It was on my mind, so made a better Featherboard Hold-Down

Posted By on July 1, 2020

StarKnob_AmazonAs mentioned a couple days ago, I saw a fellow woodworker using a better featherboard hold-down clamp … and after over 30 years of using my “temporary” pine featherboard … with a makeshift wedge style clamp, I finally hodgepodged a new one together.

The new “hold down clamp” works just fine, but after using an old grill handle and wooden knob with a press fit and epoxied nut, I decided to buy a bag of 1/4”-20 Star Knobs instead for this hold down clamp … and to used on a few other jigs. Perhaps next on the jig list is to make a new featherboard … if I can get over being sentimental?

FeatherboadHolddown200630 FeatherboardWoodKnobs200628

EDIT: The new knobs came in .. so I’m adding the photo below.

Winding down June 2020 with a couple granddaughter photos

Posted By on June 30, 2020

FathersDayFacetime200621Time to add a couple photos to close out June  2020 and mark the 4 month pediatrician appointment for Ellerie. She is doing great and weighed in at 13 lbs 6 oz and 25 inches. Not to be left out, Annalyn is growing too, although 33 lbs is exactly where she was  when she jumped on our antique scale.Annalyn33lbs200626


Music Monday: Bread – Baby I’m-a Want You plus concert video

Posted By on June 29, 2020

BreadBabyImAWantYouCoverAfter mentioning and listening to my friend’s “vinyl” version of Bread’s album Baby I’m-a Want You last week when visiting, I thought why not a sampling for Music Monday? So here’s the cover song from the 1972 album and a sampling of just how mellow SOME music in the 1970s could be.

Brenda and I both enjoyed both David Gates (mentioned before a time or two) and Bread … and at one time had a couple of their albums. Sad to say, all of mine were lost in the basement flooding, but I probably should have at least kept the cover art as warped as it was for Taylor’s hallway art. He seems to appreciate the old album covers and suspect he would even enjoy having a record player like Mark recently bought.

  Bread – Baby I’m A Want You | recorded 1971

Also while digging up a little Bread info, spotted a recorded concert from 1978 and figured I might as well include below.


Archive: Flying down and driving back from hurricane prep

Posted By on June 28, 2020


Flew on the airlines for the first time since COVID19 to Florida via Baltimore (photo BWI terminal above) last week and thankfully the flights and negotiating the airport was uneventful. Besides a computer glitch which backed up lines on check in, everything else went smoothly. It is yet to be seen if the rise in cases and hospitalizations in Florida (Texas and other states) is going to change the return to a somewhat normal pattern for traveling, CondoCleanWeekend200621but at least as of June 2020 the trip down and drive back went well (Oddity: only one flight attendant working on my Southwest flight from BWI to FLL seemed to be resisting the “wear a mask” policy .. strange?)


NewShowerHandle200623Besides the condo cleaning (ugh, really needed Brenda) the closing up for hurricane season and repairing was “as expected.”  NewDoorSensor200623When things are old, they degrade .. and I really wasn’t overly shocked at the rust behind the chrome bathtub fitting; there must have had a lot of water dripping behind it? I replaced the cheaper fixture with stainless steel screwed “sturdier handle” that should last longer than the previous one.

One of the security sensor continues to fall off the 3M foam tape so along with replacing the batteries, I added a couple small screws to prevent the glues from letting go again (photo left). I definitely do not like false “door opening” warnings on my phone!

The old Office Depot corporate campus building in Delray Beach is coming down and according to the preliminary plans, a new walk-able 49 acre shopping area may take its place in the Germantown Road/Congress Road intersection. I’m sure it will not happen overnight, but it was good to see the demolition taking place as I’d love having this within walking distance (current demolition and 2018 architectural concept below).


CondoKitchenCleaning200622After a few days closing up the condo, I headed to the boat with the full intention of meeting an engine repair guy. While I touched-base a few times, I sensed that he was having second thoughts and making up excuses. Sure enough, after I picked up the parts I had ordered for the heat exchanger and cooling system (ordered the previously), he canceled on me. So I pondered tackling it in the 90 degree heat by myself and decided instead to just do the hurricane preparation for Encore. Thankfully all went well, but I definitely am not used to the high summer Florida heat and humidity … it wasn’t a relaxing time on the boat. Who knows what he future holds?


I headed back to the aging Honda Odyssey minvan (dead battery .. another pain but thankfully I had my tools and jump starter with me). After installing a new battery, I checked in with the Bed and Breakfast (an inside joke) outside of Savannah GA. As always, they welcomed my stopping and it gave use time to catch up on things. Mark has been busy around their new house with a lot improvements. He never stops doing things – probably why we get along so well? Besides the house and his garage workshop projects, he has also been paying attention to his health. I was shocked how great he looked (minus 30 lbs!!!) He is an inspiration for me to be sure!

As usual, Dar and he fixed a great dinner pork on the grill dinner and always make it special adding “green beans” to the meal (my favorite veggie – I don’t get them at home). Mark showed off his “old is new again” Crosley record player (turntable) and re-collection of old albums. Definitely enjoyable to listen to the old pops and crackles of vinyl – who would have thunk it? (Taylor would love it) The conversation never stopped and carried us past midnight .. I slept like a rock.


With all that is going on in the country, it is sure nice to have friends who are caring and reflective of what Americans “can be” if they chose. We need more Jones! Thanks Mark and Dar.

Heading towards home – South to North Carolina boarder

Woodworking idea to better clamp a table saw featherboard

Posted By on June 27, 2020


FeatherboardClamping200405I’ve used the same combination of featherboards on my table saw for years (photo left). I also have a Shopsmith commercial featherboard which fits the smaller table perfectly, but it only works to hold larger sized pieces against the fence on my cabinet saw.

Then there is the temporary one that I made 40 years ago (photo left) and I’ve never bothered to replace it. When I need a hold-place, it tends to be the one I use most often and have a pinched wedge trick to hold it firmly to the table (click for larger). I’ve never bothered to make a new one or even a better way to clamp it in place.

So I’m saving the photo above and will make it a project on some cold and rainy day … if Mark Jones doesn’t beat me to it – lower section of this post!


TechFriday: Dropbox paid cloud storage is tough to justify

Posted By on June 26, 2020

Besides Google’s less intuitive cloud storage, Dropbox was the first DropboxLogocloud service that I gravitated to “back in the day.”  I’ve posted about them before on TechFriday (2015 comparison) and they are still one of the best cloud storage services for the way I work on computers and devices. Unfortunately over the last few years they also have had to figure out how to monetize data storage and this began with offering more storage for more money THEN a little arm twisting by restricting devices. Giant tech companies like Google, Amazon and Microsoft (and smaller ones) also expanded in the cloud storage area and could offer bundled services or advertising as a way to offset growing their cloud businesses.


In my opinion, Dropbox found it challenging to compete with the behemoths and have both over-price and “squeezed” their users; instead of growing their user base, they have opted to squeeze those who remain users. I’m not sure how long this will remain?  Many of us who like their excellent cloud storage service found it difficult to justify a pricey storage-only plan (yes they offer other “not really necessary” features too). 

This past week I revisited them since I’m a long time user once again evaluating where I should be when it comes to storing data. The customer service rep was polite and understanding. She was well aware of my predicament in evaluating a monthly amount of money just to cloud store increasing amounts of data … much of it archival in nature. It sounded as if she has had this conversation many times before. My point was that considering I can store tons of data for free on my Miami University Google Drive (graduated from and taught there) or store 1 TB on my OneDrive since I use Microsoft Office365 … or even consider storing more on my Apple iCloud or Amazon Clouddrive for “no” additional dollars (not to mention using Odrive to store on company servers). The point being is that I would not mind even a small fee to have a few more GBs on Dropbox “just for personal stuff” if it would loosen up the device restriction and be competitively priced.


So for 2020, Dropbox continues to remain an overprice “great cloud service” but is off my list. Suggestion: They really should “bundle” their service with someone (maybe Netflix, Walmart, Intuit, Facebook, banks  or a media organization).

Forgot to archive my 2020 Father’s Day conversation #TBT

Posted By on June 25, 2020

FathersDayFacetime200621Our family went in different directions for Father’s Day this year, but I enjoyed the text messages, ‘last year memory photo’ and FaceTime singing by Annalyn. She sang a great Happy Father’s Day song to the tune of "Happy Birthday to you" … that was very appreciated and enjoyable.

Ellerie tried to talk and she gazed at the iPad screen the whole time … I’m not sure if it was just because it was a "video screen" or my funny face?

The call from Katelyn and Drew after their weekend with the Oostras in Michigan was just what I needed to top off my day … as was the photo from Put-In-Bay last year (photo below – and making it a Throwback Thursday #TBT link). What great memories my whole family has had up at Lake Erie.


Taylor was off backpacking to the Smokey Mountains with this buddy Mike … and from his photos … looks to have had a great time. So many similar memories we share … I did the same thing when single and then with my buddy Jeff after Brenda and I were married. We even took Brenda and the kids on a couple of our hikes and eventually moving up from tent to cabin. Good times and memories (link to photo of kids on the tailgate of our 1994 Toyota 4-Runner)!


Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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