Maintenance

In this post I will tell you How to tell when your knife is sharp.  In the past I have been told that you should drag your thumb along the blade, that way is okay but you can cut your thumb very easily.  Other  people have suggested that I try to shave with the knife. That only works if your knife is razor sharp.The way I like is to get a hunk of wood and whittle on it if your knife is sharp the shavings should be long, thin, and curly.  Here is a pitchers of what it should look like.

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//Ewinslow

In this post I am going to show you how to clean a shotgun.  There are many ways you can clean a shotgun.  The way I like is with a snake, gun oil, and steel wool.  I am going to start from the inside out.  Start by oiling the snake.  Drop the weighted end down the barrel and pull it through a couple of times. Now you are done cleaning the barrel.  Now we rub the barrel with the steel wool and buff it with a rag with gun oil on it.  Here are some pictures!

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//Ewinslow

Lately I have been stropping all my knives because I think that it makes them much sharper than the traditional method.  Using a leather strop can’t replace a sharpening stone, but it is good to use after you have your knife somewhat sharp.  This method originated when barbers were still using straight razors.  When shaving your beard about half way through, the razor would start to dull.  They would get a leather belt and run the knife blade up and down as if they were using a sharpening stone.  Here are some pictures!

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//EWINSLOW

We’ve mostly finished the cleaning up, and have moved onto organizing things and making repairs/improvements as necessary.  I’m also taking pictures/video as I go to eventually replace the video posted on our home page.

Here’s an update as to some of the things I’ve been doing, but that I don’t have enough pictures of for individual posts:

Built a 445MHz Slim-Jim to use for a repeater

Built a 445MHz Slim-Jim to use for a repeater

Built a PVC tower standoff (which I ended up not needing, but I'll keep it around for future use)

Built a PVC tower standoff (which I ended up not needing, but I’ll keep it around for future use)

Installed a 2m radio in the "new" 1994 Marquis

Installed a 2m radio in the “new” 1994 Marquis

Replacing the upper ball joints on aforementioned 1994 Grand Marquis.

Replacing the upper ball joints on aforementioned 1994 Grand Marquis.

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At the same time the upper ball joints were replaced, I also replaced the lower ball joints, outer tie rod ends, idler arm, stabilizer bar links, and one stabilizer bar bushing.  I had almost every automotive tool we own out before this was all said and done.

This is what it looks like when I work on a car...

This is what it looks like when I work on a car…

Also picked up this mobile darkroom.  More at a later date on this.

Also picked up this mobile darkroom. More at a later date on this.

Every now and then, we have to put most projects on hold for a few days in order to clean and reorganize areas that have been neglected.  This tends to happen mostly in the winter, because everyone limits the amount of time spent outside working on such things.

Needless to say, that’s the biggest thing I’ve been working on recently, so here are a few pictures of the current progress.

The workshop

The workshop

It's getting there...

It’s getting there…

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Indoor work space

Indoor work space

The media lab

The media lab

The lounge

The lounge

We’re making progress.  More to come later.

Throughout the long course of my drywall repair project I have certainly learned to only use metal putty knives to apply mud. A wider blade is better, not to mention the fact that the whole thing seems to go better for different reasons such as better spreading and etc. That said the metal knives all seem to rust quickly.

I have began resurfacing my most often used knives with a crystal clear enamel coat in a rattle can. This seems to be keeping the rust away, at least for some time.

QUALITY CONTROL NOTE

Make sure the coating goes on smoothly. Drips or bumps will show up in your mud, no matter how small.

 

Due to the fact that I regularly scrape dried mud off of my knives, the enamel coat is not permanent. Below is a picture of one that had endured 2/3 months of use and abuse. The majority of that time was sitting with mud on it and then being scraped to use after a few days, whereas being used every day and kept clean would be better for it. Anyway, if I can sand off the old coat and redo it once in awhile, it is worth it to keep rust and mud from mixing.

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We’ve used this woodstove for close to 5 years now, and I just swept it for the first time this winter. We do burn “creosote remover” regularly, which definitely helps.  Still, there was a noticeable amount of powdery residue that was swept out. That does mean that the creosote remover worked – it doesn’t claim to get rid of anything, but to convert creosote from being sticky and flammable to a non-flammable powder that is easily removed.

Looking up

Looking up

The pile in the stove after I ran a brush down the chimney

The pile in the stove after I ran a brush down the chimney