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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Intro

Building 'stuff' has always been in my blood. Whether it was a small project that I probably could have bought something for cheaper, or the undertaking of building a shed with no prior framing or construction experience. I've always had a drive to construct, build, assemble, and create.

It started when I was just a kid. I remember when my best friend and I would sit for hours trying to build some new contraption that we deemed necessary for that days activities. We even tried to make our own concrete at one point because we were assured in our minds and by each other that we could come up with a new substance that would be indestructible. We'd fill some container with gravel and some kind of auto body putty (from his Dad's business) and use some other various ingredients we'd find that were sure to boost the strength. The mix would be left outside over night and as soon as our Mom's would let us out of the house we'd run out to check to see how everything had hardened up…it usually didn't. The point is we would throw ourselves into projects and ideas with a focus and vigor that is hard to find in most adults and I am fairly certain that it is because of our adventures in creation as children that I enjoy the hobbies I do today.

Woodworking and Barbeque.

Really they are related quite nicely and compliment each other well. Both use wood, though in completely different manners. One puts wood on a pedestal for everyone to view and admire VISUALLY, taking in the tree rings in the form of a grain pattern that took years to grow, pondering the origin of a knot or a curve in that same grain. The other, while holding it in the same regard, treats the wood quite differently and allows the consumer to TASTE the properties of wood by the way of the smoke that it creates on its way to ash.

I figure these topics are pretty apropos for the crowd that's gathered here and I hope you like this and the entries still to come.

Cheers!
 

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Intro

Building 'stuff' has always been in my blood. Whether it was a small project that I probably could have bought something for cheaper, or the undertaking of building a shed with no prior framing or construction experience. I've always had a drive to construct, build, assemble, and create.

It started when I was just a kid. I remember when my best friend and I would sit for hours trying to build some new contraption that we deemed necessary for that days activities. We even tried to make our own concrete at one point because we were assured in our minds and by each other that we could come up with a new substance that would be indestructible. We'd fill some container with gravel and some kind of auto body putty (from his Dad's business) and use some other various ingredients we'd find that were sure to boost the strength. The mix would be left outside over night and as soon as our Mom's would let us out of the house we'd run out to check to see how everything had hardened up…it usually didn't. The point is we would throw ourselves into projects and ideas with a focus and vigor that is hard to find in most adults and I am fairly certain that it is because of our adventures in creation as children that I enjoy the hobbies I do today.

Woodworking and Barbeque.

Really they are related quite nicely and compliment each other well. Both use wood, though in completely different manners. One puts wood on a pedestal for everyone to view and admire VISUALLY, taking in the tree rings in the form of a grain pattern that took years to grow, pondering the origin of a knot or a curve in that same grain. The other, while holding it in the same regard, treats the wood quite differently and allows the consumer to TASTE the properties of wood by the way of the smoke that it creates on its way to ash.

I figure these topics are pretty apropos for the crowd that's gathered here and I hope you like this and the entries still to come.

Cheers!
I love both. Looking forward to seeing what you have to say….
 

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Intro

Building 'stuff' has always been in my blood. Whether it was a small project that I probably could have bought something for cheaper, or the undertaking of building a shed with no prior framing or construction experience. I've always had a drive to construct, build, assemble, and create.

It started when I was just a kid. I remember when my best friend and I would sit for hours trying to build some new contraption that we deemed necessary for that days activities. We even tried to make our own concrete at one point because we were assured in our minds and by each other that we could come up with a new substance that would be indestructible. We'd fill some container with gravel and some kind of auto body putty (from his Dad's business) and use some other various ingredients we'd find that were sure to boost the strength. The mix would be left outside over night and as soon as our Mom's would let us out of the house we'd run out to check to see how everything had hardened up…it usually didn't. The point is we would throw ourselves into projects and ideas with a focus and vigor that is hard to find in most adults and I am fairly certain that it is because of our adventures in creation as children that I enjoy the hobbies I do today.

Woodworking and Barbeque.

Really they are related quite nicely and compliment each other well. Both use wood, though in completely different manners. One puts wood on a pedestal for everyone to view and admire VISUALLY, taking in the tree rings in the form of a grain pattern that took years to grow, pondering the origin of a knot or a curve in that same grain. The other, while holding it in the same regard, treats the wood quite differently and allows the consumer to TASTE the properties of wood by the way of the smoke that it creates on its way to ash.

I figure these topics are pretty apropos for the crowd that's gathered here and I hope you like this and the entries still to come.

Cheers!
One of my coworkers is competing in the Jack Daniels World BBQ Invitational in Lynchburg, TN this weekend, and I promised him I build him some kind of display for his awards when he wins the thing. Only 60 BBQ "teams" from across the country and 15 from across the pond have been invited. That project may never happen, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it does. GO MOONSWINERS!!! (That's his team name… but he's a one man show so I don't know if you can really say "team").
 

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Intro

Building 'stuff' has always been in my blood. Whether it was a small project that I probably could have bought something for cheaper, or the undertaking of building a shed with no prior framing or construction experience. I've always had a drive to construct, build, assemble, and create.

It started when I was just a kid. I remember when my best friend and I would sit for hours trying to build some new contraption that we deemed necessary for that days activities. We even tried to make our own concrete at one point because we were assured in our minds and by each other that we could come up with a new substance that would be indestructible. We'd fill some container with gravel and some kind of auto body putty (from his Dad's business) and use some other various ingredients we'd find that were sure to boost the strength. The mix would be left outside over night and as soon as our Mom's would let us out of the house we'd run out to check to see how everything had hardened up…it usually didn't. The point is we would throw ourselves into projects and ideas with a focus and vigor that is hard to find in most adults and I am fairly certain that it is because of our adventures in creation as children that I enjoy the hobbies I do today.

Woodworking and Barbeque.

Really they are related quite nicely and compliment each other well. Both use wood, though in completely different manners. One puts wood on a pedestal for everyone to view and admire VISUALLY, taking in the tree rings in the form of a grain pattern that took years to grow, pondering the origin of a knot or a curve in that same grain. The other, while holding it in the same regard, treats the wood quite differently and allows the consumer to TASTE the properties of wood by the way of the smoke that it creates on its way to ash.

I figure these topics are pretty apropos for the crowd that's gathered here and I hope you like this and the entries still to come.

Cheers!
I agree Wood makes the best smoking for meat. Dripping meat juice does not cut it. I usually use a propane smoker with wood chips. I cook chickens and ribs for about 8 - 10 hr's each.

Good eating.
 

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Intro

Building 'stuff' has always been in my blood. Whether it was a small project that I probably could have bought something for cheaper, or the undertaking of building a shed with no prior framing or construction experience. I've always had a drive to construct, build, assemble, and create.

It started when I was just a kid. I remember when my best friend and I would sit for hours trying to build some new contraption that we deemed necessary for that days activities. We even tried to make our own concrete at one point because we were assured in our minds and by each other that we could come up with a new substance that would be indestructible. We'd fill some container with gravel and some kind of auto body putty (from his Dad's business) and use some other various ingredients we'd find that were sure to boost the strength. The mix would be left outside over night and as soon as our Mom's would let us out of the house we'd run out to check to see how everything had hardened up…it usually didn't. The point is we would throw ourselves into projects and ideas with a focus and vigor that is hard to find in most adults and I am fairly certain that it is because of our adventures in creation as children that I enjoy the hobbies I do today.

Woodworking and Barbeque.

Really they are related quite nicely and compliment each other well. Both use wood, though in completely different manners. One puts wood on a pedestal for everyone to view and admire VISUALLY, taking in the tree rings in the form of a grain pattern that took years to grow, pondering the origin of a knot or a curve in that same grain. The other, while holding it in the same regard, treats the wood quite differently and allows the consumer to TASTE the properties of wood by the way of the smoke that it creates on its way to ash.

I figure these topics are pretty apropos for the crowd that's gathered here and I hope you like this and the entries still to come.

Cheers!
Looks like I'm going to be building a BBQ trophy display. Moonswiners is the BBQ champion of the world!
 

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Intro

Building 'stuff' has always been in my blood. Whether it was a small project that I probably could have bought something for cheaper, or the undertaking of building a shed with no prior framing or construction experience. I've always had a drive to construct, build, assemble, and create.

It started when I was just a kid. I remember when my best friend and I would sit for hours trying to build some new contraption that we deemed necessary for that days activities. We even tried to make our own concrete at one point because we were assured in our minds and by each other that we could come up with a new substance that would be indestructible. We'd fill some container with gravel and some kind of auto body putty (from his Dad's business) and use some other various ingredients we'd find that were sure to boost the strength. The mix would be left outside over night and as soon as our Mom's would let us out of the house we'd run out to check to see how everything had hardened up…it usually didn't. The point is we would throw ourselves into projects and ideas with a focus and vigor that is hard to find in most adults and I am fairly certain that it is because of our adventures in creation as children that I enjoy the hobbies I do today.

Woodworking and Barbeque.

Really they are related quite nicely and compliment each other well. Both use wood, though in completely different manners. One puts wood on a pedestal for everyone to view and admire VISUALLY, taking in the tree rings in the form of a grain pattern that took years to grow, pondering the origin of a knot or a curve in that same grain. The other, while holding it in the same regard, treats the wood quite differently and allows the consumer to TASTE the properties of wood by the way of the smoke that it creates on its way to ash.

I figure these topics are pretty apropos for the crowd that's gathered here and I hope you like this and the entries still to come.

Cheers!
JP - congrats to your friend! Go Moonswiners. Looking forward to seeing the display.

Schwigs - great topic and I'd love to hear more about your childhood inventions!
 

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Intro

Building 'stuff' has always been in my blood. Whether it was a small project that I probably could have bought something for cheaper, or the undertaking of building a shed with no prior framing or construction experience. I've always had a drive to construct, build, assemble, and create.

It started when I was just a kid. I remember when my best friend and I would sit for hours trying to build some new contraption that we deemed necessary for that days activities. We even tried to make our own concrete at one point because we were assured in our minds and by each other that we could come up with a new substance that would be indestructible. We'd fill some container with gravel and some kind of auto body putty (from his Dad's business) and use some other various ingredients we'd find that were sure to boost the strength. The mix would be left outside over night and as soon as our Mom's would let us out of the house we'd run out to check to see how everything had hardened up…it usually didn't. The point is we would throw ourselves into projects and ideas with a focus and vigor that is hard to find in most adults and I am fairly certain that it is because of our adventures in creation as children that I enjoy the hobbies I do today.

Woodworking and Barbeque.

Really they are related quite nicely and compliment each other well. Both use wood, though in completely different manners. One puts wood on a pedestal for everyone to view and admire VISUALLY, taking in the tree rings in the form of a grain pattern that took years to grow, pondering the origin of a knot or a curve in that same grain. The other, while holding it in the same regard, treats the wood quite differently and allows the consumer to TASTE the properties of wood by the way of the smoke that it creates on its way to ash.

I figure these topics are pretty apropos for the crowd that's gathered here and I hope you like this and the entries still to come.

Cheers!
I recall being 8 or 9 and me and a childhood buddy took some picnic table benches butted end to end and made an elaborate marble race course out of em. The bench tops were like 3 2×4s so the spaces between made a perfect track for a marble. Then we would come up with painstakingly placing sticks as deflectors down in the grooves to make the marbles swap lanes back and forth as they raced. We must have played with that every day for a couple of weeks that summer.

Funny how little things like that stick with you and seem to have been a foreteller of things to come. Seems to me that creative woodworking requires that we retain some of that curious child.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Getting Settled

I've been away from woodworking for a while and while it was in a roundabout way my choice, I miss making sawdust. Lemme explain.

It will be 19 months since my wife and I welcomed our twins into the world in a couple of days. Ever since they were born, I wanted to move closer to family and the only place I could get a job and hope for continued employment in my field (database development), was here in Reno, about 40 miles North of her parents. In July, we took the plunge and I accepted a position out here and uprooted my family. Little did I know that the sub-prime markets were going to $#!+ the bed and losses all over Wall Street would freeze up the housing market, thus making it more difficult to sell our house in Colorado and buy a new one out here. Luckily, in this family doing whatever it takes to help out other family members is a priority. My wife and kids are currently staying down with her parents and I am staying with her Aunt about a mile away from my work. We figured with the gas prices as lovely as they are right now, an hour-each-way commute might not be the best thing. But all of this moving and rooming in houses not my own has left me with a big void in my woodworking time.

I'll get to the point. A couple of weeks ago, my wife asked me why I haven't taken my woodworking tools up to my Aunts house and use the spare time I have up there in the evenings to do some ww'ing. What a brilliant woman. So the last couple of weeks have been filled with me setting up my disassembled (for the move) table saw and Router table. And I think I might be able to finish the dresser that I promised my Mother-In-Law in time for Christmas. I think I am headed out tonight to get some plywood for the Mortising Jig from ShopNotes #64 and then I'll be back to makin' dust. Absence has definitely made the heart grow fonder and I am enjoying my new found time in the shop. Up 'til now its all been strictly classroom stuff, you know, listening to WoodTalk Online, watching the Wood Whisperer, and catching up on back issues of ShopNotes.

One thing that I have been able to continue is BBQ, due to the fact that my Father in law has the same smoker that I do. I've been able to smoke ribs on two occasions, a pork butt last weekend, and I just found out for Christmas I'll be smoking the 17lb turkey. When my wife first mentioned the turkey, for some reason I thought of the smoking time for a butt or a brisket, which is roughly 1-1.5 hours per pound and told her it would take almost a day to smoke. After I thought about it for a while, I realized poultry is much different than those meats and adjusted my estimate to only be about 8 hours or so because the turkey will only need to be cooked for 30-45 minutes per lb.

So in short my hobbies (and the topics of this blog) are picking up in fine fashion from where I left them in Colorado.

Thanks everyone for reading and the kind comments on the last post.

Cheers!
 

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Getting Settled

I've been away from woodworking for a while and while it was in a roundabout way my choice, I miss making sawdust. Lemme explain.

It will be 19 months since my wife and I welcomed our twins into the world in a couple of days. Ever since they were born, I wanted to move closer to family and the only place I could get a job and hope for continued employment in my field (database development), was here in Reno, about 40 miles North of her parents. In July, we took the plunge and I accepted a position out here and uprooted my family. Little did I know that the sub-prime markets were going to $#!+ the bed and losses all over Wall Street would freeze up the housing market, thus making it more difficult to sell our house in Colorado and buy a new one out here. Luckily, in this family doing whatever it takes to help out other family members is a priority. My wife and kids are currently staying down with her parents and I am staying with her Aunt about a mile away from my work. We figured with the gas prices as lovely as they are right now, an hour-each-way commute might not be the best thing. But all of this moving and rooming in houses not my own has left me with a big void in my woodworking time.

I'll get to the point. A couple of weeks ago, my wife asked me why I haven't taken my woodworking tools up to my Aunts house and use the spare time I have up there in the evenings to do some ww'ing. What a brilliant woman. So the last couple of weeks have been filled with me setting up my disassembled (for the move) table saw and Router table. And I think I might be able to finish the dresser that I promised my Mother-In-Law in time for Christmas. I think I am headed out tonight to get some plywood for the Mortising Jig from ShopNotes #64 and then I'll be back to makin' dust. Absence has definitely made the heart grow fonder and I am enjoying my new found time in the shop. Up 'til now its all been strictly classroom stuff, you know, listening to WoodTalk Online, watching the Wood Whisperer, and catching up on back issues of ShopNotes.

One thing that I have been able to continue is BBQ, due to the fact that my Father in law has the same smoker that I do. I've been able to smoke ribs on two occasions, a pork butt last weekend, and I just found out for Christmas I'll be smoking the 17lb turkey. When my wife first mentioned the turkey, for some reason I thought of the smoking time for a butt or a brisket, which is roughly 1-1.5 hours per pound and told her it would take almost a day to smoke. After I thought about it for a while, I realized poultry is much different than those meats and adjusted my estimate to only be about 8 hours or so because the turkey will only need to be cooked for 30-45 minutes per lb.

So in short my hobbies (and the topics of this blog) are picking up in fine fashion from where I left them in Colorado.

Thanks everyone for reading and the kind comments on the last post.

Cheers!
how wonderful.
not only do you get to do some woodworking but you have something to do with your time away from the family.
Nice.
 

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Getting Settled

I've been away from woodworking for a while and while it was in a roundabout way my choice, I miss making sawdust. Lemme explain.

It will be 19 months since my wife and I welcomed our twins into the world in a couple of days. Ever since they were born, I wanted to move closer to family and the only place I could get a job and hope for continued employment in my field (database development), was here in Reno, about 40 miles North of her parents. In July, we took the plunge and I accepted a position out here and uprooted my family. Little did I know that the sub-prime markets were going to $#!+ the bed and losses all over Wall Street would freeze up the housing market, thus making it more difficult to sell our house in Colorado and buy a new one out here. Luckily, in this family doing whatever it takes to help out other family members is a priority. My wife and kids are currently staying down with her parents and I am staying with her Aunt about a mile away from my work. We figured with the gas prices as lovely as they are right now, an hour-each-way commute might not be the best thing. But all of this moving and rooming in houses not my own has left me with a big void in my woodworking time.

I'll get to the point. A couple of weeks ago, my wife asked me why I haven't taken my woodworking tools up to my Aunts house and use the spare time I have up there in the evenings to do some ww'ing. What a brilliant woman. So the last couple of weeks have been filled with me setting up my disassembled (for the move) table saw and Router table. And I think I might be able to finish the dresser that I promised my Mother-In-Law in time for Christmas. I think I am headed out tonight to get some plywood for the Mortising Jig from ShopNotes #64 and then I'll be back to makin' dust. Absence has definitely made the heart grow fonder and I am enjoying my new found time in the shop. Up 'til now its all been strictly classroom stuff, you know, listening to WoodTalk Online, watching the Wood Whisperer, and catching up on back issues of ShopNotes.

One thing that I have been able to continue is BBQ, due to the fact that my Father in law has the same smoker that I do. I've been able to smoke ribs on two occasions, a pork butt last weekend, and I just found out for Christmas I'll be smoking the 17lb turkey. When my wife first mentioned the turkey, for some reason I thought of the smoking time for a butt or a brisket, which is roughly 1-1.5 hours per pound and told her it would take almost a day to smoke. After I thought about it for a while, I realized poultry is much different than those meats and adjusted my estimate to only be about 8 hours or so because the turkey will only need to be cooked for 30-45 minutes per lb.

So in short my hobbies (and the topics of this blog) are picking up in fine fashion from where I left them in Colorado.

Thanks everyone for reading and the kind comments on the last post.

Cheers!
Glad to hear things are working out for you Schwigs. I hope things will get back to normal soon.
 

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Getting Settled

I've been away from woodworking for a while and while it was in a roundabout way my choice, I miss making sawdust. Lemme explain.

It will be 19 months since my wife and I welcomed our twins into the world in a couple of days. Ever since they were born, I wanted to move closer to family and the only place I could get a job and hope for continued employment in my field (database development), was here in Reno, about 40 miles North of her parents. In July, we took the plunge and I accepted a position out here and uprooted my family. Little did I know that the sub-prime markets were going to $#!+ the bed and losses all over Wall Street would freeze up the housing market, thus making it more difficult to sell our house in Colorado and buy a new one out here. Luckily, in this family doing whatever it takes to help out other family members is a priority. My wife and kids are currently staying down with her parents and I am staying with her Aunt about a mile away from my work. We figured with the gas prices as lovely as they are right now, an hour-each-way commute might not be the best thing. But all of this moving and rooming in houses not my own has left me with a big void in my woodworking time.

I'll get to the point. A couple of weeks ago, my wife asked me why I haven't taken my woodworking tools up to my Aunts house and use the spare time I have up there in the evenings to do some ww'ing. What a brilliant woman. So the last couple of weeks have been filled with me setting up my disassembled (for the move) table saw and Router table. And I think I might be able to finish the dresser that I promised my Mother-In-Law in time for Christmas. I think I am headed out tonight to get some plywood for the Mortising Jig from ShopNotes #64 and then I'll be back to makin' dust. Absence has definitely made the heart grow fonder and I am enjoying my new found time in the shop. Up 'til now its all been strictly classroom stuff, you know, listening to WoodTalk Online, watching the Wood Whisperer, and catching up on back issues of ShopNotes.

One thing that I have been able to continue is BBQ, due to the fact that my Father in law has the same smoker that I do. I've been able to smoke ribs on two occasions, a pork butt last weekend, and I just found out for Christmas I'll be smoking the 17lb turkey. When my wife first mentioned the turkey, for some reason I thought of the smoking time for a butt or a brisket, which is roughly 1-1.5 hours per pound and told her it would take almost a day to smoke. After I thought about it for a while, I realized poultry is much different than those meats and adjusted my estimate to only be about 8 hours or so because the turkey will only need to be cooked for 30-45 minutes per lb.

So in short my hobbies (and the topics of this blog) are picking up in fine fashion from where I left them in Colorado.

Thanks everyone for reading and the kind comments on the last post.

Cheers!
sounds like your getting there, "When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on!"
 

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Getting Settled

I've been away from woodworking for a while and while it was in a roundabout way my choice, I miss making sawdust. Lemme explain.

It will be 19 months since my wife and I welcomed our twins into the world in a couple of days. Ever since they were born, I wanted to move closer to family and the only place I could get a job and hope for continued employment in my field (database development), was here in Reno, about 40 miles North of her parents. In July, we took the plunge and I accepted a position out here and uprooted my family. Little did I know that the sub-prime markets were going to $#!+ the bed and losses all over Wall Street would freeze up the housing market, thus making it more difficult to sell our house in Colorado and buy a new one out here. Luckily, in this family doing whatever it takes to help out other family members is a priority. My wife and kids are currently staying down with her parents and I am staying with her Aunt about a mile away from my work. We figured with the gas prices as lovely as they are right now, an hour-each-way commute might not be the best thing. But all of this moving and rooming in houses not my own has left me with a big void in my woodworking time.

I'll get to the point. A couple of weeks ago, my wife asked me why I haven't taken my woodworking tools up to my Aunts house and use the spare time I have up there in the evenings to do some ww'ing. What a brilliant woman. So the last couple of weeks have been filled with me setting up my disassembled (for the move) table saw and Router table. And I think I might be able to finish the dresser that I promised my Mother-In-Law in time for Christmas. I think I am headed out tonight to get some plywood for the Mortising Jig from ShopNotes #64 and then I'll be back to makin' dust. Absence has definitely made the heart grow fonder and I am enjoying my new found time in the shop. Up 'til now its all been strictly classroom stuff, you know, listening to WoodTalk Online, watching the Wood Whisperer, and catching up on back issues of ShopNotes.

One thing that I have been able to continue is BBQ, due to the fact that my Father in law has the same smoker that I do. I've been able to smoke ribs on two occasions, a pork butt last weekend, and I just found out for Christmas I'll be smoking the 17lb turkey. When my wife first mentioned the turkey, for some reason I thought of the smoking time for a butt or a brisket, which is roughly 1-1.5 hours per pound and told her it would take almost a day to smoke. After I thought about it for a while, I realized poultry is much different than those meats and adjusted my estimate to only be about 8 hours or so because the turkey will only need to be cooked for 30-45 minutes per lb.

So in short my hobbies (and the topics of this blog) are picking up in fine fashion from where I left them in Colorado.

Thanks everyone for reading and the kind comments on the last post.

Cheers!
Hope you can get settled soon. We look forward to the Christmas dresser posting.
 

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Getting Settled

I've been away from woodworking for a while and while it was in a roundabout way my choice, I miss making sawdust. Lemme explain.

It will be 19 months since my wife and I welcomed our twins into the world in a couple of days. Ever since they were born, I wanted to move closer to family and the only place I could get a job and hope for continued employment in my field (database development), was here in Reno, about 40 miles North of her parents. In July, we took the plunge and I accepted a position out here and uprooted my family. Little did I know that the sub-prime markets were going to $#!+ the bed and losses all over Wall Street would freeze up the housing market, thus making it more difficult to sell our house in Colorado and buy a new one out here. Luckily, in this family doing whatever it takes to help out other family members is a priority. My wife and kids are currently staying down with her parents and I am staying with her Aunt about a mile away from my work. We figured with the gas prices as lovely as they are right now, an hour-each-way commute might not be the best thing. But all of this moving and rooming in houses not my own has left me with a big void in my woodworking time.

I'll get to the point. A couple of weeks ago, my wife asked me why I haven't taken my woodworking tools up to my Aunts house and use the spare time I have up there in the evenings to do some ww'ing. What a brilliant woman. So the last couple of weeks have been filled with me setting up my disassembled (for the move) table saw and Router table. And I think I might be able to finish the dresser that I promised my Mother-In-Law in time for Christmas. I think I am headed out tonight to get some plywood for the Mortising Jig from ShopNotes #64 and then I'll be back to makin' dust. Absence has definitely made the heart grow fonder and I am enjoying my new found time in the shop. Up 'til now its all been strictly classroom stuff, you know, listening to WoodTalk Online, watching the Wood Whisperer, and catching up on back issues of ShopNotes.

One thing that I have been able to continue is BBQ, due to the fact that my Father in law has the same smoker that I do. I've been able to smoke ribs on two occasions, a pork butt last weekend, and I just found out for Christmas I'll be smoking the 17lb turkey. When my wife first mentioned the turkey, for some reason I thought of the smoking time for a butt or a brisket, which is roughly 1-1.5 hours per pound and told her it would take almost a day to smoke. After I thought about it for a while, I realized poultry is much different than those meats and adjusted my estimate to only be about 8 hours or so because the turkey will only need to be cooked for 30-45 minutes per lb.

So in short my hobbies (and the topics of this blog) are picking up in fine fashion from where I left them in Colorado.

Thanks everyone for reading and the kind comments on the last post.

Cheers!
Smoked Turkey!!! I am coming over for Thanksgiving!!! Im not quite comfortable enough with my bbq skill to have the whole family depending on my turkey. :) Someday. But not yet.
 

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Getting Settled

I've been away from woodworking for a while and while it was in a roundabout way my choice, I miss making sawdust. Lemme explain.

It will be 19 months since my wife and I welcomed our twins into the world in a couple of days. Ever since they were born, I wanted to move closer to family and the only place I could get a job and hope for continued employment in my field (database development), was here in Reno, about 40 miles North of her parents. In July, we took the plunge and I accepted a position out here and uprooted my family. Little did I know that the sub-prime markets were going to $#!+ the bed and losses all over Wall Street would freeze up the housing market, thus making it more difficult to sell our house in Colorado and buy a new one out here. Luckily, in this family doing whatever it takes to help out other family members is a priority. My wife and kids are currently staying down with her parents and I am staying with her Aunt about a mile away from my work. We figured with the gas prices as lovely as they are right now, an hour-each-way commute might not be the best thing. But all of this moving and rooming in houses not my own has left me with a big void in my woodworking time.

I'll get to the point. A couple of weeks ago, my wife asked me why I haven't taken my woodworking tools up to my Aunts house and use the spare time I have up there in the evenings to do some ww'ing. What a brilliant woman. So the last couple of weeks have been filled with me setting up my disassembled (for the move) table saw and Router table. And I think I might be able to finish the dresser that I promised my Mother-In-Law in time for Christmas. I think I am headed out tonight to get some plywood for the Mortising Jig from ShopNotes #64 and then I'll be back to makin' dust. Absence has definitely made the heart grow fonder and I am enjoying my new found time in the shop. Up 'til now its all been strictly classroom stuff, you know, listening to WoodTalk Online, watching the Wood Whisperer, and catching up on back issues of ShopNotes.

One thing that I have been able to continue is BBQ, due to the fact that my Father in law has the same smoker that I do. I've been able to smoke ribs on two occasions, a pork butt last weekend, and I just found out for Christmas I'll be smoking the 17lb turkey. When my wife first mentioned the turkey, for some reason I thought of the smoking time for a butt or a brisket, which is roughly 1-1.5 hours per pound and told her it would take almost a day to smoke. After I thought about it for a while, I realized poultry is much different than those meats and adjusted my estimate to only be about 8 hours or so because the turkey will only need to be cooked for 30-45 minutes per lb.

So in short my hobbies (and the topics of this blog) are picking up in fine fashion from where I left them in Colorado.

Thanks everyone for reading and the kind comments on the last post.

Cheers!
Welcome back. Glad you are able to get back to the shop.

Good luck on the turkey.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Brinin' and Jiggin'

I just noticed that its been 30 days since my last post and I am really having a tough time believing that…not that I think the system date function is wrong or anything, but these last 30 days have FLOWN by…November was pretty much a blur. I guess a B-day, Thanksgiving, and a 10 day trip to Hawaii will make a month seem like a week…which it did.

So I am making good progress for getting the dresser done in time for Christmas. Helping immensely to advance my progress was the aforementioned Mortising Jig that I spent some time building last month. I used to use the method of dropping the workpiece onto the router table slowly, cutting all mortises for the piece(s) being worked on, stopping the router, raising the bit a bit (hehe), and repeating. My main issue with this was fairly inconsistent mortises and being pretty scared that I was going to injure myself or the piece by dropping it onto the spinning bit. This is not so anymore. Now the workpiece is securely fastened in place and the plunge router does all of the moving while supported by my two hands…its a much better way to do things. What would we do without jigs? Repetitive work becomes more consistent and by running through the same motions, tasks are usually completed more quickly…what's not to like??? I've got a few other jigs that I use, but I think the mortising jig is going to get the most consistent workout in the shop.

So with the dresser moving along nicely, I am beginning planning for the Christmas Turkey Smoking. I've heard reports from some people that will be at the dinner that they tried to do a smoked turkey for Thanksgiving and it didn't turn out very well. They said that it didn't go on early enough, but I'm guessing that lack of planning and preparation had something to do with it. When I get the smoker fired up, I like to take at least a week (more if I know about the cook in advance) to get my thoughts straight on what needs to be done and what the timing of the day will be like. For instance, I've already started planning the brine that I am going to be employing. What…you don't brine your turkeys? Shame on you. Brining imparts flavor and moisture onto lean meats such as poultry, pork, and seafood. For those that might not know, a brine is a water and salt mixture (usually containing sugar and other flavoring additions) that the turkey will be soaked in for 8-10 hours before the bird goes onto the smoker. This process is mostly osmosis of the brine moving through the meat cells to equilibrate the moisture content between the inside and outside of the cells. While brine definitely adds flavor to the bird, it also helps it cook a little faster and more evenly because the higher concentration of moisture will conduct heat better than a non-brined bird. If you haven't tried brining before, next time you cook turkey or chicken, give it a shot, you'll like the results. Below is a great resource for brining…and the rest of the site is great for smoking in general.

I'll definitely make more posts this month than I did last month detailing both the construction of the dresser and the planning for the Christmas cook.

Cheers.

http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/brining.html
 
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