times when the camera zoomed in and caught by chance one of the thousands of performers making some small gesture to correct the lie of their sleeve or something like that, and that impressed me too. Giving the impression of that one individual's endeavor to do it right even if a mere unit among the hoard.
Ah well, that was yesterday and elsewhere in the world the war goes on. Our Sammy is currently in airborne transit for a bit of study abroad, so my mind is also a little distracted as I wish all travellers a happy landing.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Double door

A very warm day here. Something made me cling to the sofa instead of getting back down to the sawdust. I think I am beginning to feel the various items emerge from the mental mist, so I have been experimenting with a new version of Artrage in a session of drawing out rough plans.
There do seem to be some new bits and bobs in the software that are advantageous. All in all it is a very good combination with the tablet PC and I recommend it. If you have never tried it and you have some kind of tablet try the free version and see. There are a few sketches in the blog done with it, but I quite like it for making these vague sketches at the proper scale, then I can get a rough idea of timber requirements and even use them to cut things to rough sizes as long as I scribble joint or rebate sizes on as well. I'm still not at the making phase with this door, but this will be something for the client to look at. We had a fairly long discussion of what is wanted, so I hope this comes fairly near the mark. Once we have had a chat about it I will have to order some timber for it.
I am not sure whether it is a priviledge or an inconvenience for anyone not involved, but it is simple for me to put something up here and point the client at it, then we have something to talk about on the phone. The client also gets to see the work in progress on here if they choose to, which might be frustrating at times, but must also give the emerging posession some sense of history.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Wallowing in timber again today. Shifting things from one pile to another and planing in between. It is probably for the best that most people don't see wood being planed, or everybody would want some. The skin of grubby junk from mellowing out in the seasoning stack gets removed to reveal the internal beauty. I have four projects in my head at the moment, each with different requirements, so it is a bit of a mish mash in there for the moment. I will be popping another shelf sketch for a client in here later. The above is the shelf above my sofa spot, made for home use it is of course in the rough and ready unfinished segment of my work, but suitable to convey the concept. I just had a thought that a wall mounted shelf might also be an option. More floor based solutions are now under discussion.
Another side note
Both my kids have recently mentioned the current depressing trend among the slightly younger generation here in Japan. I think the sector in question is Junior high school and up and mainly boys. The kids play little computer games while they are on the train. They get on together as friends I suppose, ride together saying nothing and then they get off in dribs and drabs without even saying cheerio. So even 5 years or so has made a big difference to youth culture as this would apparently never have happened among my offsp. and their contemporaries. That strange silence while together and not even saying goodbye was what depressed my kids about the behavior pattern.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Woody drains

The evening thunderstorm really outdid itself today and I was forced to get out and snake the drains due to the excess of precipitation. I have a length of electric cable about an inch in diameter that I regularly subject to this snaking ordeal. I started off shirted and civilized with an umbrella, but as things got more serious I was forced to accept that wetness was of the essence and I might as well embrace it retaining only my shorts in case of visitors. In the end I was able to push the obstruction down to the nearest exit about ten foot down the track and when I had pried it out I found it to be a rotten old piece of batten that had found its way stoat-like down the pipe. As I slung the offending creature into the bamboo thicket the muddy pool outside quietly disappeared and I left the scene to avail myself of the shower facilities so comforting on these occasions.
Thankfully I found I had not picked up any passengers in the form of the tiny leaches that are wont to inhabit these areas. In the past I have found them inching their way up the arm to find somewhere homely to latch onto, thus it is not without trepidation that one sends out the trusted limb to explore the deeps. Anyway, this seems to capture something of the drowned rat experience I remember from an hour or two ago.

Monday, August 04, 2008


More terrific heat today, struggling on outside in a welter of sweat shifting my stack of timber to get at the stuff near the bottom. The little bit of space left from chopping down the tree the other day has immediately been put to use as a temporary stack for all the timber I can't imagine using in any of the up coming projects. Luckily we had just reached a good cut off point when the skies started to roil with thunder. Fat raindrops were soon splattering down once we had the sheets on the wood piles and various other water steering features back in place. Nightfall lent even more drama to the scene as the lightning became more startling. It has been promising rain for many evenings and the thunder has paved the way, but due to dry eye syndrome or some such, not a tear had fallen until today.
Actually the rain seems to have been very selective and aside from falling in sufficient quantity to stop the central line and fill the river it left the surrounding areas completely dry.
Yesterday's wasp had filled one glove finger with all that stuff and was working on another. I had removed it all quite carefully as I was interested to see what was inside and I didn't want to squish what was in there and dirty up the glove interior. I completely forgot about the larder stuff I had left scattered on the floor having returned the gloves to their post taking the precaution of folding them in half to deny access to the fingers.
Then later on I found to my surprise that the persistent mother had spent countless hours collecting everything up and stuffing it back in as best she could as seen above. My fault for placing the gloves in almost exactly the same spot.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Road Building

Struggling to keep this side of the day going. Another of the community efforts today as all the able bodied villagers turn out to cut back the jungle encroaching on the roads. Warmish work and much frothy stuff was sucked down once we had retired to the shade of the community hall. I am sure it was a lot harder before the days of tar macadam, they still call this activity "Road making" but back then I think they really were having to repair the roads as well as chop back the jungle. Consequently their drinking endeavors were also rather extreme and unfortunately most of the revelers are no longer with us. Everything in moderation.
Something of a sub-note. I had a call in the week with regard to left over ready mix concrete, but the deal fell through while I was making tentative preparations. One such P was to look for the rubber gloves I wear to save on alkali burns. I found that one of them had become home to a species of wasp that gathers grasshoppers and moss to make a little green larder for its larva. The L is number one in the photo and 2 is one of the G hoppers. It is strange how prawn like they looked having been parted from their limbs in the larder preparations.
More of this tomorrow.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Fire Works

Today the local community had the little festival where people dance around a kind of podium. I got called out to go along and help put up the podium this morning.
Yesterday evening we sat right down by the water so the fireworks were doubled up by the reflections. I am still feeling the effects of the walk there and back. We only had to go a little way along the side of the main road running around the lake, but because the traffic was all stopped I think the car exhaust we breathed in must have been at least a few fags worth. People don't turn off their engines even when stopped in the queue because they have the air conditioning on. It is tormenting to see about five hundred cars all stationary and running their engines. I really hope the electric car becomes a reality again soon.
Apparently there is some kind of subsidy plan being arranged between Nissan and the city we live in. Nissan is planning to release some all electric cars in 2012 or so, I wish they would release an electric version of the little 660cc truck I drive about in at the moment. I just hope the whole thing doesn't get buried like the General Motors range of cars that got crushed when they were still virtually brand new. If you have a spare hour or so...
Watch the movie it is heartbreaking.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Saw handle

On the first of August every year there is a firework festival down at the lake. Some years we go, some we don't. This year we are going, it gets incredibly crowded for these few hours, but we have been offered a parking space about 5 minutes walk from the event, so we will try our luck and consequently I am posting nothing much a little early.
I had another of those little meetings to discuss work today and translation work as well, so my only work with the puddy paws was fixing yesterday's mystery item on the saw to see if it looks a goer. Seems fine to me. The main shot and the close up are self explanatory I think. The black knob on the handle allows it to be adjusted to all sorts of angles, which is what made me give a little yip of glee as I pulled it from the box of junk yesterday and immediately embark on making up a happy little fitting for it.
There is that impact driver again, at least I put it down to take the picture.