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!!!!! Nine's Bootcamp Experience (BRK)

 
Posts: 76
Location: Montana
59
cat foraging tiny house bike fiber arts building
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Hey, I'm Jen (#9) and I'm here at Wheaton Labs to do all the things!

My partner Chris and I are here until we're not (ideally months or years!). Here's a collection of our experiences as we spend our days here at the Labs. We're currently on Day 3 of being here, but let's start with Monday - Day 2.

We arrived on a snowy Sunday (Day 1), and we got right to work Monday morning! After following Dez's Bootcamp Experience from afar, I was stoked to finally meet and work with him! He's just as amazingly wonderful in person as I thought he'd be, so of course we had a fantastic time working with him in the morning.

To start out, all four new boots helped Josiah and Dez shovel snow in front of the shop and various other locations on the Lab. Good way to warm up those muscles and get ready to work! :D

The Fisher Price House, essentially the "common house" for most folks staying here, needed a couple more coat and hat hooks for all of us to use. Dez, Chris, and I got to work measuring out the wood and putting them together. Chris and Dez decided to be fancy with theirs and cut out wooden pegs to attach to the backboard of their rack. I had some hooks in my fasteners collection, so I put those to use for this project. After we got those three new racks installed, it was time for lunch.

After lunch, we swapped over to working with Josiah, who is also super entertaining to work with! He showed us how to work the portable sawmill (omfg so cool!). Chris and I were able to finish up the log they started in the morning, then got about halfway through the next log before we stopped for the day. We got quite a few 1/2" x 4" planks cut out and enough "stickers" (1" x 2") to put in between the layers of planks so they could dry out.

Once the wood was all laid out and stacked, we all started in on digging up some of the frozen sawdust next to the mill. As the mill runs, it blows a bunch of sawdust next to the log you're working on, which also happens to be the place where you're walking if you're operating the mill. As you work your way through the log, the ground you're walking on gets taller and taller, which means you're bending over more as you push the blade through the log. In favor of proper ergonomics, we all decided to dig up the buried sawdust (buried in snow/ice) and, in the future, do some quick shoveling of the sawdust after we're done with the mill for the day so it doesn't build up this much. I dug for a while, wheeled away a load of sawdust, took a couple bucket loads away, then had to take a break for a bit because I was honestly pretty tuckered. A little more shoveling, put the tools away, straightened up the shop a bit, then headed 'home' for the day to prepare dinner.

The folks here are as cool and laid back as I was hoping, and I'm stoked to be here.
Day1-Me.jpg
Let's do this!
Let's do this!
Dez_Chris_pegs.jpg
Chris and Dez discuss how they're going to build their racks
Chris and Dez discuss how they're going to build their racks
ChrisHatRack.jpg
Chris installs the upper hat rack
Chris installs the upper hat rack
DezCoatRack.jpg
Dez installs the lower coat rack
Dez installs the lower coat rack
HatrackBuild.jpg
My coat/hat rack completed - simple yet effective! :)
My coat/hat rack completed - simple yet effective! :)
Hatrack.jpg
My hat rack installed above the current coat rack in the entryway of the FPH
My hat rack installed above the current coat rack in the entryway of the FPH
SawmillInfo.jpg
Josiah instructs Chris, Lara, and I on how to line up the sawmill
Josiah instructs Chris, Lara, and I on how to line up the sawmill
ChrisSawmillStoked.jpg
Chris is pretty stoked to run this thing!
Chris is pretty stoked to run this thing!
ChrisSawmill.jpg
Progress!
Progress!
GuysSawmill.jpg
Dez using a pickaxe to bust through those icy sawdust layers while Chris uses an ice scraper and Lewis shovels
Dez using a pickaxe to bust through those icy sawdust layers while Chris uses an ice scraper and Lewis shovels
 
Jen Tuuli
Posts: 76
Location: Montana
59
cat foraging tiny house bike fiber arts building
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Post #2

The snow continues to fall up here in the mountains. It's beautiful and quiet, and yesterday ended on such a lovely note.

It started out with shoveling, and ended with peeling downed trees. In the middle there was some disassembly of the Love Shack (one of the on-site cabins) so we can renovate it and improve it. We broke out the planer and tested how well it worked by running a couple milled planks through. It produces all the sawdust we could ever hope and dream for. ;) I got to light up and run the Cottage Rocket (a rocket mass heater (RMH)) to heat up the woodshop area while we worked in there. First time lighting up an RMH, didn't have smoke back, and successfully got it running! Feelin' proud. Dez and Chris started working on a design for more shelving in the FPH. The three of us also designed and built a couple crates to organize the gloves in the shop a bit better.

After lunch Josiah, Chris, and I went over to the trees Dez and his crew downed the day before. Josiah showed us how to limb them with hatchets. He left us to our limbing, and Dez eventually found us right as we were finishing up. He showed us how to peel the bark with a couple different peelers. Chris took over on one of the trees, but the bigger tree was up off the ground so I voted to use a draw knife to peel. Sitting astride the tree, I made quick work of the bark. I got in such a groove, I barely noticed all the snow building up on the tree until I felt like I was peeling more snow than bark. It was so peaceful and calm out there as the world went silent around me, dampened by white fluff.

It'd be great to get a curved draw knife to really take those trees to task. I imagine there's a lot of bark peeling in my future, and I'm curious to see how a curved blade would handle. If any of y'all have an extra one sitting around and want to send it over to us, please do! :)
CottageRocket.jpg
Cottage Rocket in the wood shop
Cottage Rocket in the wood shop
CRrunning.jpg
It's warmin' us up!
It's warmin' us up!
LewisPlaner.jpg
Lewis trying to plane some wood
Lewis trying to plane some wood
SnowyLoveShack.jpg
Snowy Love Shack
Snowy Love Shack
DezPeeling.jpg
Dez peeling in the snow
Dez peeling in the snow
ChrisPeel.jpg
Chris goofin' before he starts in on the other end of this big tree
Chris goofin' before he starts in on the other end of this big tree
DrawKnife.jpg
Draw knife is really effective!
Draw knife is really effective!
MePeeling.jpg
:)
:)
GloveCrates.jpg
Chiseled out the size on the fronts
Chiseled out the size on the fronts
GloveCratesSide.jpg
Lined them up!
Lined them up!
 
Jen Tuuli
Posts: 76
Location: Montana
59
cat foraging tiny house bike fiber arts building
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I lit the Batch Box Heater in the shop today! Pretty wild and super toasty. 2/2 lit RMH without smoke back. 😁

Today I was going to work on some shelving for the fasteners in the shop, but I wanted to try to make it with as few fasteners as possible. Dez and Chris have been working on their cross lap joint shelves, so I was going to see how they were doing it, but they were in the middle of the process. Knowing they're going to build another set to go with the current one, I decided to focus on something else so I could learn from them later.

I started designing a drawer of sorts for the fasteners in a different area of the shop, but I wanted to try to make it with just hand tools. The boards I picked out really needed to be sanded smooth, but, again, I wanted to try to do it the old fashioned way. I grabbed a hand planer off the shelf to use instead of sand paper, but it was in rough shape.

So, today I disassembled this Stanley No. 5 Bailey hand planer, removed all the rust, sharpened the blade, greased it all, then reassembled it. By lunch time I had most of the rust removed on the blade, but the blade had a few chips in it that took me a while to grind down (with three different whetstones). I think the angle of the blade still needs some work, but after going from 150 to 200 to 300 to 400 to 600 to 1000 grit stones it seemed sharp enough to test.

The rest of it was methodical and quiet work. Soak the rusty bits in vinegar, use a wire brush to scrub them a bit, soak more, etc. The flat pieces I was able to use a puck stone to grind a bit of the rust off.

After I got it all cleaned up, I used some lithium grease to protect it from the elements. The cast iron body was starting to get surface rust even as I was working with the other pieces. Some of the paint got scrubbed off in the whole process, but the rust had started growing beneath it and it needed to be addressed.

I still need to tune it a bit better, but I was able to go from splintery wood surface to mostly smooth in a few minutes. I figure since this one went pretty well, I'll disassemble the other two here and get them in working order as well. 😊

While I fiddled with the planer, Dez and Chris put this rad little shelf unit together. Neither of them have done joinery before, so I think this first attempt at some kind of lap joint is pretty impressive. The style of it is also really pleasing. The sides of it look like cute wings. I'm eager to see the second half.

It's been a good week so far. I'm pretty tuckered in general, but feeling significantly less sore today than yesterday. 😂 By the end of today, everyone is low energy. I'm waiting for my clothes to finish washing, then I'll hang them and go pass out.
PXL_20210211_163807491.jpg
Rusty plane
Rusty plane
PXL_20210211_231634116.jpg
Refurbished plane
Refurbished plane
PXL_20210211_235850110.MP.jpg
Dez and Chris's shelves
Dez and Chris's shelves
 
Jen Tuuli
Posts: 76
Location: Montana
59
cat foraging tiny house bike fiber arts building
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Today was a random assortment of things. I started learning how to adjust the planer, then Carter walked in and noticed one of the shop doors wasn't hanging properly on its hinge. He was in the middle of something else, so he walked off to continue that.

I took a break to investigate the door. Tightened the hinge screws. Nope, still wonky. Lifted up on the handle to see if it adjusted the hinge - it slid into alignment. 🤔 I looked at the pin in it and realized it wasn't a pin but instead a long screw. 😅 I walked to the back of the shop, robbed a spare hinge of its pin and placed that pin into the door hinge. It's too long, but now the door alignment is good.

Back to the planer... but wait, it's cold in here! It was 0F this morning. 🌨️ I lit up the Cottage Rocket again (3/3 no smoke) and got it nice and toasty in the wood shop area. Carter came in with two thermal heaters for the barrel. One works well, but the other one probably needs new thermal paste. Nothing I can do about that unless we get paste, so I went back to the planer.

I found a couple good videos that explained the names of the pieces, how to adjust it for different types of cuts, and more info or background about the Stanley planers. After adjusting it, I was able to successfully get nice curls coming out of the center.

I took measurements for the shelving I want to build, figured out the dimensions, and am generally ready to begin building it next week after Dez and Chris finish their shelves.

Josiah took apart the large shop vacuum because it was not functioning properly. I helped him clean up and grease a bushing assembly and then figure out how to reassemble it. He got the vacuum put back together, and I later used it to vacuum the heck out of the work benches, tools, and shop floor.

Somewhere in between all that, I helped Dez and Chris mark up the wood for their project. After Dez finished with the chop saw, I chiseled out the joint cuts. Chris started working on a special addition to the shelving. I'm excited to see what his creation looks like when it's done.

During all that, the Cottage Rocket got so warm Dez turned the fan away from his direction. 😅 I had fun feeding the dragon all day.

Now it's pizza night! I'm not going to give away all our delicious secrets. If you wanna taste delicious homemade pizza, you'll have to come visit. 😁😜
PXL_20210212_221615069.MP.jpg
Josiah reassembles the vacuum motor
Josiah reassembles the vacuum motor
PXL_20210212_223513360.MP.jpg
Wait, what's this part? 🤔😅
Wait, what's this part? 🤔😅
PXL_20210212_232130307.MP.jpg
Chris works on his special project
Chris works on his special project
PXL_20210213_013821757.jpg
OoOoh! AaAah!
OoOoh! AaAah!
 
gardener
Posts: 2224
Location: Maine, zone 5
973
forest garden trees food preservation solar wood heat homestead
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Jen Tuuli wrote:
It'd be great to get a curved draw knife to really take those trees to task. I imagine there's a lot of bark peeling in my future, and I'm curious to see how a curved blade would handle. If any of y'all have an extra one sitting around and want to send it over to us, please do! :)


I'll send one over Jen.  Any thoughts on a best size to start with?  I was thinking about getting one for myself so I'd be happy to send one to you guys to get your experienced opinions before I buy one for me too.  
 
steward
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Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
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I love the carved "S" "M" and "L" for the glove boxes!

That's the kind of little thing that just makes the place better.

Thanks!
 
Jen Tuuli
Posts: 76
Location: Montana
59
cat foraging tiny house bike fiber arts building
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Greg Martin wrote: I'll send one over Jen.  Any thoughts on a best size to start with?  I was thinking about getting one for myself so I'd be happy to send one to you guys to get your experienced opinions before I buy one for me too.  



How generous! Thank you, Greg! The straight draw knife I was using has an 8" blade, so something of that size seems like it would work well. I'd be happy to update you on how well it works once we give it a go on the logs here. :)
 
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