The author builds a new galley table. I am a woodworker too.

The music was loud, the Heineken was cold, and the fans were blowing on a hot Florida afternoon. I am a cabinetmaker too!

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Above is the new galley table I built for my sailboat. The original was ugly, and I was always hitting my knees and feet against the pedestal trying to get in or out of the tight sitting area. I have photos of how I built it, so I thought I would show you a bit of the carpenter in David Alexander.

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I planed down  an adequate supply of Sepele and Wenge that I had been hiding on my shelves. I applied a coat of polyurethane to see the color on a test piece. I cut a piece of teak plywood to the size required to drop between the seating, allowing me to have a third sleeping area on this sailboat. In the future, I found that this area had better ventilation and made a much larger bed. It became the TV pit since I had a large flat panel TV on the opposing wall.

 

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Using Titebond III glue, I started by doing my layout on the plywood, started in the center, and worked my way out, using a pin nailer to secure the pieces to the plywood. The surface and all contact points were secured with glue. Each ring of wood was allowed to dry before the next ring was added.

 

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I did this project in my garage. The music was loud, the Heineken was cold, and the fans were blowing on a hot Florida afternoon. As you can see from the above photo. the wood hides its beauty at this stage.

 

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I thinned the first coat as a sealer and sanded it to a glassy smooth. Sepele is easy to work with but Wenge requires control and patience. It works like stringy oak and will blow apart if your router moves too fast. The end results are worth it. I plan to build my new office out of Wenge. After several more coats of finish, sanding between each coat, it produced the table in my boat.

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A pedestal? I still have Sepele on the workbench. I have an idea! I cut the angles into the Sepele and glued all but one side with Titebond III. I added Sepele trim pieces to the top and bottom after cutting the pedestal to my required height.

 

The top and bottom plywood pieces are identical size with rubber T-edge, as edgebanding.

In the end, the height of the rubber edging, when the pedestal is laid on its side, is the exact height between the floor and the bottom of the table top, when the table is dropped to seat level. The side cushions fill in and make a comfortable bed with added support under the table top.

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The floor and table top have recessed threads on the top and bottom. I found big bolts with rubber coated handles to soften the accidental contact with bare feet.  You can barely see the knobs in the following photo.

 

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The pedestal had a hidden door? Many of the islands I visit have issues with piracy. A Mossberg 12GA shotgun with marine-coat, fits right into the pedestals quick release mounts.

 

If I get much response from this post, I may add an additional page and start posting my many, many, projects. I am, a cabinet-maker too.

#Cabinetry #Cabinet Maker #Woodworking #Carpentry #Carpenter #Sailboat #Boat #Transportation #Refit #Rebuild

Broke down in Florida nature reserve. Alligators and Space-X

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Alligator Bait.

I left the cabinet shop at the yacht factory after a hot day of doing things over. The partially visible hinges between the doors and the jams were not perfectly spaced. They wanted them to show 50/50 in case someone took a flashlight and checked the dark space between. There were three SOS hinges on each of nine doors.

The Alpi veneer on one side of a finished door had been damaged and had to be sanded off and re-veneered. This required me sanding with 80 grit sandpaper for two hours, then leaving the door and veneer overnight in the vacuum table.

A cedar wardrobe that went into the starboard stateroom was complete, except for the missing door and trim for the front. I pushed it aside until the walnut arrives and started on another wardrobe that was also missing the walnut parts.

After the standard ten-hour day, I laid my thumbprint on the timeclock and ducked out of the side door to my 2006 pickup. I waved at the guard at the guard-shack and sped through the traffic of 528. I exited onto Courtenay and zoomed north toward Kennedy Space Center. The radar detector was working fine. I had a 5:00 appointment with the cable company at my land home to check the cables to my high-speed modem.

As I came to the light at 405, I smelled antifreeze. My truck was running hot and as I passed the intersection, the steam came through the hood and across my windshield. I sat puzzled for a second as the steam came through the dash vents of my A/C. I opened the windows, turned off the outside air, and popped the hood.

The hose that went into the heater core had broken.

My adrenalin was peaking and I pulled the tools from behind the seat and removed the clamps. Between the hose on the heater core, and the hose to the engine, was a cheap plastic part that had a small fitting for service. The front of the plastic part was still in the hose and I ungracefully dug it out in pieces with needle nose pliers. With my hands bleeding, I tried to push it over a flange that was just a little too big. I laid my cell phone on the fender and pressed my mechanic’s number.

“Yeah David, if you pull the rest of the hose fitting off, you should be able to push the long hose onto the heater core tubing! If it doesn’t work, call me back and I’ll send a wrecker.”

“Okay! Thanks Tony.”

I managed to get the other clamp off that was recessed back against the firewall, with other hoses inconveniently around it.

Space-X, had just released their employees and cars were zooming by in a hurricane evacuation type frenzy. I laid the broken plastic part in the floor of the truck and resumed pushing the hose onto the BRASS fitting of the core. I had to use a screwdriver to push the clamp back far enough, but finally had it secure.

“My appointment! I have a 5:00 appointment!” I hit the button for my service provider.

“If you are calling to pay your bill press…”
“If you would like to change the services on your account press or say…”
“If you are calling for technical assistance press three.”
THREE… I pressed three!
“Please press one, for English… Press two for Spanish…”
ONE… damb it! English!
“Thank you… your estimated wait time is…”
AAaaahhhh! I pressed zero… and zero… and zero…
“Spectrum-Brighthouse, how can I assist you?”

“Look! I am on the side of a busy road with a broken-down truck. My hands are covered in grease, antifreeze and blood, and I have a rather large alligator that wonders if my legs may taste like chicken. I have a 5:00 appointment at my home with your service rep. and it appears that I will not be there.”

“Is this the account associated with the number showing on my caller ID?”
“Yes.”
He was laughing and snickering. “Don’t worry sir. I wall take care of it.”
“Thank you.”

Fortunately, I had been working on my sailboat last week and had all of the fairing compound, primer, sandpaper, and related tools in the back. (My truck has a fiberglass shell.) I cleaned the blood, and antifreeze off of my hands, and took out a five gallon bucket to dip replacement water from the nature reserve.

“Crap!” I stared at a big gator. He stared at me. I walked further away from him, and got some water, as we watched each other closely.  He leisurely swam toward me. I added the water to the trucks plastic reservoir and drove home watching the temperature gauge all of the way. I relaxed when I pulled in the driveway.

I took a quick shower and popped the cap on a cold Heineken. I pulled the handle on the recliner and pushed the Netflix option on the remote. It downloaded a movie, started, and kicked back to antenna TV. After doing this over and over, I went to my home-office and turned on the computer. No Netflix, no Twitter, no WordPress, no Pinterest, and only old email, from eight mailboxes.

Long drink… deep breath… and started running through the tests on the modem. In the end, the Tampa server was down, and I was exhausted. I remembered that it was a full moon… and went to bed.

#wordpress #gator #alligator #Brokedown #overheated #travel #Florida #MerrittIsland #AutoRepair #Bait #RocketLaunch #Space-X #NASA #NatureReserve

Arachnid Crunchitus

 

I am up every morning at four-thirty. Today, I got ready, loaded my lunch box, and went out to my Nissan Pickup sitting in the driveway. It was a moonless morning, so I moved through the darkness by a trickle of porch-light. I sat my lunch in the passenger seat, reached across my left shoulder, and grabbed the seat belt. When I pulled, I heard a crunch sound and it stopped half-way to the latch. I let it retract and pulled again… crunch! I did it a few more times and each ended with the same crunch.

I turned on the overhead light and looked at the seatbelt’s roller attached to the door post. On my side of the roller was four or five big spider legs. Goose bumps shot down my body as I released the belt, opened the door, and prepared for war with this huge spider.

I never found it. It either dropped onto the driveway, was somewhere in the items behind my seat, or was making his way under the seat to attack my legs as I drove. I felt… things, on my legs and arms all the way to the shop, only to find, nothing.

My truck has the little vents on the top of the side windows. You can leave the windows down about an inch, and the afternoon rains do not saturate the interior. I suspect that a spider of that size crawled in through that opening. The shop is basically in a swamp area, on a channel, that goes out to the big water. I will be cleaning the interior out thoroughly today.

#Insect #Spider #Bug #Cabinetry #Florida #Swamp #Nature #Travel #Writer #Transportation

 

The beginning of my dragonfly experience.

Some of you know about my history with dragonflies. They’re attracted to me every year.

Lately, they are back. I have had at least one visit every day for the last two weeks. Most of them, flutter around, unbalanced by cobwebs from the ceiling in the shop, and come to my workbench for help. I hold them down in the palm of my hand and carefully pull the cobwebs from their legs, wings and tails. I always calmly talk to them as I work and take them outside and release them. Everyone at the shop makes fun of me, but also wonders why they only go to me. Personally, I wonder too?

Monday, I was pushing a large cart back from the vacuum table. I had just taken some doors over to the other room, glued them up with veneer, and applied the negative pressure on the table. On the way back to my workbench, a dragonfly kept fling ahead of me erratically. Up and down, back and forth, and finally landing on my rolling table directly in front of me, I laid my hand over him and continued to my bench. I made the repairs to his wings, etc., and released him.

Tuesday, I went back to the same room, and was returning to my area. A dragonfly, with the same erratic flight problems, flew a foot or two ahead of my face for several steps.

“Having a few navigational problems?” I asked aloud. I held out my hand and it clumsily landed in the palm of my hand.

I about lost it.“HEY! CHECK THIS OUT!” I yelled. I did repairs and released this one. Everyone laughed and joked about the dragonfly whisperer.

Today… Friday, I found a big one under my bench, covered in webs. It was the biggest one this year. Again, I fixed him up and released him. Every year, the dragonflies come to me. I feel honored, but confused.

Now… everyone in the shop talks to them too. I hear them all the time.

“HE’S OVER THERE!” and they point.

tumblr_ntj2v2qm8d1qh41oao1_1280#Dragonfly #Damsel #Cabinetry #Carpenter #Travel #Florida #Insect #Nature

A Yacht Cabinet Maker’s Dragonfly Experience

We joked about him all morning and started calling him George.

When not writing, I build cabinets for a local yacht company.

Yesterday morning, a cold front came into Florida. It was 65 deg at my workbench when I unlocked at 5:45 am. I sat my coffee on the toolbox and noticed a large dragonfly hanging on the side by my clamps. I moved around him all morning as I worked, sometimes within inches, and he just watched me and occasionally moved himself around.

We joked about him all morning and started calling him George. After lunch the temperature was near 70 and George had left. About 3:30, George came back with a friend. His friend had cobwebs tangled on his wings and tail, and I cleared the webs and released him. They both flew into the upper level of the huge shop, and I suppose they plan to stay warm in here… until tomorrow.

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I was building this cedar cabinet for a 70′ yacht.

#dragonfly #cabinetry #insects #woodworking #yacht #Florida #WordPress #author #writer