Monday, December 17, 2007

Back into the wood shop....

Last year, we didn't get any snow until after dark on the 31st of December. Our average highs for the month were in the mid 40's. Or TOTAL snowfall for the season was only 13".
This year it is a different story.....
Our first snow was in November, and we have had 2 snowstorms in the last 10 days. One of those storms came after a 1/2" of ice! So far we have totalled 9" of snow in December and our temps have been in the 20's for the past week.
Our goats have decided that it is going to stay cold, so they are chomping down the hay to build up warmth. The chickens spend most of the day inside to chicken house, even if I let them out. The one saving grace to the weather is the fact that the winds have been light (so far....).
I haven't bothered to blade the driveway yet. I figure, if my sister's front wheel drive Taurus can make it in and out, it's good. The temps are SUPPOSED to warm up to the upper 30's this week, so hopefully, most of he snow will be gone before the next round hits this weekend.
I have most of the dirt work done around the new barn, but I still need to do a bit more. It will, most likely, have to wait until spring. I do know that the new barn is TONS better then the small one we had last year.

Since I have not been able to do a whole lot out in the cold, I have been inside working on my scrollsaw. It's a habit....er.....CRAFT.....that I picked up from my Mom. While she probably never did use one, she was the reason I picked it up. She bought a really cheap saw at a garage sale when I was in high school. She wanted me to use it to cut walnuts so she could glue the slices together for some of her craft work. While it never was much use at slicing walnuts, it WOULD cut thin wood. It was light weight, noisy, and vibrated a LOT, but it got me hooked! I made several things on it before I graduated up to bigger (and better) saws. I still have it, though.
My favorite things to do are dogs (especially Dachshunds), but I have done several things. I made a few things this week for gifts and I am working on a tractor portrait. I try to use my own patterns - and I manage to 98% of the time. My wife is a photographer and takes dozens of photos of EVERYTHING. I have taken several of her photos and turned them into patterns for my saw work.
It's a fun hobby and very relaxing. The best part of it is trying to see if you can do something with the saw to make a pattern "come to life".

I found a great way to light fires in your fireplace or wood stove! It uses no paper or kindling. I heard about this and decided to try it to see if it worked - IT DOES!
Here's what you do:

Collect your dryer lint (yes, dryer lint.....)
Stuff it into the bottoms of a cardboard egg carton (NOT a Styrofoam one).
When you get the holes stuffed, CAREFULLY melt 2-3 taper candles and pour the hot wax over the lint. Soak the link well, but don't overflow the egg holes.
Allow it to cool/solidify. It shouldn't take very long.
Use a knife and carefully cut the egg holes apart (leave them intact around the lint/wax).
To use just put one piece in the middle of what you are wanting to light, and light one of the corners of the piece. It will burn for a good amount of time and will catch even medium sized pieces of wood on fire.

Never thought you'd have a use for that dryer lint, did you?

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