A hammer in search of a nail…

Archive for the ‘Asides’ Category

New Blog Theme

Just a quick note that I updated the blog theme to a flexible format. That means the post / article section of the blog is wider or narrower depending on the size of your display.  For those with wide-screen displays, the text won’t be as “squashed”.


P-C Plate Joiner broken?

I started a new project this last weekend (a console table with a bubinga top, which I’ll write about later). Got through jointing and planing two boards for the top. Unfortunately, when I used my Porter- Cable plate joiner (ie, biscuit cutter), it worked fine for the first two biscuit cuts but went dead before I could cut the third. Bummer!

So I pulled out the owners manual to see if there was a fuse or something that may have failed that would be easy to fix. Found out the troubleshooting section just had a single entry referring me to their service center. Double bummer! End of project work for the weekend.

The joiner was purchased in April 2009, and the warranty is only one year. Triple Bummer!

So now I need to take it into the service center (one bright spot is that there is a service center within 10 mins from work). I’ll let you know how it works out as I’m sure you’re all riveted 😉


I took the plate joiner into the P-C service center.  The way they work is that you pay a certain amount (based on the tool’s price) that is the “upper limit” to get the tool fixed.  If they fix it for less, you pay less, if it costs them more to fix it, you still only pay the maximum amount.  Either way, the tool is fixed.

For my plate joiner, the “upper limit” was $112 (I paid $220 originally 2 years ago).  As it turns out, there was a loose wire they had to reattach.  So my bill was only $29.50.  While I’m not happy that I had to take it in for service within 2 years of the purchase, I was expecting a bill closer to $100 so $30 was much better.

Something for New Year’s Day…

A fun, snappy video for New Year’s Day:

First Snow of 2009

We had our first snowfall of 2009 in Parker today!  Here’s a pic looking from our front door to the street.  You can click on the picture for a larger image so you can actually see the snow falling…

First Snowfall 2009

First Snowfall 2009

I work in Denver and we did not see any snow there (just rain).

How many is that?

The Secretary of Defense is briefing President Bush on Iraq. “Yesterday, 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed.”

“Oh no!” exclaims the president, “That’s terrible!”

His staff is stunned at this unprecedented display of emotion, watching as Bush sits, head in hands.

Finally, he looks up and asks, “How many is a brazillion?”

Dartboard Cabinet – Coming Soon

I started work on my next woodworking project, a Dartboard Cabinet, this last weekend.  So far I haven’t spent much time, just glued up some boards for the cabinet case and back.  I plan on building the cabinet box with poplar for the top and sides and cork-lined plywood for the back.  I haven’t decided what to do for doors yet, but I suspect I’ll play around with creating an arched top on them.  This cabinet will be on the inside wall of the living room (opposite the Pool Cue Rack I previously built).

Since a dartboard cabinet can be pretty straight-forward, I’ve decided to complicate the project a bit by adding…lights!  Yep, LED lights to be exact.  I’m currently planning on having four LEDs around the cabinet box (essentially at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock on the clock face) to illuminate the dartboard and an additional two on the inside of the doors where I plan on having the scoreboards (chalk boards, nothing too fancy). I’ll need to add a switch somewhere to turn it on and off and hide the batteries as well (it will run off 4 AA’s).

I’ve already created the necessary circuit board for the LEDs.  I just have to come up with a way to mount them on the cabinet so they are: a) secure; b) easily replaceable; and c) can’t get hit by the darts.

Should be fun! Stay tuned…

Replacing an MP3 Player with a Walkman for a week

Click on the photo for a link to an article from the BBC about a 13 year old boy who replaces his MP3 player with his dad’s old Sony Walkman for a week.  It’s a very interesting look at “old” technology.  Is this what our kids will think of the iPhone 30 years from now? I wouldn’t be surprised if this is what they will think in less than 10 years…

Giving up my iPod for a Walkman

Giving up my iPod for a Walkman

Some interesting comments from the article:

  • It took him three days before he realized the tapes had a second side.
  • He was unhappy with the battery life of only 3 hours.
  • He created his own “shuffle” mode by holding the rewind button for a random amount of time before hitting play (until his dad warned him about the possibility of the player “eating” his tape!)