Friday, November 4, 2011


In the past week, I finally finished my boat cover! It is now keeping the Bonnanz safe and dry, and looking quite spiffy if I don't say so myself. I'll need to post some pictures soon...

The next loose end on my list is the smoker handle and cover. Instead of jumping right into that like I should, I decided that I needed a little break from the sewing and started working on my garage a little bit. If I'm going to finish my list, I'm going to need some order in the old workshop, so I decided to build a few storage racks.

I am a hang your tools on the wall kind of guy, but I am sick and tired of creating a new board with nails every time I move, so i decided to start making some custom tool racks. My plan is to basically make some modular tool storage that I can move around as my preferences change, so one by one, I am making custom little racks for each of my tools. It's actually a really fun and relaxing thing for me to do when I have a little time on my hands. I've already made screwdriver, clamp, chisel, and hammer racks.

It takes an hour or two to make a rack, so I'm going to sprinkle these in with the other projects I'm trying to finish. The more organized I get, the easier the list will be to destroy. This weekend, the smoker cover begins....

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


So, I've made something like 50 pounds of sausage over the past year, and I've always thought it was a tasty and fun activity, but I never thought the end product was a huge leap beyond what I could buy in a store.  That all changed this past weekend, when I made Kielbasa with my Dad. Kielbasa is an emulsified sausage that is smoked, then chilled after it is cased. I've never had anything like the homemade version. The emulsification was like a beautiful pink cake frosting. It was light and airy, and once it was cased and smoked, it kept an amazing light texture like I've never had in a store bought sausage. The final product was insanely juicy, tender, and delicious, and this will definitely be in my regular sausage rotation. I followed the recipe from Charcuterie almost exactly, except that I accidentally mixed all the seasoning together, and added it all at once, instead of at different stages, as the recipe called for. They were just a tad too salty, and I would cut the salt in the next batch to two TBS instead of three.

We also made some smoked garlic chicken sausages that are very good, but nothing real special in my opinion....

Here's a picture of the bliss:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


I haven't made as much progress as I'd like, but I am slowly getting through my list. I finally finished assembling and wiring my trailer, and my boat is now sitting on it, slowly filling with rain water. On Saturday, I went out and bought a bunch of really nice boat cover fabric, some sewing machine needles, and thread. I got everything set up, went to sew part of the boat cover together, and promptly broke the sewing machine. Apparently, nothing can sew the fabric I bought except an industrial machine. Luckily, we bought the sewing machine at Costco recently, so it will be returned, and my life will not be ended. Unluckily, I am now stuck with yards and yards of sewing that I must now do by hand. It's hard work! I taped some plastic shields to a gardening glove, and I can push the needle through the fabric wearing the glove, but it's gonna take a while. So... that's where I'll be for the next few evenings... sitting on the couch, getting my Betsy Ross on...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Not a whole lot has changed in the past couple days. I was able to disassemble and dispose of my old tablesaw (I kept the cast iron portion to hopefully turn into something else). I started working on my trailer, but, sadly, I started putting it together upside down, so I'll have to start over. I'm hoping to tackle that beast tonight.

I also tried out the ping pong club nearby, and it was really cool! I've never seen such amazing ping pong players... It was a lot of fun and I'll definitely be going back next week...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


If you didn't already know, I'm a bit of a ping pong junkie. At my old job, we used to have a ping pong table out in the factory, where I would play with one of my co-workers every day. We got pretty good after a while, and I really enjoyed it. Ping Pong is actually supposed to be a really good workout - about half as good as running for the same amount of time (250 calories/hr).

When I changed jobs, I lost the chance to play, and went over three years without playing at all. I got pretty rusty, and missed playing. At my new job, I have access to a table again, and everyone seems to play at lunch. There are so many of us that we have to play doubles. It's a lot of fun, but I miss the fast pace of the one-on-one games that I used to play. 

I just discovered a community ping pong center about 10 minutes from my house where they have 15 olympic style tables. The center is open to anyone on weekend nights for 5 dollars. I'm excited to give it a try and check it out. I know it's not a workout routine that will change my life, but it would be nice to have some fun and get some exercise at the same time... I also think it will be cool to see some professional players practicing and maybe pick up some new tricks :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


It seems that I've lost my blogging momentum in a big way, but, I'm going to see if I can get started again. Between moving to Seattle for a new job and raising a toddler, I haven't had much time on my hands to pursue other interests, but I am hoping that can begin to change. Over the past year, I've added a few amazing tools to my arsenal. My dad and I completed our build of a custom offset smoker, I built my first meat cave, and bought a brand new Ridgid cast iron table saw. My new additions are really going to add a lot to my fun, but there is a small catch: over the past couple years, I've collected quite a few loose ends. Before I can really get to some new endeavors, I've got a bit of work to take care of. Here is my open ended list to remind myself:
 - Assemble my boat trailer
 - Make a boat cover
 - Make a smoker cover and the last handle for the smoker
 - Build a horizontal fishing rod rack
 - Unpack and organize the storage area
 - Add a padded top to the toy chest
 - Finish and repair fishing rods and clean reels
 - Re-finish and repair rowboat
 -Once all this is finished, I want to organize my garage and build wheeled tool stands for my jointer, lathe, grinder, and air compressor.

When all this stuff is out of the way, I plan to move my interests along with the seasons: fishing and barbecuing/smoking in the spring and summer, and woodworking and baking in the fall and winter. I'm really excited to get going, and I'm going to do my best to keep writing about it.... wish me luck!