Hairpin Legs

DSC01657_legsIt’s a balmy 84-degrees today at 3:00PM, and earlier I decided to initiate my Audio-action Plan Stage-1 with the rosewood gel-stain. First I flipped the big-ass Fortés over (risking a hernia) to attack the least-visible part – the bottom. The red in the stain helps to counteract the hideous golden-oak, and lends it a more moderate walnut feel. Can’t help the grain unless I purposely try to faux-grain it as in my old Theater Days. Then I hooked up the shop-vac to the orbital sander to reduce sawdust glom, put a 220-grit pad on the sander, and finally donned my Peltors because the enclosed-space noise of both the vac and the sander running is truly deafening. I also took the long-wand of the shop-vac and attached it to the exhaust so it stuck out about 4-feet, to reduce re-contamination from the sawdust exhaust. Vroom-vroom. Burn baby burn. Got some awesome shorty 4-inch Mid-Century hairpins from Steve at Smith Mountain MetalWorks in VA, which are a hugely tremendous improvement from the weird vestigial Klipsch pedestal-things – seriously, what were they thinking? Obviously nothing much beyond the coke they were snorting – it was the Mid-80’s, women had huge, stiff hair – and so did men in metal bands. Magnum P.I. was a top show, and things were pretty weird and loose, even in Home Audio and Electronics. So the stain took, and we maybe going darker. Hope the Gods of Audio Harmony approve.

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Project Basement

More weirdness-gutting has taken place.  It’s sweaty work even in the cool of the morning. Since the raised pier-and-beam foundation 4×4′ posts are framed and tied-in, we have removed a few of the angle-braces as unnecessary.  Now we’re really in for it.
In some places the angle-braces were crossing in the interior, and hindered the proper geometry of the floor.  it’s clear that the earlier half-assed iteration of a “floor” required a bunch of blocking that shifted the geometry out of square.  All that will be corrected by the new framing and floor joists. We’ve pulled a lot of nails and cleaned-up the space, but there’s still more to do — tomorrow…

Back to the basement

Made a lot of progress today removing over-hanging weirdness and some old junky, thickly-layered clutter.  It took everything the DeWalt had, from square-drive bits to philips’ to flat-head – and sometimes all three in one unit of sketchyness.  And nails.  My dear wife has the gentle soul of a gardener, but she can swing the big Eastwing and run the crow-bar – it’s just much more tiresome work.  I can see a dump-run in the near future, but just a bit more clean-out and we’ll be ready for Monday.

Messing around in the basement

In the hot, dog-days of August we get around to more than just yard-work – even though that continues apace. The understory floors were a bit springy so I peeled them back to see what was up. Needs more beef.
basement dirt 

Now they’ll get 2×6 stringers to replace the bouncy pixie-stix you see, and 3/4″ ply decking instead of 3/8″ – and there’s also a small area behind the camera that needs to be brought up to the same level, and some outright weirdness simply needs to be removed…

I’ve got the cool mornings to demo this and after that I’m getting Real Qualified Licensed# help on this from my contractor buddy…

Meanwhile speaking of Outright Weirdness, WordPress has just changed its look-and-feel for making posts, and it’s uncomfortable.  Frankly it’s weird and unexpected – you’d think they’d let the users know in advance when they’re going to do a wholesale “upgrade” of questionable utility.  I don’t see how it serves to improve anything. Also the button to “Publish” seems to fail and they moved other things into stupid and unexpected locations. As a UI designer I smell a turd.

Beast of a Machine

Curtiss-Smith V-12
Among the many stunningly delicious boats at the Tahoe show was this monster-motor in Miss Detroit III, first piloted (to victory) by Gar Wood himself and then removed put into storage – and the hull lost to damage. Now resurrected in painstaking detail and at excruciating cost within a new hull – the original 1918 Gold Cup winner… They cranked it up just to let the rubes watch the valve tappets pop and hear the stomach-churning roar of the coffee-can sized cylinders. It was religious.
Thank-you Mr. Moneybags-Whoever for this as fine a service to mechanical-humanity as could possibly ever be done, in the water as in flight, amen. Those rich-racin’ rum-runners knew the biz, and a V-12 Liberty powered launch was there as well as a slew of other mahogany mega-fauna of the boatistic variety, including this Jaguar-powered wood-shop refugee:
mahogany mega-fauna
There were more miles of polished mahogany and exotic wood than in a dozen flooring show-rooms. Next year’s select-featured hors d’oeuvres will be the really big V’s, including a couple V-16’s I believe…
Just. Stunning.