Truck Downsides

f150builtfordtoughTired of hearing about the upcoming truck delivery? Too bad! Ha! I think about it a LOT so that’s what ends up coming out of my mouth and my fingers. Most of my thoughts are excitement and anticipation (current estimated delivery date is 6/28), but I’ve also been taking time to enjoy my Subaru. Here are some things I’ll miss about it:

  • It’s so inexpensive and reliable! I only paid about $17K for it brand new and other than oil changes and standard service, I’ve only put about $4-5K into it. The cost per mile was phenomenally low.
  • It’s a manual and I really enjoy driving manual transmissions. I drove an automatic for a couple years after getting my license but then I started a run of manuals: 1991 Ford Probe, 2002 Ford Mustang GT and this 2006 Subaru Impreza. That adds up to about 16 or 17 years of driving a stick.
  • I’m pretty sure that the Subaru will be a lot better in the slippery conditions than the truck will be.
  • The small size is very convenient for parking and driving in traffic. I’m sure that there will be plenty of annoying times trying to find a parking spot for the huge truck.
  • Oddly enough, some types of wood purchases will be more difficult with the truck. For example, I can fit 20-30 8 foot 2x4s in the Subaru with the hatch and the windows closed. That means I can get wood even if it’s raining. With the truck those will have to go in the bed and they’ll hang out over the tailgate. Obviously there are plenty of other hauling situations which are way easier with a truck, but the Subie was no slouch.

And I guess the final one isn’t specific to the Subaru and the truck, but it’s kind of relaxing to drive a car that’s already dinged up. Those first few scratches in a new vehicle can be extra annoying.

So yes, I’m going to be thrilled when I swap keys for the truck, but this Subaru has been an excellent vehicle for me.

Follow On Facebook

facebook-wordpressFacebook is a monster. They have over a billion and a half unique users who visit every month. That’s a staggering number. So the odds are that many of you are on Facebook and some of you might even preferred to get notified about new posts via Facebook.

I recently added a WordPress plugin that automatically publishes a news story in Facebook for every post that I make here. They all end up on the old, but rarely used, Studio711 Facebook page:

If you Like that page, you should start seeing some of the posts show up in your newsfeed. Due to Facebook’s algorithms, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll see all of them, but you’ll, of course, always be able to find the full list once you come to this site.

I will take no offense if nobody follows that Facebook page, but I thought I’d throw it out there in case it’s useful for you.


Beer Festival

WP_20160618_001This past weekend was the annual beer festival at Marymoor. Last year I went with Don and Logan. This year Don was out of town, but Logan went again and Luke and Tim came too. It was a pretty wet day but somehow it didn’t rain while we were there.

There were 111 breweries there and most breweries had four or five different beers on tap. You get a 5 oz glass and 10 tokens. I definitely didn’t hit a home run with every beer, but it’s a fun way to try beers that you might not normally buy.

A huge thanks to the ladies for watching the kids while we enjoyed ourselves. I love this event!

Dozer Days

On a very hot day a couple weeks ago, we took Elijah down to the Puyallup fair grounds for Dozer Days. It’s a charity fundraiser event that gives kids the chance to drive and operate big construction equipment. We didn’t really know what to expect when we headed down there, but it was an excellent event! The whole day was very well organized. Each machine had it’s own area to operate in with dirt to dig, etc. In addition to the operator in the machine, there was a helper moving kids between the line and the machine. They organized the lines in such a way that you never had to wait too long for a turn. Everyone working there was a volunteer and they were great with the kids.

If you’ve ever seen Elijah around construction equipment, it’s no surprise to you have that he LOVED it. We let him pick out any of the equipment and he always chose the smaller machines. That was fine with us since those lines were generally shorter. He got quite a few turns and we also spent some time walking around the static displays.

I don’t know that this is something we need to do every year, but I’m sure we’ll go back at some point. Why don’t they have this for adults?!

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Cribbage Board

Dad and I enjoy playing cribbage when we’re together so I thought that a cribbage board would be a fun project and a good gift.

Since I have access to the laser cutter, I had dreams of creating a board with a very custom shape and design, but I never really liked the way they looked and decided to settle on the classic track design. That also made my life a lot easier because drawing out a crazy curved shape with three tracks of equally spaced dots is not a simple math challenge!

I experimented a lot with the laser cutter to determine the kerf of the laser (how much wood does the laser remove) so that I could get the inlay as close to perfect as possible. There’s still a little room for improvement but it came out very nicely. I only used the laser cutter to cut out the inlay track and the piece that it fits into. The track is a piece of bubinga that I found in a “sold by the weight” scrap bin the wood store and the body of the board is cherry.

On the back of the board, I routered out a holder for the pegs (which I purchased from Amazon) and then did a sliding dovetail door to cover up the pegs. The door has a little message engraved on the inside of it. There’s a small magnet to help keep it latched, and I drilled a finger hole through the door so you can grip it to move it in and out. That door design is largely based on the way Grandpa Martens made the board that he made for me.

The final step was cutting all the holes. I had spent a ton of time getting the laser cut pattern to excatly match the metal hole guide that I purchased. So after everything was glued up, I very carefully taped the metal guide into place and drilled all the holes on the drill press. I’m glad I went with that guide instead of trying to do something like using the laser to mark the spots. The holes came out perfectly straight and perfectly spaced. I don’t think I could have achieved that without a guide.

The finish was a three part mix of boiled linseed oil, wipe on polyurethane and mineral spirits. I applied it four times with a one day dry time and a light sanding with a synthetic abrasive pad in between each coat.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

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