A Flag Display Box #4: Musings...

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Blog entry by littlecope posted 02-10-2010 11:58 PM 1813 reads 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Starting the Shoulder Cutting Part 4 of A Flag Display Box series Part 5: Hinges begin and a Closure »

There is finally a little progress to report on this! I had cut the third joint in the same way as the second last week and rough fit them together.After cutting joints, but not yet "tuned in"
However, the bottoms of these needed to be “tuned in” so they’d fit flush. So that’s what I’ve been doing, some here at the apartment, some at my Parent’s house where they still have my Grandfather’s small woodworking bench with vise. Dad, too, used this when he was young so this is seeing third generation use…Tuning in
This was very slow going and while I worked, I thought of those here who had expressed interest in “seeing this done!”. I know that they weren’t telling me to hurry and were just kidding, but it reminded me of a story Dad used to tell…
Shortly after he was diagnosed with COPD, in his late fifties, he decided to “Show” the doctors who told him his activity would have to be curtailed by beginning this which he completed in his 62nd year…The Cottage
It took him five years, the first two of which were below ground laying the foundation. The wooden piece jutting into the picture, is actually the business end or boom of a 8:1 Windlass style crane that he had planted in the middle of the Cottage and used to lift the Granite into position. The Crane was designed, and all the parts made, by him, right down to the Teflon bearings.
The Point of all this rambling, is that when he finally was putting the shingles on the roof, close to completion, one of his neighbors commented to him, “Boy! I’ll bet you’re glad to be done with that!”...
Nothing could be further from the truth. My Father spoke for me, and perhaps others, when he said he felt a bittersweet sadness, knowing that this job was close to ending. For my own part, I’ve frequently dawdled on projects, dragging my feet, because the work is going too quickly and I don’t want the “fun” to end…
Anyway, after finally getting the sides of this simple Flag Box trued, I gave them yet another sandingTuned and re-sanded
Here is a close-up of the tuned in joints:Close-up of joints
And here it is together, and as far as I’ve gone with it so farAssembled
I’m actually going to put these aside for now. There’s little more I can do with them until I pick up the Lexan I’ll be using for “Windows”. So, in the meanwhile, I’m going to turn to making the hinges for this and some sort of wooden clasps or closures…
While I was musing on these things, and looking through old pictures, I couldn’t resist sharing this work project that my Dad had made, back sometime in the eighties. An Electronics Firm had come to him in a tizzy! They had an order for some 70,000 of these very small electric connections. The connections were comprised of three separate pieces, two made from a type of ceramic, and one of copper which needed to be press-fit together. The pieces were only slightly larger than a grain of Oatmeal!! They had visions of hand assembly with microscope and tweezers, a very labor-intensive proposition. They asked my Dad if there was anything he could do…
He came up with this:One of Dad's more articulated Projects
When in operation, with its variable speeds, it could produce about 200,000 of the assembled parts in a morning. The three hoppers have a slanted pathway in them and are mounted on precision vibrating motors. The vibrations, by centrifugal force, caused the parts to march up the pathways. There’s even de-railers for parts that were not oriented correctly! Those were kicked off the path, back into the bowl, to start their inevitable climb once again…
Here’s a picture of the works of the thing. It took him about two months to construct…The "Works"
If anybody wants a closer look at the Cottage or my Dad’s Assembling Machine, just click on the picture. It’ll take you to my Flickr account, where you can click on “all sizes”, and view the “Originals”...
Please forgive all of my rambling, but I miss him so, and am not in any particular hurry to make this project… As it is, I’ve only got about 8-9 hours invested in it so far, though broken up into small increments, over a few weeks time, and the trickiest part is done. The rest is pretty straight forward… :)

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

6 comments so far

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3299 days

#1 posted 02-11-2010 12:51 AM

I’m with you there Mike. Take your time. I have done somewhat similar work to your father’s in my time doing a full foundation for my first two houses here in Norway. I used a product called Leca block. The blocks are big, but relatively light weight and certainly not anywhere near as heavy as granite. But my experience gives me an appreciation for what your dad accomplished with that beautiful little building, especially at his age and ill to boot. That and the fantastic machines he made tells me a lot about his craftsmanship, his determination, and his intelligence. These things are pretty obvious, but the fact that you miss him so also says a lot about him as a decent human being and beloved father. So I can understand why you don’t want to finish this project too soon.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View a1Jim's profile


117062 posts in 3542 days

#2 posted 02-11-2010 12:55 AM

Hey mike as usual a great blog . That was a very impressive machine your dad made what a genius.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 3410 days

#3 posted 02-11-2010 02:32 AM

Great progress & even greater story Love the pictures of the shop he certainly did some fine work. By the way I still want to see the finished product. LOL

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3268 days

#4 posted 02-11-2010 02:32 AM

your dad is something else…what a wonderful guy…i know you really miss him…....i believe youll see him again..maybe you have faith in that too…....hold on to it…have hope….and your doing a great job with the flag holder…i know how your feeling…i lost my dad some years ago…..good to see the cottage he made..amazing..i think its great to see what he made will stand there for a long time…...blessing to you mike…grizzman

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

View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3306 days

#5 posted 02-11-2010 02:41 AM

well said , and done , mike .

i don’t think you fell to far from that tree !

take your time ,

and savor every moment .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3156 days

#6 posted 02-11-2010 05:10 PM

Yeah it’s looking complete… I’m the opposite I love to move on.
Interesting old stuff, I love grandpas bench vice, wish I had one like it…Gloat…
Assmb. machine is cool. I have a hard time imageing it’s operation, but I got a good general idea.

My grandfather invented 4-track for the Army at Fort Sheridan, by all rights I should be a 3rd
generation millionaire. But the goverment gave him a crumby plaque and thanked him. 4-track
is the ability to record on both sides of a reel to reel tape. My grandfather came up with the
idea to offset the recording head on the machine so it would only record on half the tape at
a time-then flip it and record on the other half.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

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