Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Media bias and project updates

Ok -- I had to laugh just a bit yesterday when listening to the radio. The news announcer was talking about the "Big 3" domestic automakers and talking about their percentages of loss in sales, but then when he talked about import manufacturers he said that they were down by one third. Now they said basically the domestics were down by over 30%, but they said the exact same thing in different words about the imports, but how many people are going to say "oh wait -- 1/3 of 100% is 33.33% . . . duh?! It was just a little interesting media bias that gets read into things that I think is one way to get people to think by not thinking. People rarely think for themselves anymore, they want it spoon fed to them, whether it's product safety directions, or choices in presidential candidates, they like to feel intelligent by listening to what the media tells them they should believe. Enough ranting there.

(And for the real facts on who's down and by how much: )

So in other news, we've been anxiously working through some projects. I think I've got the hang of the Shopsmith finally . . . or at least enough to be dangerous. We were considering a pull-out storage pantry thing for the cabinet beside our refrigerator but instead we were considering the implications of the trash can in that scenario. After some more careful consideration we decided that a slide out pot and pan holder would be a much better idea for that area. The trash can went for a tour of the kitchen until we decided that it would be best at the end of the cabinet that we have. We decided that the trash can could go in a nice and swanky cabinet and that began the design process.

The design process was one of those "by the seat of my pants" thing. We first decided on having a flip open lid, and then the front was going to also flip open. I started building the cabinet and learned some important things in the process. I had to get a few more things, like clamps, and saw blades. I measured and decided to put the bottom of the box at one point and then under the trash can we would have a drawer to put trash bags. We stopped by the store and while there I was looking at sliders and realized that they didn't have any drawer slides that were less than 12 inches . . . and my cabinet was at 11.5 inches. DOH! We decided that instead of having a tilt out side for removing the trash can we'd make it a door, but where I put the bottom for the trash can portion then was going to interfere with the door, that I already had cut out. After some deliberation, we decided to just make one big door. On the bottom we're putting wheels to be able to move it for cleaning as well as those cleaning emergencies.

Whew! So the biggest thing is not the zillion dollar trash can project, but instead all the learning processes that I've dealt with. I bought a plywood blade for my Craftsman hand saw as well as the Shopsmith. I found out the Shopsmith uses a 1 1/4" arbor, so the one blade will need a 5/8" arbor adapter instead, which will also be needed for the blades that my dad gave me. It's been amazing working with my wife Peggy on this project and seeing the confidence that she has in me and my abilities. I'm pretty critical of my work and I'm wanting perfection, but I know I've only had a handful of wood working projects under my belt. I need to build a few jigs to help out with my accuracy in cutting, and the first one will be a cross-cutting sled. I bought some oak boards for runners and will work on getting that put together. My biggest problem right now is that all too elusive specter of time.

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