I Wish That I Had AC in the Shop Today

Tuesday, August 6, 2019 1:59 PM

Well the summer heat has set in here at WB Fine Woodworking. We’re also getting quite a bit of humidity coming up from Mexico. The only reason I wasn’t so keen on moving this far south is that we do get some monsoonal flow from the tropics sometime each summer. Oh, and with being closer to the tropics also means we have some scorpions too. The humidity we have depends on how strong the ocean breeze is and how hot it is here. Since we live about twelve miles from the Pacific Ocean it does make our weather milder than most places in Southern California. On most days around eleven the ocean breeze comes up from the west and cools us down. On days like today that didn’t happen.

Even though I grew up in the south, Maryland, Texas and Virginia, and was very used to the humidity, it seems that it bothers me quite a bit. This mornung I was raising some grain of the walnut I was planing just from the drops of sweat falling on the piece. How those of you who live with it every day for months on end I don’t know you stand it. Today I was trying to work on the castors for my workbench project and finally had to take my glasses off. I kept getting large drips of sweat running down the lenses. More time was being spent wiping off my glasses than working on the project.

According to Pam we’re still several months away from saving enough to install a mini-split in our shop/garage. We talked with our AC contractor in the spring when he was out for some repair work and got his estimated cost so we have a good idea what we need. Yes, I know that there are a whole bunch on YouTube who are installing their own Mr. Cool units but we want it done right. Our contractor knows just what we need and he’ll do all the necessary electrical work as well. Besides, many of those Mr. Cool units were given to those who installed them. I know that they even sent out people from their company to assist some YouTubers. For me it’s not the best way to go unless Mr. Cool wants to do the same for me.

So for those of you who follow along, especially on YouTube you may start seeing some gaps in video production. The heat and subsequent humidity may prevent me from making a whole lot of progress. I will, however, try my best to keep my projects going. Hopefully this monsoonal flow will subside soon.

The workbench project is coming along slowly but surely. As mentioned above I’m working on installing the casters. Curently I’m working on adding bars that hook the casters at each of the bench together. I’m sure you’ve seen others do that on their benches. As soon as that is done I’ll get back to putting on the top. I’ve also discovered that a bow has formed in the walnut I’m planning to use for the outer jaw of the twin screw face vise. I’m going to have to see if I can flatten it without losing too much thickness. I’m glad it happened now and not after it was on the bench.

Last weekend the Tropical Exotic Hardwoods in Carlsbad, California invited the San Diego Fine Woodworking Association members to an Open House. While I’ve been there many times and bought wood from them I went anyway. They were offering members who came 15% off regular prices which is more than the club’s usual 10%. While I was very tempted to get some very interesting and unusual wood I knew that our budget right now is very tight. I did, however, buy some turning stock — canary wood, babinga and cocobolo. I have an upcoming project planned for the cocobolo that I got. I have some Phillips screwdriver blades that I want to make handles for. The cocobolo will work great for that project. While cocobolo is now on the CITES list and can no longer be imported this hardwood dealer has an abundance of stock that he imported from his own sawmill in Mexico long before it was put on the list. Importing cocobolo was how he got started in business many years ago. In fact it was fun to hear him reminisce about getting started selling cocobolo to hardwood dealers out the back of his pickup truck. I actually bought hardwood back in the 1960s and 70s from one of the dealers he used to sell wood to. Tropical Exotic Hardwoods has an excellent website so you might want to check it out. If you buy anything from them please let them know that you found out about them from me. No, I don’t get any commissions on sales but it would be nice if they knew how you heard about them. It's a small family run business.

I was excited to get my new Small Carpenters Square from DFM Tool Works. This very small business is located in Chicago, Illinois. They are producing some excellent tools for woodworkers here in the United States. It’s great when I can support a business like theirs. If you haven’t watched the video on the Carpenters Square I’d suggest that you do. It’s an excellent tool and certainly fits into my series on Handy Tools. Even though I’ve only had it for about a week and my shop time has been very limited the square has already been very useful in my shop. If you purchase anything from DFM Tool Works please let them know where you heard about them too.

Oh, and tomorrow Pam and I will be celebrating our 48th Wedding Anniversary. Part of the day will be spent having me checked out by my cardiologist for my simi-annual checkup and we’ll go out for a nice dinner together. That means I have some polishing and cleaning to do on our custom PT Cruiser tomorrow morning before it gets too hot in the garage. 

Try to stay cool my friends, at least those of you who are here in the Northern Hemisphere and stay warm if you’re down in the Southern Hemisphere. I know that I have a few followers in Australia and Africa and it’s winter there. I’m sure they’re laughing at my complaints about the heat and humidity.