This is a weird little item, created from a bit of walnut I had no idea how to use: I friend gave me some duck body and head blanks. As I’m not a carver, I’m still figuring out how to use these. For one duck head, however, I decided it was a nice shape for a business card holder. I made this for a colleague who transferred to a new job. As we work for NOAA’s National Ocean Service, it occurred to me that the duck head shape had a bit of an ocean wave flare to it. So that’s what I hope it evokes.
Woodcraft sells a simple Ulu knife kit. A while back, I picked up five of them because they were on sale for something like half off. Not much to these. Just a blade and some optional rivets. The only mildly difficult part is creating the tiny little mortises where the handle will sit.
What is a Sector? Here’s an excerpt from Lost Art Press, where free instructions and template are available to download:
If you haven’t heard of the sector, it probably means you aren’t an artillery officer or a ship’s navigator working in the 17th century. An invention attributed to the great astronomer Galileo, the sector was a calculation instrument comprised of a pair of hinged plates engraved with a variety of scales that – coupled with a pair of dividers – enabled the operator to calculate proportions, polygons, trigonometric and numerous other table functions.
— Lost Art Press
While I could have made one out of paper and laminated it, I decided to make one out of scraps of poplar.
I recently “upgraded” an old 2009 Macbook Pro with Elementary OS, a fantastic Linux distribution. This led me down the distro hopping path, exploring way too many different Linux distros on my primary 2013 Macbook Pro using Parallels.
Then it occurred to me that to try out Linux on my iPad, just for kicks. Turns out it works great, provided you have a tool to run virtual machines and a Luna Display adapter. Above is a screenshot of my iPad displaying Pop! OS via my Macbook. Maybe this isn’t the most useful thing in the world, but it’s pretty cool to use my Apple pencil on Linux.
I bought an Ergodox EZ Glow ergonomic mechanical keyboard in 2019 and I’ve grown to love it. It took me some time to adjust to a split keyboard, and even more time to nail down my personalized layout across three different programmed layers. The unmarked keys on the board did not take as much time to adjust to as I thought they would. I purchased the black model with Cherry MX Brown switches, and upgraded to Blue Zilent switches and gray/blue keycaps. Dreamy.
But after months of using this keyboard, there was one thing I could just not get used to: switching layers to get to the arrow keys. I never realized how often I use arrow keys until they weren’t easily accessible. My solution was to get a tiny six key customizable keyboard from TechKeys. It fits perfectly in between the two keyboard halves. In addition to the arrow keys, I programmed the top left and right keys with an extra shift and space, because it’s often quicker to tap the tiny board when arrowing around. I think it’s an amazing set-up.
Now I just need to get some custom keycaps for the tiny board. I’m currently using leftover keys from my Vortex Race 3. Why two mechanical keyboards? I have a standing desk station and a sitting desk station. I use the Vortex while sitting, the Ergodox while standing. Excessive? Perhaps. But the Ergodox is not the easiest keyboard to move around, so this works for me. Plus … I just love mechanical keyboards. It’s a bit of an addiction.
I made some handy bench hooks based upon the teachings of Sloyd (which I don’t know much about, but discovered is quite an interesting thing). Actually, learning about Sloyd may be the most interesting thing about this project. Anyways, these bench hooks are really useful to hold wood of different lengths on the bench for, say, cutting dadoes, or to hold up long pieces level when crosscutting on the hook I use for sawing, or for holding wood for paring.
Over the past few months (July-September 2018), I created a display case to hold a fly rod and reel for the Potomac Valley Fly Fisher club, of which I’m a member. The fly rod/reel this case is designed to display is raffled off once a year. The person who wins the raffle gets to use it for one year. The prize comes with a small book to log fishing experiences. At the club’s annual banquet, the person who used it for a year gives a short presentation of his or her experiences.
To get me started on this rod/reel case, I was provided with some photos of a similar box from a fly club in Pennsylvania. That rod case has been in circulation since 1963! I like to think that the display case I made will also be in circulation for many decades to come.
The following is a log of how I made the case. What this doesn’t show is how much trial-and-error was involved in the process. I spent a lot of time testing out different ways to hold the rod and reel in place, in particular. It also doesn’t show how much help, guidance, and inspiration I received from fellow woodworking members from the Hand Tool School.
Making some Sloyd hooks today. My mistake was choosing a scrap of hard Maple. I’m getting a workout. #handtoolschool
Finished my fly rod/reel box! I’ll soon post a “how it was made” article, for posterity.
I finished the box with two coats of Osmo wood wax.
Fly rod case coming together. I’ll do the inside parts next. #handtoolschool
And here is the box with everything dry fit, showing the completed box lid with the miter frame in sapele and the panel in walnut.