Alaska Jim's Comments of the Day #29: Enjoying the simple things.........

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Blog entry by Jim Bertelson posted 11-17-2010 08:20 AM 1438 reads 0 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 28: Progress on the Super Sled…………and the Super-Sizer Panel Sled is finished Part 29 of Alaska Jim's Comments of the Day series Part 30: Today I am thankful to be a Lumberjock.............. »

This is not everybody’s simple thing, but it is mine. Some like the sound of the card scraper or tuning up a plane. I think I might come from another planet or something, I really get pleasure in strange simple things.

Today, I had 30 minutes to spend in the shop, before I went to the office.
The morning was already busy…, seeing patients in the hospital, etc.

So I did glueups on some partially completed fixtures for my project table, a couple of one foot long fences. Still had a little time, fifteen minutes.

......and then I thought about something that was sticking in my craw. I had known for about a couple months that the left side of the fence for my super sled, was out of perpendicular. Know that I am truly OCD.

Not talking about right angle to the blade, that is fine, but perpendicular to the large flat surface of the sled. So if I put a thick or high piece of wood against that fence, it would then be forced ever so slightly out of right angle to the blade, if it extended over to the left.

I had thought about a simple solution….........and I had fifteen minutes, for real, before I had to leave for the office.

I quickly marked the exact position of the fence, at least on the left side…....

........and here is where the pleasure came in. My super sled fence, has an adjustable and removable fence. Fastened with 6 carriage bolts. I thought about this long and hard when I made that sled.

I loosened the left side three bolts, and in a few minutes, using some number four washers, shimmed that fence to perfection. Using a thin metal ruler and a strong magnet to manipulate then. Took me 10 minutes.

The SuperSled is now….....well…..perfect in my eyes… know…’s a simple thing.

I left for the office with a big smile on my face.

Is it simple things….....or am I a simple man….....

........and does it make any difference…........(-:

Alaska Jim

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

24 comments so far

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 2932 days

#1 posted 11-17-2010 08:27 AM

That reminds me, I need to check mine.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 2836 days

#2 posted 11-17-2010 10:01 AM

I guess if you are a surgeon, it’s good to be OCD, to use sharp tools well- oncluding being able to accurately cut at a true 90 degree angle! Hope you had a good and productive day in and out of the woodshed. :)

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View Ken90712's profile


17556 posts in 3187 days

#3 posted 11-17-2010 12:50 PM

Well than what did you do with the other 5 min? I’m thinking you could have gotten something done! LOL Congrats, always fun to get things done in the shop before work no doubt!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View helluvawreck's profile


31082 posts in 2865 days

#4 posted 11-17-2010 01:14 PM

I’ve seen many times on many machines a little shimming work wonders. When you’re operating any patients I don’t suppose you do any shimming in there. :)

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4298 days

#5 posted 11-17-2010 02:53 PM

I’m glad you found a cure!

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View NH_Hermit's profile


394 posts in 3094 days

#6 posted 11-17-2010 03:00 PM

You’re encouraging me to work on my cheap Skil table saw. Perhaps I can turn this sow’s ear into a silk purse. Actually, if I can turn it into anything but a sow’s ear, I’d be pleased.

-- John from Hampstead

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3302 days

#7 posted 11-17-2010 03:14 PM

so the question was posed does it matter….well ..when it comes down to it…only to you…and if it made to smile, then i would say yea…....and when you deal with people and the complexities of life…child birth…peoples lives all the time…....i would think that a 15 minute time pod spent in your shop, would be very enjoyable….i use to fish with a dr up there out of eagle river…sam might know of him…, but when i was with sam…he ran a little on the side of crazy……...i think he was getting rid of the stress that comes with being a dr…..but..maybe i digress…..congrats on your achievement…....its a good thing…..38 degree’s at 7am…......the high will be around 65 today…....i enjoy just wearing a short sleeve shirt on novemeber 17th…..but there was a time i was wearing a beaver hat and a down jacket during the same time frame….......grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View lew's profile


12060 posts in 3753 days

#8 posted 11-17-2010 04:45 PM

Having the desire to achieve perfection and then the knowledge, foresight and means to actually do it is certainly an admirable trait. To get enjoyment from this accomplishment, makes it even better!

What a great way to start the day!!!


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4173 posts in 3163 days

#9 posted 11-17-2010 05:27 PM

I think that angle was perfect at one time, but I am not sure. But the Groz square doesn’t lie. Yes, it is worth checking these things periodically. And the occasion for me, was completing the miter arms. The sled has gotten a modest amount of use prior to finishing, but I never stuck anything high up on the fence, so it wasn’t an issue. Gotta build some stops, or flip-stops, and they will ride the T-track on the top of the fence, so it became important.

There are some similarities between how I work in the shop and how I work in the office. But the comparison takes a little imagination!!! Precision is a surgical attribute that leads to low complication rates and low blood loss. Combined with efficiency, it also markedly reduces operating time, it doesn’t make it longer. That is because surgeries that are long, are sometimes the result of chasing “bleeders” that could have been avoided, if there was greater precision. Oh well, don’t try to think about work when I am in the shop, in fact I totally shut it out.

It isn’t often when 10 minutes really accomplished something in the shop, but this time it did. The recent mod to my TS guard, which took 20 minutes, was another bite sized piece of time well spent.

Nope, can’t think of a shimming analogy in surgery…....not even one…......(-: Some plastic surgery might come close, however.

I bet you have used washers as spacers on screws and bolts before, and perhaps elsewhere. The graded sizes makes them useful.

My old Delta TS is still doing yeoman work, but it did need a bunch of mods. I still have to conquer dust collection on the beast.

If you saw me, and a doctor friend at play out in the wilderness, not recently, but in the past, you would feel right at home. I am definitely not noted for a somber style anywhere, including office, OR, or home.

You hit the nail on the head, Lew. It was the satisfaction that a design decision over a year ago, paid off.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4298 days

#10 posted 11-17-2010 05:37 PM

I’ve found that fender washers are really handy. Here's an example of what mean. They have an larger outside diameter.
You may have used these, but I thought you may be interested just in case.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4173 posts in 3163 days

#11 posted 11-17-2010 05:55 PM

I have a few of those around, but I probably ought to buy a selection…........(-:

Always on the lookout for ways to adjust for my inevitable mistakes…......(-:

19 deg at 0700 hours. There has been some wind also, and it is kinda cruel out there.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View dbhost's profile


5710 posts in 3230 days

#12 posted 11-17-2010 05:56 PM

Sounds like a good morning to me!

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4173 posts in 3163 days

#13 posted 11-17-2010 06:01 PM

You know, once in a blue moon something is simple, and the result is good… gotta brag, because it is certainly the exception….........(-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2982 days

#14 posted 11-17-2010 06:03 PM

Its the little things like alignment issues that will mess you up quick.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4173 posts in 3163 days

#15 posted 11-17-2010 06:17 PM

It is surprising to see what a difference precision makes in everything you do in woodworking. If you don’t have precision, it is hard to do anything artistic, except perhaps, some rustic stuff, and some one off art pieces. I am spending much of my time learning to be precise in everything, including sawing, glueing, sanding, drilling, finishing, etc.

Fixing up the shop is my main learning project… least I get something useful out of it.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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