More Boxes

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Here are a few boxes that I did recently. I’ll be doing a larger run soon. They are such fun to make!
I have added two major pieces of equipment to my shop – both are Powermatic – a standard of durability and efficiency. One that I made ready to use this afternoon is a a 6″ x 48″ sander with a 12″ disk. It is set up with 220v and uses a 4″ dust collector connection. It is a major goodie for me – the rikon junk just doesn’t perform and their service is horrible. The other is a 14″ band saw! I’ve wanted this for a long time and now it’s home. It will be my daily band saw workhorse – the Ridgid 14″ will be used for just the little loom ends, and the Jet 18″ will continue to work for me with the biggie chunks and resawing. I’m doing a major reorganization of the shops – moving things around and making the spaces more useable. I have a tendency to work too much and not declutter often enough. Gotta change that. I’m looking for a steel storage container to expand my storage. I’ll apply siding and a roof to make it look like site-built.
Cat and I’ve shared a ride on her trike both yesterday and today! YEA! I drove it with her riding to Datil yesterday for lunch. Today we shared driving it to Fat Sat’s in Belen. Fantastic ride. And, I’m SOOOOOO anxious for my chopper to be completed and back in my hands. I hope that the air brush artist will be able to do the buzzards on the tank this time….. With the tank sitting so high, they would be highly visible when riding! They need to look around too, you know. We’re enjoying this unseasonal higher temperatures, but we’ve had a tough time this winter with colder temperatures, lots of snow, and both of us being so sick for so long.
Tomorrow back to filling several orders. Each and every one is important to me – whether it’s a $6 beater or a $300 winder.
Jim

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Little Boxes

AFAF 13 004
I’m in the process of a run making many small notion boxes. They are such fun to produce – mixing woods and colors, shapes and sizes. Today I cut select pieces of Afzelia Burl, Spalted Pecan, bloodwood, Black Pashaka, Limoncillo, Olive, Bird’s Eye Maple, and others. Tomorrow I’ll continue this run and begin assembly. I’ve picked only two pieces for tops. One board of Bird’s Eye Maple had a bark inclusion running thru the board. I removed the loose bark then split the piece. It’s about the perfect size for two of my notion boxes! I filled the voice with good clear epoxy (System Three) and New Mexico Turquoise nuggets. They all are gonna be fantastic, I know.

We delivered “The Old Buzzard” to Chuck in Albuquerque. He’s started the repairs and I hope to have it back within a couple of weeks or so. I’m having Chuck do a couple of other things while it’s in his hands – one is a powerful horn to replace the little “meep meep” version installed on most new bikes. It will not be quite as loud as the “Beast” horn on my truck – it’s a train air horn that is ultra loud! I’ve had trains answer twice when traveling! I’ve decided to delay converting my bike to a trike. I’ve only had my bike for a year, much of that time it sat idle due to my surgeries and other physical limitations. To relieve the stress of not having it home, Cat and I shared driving her Harley trike – “Bear” – to Socorro and back for lunch at “The Hat”. I had not driven her trike at highway speed – and the sensation took about 5 miles to get used to. Then, when I relaxed a bit it just tracked and rode perfectly. I even got good at shifting and maintaining a straight track…. I may not ever “trike” my Big Dog, but for now it will not be a “Three Legged Dog”….

SOOOO many of my little looms in progress. Good progress, too. The little tools are going well also. I continue to pull, pack, and mail orders too. Today I had a request for a bench – and fortune has it that I have many already in stock. I will NOT be doing Kid ‘N Ewe nor any other shows. The physical stress on my very tired old body limits such activity. I’ll miss visiting with many of my friends and customers, but this is just right.
It’s a very very good day. All of my days are very very good. Some of them are Better! I hope that yours are too.

Jim

Broken Dog

The dog is broken. Saturday Cat and I rode our bikes to Socorro for lunch. As I was slowing and turning into the parking lot of the restaurant, the front wheel suddenly slid to the left on sand and fine gravel. This caused the bike and me to be thrown to the ground into a curb leading into the lot. I managed to stand the bike up after determining that I did not seem to have broken bones. I did sustain minor bumps and scrapes, but nothing bad. The bike is different, unfortunately. We trailered it home then today trailered it to Chuck’s in Albuquerque. He’ll get cracking on the repairs. Though not substantial, it hurts me just knowing it’s not perfect right now. Last night Cat and I talked about making my bike a trike. Chuck and I talked at length about the subject, and some alternatives. He’ll give me details when we meet again next week. Right now, I’m leaning pretty heavily towards that solution. I am getting rather OLD – and I want the wind in my face blowing the long white chin whiskers sticking out of my helmet for a long long time….. More on this later – I’ll talk about my decision and plan, even if it’s just to repair the damages and stick with two wheels for my ride.
Looms. Little ones. Many of them. Everwhere! I continue to put in so much time and effort producing the 4 sizes of little looms I make. Today after returning from our trip I got another 200 of the Bird’s Eye Maple looms ready to oil. Tomorrow I work on packing a very very large order for a new commercial customer. Almost all of it is in stock, but I’ll be making a few custom notion boxes for him.
Yesterday I talked to a fiber business about presenting my work at a regional fiber event. The interest is strongly there, but I just can’t do consignment as requested, for such a situation. It is my considered opinion that consignments never work well, especially in larger scale. The closest I have came to consignments were sales thru art museums. The “investment” was insignicant, and it just felt good to have my work respected in that manner, even though quite small. I will still not ever consign. One dealer quite awhile back and I made a deal to take work to a show and pay for ALL of it afterwards. This person, after the show, wanted to return all of the unsold product. I did not accept that – and payment was finally made as we had agreed. There’s also a creep that still owes me over a grand from a deal of “pay in installments”. They did not. I’m screwed by this gross and ugly person. That’s why I will not ever in my life even consider such a situation again. That person will get what they deserve. I’m honest. They are not.
I’ll be selling my show trailer – it’s a Hawk 6′ x 12′ x 6-1/2′ enclosed, tandem axle, side door, ramp rear door, 3/4″ plywood inside and floor. Don’t need it anymore.
I remain sad that my bike is in the “hospital”. Chuck will get the repairs done shortly, and if I go the trike conversion route, he’ll have it done in a month or so! I’ll decide before next week when we meet……….
Later,
Jim