Just for Fun... #54: Another Mixed Bag...

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Blog entry by littlecope posted 08-25-2011 07:11 AM 1735 reads 0 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 53: Adjustments... Part 54 of Just for Fun... series Part 55: A Tube Indeed... »

Quiet times around here…
Brother Scott requested a sign a while ago for his new cottage up in Maine… “Can you make me a sign, with shamrocks, that says, Peg’s Place?”... Simple enough, right?
Simple, perhaps, for someone with an ounce of Artistic ability!! But for those of us with none, like me, patterns or templates become necessary… The lettering is pretty straight forward, and I’m on familiar ground, so I began with that, developing the words from an alphabet of cursive letters…A new sign begins...

I then make a “booklet” out of the mock-up, a sheet of carbon paper, and a blank sheet to create an actual pattern… been here, done this…A pattern transfer "booklet"...

Happily, I had made the word “Place” a few years ago, there was no need to revisit that…Peg's Place...
I transferred these onto some Cherry that was kicking around… All set, right?...Peg's Place transferred onto Cherry...
Maybe… I’m not completely satisfied with this, because I’m thinking, feeling, that this sign should be a bigger-than-usual one…
Scott and Peg’s Cottage is set back from the road some, and while I don’t want to make a bill-board, it’ll look silly if it’s a little tiny thing too…
The Shamrock in the picture was one I down-loaded and I wasn’t all together pleased with that either… The size is good, but it doesn’t seem very life-like… What to do?...
Enter a Kleenex box of tissues!! Debbie had bought a box and I spotted something in the floral pattern…Matte making...
Do you see what I see?!
After making a quick matte and scanning the thing, I simply enlarged the image, taped a piece of graph paper over my screen, omit a leaf, and I had something I can believe in… a four-leaf clover…Tracing...Four-leaf Clover pattern...
I’ve got a pretty good idea of how I want this thing to go now, but it’s been a sort of bogged down development stage… There’s also this, when I actually get to cutting on these signs, it goes very quickly, and I’d like to have something(s) lined-up to do afterwards…

In other news, I took my first test cuts with the newly adjusted, newly bladed band saw… An 1 1/2” into the cut and I found out the lighting is all wrong… The saw is next to the window, but the sunlight is almost blinding in my shadowy shop!! So I had to add another string of light… literally…
A few years ago, I put up a clothes line over the most used machines…Shop Lighting...
With varying lengths of coat hanger S-hooks, I can illuminate anywhere I need with a handy fluorescent drop light… They’re carefully attached with a small nail to the top of the door and window frames…Shop lighting close-up detail...

Anyway, I attached a new run (from the closet door), that can be used for the band saw, table saw, and any floor work I might get involved in…After running another line...Infinitely adjustable...
It probably seems ridiculous, I know, but this would work great in an auto shop!! If you had a grid system set up overhead in a garage, I think it would prove itself useful…
I got the cuts made finally, with the band saw, removing a couple of approximately 3/8” strips and revealing the heart of another cribbing block…Another heart revealed...
This is crying out to be made into a box…
Ahh, boxes…
I never really thought much about it, but upon reflection, I’ve been consciously or unconsciously copying a box I received when I was about ten years old!! A small Chess set I got for Christmas came packaged in this fashion…One of my first Chess sets...An old box for Chess pieces...
A small sliding-top type, I still can remember my desire to make something like it… I still want to, and haven’t yet…
I’ve seen a number of fine pencil boxes here recently and have been pondering making one… Between the Chess box and this old example here I should be able to come up with something…A century old Pencil Box...Lid detail...

Distractions come in many forms… I’ve obviously done very little in the way of woodwork lately, besides lining up a couple projects. Debbie and I are preparing to go on vacation Labor Day week and that’s been fun…
I’m also re-reading a few gems from my Dad’s book collection…Dad's Eric Sloane Collection...
I cannot recommend these books, or any of Eric Sloane’s work, highly enough!! They are not how-to books exactly, but any page can be opened to find interesting things about the way life (and woodworking) used to be lived (and done)... For those of us who just like to look at the pictures, they are delightfully illustrated on almost every page with Mr. Sloane’s own pen and ink drawings…Sample drawings from Eric Sloane...
Regrettably (and shamefully!) these are now out of print, but they can still be obtained on Amazon… Well worth the price too, as they’re fairly reasonable…

I can’t hardly wait ‘til vacation!! We’re going up to Maine for a week and I’m really looking forward to getting my batteries recharged… It’s been almost twenty years since I had some proper time off…
tick… tick… tick… :)

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

24 comments so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3113 days

#1 posted 08-25-2011 08:28 AM

reading books like theese with a good mug of coffee , tobacco in the pibe and a great whiskey
in your best chair is almost as fun as woodworking :-)
thank´s for sharing Mike

take care

View littlecope's profile


3071 posts in 3500 days

#2 posted 08-25-2011 10:29 AM

You’re Very Welcome Dennis!!
I was thinking of you yesterday… For vacation, I bought a small Gas Grill, and yesterday morning I had to assemble it…
I’m better than average at assembly, but it took me an hour and a half!! The suggested time was a half hour…
No “extra” parts though!! And thankfully, I didn’t need a rubber mallet… :)

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

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3034 days

#3 posted 08-25-2011 11:18 AM

Neat work with the lo-tec trace option for the Shamrock. Ingenuity on the lighting front. Look forward to seeing the slide top box as well. You have been busy.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3430 days

#4 posted 08-25-2011 12:50 PM

You do more with less than anyone I know!
It takes a lot more skill and ingenuity to do the things you do.
Nice work, Mike.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Porchfish's profile


823 posts in 2530 days

#5 posted 08-25-2011 01:29 PM

Necessity…invention’s mother , is always around, thank goodness we understand her ! I like watching the sign’s progression..and the bats in the background are a great touch ! but the idea of time off…. wow that is good for life…. enjoy it Mike !

-- The pig caught under the fence is always the one doing all the squealing !

View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 3034 days

#6 posted 08-25-2011 02:23 PM

Mike, I pratice southern ingenuity everyday. My wife calls it being a redneck. My common resopnse is “you say that like it’s a bad thing!” What ever works, right? I have a set up similar to this in my garage. Thanks for sharing!

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20482 posts in 3103 days

#7 posted 08-25-2011 03:08 PM

Nice job on that one, Mike!!!!!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Woodwrecker's profile


4148 posts in 3573 days

#8 posted 08-25-2011 03:10 PM

Good job Mike. It just goes to show you that there are ways around anything.
You are always using the old brain box and that is going to keep you young.
Have a nice time in Maine!

-- Eric, central Florida / Utor praemia operibus duris

View lew's profile


12056 posts in 3753 days

#9 posted 08-25-2011 04:18 PM

Enjoy the vacation, Mike! You deserve it!

Really like the old books and pencil box. Thanks for the cool idea for using paper taped to the computer monitor. I never would have thought of that!!


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

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2918 days

#10 posted 08-25-2011 06:00 PM

Nice blog with a variety of good ideas, Mike. I look forward to seeing the finished sign. Enjoy your time off. It sounds like a wonderful time (post pictures!!!)

Sheila :)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3189 days

#11 posted 08-25-2011 08:01 PM

Your dad had good taste in reading. “Flower of the plain, is the name of the frame.”
It is amazing how thing use to be done. Great 1 page read. I hope you have a great
vacation. My 10Th Great grandfather Valentine Wightman, preached Sermons in Gorton
Maine. He started the first Baptist church in the United States. Have fun and recharge
those batteries!!!

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View Bertha's profile


13528 posts in 2691 days

#12 posted 08-25-2011 08:11 PM

I really like your work, Cope. It always puts a smile on my face.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Stephen Mines's profile

Stephen Mines

226 posts in 2688 days

#13 posted 08-25-2011 09:34 PM

Thanks for the break…reading your #54 was my breath of fresh air. Work is heavy and steady here, this time of year, getting lotsa wood things built. Best, Stephen

-- Stephen Mines (

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3113 days

#14 posted 08-25-2011 10:33 PM

Mike wuold you believe it ….........the wife bought a dinnertable and four chairs
+ a sidetable or what ever you call it over there but this one has six drawers instead of a cabinet wih doors
the make fun of you instructions said 1hour and the sidetable shuold be assembled ….......yaah right
that £$&%¤## Ikea system thing (not bought there but same concept yyyaak)
it did take me freaking two days and nothing is in the right 90 degree angle and never will be
even thuogh I said it to her already after one hour she demanded it to be assembled :-(
chinese crap of the worst ..........
so I´m just half finnished with the shelfs :-( ... but you most know . just to warn you … when the boss
speak …. you jump and obey

1½hour for a gasgrill …that is fast man… serious
great you hadn´t spareparts back on the table :-)
but next time you need to bring out both the rubbermallet and the sledgehammer
just to have the weapon ready nearly always make things go smoother ….. lol

have a great day :-)


View patron's profile


13603 posts in 3339 days

#15 posted 08-25-2011 10:48 PM

have a great vacation

take the mallet with you

you may come home with more wood
than you leave with

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

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