Intermission for non guitar stuff

While my lacquer was curing for two weeks I took the opportunity to do a couple things around the house.

I installed an automatic gate opener for my drive way.  Of course I picked a particularly cold week to run 125′ of partially buried power cable and bug together a bunch of electrical connections.  Oh well… its done.  No pics.  Not that exciting, except to me, not having to get in and out of the car a few times every time I want to leave the house is a pleasure.

Another project on the back burner for about 2 years was restoring an old copper fixture that was original to my house.

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I guess when having electric lighting was a status symbol, this was probably extravagant with 16 bulbs in it. Originally in the dining room, the bulbs were facing down and exposed, and it hung about 8” off the ceiling. I ended up moving some fixtures around and replacing this with a much nicer chandelier from another room.  I decided to restore, then install the fixture upside down, so the leaves would show and drop it about 2′ off the ceiling.

About 2 years ago I pulled this out of the basement and took it apart. Most of the copper leaves needed to be resoldered where they met the center hub. I guess the weight over the years took its toll. That was about as far as I got.

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Yes, I use my buffing wheels in the paint booth.  Keeps the dust down.  I still wear a respirator though.

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The brass sockets are my favorite part.  No one will see them with its hung upside down, but they just don’t make parts like this anymore.  The Edison and other text makes it even better, besides how well made and solid they are.  Only rewiring some of the bulbs, there are an additional 8 short sockets that I didn’t polish up.  They are in a box with the remaining sockets if I need spare parts.

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The copper leaves came out well. They are definitely hand hammered.  Each one is a bit different.  Those creases are hard to get into, and they like to hold excess buffing compound.

Came out pretty well.  I only wired 4 sockets and it was still a pain in the butt and a tight fit.  Maybe I was a bit overzealous using 14 gauge to each bulb and a 12 gauge feed? Only used 40 watt bulbs and its almost too bright for me.  Guess I need a dimmer.

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More vintage stuff

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Score 1 for the maintenance supervisor!

Maintenance supervisor at work gave me this vintage bottle and a bottle of absinthe at our Xmas party.  Super cool bottle that he said came from an old pharmacy.  He’s always giving me old stuff that he finds.  Guess he knows I appreciate that kind of thing more than most.  Absinthe is cool too, but I rarely drink anymore, so that will be in the liquor cabinet for some time, while the vintage soda bottle sits on display in the kitchen.

Plough plane

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In between working on a couple Xmas gifts and now last minute preps for my social debut, I picked up a Stanley 45 plough plane. Came with one blade. One of these days I’ll order some tool steel and try making some blades. Looks like a late 1800s plane. Nice condition.

My new toy…

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All cleaned up.  After a bit of research, I know it’s a Fisher Norris anvil.  Still haven’t weighed it.  Cut an oak stump for it and pinned it down.

My first attempt at a gas forge using a big propane nozzle I had didn’t work very well.  Not enough air flow I think.  So I either build a new nozzle or fire up some coal.

I’ll figure it out one of these days in between wood shop projects.

Chisels got rack! Yeah baby!

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Sorry for the sir mix-a-lot reference.  Built racks for my chisels out of old cedar fence boards.  Practiced my dovetails, which are still rough.  Not easy in cedar thats for sure.  Also attempted sliding dovetails for the walnut racks so I can remove them if I need to modify them at all.  Not pretty, but they function   A lot of work for chisels, but I have fun with things like this.  When I move into my new shop at the house, I’ll mount these to runners on the wall.

Look at that lonely Stanley 750 with the red handle.  The only one that wasn’t loose, in fact I couldn’t get it out.  If it ever comes out I’ll make a locust one to match.  Plus I made room for a few more, just in case.