29 May 2013

Workshop in work

This is yet another post to show the types of things eating into my time.

Anyone who has been to past posts, like this one from JAN 2013, has noted that my limited work environment is more like a mid-scale chess match in which I have limited movement space and pieces that can only fit a certain way.  Basically that post gives some idea of the problem:



I have long boards sitting along the back wall and then whatever can fit on that, like scrap wood ready to fall over, which means that moving anything is a challenge.  Earlier I had the carcass of the router table sitting on the bench, which meant that it was something to get greeted with when you opened the door to the shop as seen last year:


Not really what you want to have there, but do note that the previous router table from Veritas via Lee Valley, was set up on an old computer table.  That also had the shopvac under it and the new router table will house both in a more compact space and still give me some back table space for work processing.  And this post from early last year shows the main part of the mess in the room that causes the chess match situation:

Shop_08JAN201_ 006

The problem isn't the right side of the room as you enter, but the left side that has a dead corner taken up with a cabinet that really doesn't do anything (although for the $50 I paid for it back in '95 or '96 I am NOT complaining) since it is hemmed in by the other computer table that has the compound sliding miter saw on it.  That table basically kills off the left rear corner of the room and is a mess.  It is a detritus attractor, although on a good day the contractor table saw could just fit back there:

Shop_08JAN201_ 009

What a mess!

Trying to do more with the limited active space in the right of the room leads to a dead loss and frustration: it couldn't be made better.  On the left rear, however, a better organized section of the shop meant a major rearrangement and excessing pieces.  Basically the cabinet in the corner has to go from that room as it is the space killer and isn't large enough to do any real good for storage beyond small items.  The table next to it is killing valuable floor space all to hold up the miter saw and dust collection hose.  What a waste of volume.  And along the back wall the 10' wood has to get up and off the floor because it gets more moisture there and swells, which requires plane use and often re-sawing to smaller board width.  Also to get any real storage in the left rear corner means moving one bookcase from the left to the right of the room, and that still misses getting to the magic of 60" by 1". 

Why is 60" magic?

Simple: common cut plywood board size that I can lay my hands on is 24" x 48" and a 48" set of shelving will not easily take in such material due to the tightness of fit between boards and any shelving.  And there is no way that I can get that final, magic 1" without moving comic book storage boxes, food storage, shelving and basically re-arranging the entire basement and that is a no-go.

Now with that in mind and that I love boltless shelving (aka rivet shelving) I started to look for solutions.  The shelving, itself, is simple to find.  Shipping costs for any decent height (which is 7' as the basement ceiling is only 8' high) means freight shipping in a residential area with liftgate required.  Sucks like an Electrolux because it almost always adds on $135 to shipping costs.  Of course when I look at it locally that same sort of cost is already factored into the price, save that I have to get it home... and the company has added a profit margin to the total price... thus money is spent for getting it home and the total cost is more than what I can freight and liftgate it to my residence.  That is how marginal overhead cost changes prices and why the Internet is such a killer app for sales of equipment.

I would also like additional project space so I can actually have a high energy project going on (like trying to construct a router table while doing a chess match on limited floor space) and a low energy project going on at the same time (like completing my EMP covers for critical equipment which is basically something that requires space but not a lot of effort) but that I can't do as the materials have to be stored and the high energy stuff takes precedence.  Basically digging through piles of stuff to get to another project kills my daytime energy... defeating the purpose of working on a project.  When you spend more time moving stuff to get to stuff you either have too much stuff (too bad it all is on track to be used), too little space (a major problem), or poor organization of what you have (and that is the crux of the matter).

To get that project space in boltless is possible!  It is not, however, cross-adaptable to anything else on the market unless it simply rests on table surfaces or fits between tabletops and a ledge of metal to secure it.  So you can get basic but if you want adaptable be prepared to pay for that and generally get locked into some company's idea of modularity.  Boltless does cost less and that is a major driver as well (at least, you know, with all that shipping and liftgate stuff factored in).  I looked around at the limited offerings for boltless workstations and shelving (if you sell the workstations you sell the shelving, too, but just because you sell shelving doesn't mean you sell workstations) and for the first time in ages I found my normal supplier, Global Industrial, didn't have what I wanted.  After searching around I went to Action Wholesale Products as they did, indeed, beat the total cost of any competitor I could extract a price quote from by nearly $100.  Yes I could take a hacksaw to uprights and DIY, but if someone is going to do the work for you and think it out for you, then it must be realized that your time is money as well.

Thus I did a mass buy of stuff there as I would also by boltless shelving for along the back wall and get all that lumber up off the floor and start a major effort to get everything that I have where I can get to it easily.  Easily is a relative term here, BTW.

For the corner the old cabinet came out, the miter saw got moved, the dust collection stuff spent a couple of days outside under my half of a shelter under my deck, and the bookcase got moved.  That corner would get 24" x 48" boltless shelving and a 60" x 24" boltless workstation.  The back wall would get two 60" x 18" shelving units with extra shelves.

This is what happens when all that goes up first the left rear corner:


I am still in the sorting phase of things, but already things are looking up!  Everything that was on the table, in the cabinet, and just generally laying around and getting too close to the freezer (which had a minor disaster of icing due to lack of door sealing) is now up and off the floor and on shelving!  One can actually walk to the back door without threading through a path of equipment and stuff threatening to fall on you. 


There is a ton more sorting and laying out of material to do, but just with that one, single change, I've gotten back square footage to actually take more than two steps without worrying about my safety.

That dead space behind the workstation that shelving can't be in will be taken up by long saw guides, the router guide used for planing wood, long bar clamps and the like.  If it is thin, under 8' long and used rarely, it will go in that little space and get out of the old wet bar area or other places where it is hard to get to.

Let me back over to the entrance, which now no longer has the workbench immediately obstructing passage, although the router table is there, it is in the final construction phase but had to be dismantled to do all of the shelving assembly:


It is now possible to take a few steps into the shop without having to close the door to get around the workbench.  Temporarily the drill press had to get taken from its stand so the stand could be more easily moved and I have a set of post-construction casters coming in so that piece can be mobile.  The old router table from Lowe's will find a home someplace on the shelving for light use.

Now a shot from the left center of the room looking to the right center to rear:


Once the router table gets back into final construction and then finishing, the table saw will go to the end of the new workstation area.

On the workbench is a mess of hand planes, brace, hand drill, hatchet and other hand tools recently acquired that need to be cleaned, sharpened, lapped, and/or refinished:



The ammo can used to be the vehicle emergency supply unit, but has been replaced by something a bit more sporty.  That can will be used for storage of stuff that is better off in a dark place, not having just a towel thrown over it, which means some finishing supplies.

Once the router table is finished then the workshop will be reconfigurable around the workbench, so that the table can move to the end of the workbench or abut next to it so that the workbench can be a work support or infeed/outfeed table as needed.  In a pinch the table saw can be unlimbered and finished pieces flowed to the workbench or router table, with the other serving for infeed capacity with just a bit of temporary supports to keep things level.  At some point the sliding compound miter saw needs a real table or stand, as does a bench grinder (of which I have two, a 6" DeWalt and a 6" cheap piece of Chinese junk that may not last long but will be good for buffing, at least).

Part of the concept here is to get as much of the equipment's work surface at the same elevation.  The workbench from HF is at 34" and that is a decent level for me at 6'3" to work with.  Anything that is custom made by me for power tools will be at 34" and on casters.  That decision came after I made the cabinet for the bench drill press as it is not handy having a drill press bed a good 10" above a workbench (or any other table come to that) and if it were just within 1" up or down on average, then I would make better use of it, more often.  That is why the router table is at 34" and I would desperately love to get the table saw down from 36" to 34" (and I'll be looking at wheels to see if that can be accomplished without skewing things).

A major hint to any of the major shop equipment manufacturers: if you standardized your power tools to one elevation (table saw, router table, semi-adjustable drill press, workbench, track saw system to fit on a workbench, etc.) then you would gain a leg up on getting all those tools into an individual's workshop because of the damned hassle involved of trying to retrofit or make custom pieces for them.  To get a modular workplace requires that I have a standard height for my work surfaces and a standard dust collection port system for all my pieces.  I gave up on doing that with the workbench as I needed to use its interior volume for storage but may yet add on a simple tube arrangement in back so I can re-arrange dust collection capability at a moment's notice.   I am in the mid- to small-workshop range for one person and it isn't funny just how much of my time is spent asking: 'is there a way to get this tool to a useful elevation?'

Boltless shelving on 1.5" centers gets an allowance, but only a slight one on this score as 0.75" falls within a range of tolerance for work movement.  At 2" things get rough and a bit hairy and starts to require building of roller platforms.  Anything over that is a dead loss.  Perhaps I am the only individual who requires a reconfigurable workspace and, thusly, a high degree of modularity of equipment that all goes towards the same basic work inside the workspace.  My work flow must be modular not just due to space but due to a variety of stuff I'm having to make.  I'm not just making cabinets, or boxes, or chairs, or what have you... I can have two or three different projects ongoing that each require a different arrangement of tooling that would benefit from a modular workflow. 

I don't always need a drill press, but when I do it is usually not for a small piece but a large one (it never fails).  The table saw isn't always cutting down 4' x 8' sheet goods, but when I need it to do that I have to turn to a track saw and saw horses, not use my workbench and router table as a support system.  Heck when I'm taking a cut off of anything over 28" with my table saw I have to go to an alternative cutting system, which means time spent moving the entire workflow outdoors and loss of precious time doing so.  And the reason for the router table having such a large space behind it is not just for precision jigs for front use, but put the fence on the other side and then use the entire back surface to hold larger sheet goods that require bits that you do not want to use with a router by hand.  That is rare but when the table is done that is now possible to do.  This means that one of the major parts of any production processes is addressing the deficiencies of equipment  for something that should be relatively standardized.  I can picture an entire contractor set-up using modularized tables that fold down and then can be transported and set up anywhere, and you get to make the workflow at the worksite that is customizable to any job needing to be done there.  And then it all folds down for quick transport again.  That would free up valuable van or truck space for other hardware or raw materials storage.

It isn't funny the number of times I've had to adjust entire projects because of this single deficiency which doesn't allow for tools to exist at one level work surface.  You would think that a large corporation would see the extra dough they could charge for another $50 of hardware for cheap metal frames and a bit of standardization... I know the cost of extruded metals (steel, aluminum, et. al.) and hardware and am not joking at mass production levels.  Or even just asking the design engineers: 'Hey, have you tried to use this with our other tools?'

Yeah, Dumb Looks Still Free will be the reaction.

19 May 2013

Memo to the collective

Greetings to all and sundry in the collective!  The collective greets itself!

We are happy to report that the fundamental transformation, whilst slowing, continues even if it is at a snails pace.  There are unavoidable bumps in the road and the bodies are about to be piled under the bus.  To achieve that glorious end, to get to the never ending omelet of continuously breaking eggs, each and all of you have agreed to do one simple thing: follow collective talking points.

In general these talking points are given through the agreed-upon venues set up by your fellow parrots, and have also been circulated by various lists containing the letter 'O' and through some Old Media talking heads who are semi-reliable.  Generally it is that 'You've Got Mail!' voice from your preferred e-mail platform that brings to your attention the freshest, latest and mandatory collective talking points.  The collective goes through great expense and effort to generate up these talking points and your basic agreement is to actually use them.

As you may recall in the second paragraph of your agreement, the stipulation was that you agreed that you were minimally sentient, could walk and chew gum at the same time, knew how to copy and paste, and that you lacked the mental powers to make creative talking points.  We agreed to supply the talking points and you agreed to check all individualist thinking at the door.  You were no longer to have any morals, ethics, qualms nor any other individualist sort of second thoughts about what we handed you as you admitted you lacked the creative ability to do more than create simple sentences.  The collective was a bit dismayed at how many Harvard graduates were in that last category, but to get that never arising delicious omelet a few egg-heads had to be brought on board pre-cracked.

A few of you, and we know who you are, have not only not used the now updated hourly talking points, but have backslid on your agreement further and are now using talking points hours, days, weeks, months or, in a few cases, years old.  In doing so you are attempting to show original thinking which is individualist and that is not allowed.  Further you sound like an idiot and the collective is made to look like an idiot by your use of outmoded or outdated talking points and prior circulated non sequiturs.   Do note that with every e-mail list of talking points there are also fresh non sequiturs handed out for you to use to confuse and befuddle individualists and show a bit of comedy from the collective at your expense.  As part of your agreement you agreed it was better to suck as a chorus rather than as individuals, and by reverting to your individualistic suck you can no longer be brought into the tone deaf choir that is the collective.

Further you agreed that you had no ability to generate up original humor so stop it already, you are making the collective look bad with your attempts at originality which you admitted you have none in your possession.   That when combined with out of date talking points and non sequiturs have now put you into a position that you agreed not to get into, which is to suck on your own and show up the collective as unable to be creative.  Although this is generally true, the collective prefers not to play up that realm of humorlessness until such time as individualism is stamped out forever-more and the day of continual gloom without humor can be born into being.  Your job is to be without humor now, as stated in the third paragraph of our agreement, and many of you are violating that wantonly against the will of the collective.  Each of you is known and will face steep problems after the fundamental transformation is achieved so it is time to reform your ways, stick to your agreement and suck together because you will all blow it otherwise.

To the rest of the collective we ask that you continue to report on these individuals through the known channels.  Many of them are now straying from the fold and need to have talking points and non sequiturs applied to them, with new discoveries generated hourly for you to attack them.  Those you are attacking aren't getting this memo, never fear, and they have been cut off from collective talking points at first hand and can only get them second-hand via our standard parrot outlets.  By being in the know you are stronger than these born-again individualists and they know that there is no such thing as a born-again collectivists, so their walking is permanent.  The collective has no good graces, indeed it has no graces at all, and neither do you.  That is part of your agreement, as well. 

This means that many of you have become isolated from old friends, family and civil society and now live in basements with darkened windows, a government provided Internet connection on a government provided Obamaphone with government provided stipends and government provided excessed meals.  Since so many of you couldn't convert individualists as individuals, your only route in life that is left as part of the collective and now your poor eyesight, hygiene and dental work will need to be corrected by the IRS which will pay you a visit in the near future due to your inability to use even taxation software, like another collective member and tax cheat, and your inability to find any health care not provided to you by anyone.  We also provided running hot and cold water, toilets, toilet paper, one eco-friendly light bulb that will be replaced on a five year schedule, one old refrigerator, one microwave oven and even a surplus office carpet.  Towels were included as well.  The collective would like you to use soap with your water ration at least once a month to good effect on your body so as to cut down the stench.  That is in the fourth paragraph and followed up later on page 305 under 'Contingency Plans'.

The collective provides for you and you are to enjoy its largesse.

For those who cannot follow their agreement and use talking points, you will soon find collective members who will seek to find out first hand what your condition truly is.  The collective cannot tolerate individualists scamming our hard earned goods, and if you are one of those you will be found and ejected from the collective via the defenestration method.  We have our ways.  More importantly we have your Oreo cookies.

To those others who think that they might have found morals, ethics, a non-sanctified and non-secular approved religion, or even qualms and are distracted from your daily parroting by them, this is the time to shape up and fully rejoice in your lack of personality and self!  You know what happens to those who stray from the collective.

Again to the collective as a whole: rejoice in your mindless repeating of talking points!

Do as you are told.

Have a nice day.

Or  else.



14 May 2013

Partisanship isn't all political

Yet more of my raw commentary from Hot Air, this on the long starting IRS scandal with the investigation of conservative non-profit organizations, which we are also getting hints of it going to Jewish groups and for-profit organizations in business.  Here I lay out something basic to keep track of in this thread on the topic:

Obama refuses to put the IRS in its proper place – he calls it an ‘independent agency’ but it isn’t. The IRS is under the Treasury Dept.

Now if the Tea Party groups reporting the increased forms and illegal questions are right, then this started in 2010 and it came from the one place that had one of the fastest nominees to go in place because of the financial ‘crisis’: Tim Geithner.

Tim Geithner was pro-Obama while in the Federal Reserve and knew the ropes, and was supposed to be wicked smart while being unable to do his own taxes. TurboTax Tim should have had a real good idea how to run the Treasury Dept. and yet within a year and half of his being in charge you get this sort of thing going on.

Thus TurboTax Tim is either:

- absolutely incompetent, doesn’t know any of the ropes in the financial side of DC and has no clue about how to properly run a large organization,


- ran a department where it was not only allowed but encouraged by lack of oversight to start running a partisan investigation of those that the Administration didn’t like politically.

It can’t be both due to the amount of time TTT had in the FR: he did, indeed, ‘know the ropes’ and had progressed up the ladder of leadership high enough for Obama to appoint him. Basically the first option is non-viable as a cover-up fallback line.

That means TTT had put into place individuals who would run a partisan IRS. It takes a good six months to a full year for someone to actually figure out a high level federal job (look at every Administration post-WWII for this, as few get off the ground smoothly with appointees) and then start actually exercising decent oversight (or lack thereof) from their positions. Factor in time to go through the Senate and time to figure out the job and you get nearly a year and a half because the Senate wasn’t being all too swift on appointees.

If one remembers back to articles during the 2008-09 time frame pointed out that TTT was pro-Obama early on while he was at the Federal Reserve, so this raises the question: what, exactly, were the policies of the Federal Reserve and were they being influenced by Geithner towards partisan ends?

Any investigation of the IRS under Geithner must ALSO look at the Federal Reserve and start giving IT scrutiny because any head of the Treasury coming from the Federal Reserve that allows such things to go on under his command may also have had problems at his prior job.

If the IRS has problems, then Treasury has problems.

If the head of the Treasury Dept. had this sort of problem under his command then scrutiny into prior job activities in the financial sector under federal oversight must be performed because of the rapid pace in which the partisanship started.

Thus the Federal Reserve tenure of Tim Geithner going all the way back to his early NY Fed. days must be on the agenda. Not just a standard scandal due to an Administration, but also this actor put in place by them in the Dept. where it originated.

IRS then Treasury.
Treasury then Geithner.
Geithner then Federal Reserve.

Let your Congresscritter know as they might be a bit overwhelmed by the rush of events to figure this one out.

ajacksonian on May 14, 2013 at 7:28 AM

And then adding on to that just a bit later:


Spot on analysis. And TTT and the REB were college bosom buddies.

AH_C on May 14, 2013 at 7:44 AM

My thanks!

I try to state only what is the blindingly obvious to me and the early help of TTT with Obama was something the Left cheered about at the time. Go back to late 2008 to early 2009 in the HA archives and you can pull up some of the articles and commentary.

TTT was one of the engineers of the fiscal situation in 2008, along with a couple of his cohorts (Bernanke and Paulson), and they were strong-arming the bailouts through Congress and Bush, and then threatening banks who weren’t taking them when Obama came to office.

Something was and is seriously wrong with the Federal Reserve and its role in the financial crisis and the rise of Obama, then the slathering across all banks the problems of the few (mostly Citibank) is deplorable. It shows partisanship and an attempt to centralize the fiscal power of the US in the Federal Reserve by using it to partisan ends to get people into power to further go after organizations questioning the scope of US power: Tea Party groups.

Going after Tea Party and limited government organizations is not just a help to Obama but to the FR to escape scrutiny in ITS role in the fiscal mess we are in. It isn’t the sole author, but it is a major co-author and beneficiary of the Obama spending as it now has pent-up digital cash with which it can threaten the entire global banking system by destroying the value of the US dollar. To-date that money hasn’t been released and so inflation is low… the moment it gets into circulation your dollar will drop to some small fraction of its buying power and hyper-inflation ensue.

This time bomb must be stopped as well as the threat of financial destruction via the FR.

The IRS is just one part of a larger machine.

Pay attention and remember that fire must also be aimed at Geithner, Treasury and the Federal Reserve to get to the bottom of this. Geithner is a partisan and has been one to his own ends and beliefs before Obama. If you think a partisan federal government is a problem, imagine a partisan financial system that isn’t answerable to government.

ajacksonian on May 14, 2013 at 7:58 AM

I can point out that if one were a partisan in favor of an increased role for the Federal Reserve in controlling government policy or to evade government scrutiny, then working to quash those supporting those things would serve a dual function.  Also note that by Obama's attempt to make the IRS an 'independent agency' he is trying to isolate it from the Treasury Dept. and Tim Geithner's oversight.  This is not the case, of course, and Tim Geithner has control over these events by his position in the Treasury Dept.  It is odd to see a President try to protect an underling who should be easily bus-bound, but that is the case here.  It is by that odd protection that one must ask: why is President Obama trying to protect Tim Geithner?

And what was Geithner's agenda in the Federal Reserve and his role in the lead-up to the financial crisis?