Almost Out of the Woods

Almost there. Perseverance is the word of the day. Working two jobs helps too. Somebody up there likes me, I needed a GPS and one went on sale today for 40 bucks. It will really help with the day job. I even worked a third job on sunday to help out with the cash flow. The only down side I can report is, I been going through bike tires at the rate of one a week. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter, enough so that I’m gonna need shades. The preps kept me eating and hydrated through the whole time.  The lesson I learned is that you can be flush with cash and still end up homeless and landlords are heartless when they have you at a disadvantage.  I still make it to work through sleet, or snow, or even rain. The cold temps are a minor nuisance at times.

I still don’t have a steady internet connection as of yet. That is not a priority item yet. It will be in about a week.  Stay Frosty my readers, I’m almost back to normal. Later, Dragon Out.

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Blogs From Woods

It happened, things went south in a hurry, so I’m living outdoors for a while. I can’t seem to touch base when the new landlord when I’m off work. Every day I peddle to work 2 hours at 5:30 am, to be 15 minutes early to work. I’m not complaining though, as I’m in way better shape these days. I credit the bike rides I been taking for the past few years with me being able to pass the DOT physical. Some time soon I’ll have to post my rules for living quasi-homeless. Don’t worry none though, as I’m an old country boy and as tough as they come. By the way, the chinese pellet gun is a dandy squirrel gun. Not that I’m that down, but sometimes I need the taste of fresh meat.  Anyhow, I got enuff material to blog for six months, stories and such. Today, I have Wendy’s for the internet connection.

Tip of the day: Cutting coupons saves some needed coin, when you live on the road. Dragon, Out.

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New Stuff.

M,kay, I got a new job starting Thursday, driving a delivery van. Most of you arew unaware that I was evicted from my former diggs. No Problem, I dug my thumbs into my bootstraps and gave hard pull. So I’m almost out of the hole.

Never trust family.  Family is what got me into this mess. I wish them their own  karma and move on.  I sold most of my construction tools and even my furniture to get me out of this mess. On the good side of things, I passed my DOT physical and was awarded a 2 year medical cert. I’ll be looking for a place to get trained for a CDL now.

Come early spring it will be back to the boat builds as I’m looking to build a 16×6 Chugger.  Something like this.

I may be MIA for a few weeks till I get everything back to normal. But I’ll be back. Count on that. Stay Frosty, Dragon out.

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I have no internet for a while now. See  you when I get connected again.

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Tesla’s 158th Birthday July 10, 2014


“If you only knew the magnificence of the 3, 6 and 9,
then you would have the key to the universe.”
quote – Nikola Tesla

electric power is everywhere present in unlimited quantities and can drive the world’s machinery without the need of coal, oil, gas, or any other of the common fuels.”
quote ~ Nikola Tesla

“The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena,
it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.”
quote ~ Nikola Tesla

“The present is theirs; the future,
for which I really worked, is mine.”
quote ~ Nikola Tesla

July 10, 1856 – Nikola Tesla was born in Vojna Krajina, which is now part of Croatia. Tesla was probably the greatest inventor, scientist and electrical engineer of his day, if not of all time, though because he was a decent, honest and eccentric fellow, I regret most people hardly even know of him. But you can thank Tesla every time you plug something into your wall socket, turn on a radio, and use a little electricity. You can learn more about his life at the Tesla Society, Wikipedia.

Happy Birthday NIKOLA TESLA !!! Just take one moment today… the 10th of July !!! To remember this man… He who gave us AC electricity.
Happy Birthday Great One. Thank you for all that you have done for all of humanity ! We will never forget you.

Note: Special Announcement Will Be Made

Shoreham, New York — July 10, 2014 Around the nation and the world, July 10 is Nikola Tesla Day. On this date, the 158th anniversary of the visionary inventor’s birth, his highly creative life will be celebrated from 10 a.m. to noon with several flag raisings and birthday cake. The candles will be lit at the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe, now being built on the 16acre site of Tesla’s last laboratory, at the intersection of Route 25A and Randall Road in Shoreham. The event will be live streamed at
Representatives of our United States Congressman and one of our Senators, as well as elected officials from New York State, Suffolk County, Brookhaven Town, and Shoreham Village will be on hand to recognize Tesla with proclamations and a flag raising ceremony.
Professor W. Bernard Carlson, a distinguished historian from the University of Virginia and author of a definitive biography of Tesla, will speak on the subject, “Nikola Tesla: Visionary
of the Information Age.” Birthday cake, music, and live streaming to three cities across the globe will be part of the
celebration. Of particular note, Tesla Science Center Board members and special guests will have an exciting news.

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Pack Weight

wheel-2-largeI follow a bunch of woods lore that Dave Canterbury posts on Youtube. While I don’t agree with everything he posts/teaches, Sometimes he posts a real gem. This is a real gem.

The first most important tool you take with you to the woods is a functional brain. Most folks are handicapped right off. They was born with no brain at all. I’m over 50, so many of my choices reflect that simple fact. Another fact is that I tend to live outdoors more than indoors. So, I try to have a few comforts with me. I’m lazy so I got a list of “5” things to remember to survive. Earth, Air, Fire, Water, And Spirit. In Native American traditions, it forms the basic pattern of the MEDICINE WHEEL. North, East, South, West, and You.

Don’t worry none If you can’t get it. Most white folks can’t. You never get lost, because no matter where you go, there you are.

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Learning From Mistakes

Kudos to Dead Eye who got the lesson of the no sweat fire lay. That being little or no smoke from the fire. He asked why I posted the vid, mistakes and all. So I replied, That I needed to be reminded that I make simple mistakes all the time. One being to removed my glasses when striking the fero-rod, better to judge where the sparks are actually going. The second being to rotate the spine of the knife to 90 degree forward before striking. He’s a smart kid. He asked a second question about why I’m making such a blunt bow section on my kayak, To which I replied with linking him a few vid’s of the plastic boats on the river and asked him what they would think of a pointy knife sharp bow section bearing down on them. I know well that answer, The play boats congregate in the eddies right after a feature rapid, and they get awful nervous when a wood boat gets pointed their direction. The play boats got an elitist attitude, acting like the river belongs to them. I got rid of the sharp edges on the bow and it’s gonna be more of a battering ram now. His last question was about the length of the boat. I had to try to explain the trade off one has to make if he wants to use his or her boat on the whole river. At my age, The white water isn’t as exciting as it once was. If you keep your bow pointed downstream and you’re not likely to roll. It’s more important to me to have enough space to bring along some comforts for several nights camping. I’m outa time for now, Later.

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Splices and Stuff

Made progress this afternoon on the keel splice. Next I’ll work on the chine log splices. Making a 12 foot boat out of 8 foot stock is taxing. Not as taxing as doing wood strip work. Well, with the keel done, that establishes the rocker and I’m a happy camper there. I keep coming up with ideas every time I do a walk around. As I look around on the web at this model boats others have built, I’m struck at how high she rides in the water. Also how wide it looks. But you can’t get a good idea until you trim the load and put it in the water yourself. This one is strong enough to take the turn at rivers end at high water. The one I built last year better portage around such hazards. I know I’m being overly fussy, but this is the foundation on which the rest of the boat is built on and around. A 32nd of and inch here translates to an inch or better over there. The first boat I built last year was proof of that. Adding a few other flaws to the frame had me burning the frame and starting over from scratch. The fatal flaw for that boat was too much reliance on laminated products throughout the entire frame. It just had to much flex to be safe. I can see me building another of the hulls again, though I would lose the top third of the boat and finish it more like a traditional kayak. I think I need a more permanent strong back.

Another thing here, I should post about, I’m using just the basic tools here. No joiners, planers, table saws or chop saws. I’ll have to get a picture of that for a later post.

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Kayak Progress

kayak13 kayak14 kayak16

Don’t look like much yet. All dry fitted. I just had some time between rain threats and household chores. I have the bow stem where I want it now and will start next time on the stern stem. I worked out how I was going to laminate the chine log, shear clamp and keelson. Also you’ll notice only the keelson is cut into the frame. The rest of the framing is surface mounted, to be filled in before skinning the hull. I’m going  with a blunted bow and a wider stern section with a 22 1/2 degree pitch. Bobbing the stern section will allow for a rudder or a trolling motor attachment point. The bow stem (45 degree pitch) was made from 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ section of maple. Most everything else is made from 3/4″ pine stock so far. I’m projecting a tentative launch date for 7/18/14. The Yough river is calling my name. The call of the river cannot be ignored.

This is what I’m talking about:

Don’t get caught up the crick without a paddle, Later, I’m out of here.

Posted in Homebrew, Improvisation, Kayak | 1 Comment

Design Changes

I had the frame tacked up in the stock configuration and did the walk around.  Some of the changes I made were due to the available materials. The stock bow stem is great until you factor in rocks. So I had figured to  add on a changeable nose section there. Also, on the original design there is no distinction between bow and stern, You could just swing the seat around and the stern became the bow. It limited what I could mount on the stern section to use as a rudder. After all I’m going to mount a small sail eventually. What I came up with, is to make two stern stems and figure out which suits the boat overall best. Lastly I UN-tacked the two frame sections for replacement. The new sections will be 1-1/2 inch narrower than before and be cut out of a larger piece of one by. Better to get clear sections of better grain wood. I think the changes will help make a stronger boat and a quicker assembly. I still haven’t found a rudder that’s says “pick me” I’m perfect for this application. I think the extra fuss now is worth it, rather than me be sitting on the water bitching about things later. An ounce of prevention now, is worth a pound of cure later.

In other things, the choice of Titebond 3 seems to be the right choice of glue. After an over night cure I can’t disassemble my test pieces glued with it. They will break away but not on the bond line. I must say I’m very satisfied with this product.

Lastly, I have run afoul of  something called “Giant Hogweed”. Something new after 50+ years on the planet. Nasty stuff. Poison ivy pales by comparison to this shit. Now I need a remedy that works.

Safety precautions to follow when controlling giant hogweed plants:

  • Do not touch the plant with bare skin
  • Do not touch your bare skin with sap covered gloves
  • Prevent UV sunlight from reaching skin by:
  • wearing long waterproof gloves, long sleeves, pants, boots, and eye protection; synthetic water-resistant materials are best since cotton and linen fibers can soak up the plant sap and be penetrated by plant hairs
  • If controlling plants with multiple people, keep a good distance from one another as the sap can splash three to four feet
  • Apply sun block before beginning to work
  • Launder clothes that may have contacted plants
  • Wash equipment with water immediately after use
  • Limit exposure to sunlight after control OR work around giant hogweed plants after sunset
  • DO NOT use a “weed-whacker” or brush cutter – sap may splatter as stems are cut
  • Keep water, soap, and eye-wash near work area in case of exposure

What should you do if you are exposed to giant hogweed sap?

  • Wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and COLD water as soon as possible
  • Keep exposed area away from sunlight for 48 hours
  • If a reaction occurs, topical steroids applied early can reduce the severity of the reaction and ease discomfort
  • If sap goes in eyes, rinse them with water and wear sunglasses
  • If a reaction has occurred, the area of skin may be sensitive to sunlight for a few years and you may want to apply sun block or keep the affected area covered from the sun when possible
  • See a physician if you have a reaction or any questions
Posted in Boats, Design, Giant Hogweed, Homebrew | 2 Comments