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Project by Woodbutcher3 posted 09-03-2012 05:50 PM 3216 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Well, I can give a joke, I can take a joke, and I can poke fun at myself, too.

This isn’t a hugely creative project, but a fun one that tells a tale on me!

I went to visit my daughter and her family (Monte & 3 Grandkids, too) up in Indiana in May – a long way from VA – too far! My Son-In-Law, Monte, (his first name is Montgomery and my last name is Montgomery – how strange is that? And, oh yes, I am the Outlaw) is busy cleaning up the family farm they hope to some day move onto. So, he asked this old Marine along to give him a hand one day. We went over Saturday, after his work week and went about cleaning up downed trees and other wood that could be piled onto a great bon fire that would later be the hot dog on a stick grilling & picnic location.

After a few truckloads, tractor haulin’ and branch draggin’, we had a nice little pile. One of the trees was a huge pine that had fallen and still had all the browned needles on it. That was last on the pile. Well, when Monte lit that pine to start the fire, it about exploded and sent a huge fire ball up. I could only imagine what some of the wildfires out West were like at the time.

So, I was on firewatch (only really watching a fire – you military guys know what I mean) while Monte and Bill (his dad) went to do some other work. Hey, while I’m sittin’ there, I’ll clean up some other wood around the area. So, I’m pickin up scrapes and tossing them in. Might as well police the area – life long habits learned in the Corps. What are these 2×4s on the picnic table. Shoot, no one’s gonna need these short, funny lookin’ pieces. Looks like they’ve been sittin’ here on the picnic table for a while. Who’s gonna need these? Into the fire they go…..with all the other wood.

Well, by now you know I remanufactured something to replace what I pitched in the fire. Trouble was, no one labeled them and the word not to burn them didn’t get passed down the chain of command. Clean up, right? Exercise initiative. Leave an area better than you found it. Well, here’s some more wood to add…. Turns out those 2×4s supported the seats on the picnic table we were going to use during the hot dog cookout & picnic later that evening – which is when I found out I should have asked first.

So, I figured I better make a replacement set when I got home. The tablesaw made quick work of the 2×4 and a Fostner bit drilled the hole with 2×4s clamped end to end. Thus, two half holes got drilled at one time.

I painted them a nice bright green (I hope they don’t get lost in the grass) and stenciled “DO NOT BURN” in a nice bright red. I guess if they do go in the grass, someone might see that. Oh, and the next numbskull won’t toss them in the fire when he finds these on the picnic table – if he bothers to read them.

Oh, why are there two sets? Well, I covertly measured using a piece of whip cord off the weedwacker (didn’t have a tape measure) so I could go home and make the replacements. When I measured, I included the size of the pipe that would fit in the groove and marked that on the whip cord. So, I didn’t remember if the mark included the full length of the 2×4 or just up to the mark I’d made. Hopefull one set works.

I guess it’s real lucky I didn’t pitch the picnic table in, too, eh!

-- Rod ~ There's never enough time to finish a project, but there's always time to start another one.

12 comments so far

View Kookaburra's profile


748 posts in 2705 days

#1 posted 09-03-2012 06:00 PM

Great story! They are going to laugh every time they use these – who could ask for more than that?

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View rance's profile


4271 posts in 3641 days

#2 posted 09-03-2012 06:01 PM

That was a funny story on Tuesday, and it is even funnier today. Nice one Rod. Or is that Nimrod? These, and the story to go with them, will be passed on down to the great grandkids.

But… GREEN? Seriously? You met Tim the other day. I dinged him about buying camoflouged carpenter pencils to use in his shop. So hard to find one when you need it. Next time use flourescent orange. :)

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Dusty56's profile


11852 posts in 4168 days

#3 posted 09-03-2012 06:37 PM

You should have known just by looking at them that they had a special purpose in life ! LOL..great story : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Hawaiilad's profile


3374 posts in 3501 days

#4 posted 09-03-2012 06:37 PM

What a great story. How many times have I used a stick, edge of a paper or anything else straight to measure when a tape was not handy…..even the length of my hand

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23198 posts in 3586 days

#5 posted 09-03-2012 07:47 PM

Great story and great way to have yourself covered!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Woodbutcher3's profile


459 posts in 3367 days

#6 posted 09-03-2012 10:06 PM

Thanks, all y’all. My wife about fell out of her chair when I showed them to her.

Dusty – yeah, I usually like figuring out a qwerky puzzle like that. But my mind was on a bon fire & hot dogs – clean up, big blazes and growling stomach outweighed thinkin’ that day.

Rance – paint on hand becomes the paint of the day. The new can of paint was in the garage and I forgot what project I bought it for. Plus, it was oil base. So, it was a good weather resistant paint—- but not fire resistant.

But I also really like the contrast of red on green.

They can probably throw the set that doesn’t fit into the next fire. BUT IT SAYS….... “DO NOT BURN”

-- Rod ~ There's never enough time to finish a project, but there's always time to start another one.

View Ted Pagels's profile

Ted Pagels

63 posts in 3543 days

#7 posted 09-04-2012 12:22 AM

Hmmmmmm….... First thought that hit me for response was …...Oh yes they would!

-- Ted Pagels, Green Bay, WI

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3171 days

#8 posted 09-04-2012 01:10 AM

Great story. I too have gotten carried away during a cleaning frenzy. It’s just in my nature to police the area.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3596 days

#9 posted 09-04-2012 06:44 PM

thanks for the funny story :-)
but if the wood so big you cuold make a bonfire
but not good enoff to a project or two
I think i wuold have done a great job as firewood for the stove
so your little project will fit to be hanged infront of there eyes
next time … lol

take care

View ronbuhg's profile


121 posts in 2628 days

#10 posted 09-05-2012 09:17 AM

funny ! still laughing even after reading everyone elses’s response….try using twine for measurement , now that is not funny….had to use this one time for a somewhat critical piece(out of the shop with no tape measure), well lets just say I didnt know that twine could stretch so much…...imagine my embarassment when I went to put the piece together with a 1.5 inches too long pieces of primo cherry ?!? now I try to carry a small tape measure whenever I leave the shop !!enuff said

-- the dumbest question is the one you dont ask !!

View SteveW's profile


396 posts in 3339 days

#11 posted 05-20-2013 09:41 PM

Great story, and nice sticks

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! SteveW

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3347 days

#12 posted 05-20-2013 09:50 PM

Great story and good idea. If anybody burns them I guess maybe they can’t read.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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