Monthly Archives: July 2017

The Good Wood

When we first started I used to head up to a big box hardware store and buy five or six boards of pine.  Each time I would head over to the contractor section and basically give each piece a physical.  I’d check each little inch of the boards and I’d try to find the five best out of the stack of 100 or so boards.  I’m sure the people that worked their thought I was a bit crazy doing such an examination over $3.80 boards.  The thing was when we started we didn’t have much money and I was about to waste it on inferior lumber.

Then I started buying them 10 at a time and looked at them mainly for straightness, then it was 20 and I just glanced to make sure they weren’t completely crooked.  Now we’re buying boards by the 100+ as beer caddies have really taken off.  I get those sight unseen and have the orders delivered right to the shop.  From my last order of 100 boards the picture below shows the boards that are crap.  It ended up being close to 48 boards that weren’t 100% usable.  Now I’m not one to waste anything so the trees that were cut to make these boards didn’t die in vain, but it’s still frustrating.


I know I didn’t pay for top choice lumber but shooting 50% isn’t good.  What I thought was a time saver ended up being more trouble than it is worth.  It’s just a reminder that when it comes to wood the best thing to do is inspect it even if it just cheap pine.  So if you see me at the big box store or lumber yard going through a stack of wood please don’t judge me, just give a causal head nod.




Dayton Maker Faire Boneyard Build-Off

Growing up my favorite show was Junkyard Wars.  My Dad and I would watch each episode and pick a team that we thought would win.  If you’re unfamiliar it was a show where two teams squared off in a challenge to build something (hovercraft, pumpkin catapult, drag racer, etc) out of nothing but the stuff in a junkyard.  Now I wasn’t really the most mechanically inclined kid growing up so it kind of always seemed like a pipe dream to compete in such a competition.  That was until I was on Twitter and saw a post on such a competition going on and even better only a few miles from my house.


Of course my mechanical skill set has now improved and I’ve been fortunate to surround myself with people who are smarter than I’ll ever be in these fields.  So I figured this is  the perfect time to check off Junkyard Wars off my bucket list.  The fine people at the Dayton Mini Maker Faire were kind enough to accept the group of shop class rejects that I have formed to compete.  The kick off event takes place this Saturday, July 8th at the Protobar in Dayton (such a cool place).  Check out the link below to learn more about the event and I’ll try to post more information on this event as it comes out.

Click on the link for more information  Boneyard Build Off