Stuff and Things

Doing more every day. Doing all I can, even with limitations. Yesterday I finished the very large run of fringe twisters – many woods were included – especially a few Cocobolo and Koa examples! There are several very special laminates that are usually used for fine handmade pocket knives. Richard Rogers, world famous knife maker here in Magdalena, shared a few boards of this special wood. I’ll also be doing a few support bowls and needle bowls from this wood. This morning I put price labels on each and boxed them all up for storage. I also started marking a run of about 150 ten-inch boat shuttles from preforms I cut last summer. There are about 20 woods in this run – so it’s sorta like a rainbow of color! These shuttles use the Schacht 4″ bobbin and is so versatile. Soon I hope my newly injured right shoulder will permit me to do a nice run of Navajo Spindles for The Woolery. Chris Miller has asked me to do that – and I will when I can.
Tomorrow Cat rides her trike to Dawg House Customs so that Chuck Zettner can make it more special. The trike will get new handlebars, trailer hitch (we already have the trailer), trunk lock, and so on. I’m taking the master cylinders for the clutch and front brake from my chopper. They will receive machined stainless sleeves to provide for lifelong reliability. My clutch failing recently was why I injured my right shoulder. So, reliability is so important to us. Our trip to El Paso was successful – she found her dream seat and backrest – with the studs she visioned! Great staff at Barnett Harley Davidson in El Paso.
Cat posted last night on her Facebook page about an order of yardages for her customers in Malaysia. In just about 18 hours it’s already been viewed by over 970 visitors! Incredible! You might enjoy looking at her page – and perhaps even clicking “LIKE” to show your appreciation. You can see her page at: http://catbryschcreationsstudio.blogspot.com/ . You can also see her Very informative blog on her art – look at: http://catbryschcreationsstudio.blogspot.com/ . Cat is so helpful with so many hints and instructions for weavers. I’m so proud of her!
Life is still so good!
Jim

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Progress

I continue to work in the shop as I can. Some days it’s good, sometimes it’s not. My newly injured right shoulder is doing ok under the circumstances but have a lot of limitations. Keeping it active is good – whether the outcome is another surgery or not – it does not hurt like it did the first week or so. I’m almost complete with the massive fringe twister run – there are only about 25 left to assemble. My nearest neighbor, Jimmie, has been helping me bend the brass rod for the twister shafts. I cannot do those motions right now with my injury.

The bike is great – but need to have the clutch and front brake master cylinders on the handlebars rebuilt. The clutch is needed, the front brake is precautionary. It’s gonna be totally reliable! I’d love to be able to ride it more often. Cat’s trike is about to go for some major updates to Chuck – Tuesday. She’ll ride it to his shop to live for awhile. Tomorrow we drive the car to El Paso to visit Barnett’s Harley-Davidson – the largest HD dealer in the world! The quest is to find the exact seat she wants – or to have it custom made if necessary. It’s really thrilling to visit that dealership – and I will peruse their t-shirts and especially metal wall art. The “Bike House” looks so neat inside with all the bike art we have on the walls. Such fun! Hope you’re having fun too. Earlier we had hoped to attend the “Rally in the Valley” in Red River, NM. Too much stuff “happened”, and it isn’t too bad with their snow!

Jim

Setbacks and Resolve

I’ve been so focused on healing my bum left shoulder – treating it well and working on dexterity and strength.  Great progress.  Unfortunately, yesterday I had a major setback with my right shoulder.  An incident has apparently blew that one out – I heard the tendons snap like a bundle of dry spaghetti with instant searing pain.  I’m not a doctor, but I do have personal experience with shoulder issues.  Certainly there is damage – we unpacked the sling and I’m treating it very gingerly.  It’s very very uncomfortable yet I’m resolved to deal with it head on – get it fixed – and get on with my life.  My life is pretty well on hold now for an indeterminate time.  It’s such a giant downer to have so many intense plans to ride our bikes, finishing so many very special commissions, getting ready for events, planning new equipment, all to be yet again put on hold…………  This too shall pass.

Jim

Back to Benches and More

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Here are a couple of photos of a Very special bench I completed today! It’s a special commission for a really nice lady who’s been sitting on a coffee table to weave! This bench was made to her specific size needs – and she picked out the board for the top, I selected the rest. I had originally intended to do two benches from that top, but I must say that this one is quite wonderful. The top is an exceptional Claro Walnut – one end has sapwood featured in a crotch. There’s figure thoughout the board. The skirt is nice Bird’s Eye Maple and legs are from a plank of Zebrawood. The stretchers are made from copper – the second time I used this medium. It’s stunning with the entire bench combination of woods. It took several days to make this where it would have been just a few hours due to my shoulder issues. Cat and I did work in riding our bikes each of the past 4 days in this warming and neat weather. Today she wanted to ride to “The Owl” in San Antonio, NM for her Mother’s Day event, but unfortunately they were closed. She “settled” for “The Hat” (El Sombrero) in Socorro. Yesterday we rode to Belen for “Fat Sat’s” – another favorite place.

It feels so wonderful to gain more mobility with my left shoulder – even tiny gains each day are fantastic. I’ve been using it all it will permit within the Doc’s prescribed PT and limitations. Very many more benches to come next. I’ll work on the imposing backlog of special orders when I can. I’ll never fully catch up, but it’s fun trying! Last week I had a new Ingersol Rand air compressor delivered and installed. The people at Air Power in Albuquerque are genuinely neat folks. I also ordered a large quantity of fine woods from Bell Forest Products – mostly Bird’s Eye and Figured Maple from the UP of Michigan. Boone Bell is a fantastic source of knowledge about his woods and I trust him implicitly. If you work with wood, look him up – just Google the business name. Also, there are other orders in progress for special tools and equipment – I’m making improvements in my shop. One item that I’ll not continue is the knitting needle machine – it does ultra precise knitting needles, but I just never could really “connect” with the process. I do it well, but it’s not my thing. The machine will surely find a home someday.

I’ve ordered a new flatbed utility trailer. It is 7′ x 10′ with removable side rails, lowered tandem axles with brakes, and a drive-on fold-up ramp at the rear. It will carry our bikes perfectly and isn’t so imposing as the 7′ x 18′ tandem axle trailer we’ve had for awhile. That old trailer will find a home somewhere else soon as well.

I’m working on a very large run of benches starting tomorrow. I already have about 40 tops cut out. Now the most fun part – picking woods that will work well for skirts, legs, and stretchers (some will be copper) – then matching them all up! Jake at Albuquerque Exotic Woods has been so helpful in locating and providing very special woods and I really do appreciate him! My benches are perhaps the best source of fun in my wood shop. It’s particularly fun to watch people at shows “interview” each and every one to find the perfect fit, then the look on their face when they find “it”. While most go to weavers and spinners, many go to individuals who just want a nice seat or several for their homes. Several have purchased them just to look at because they’re that nice.

I’m so Blessed!

Jim