Woodworking

I wouldn’t call myself a woodworker — I’m just a maker. Most of what I make, apart from some software concepts and a few computers, is from wood, yes, so I’m more of a wood-maker.

I do spend some time skimming through the assorted YouTube videos of people’s projects and often find some inspiration for my own projects.

One of the things upon which I depend, like many others, is mechanical fasteners to screw things together.

Drilling pilot-holes is better than simply forcing a screw into wood and risking a split or tear-out or absurd amounts of torque to drive a screw (and break its head off). And countersinking the screw-head is better than leaving it protruding from the surface or crushing a portion of the surface.

So, a pilot-hole and countersink. They often need to be done together.

It seems that often times, makers have separate bits to do each task. Drill one, swap the bit, drill another. Thankfully, the world has embraced keyless chucks — imagine how much of a pain in the ass it would be to simultaneously juggle bits, screws, a chuck key…

So, rather than juggle a pilot drill bit and a countersink bit, save a few bucks (and headaches) and make the small purchase to get a single bit that will both drill and a pilot-hole and countersink in one shot.

These are absolutely awesome.

And with the collar, I can set it to countersink the screw-heads to exactly the same depth every single time. There is a limitation, of course, I can’t use just one tool to do everything with screws. I use two drills: one for the countersink/pilot bit, and another for the actual T-25* bit to drive screws.

Kick your creations up a few notches.

While you’re at it, pick up a few self-centering drill bits as well.

You’re welcome.

* Phillips heads are so last-century.

Last Chance! Buy Now!

I think the marketing department for dead-tree magazines needs to go back and think carefully about their sales model.

I used to have a subscription to a certain magazine that focused on Pacific Coast/Mountain lifestyle and modern architecture. I didn’t renew. So they poured on the marketing to try getting me to resubscribe. I keep getting these stupid-assed “Last chance to renew!” “You’ll never get another!” letters, postcards, and emails.
Really? Last chance? Never get another? I don’t think those phrases mean what you think those phrases mean.
What’s to stop me from picking up another copy from a newsstand, taking out one of the four hundred little post-paid subscription cards, and filling it out to get another 24 months for ten bucks?
Oh, right: my loss of interest in your magazine.

Brilliant

Spotted this on one of the British shed blogs — I really like the idea of a detached, functional, year-round home office space. In fact, I’ve been wanting to build one in my own back yard for some time, but haven’t settled on size, cost, savings, or style.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ag8M90UaSZ0

Now, though, that my daily commute is up to 40 miles (at 15mpg), it’s starting to make more sense to work from home a bit more often and my existing “office” at the house is everything except office-like. Time to redouble my efforts I think.

Indeed

Weerd asks, “Why Bother?” — good question, that. Makes me wonder why more people haven’t just walked away. Similar boat for us: a simple home that needs work, at a price we could afford, in a tolerable but not great neighborhood, with a fixed rate mortgage. But we’re watching the market value on the place plummet all the time.

And a bunch of people who can’t do their own math and figure out their own income and expenditures are now looking for handouts to fix their poor money handling decisions?

I think the reason I keep making my mortgage payments is a moral and ethical one. I don’t want to be a leech on the system. I’m paying my mortgage because that’s the choice I made. I’m making my car payment (or buy older cars that need work) because that’s my decision.

I don’t expect somebody to bail me out financially for the choices that I make.