I’m not a welder, nor do I play one on the interweb tubing

OK, I need help. To finish up my desk, I have to have some supports for the riser. I don't want to use regular metal pipes because I think the flanges are ugly, but for the life of me, I can't seem to find what's in my head.

It's a simple 1" wide x 8" long tube in powder-coat black. On the top is a flat plate with screw holes to mount to the underside of the riser, on the bottom is a threaded hole to accommodate a threaded rod. I would drill holes through the desktop, place the rod through, and secure it with a nut & washer.

Normally I don't have such a hard time getting a rise out of people

I can't find anything like this on the internet, so I drew it up in SketchUp. Everything I found is in stainless steel and doesn't have a way to screw a bolt into the bottom so it stays put. Searching for 'risers' give all kinds of plastic tray crap, and "plinths" give couch legs that aren't what I need.

Anyone know what this would be called and where I might be able to find them? Or know anyone who can make them?

posted by Robb Allen @ 5/2/2016 7:45:26 PM | Feedback (12)
Not a single drop of blood was shed.

This weekend was crazy busy. First, the Mrs. & I decided we wanted a pallet wall in the art room / office. So, I did that. Air compressor died on me, so I was swinging a hammer all day Saturday. The end results are absolutely stunning.


It's like the world's slowest game of Tetris on "Easy Mode". And upside down. Getting close. You can almost smell the tetnus. Done. Ready to give high fives & splinters.


That was Saturday. On Sunday, I hit the workshop to work on my desk some more. I trimmed the top down to 80" wide, squaring up both sides. I did a pretty decent job as it's 80" wherever you measure from, so yay team me.

Brought to you by the letter C

The top had a horrific cup that you can see in the picture - notice how it bows up in the middle. So with my trusty, 1920's Stanley No. 5 jack-plane, i went to work manually flattening it out. It's a workout in and of itself, and my palms are blistered from all the effort, but it's as flat as it's going to get.

If this thing was any older, Bernie Sanders may have played with it as a toy Flat as Florida

Now to flip it over and remove the cupping from the other side.

I may never want to do butcher block again, but I will say the maple is looking amazing at this point. I've filled in all the gaps with putty & sanded between planing to make sure everything looks good, and yes... it looks good.

I'm exhausted, but it's a good kind of tired. I love hard work like this. Too many people think physical labor is beneath them and that's a shame.

posted by Robb Allen @ 4/24/2016 9:19:43 PM | Feedback (6)
Honestly, I’m not dead

And I’m not even done blogging. I’m just busy in life, and my job requires my full attention throughout the day.

I promise you I’m going to try to blog regularly, I just need to get back into the habit of writing things up and putting them into the hopper.

Thanks to all 12 of you for hanging in there.

posted by Robb Allen @ 4/14/2016 2:30:12 PM | Feedback (8)
As Say Uncle likes to say

Because f*** you, that’s why

DULUTH, Minn. — Authorities say a driver was cited after he was clocked driving 171 mph in northern Minnesota.

The driver, a 36-year-old man, was cited for careless driving. Padden says the man didn’t really provide a reason for speeding on the highway.

posted by Robb Allen @ 4/14/2016 2:27:27 PM | Feedback (5)
Announcing my new project

I love my Virgil Guitar. It’s a dream come true and if I had the funds, I’d have a music room filled from floor to ceiling with his guitars. Unfortunately, I don’t have the funds but what I do have is the itch for another, custom made guitar. So, I’ve decided to have the world’s most inexpensive (and inexperienced) luthier create one for me.

That’d be me.

I’m going to build a guitar from almost* scratch.

Body style will be a 1958 style Flying V, because I’ve always wanted a Flying V. I’d love to cut a wide slot between the two pickups to make it a Flying A, but being that this is Attempt #1, I’m going to stick with something a bit more simple. The V shape is also easier to cut being that there aren’t any curves I have to worry about, and the top will be flat & not carved.

Dual, split humbuckers, 24 fret, tremolo, locking tuners. No idea the wood choice yet as I don’t know if I’m going with fancy wood or just painting it.

I get to design my own headstock shape as that’s like the ‘signature’ of a guitar.

So, maybe now I’ll have something more to post about, but this should be a fun journey nonetheless.

*I’m buying the neck. I’m not that crazy

posted by Robb Allen @ 4/1/2016 11:16:30 AM | Feedback (10)
It’s Alter Boys all the way down

This one is just… head scratching in the amount of ignorance that must be required to live a life like this

WFOR-TV reports, relatives of a 17-year-old are angry a teenager was shot and killed by a homeowner who police say was protecting her property.

Relatives said they don’t believe Johnson stole anything from the home but detectives would not confirm that.

“You have to look at it from every child’s point of view that was raised in the hood,” said Harris. “You have to understand… how he going to get his money to have clothes to go to school? You have to look at it from his point-of-view.”

One thing is clear, Trayvon started life out disadvantaged base solely on his family. Raised around people who think stealing is a legitimate way to get clothes for school assures that the kid was never going to amount to much beyond a garden variety thug. The problem isn’t Trayvon’s skin color, it’s the rotten culture he’s raised under.

I’ve worked with these people. When I worked at the Post Office, one kid went to McDonald’s on his lunch break & killed someone. It was caught on camera, he admitted to it, etc. His mother (who also worked at the Post Office) would scream & yell that her son didn’t deserve jail because [insert racial grievance here]. She was fine with him killing some random white kid who honked at her son when we walked in front of the white kid’s car. Her sense of racial entitlement was immeasurable and that extended to her child being able to murder at will without repercussions.

In the 90’s, these people were making at minimum $15 an hour doing a job that the union would not allow machines to do (even though they were MUCH better at it) and many, many, many of them were on welfare. One lady, who shared in the culture but not the skin color, bragged about getting knocked up because it meant $200 more a month in welfare.

She had gold teeth that spelled SEXY.

Again, it’s a culture, not a pigmentation issue.

I’ve seen ignorance that is so far beyond my comprehension that I’ve been at a loss for words. It comes from people of every skin color, of every religion (or lack of), every political stripe, and every gender (currently 8,201 and counting!). We can’t all be Einstein and I’m clearly ignorant of many, many things but to believe that stealing is a legitimate way to obtain clothing is beyond anything I can fathom.

posted by Robb Allen @ 3/16/2016 1:05:22 PM | Feedback (5)
She’s in a better place now

Thanks for all the well wishes & advice, but after many months of trying to determine the best course of action, Pepper was laid to rest this morning. Her entire personality changed since we moved, and with the recent horrors she’s been through we felt that she was suffering too much.

We will miss her immeasurably. Kari & I are done with dogs. They bring such joy to your lives, but the pain of losing them can be too much at time.

Godspeed, Pepper. May you finally find the peace you so desperately sought.

I miss you already

posted by Robb Allen @ 2/26/2016 1:24:53 PM | Feedback (26)
I need some help with my dog

We’ve had Pepper for 5 years now. She’s a mutt someone found on the side of the road that we took into our home and we all love her dearly.

The problem is that she has severe anxiety, especially with things like thunder or fireworks. Even a light rain gets her panting & pacing uncontrollably. If we’re not home, bad things can happen. She panics & decides that whatever is on the other side of the door is better than where she currently is, and she is a powerful dog when scared.

We can’t just leave her out to roam the house. Any closed door is in danger of being destroyed (that picture from the previous link, that’s only ONE of the doors she’s done that to. This has happened multiple times). This includes the front door or any of the side doors.

Even if she’s not panicked, she’s nervous. She has a habit of licking her paws incessantly, leaving a puddle of drool wherever she is. If the doors are open, that’s generally a bed or a couch. We’ve tried everything to keep her off things, but nothing has worked over the years.

So, we can’t close doors & keep her out without the risk of destruction, and some of our doors are pocket doors which are not easily replaced. We can’t really leave her out then. So crating is generally accepted.

That doesn’t work either. She chewed through a plastic crate, so we bought one of those wire ones. She destroyed that one so thoroughly, we couldn’t put it back together. So we bought one of these beasts. She can’t get out of it. But that’s the bad part.

When we first tried out this crate, she shattered teeth trying to chew her way out. We came home to poop, slobber, chunks of teeth, and enough blood to qualify as a crime scene. So we bought a muzzle.

She still breaks teeth off trying to get out.

Today, she ended up getting the muzzle caught in her mouth, now she has lacerations on her face (plus more broken teeth, blood, poop, and slobber).

We’ve tried thunder-shirts. She’s currently taking anti-anxiety medication (a milk derivative) to no avail. We give her calming treats with melatonin, tryptophan, and chamomile - nothing.  We leave on the radio & lights, but she panics. At night, she’ll sleep in the crate with no problem, so it’s not that she hates it, she just goes literally insane with fear and has to ‘get out’ of wherever she’s at.

If we leave her out, she’ll destroy the house. If we crate her, she’ll destroy herself.

The only thing that works is doggy valium but because we live in Florida where any day can turn into a thunderstorm on a moment’s notice, the only way for that stuff to be effective is to give it to her every day. At that point, when she’s stoned out of her gourd, she’s not a dog, she’s just a throw rug that needs to be fed. 

She’s never been an outside dog, and if we put her outside, she could get out easily and is the type of dog that wanders if given the chance. Plus, she’d tear through the screen to get somewhere other than where she’s at.

So, can’t leave her out, can’t crate her up, and can’t put her outside. The only drugs that work are ones that negate having a healthy, happy dog, and the natural things don’t work. We can’t keep spending $$$ on medications and furniture and training and whatnot. No shelter will take her because she’s considered destructive, and we’ve had no luck finding anyone who would adopt her.

There’s only one solution left for us, and I’m mortified that I’d have to put a dog down because of this. But what kind of life is she having if several times a week she’s in such abject terror that she’s literally tearing herself apart? She’s happy when she’s at our feet, but the majority of her day isn’t spent with us. Is being put down a better option for her? I don’t know.

This sucks.

posted by Robb Allen @ 2/24/2016 4:21:40 PM | Feedback (9)
As expected

My first dovetails were a complete & utter disaster.

Heheh huh hehe... he said 'soft wood'

Turns out, pine is horrible for practicing these things. The wood is so soft that trying to chisel out the waste ended up ripping it out rather than getting a clean line. I’m going to pick up a board or two of some cheap poplar as it’s harder & should be a bit easier to do this stuff with.

I did build a 10° dovetail marking jig though that works pretty good.

Works better if you take off the clamp, though

I also had to pick up 8 more clamps as my pipe clamps were too big for what I was doing and Lowe’s had the Irwin clamps in a set for a good price. Two 6” and two 12” pack, so I got 2 of ‘em.

I did manage to slice my right thumb & forefinger trying to get a router bit out of the case. Then I rammed a chisel into my left index finger. So I’ve got 3 Band-Aids on my fingers. And splinters. The bandage costs were something I didn’t plan on.

Desk is coming along. The riser needs to be glued up, then I need to make the keyboard tray & a shelf, & try to salvage enough wood to build some blocks to finish up the desktop. I’m short on 8/4 (2” thick) wood, so I can make a few blocks out of thinner wood glued together. If I put those in the middle, you’ll never see the laminate.

Still enjoying woodworking. I want to get into ‘smaller’ scale things like boxes & items that require less power tools & more hands on (thus the dovetail practice). Wife thinks I should make a ton of cutting boards & sell them.

Anyone interested?

posted by Robb Allen @ 2/15/2016 11:08:18 AM | Feedback (9)