Phil Swindler

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since Jan 21, 2016
Wichita, Kansas, United States
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Recent posts by Phil Swindler

Coydon Wallham wrote:

Phil Swindler wrote:In my personal opinion, there is no personal problem that can't be handled with proper application of  high explosives.

I trust you aren't offering your services to any veterans suffering from PTSD...

Haven't had any ask.  But, my wife is a mental health counselor.  She says a process called "Brain Spotting" is good for PTSD.  So, maybe I could drum up her some business.
1 week ago
In my personal opinion, there is no personal problem that can't be handled with proper application of  high explosives.
1 week ago
If you want to stain the wood, think about how permanent you want  it to be.  Organic stains are much more likely to fade over time.  I learned that the hard way.  Purple stain from red cabbage juice stared fading in just a few months.
Steve Ramsey from the Youtube channel Wood Working for Mere Mortals has a video where he experiments with some home made stains.

Sealing the wood is another matter.
Oils don't really "Seal" in a technical sense.  They penetrate and protect from moisture.  Whether you use an oil finish or a film finish depends on what you are trying to accomplish.

I made a walking stick ages ago, a few years before my now 34 year old son was born, and am still using it.  Over the course of a couple months I put about a dozen coats of Tung oil on it.  The first few coats can be put on one a day.  Later coats take longer and longer to soak in.  I've touched up the finish 3 or 4 times over the years.  Since I added so much Tung oil 3 1/2 decades ago, it only takes a few coats to bring it back to "Like New".
However, if you are selling these, you might want to go with something that doesn't take months to be ready.  There are lots of varnishes and seal finishes that would be ready in a few days.  Like I said, it really depends on what you are trying to accomplish.
3 weeks ago

Crystal Stevens wrote:

Tim Osborn wrote:My wife likes flowers. I like to eat. I know there are several varieties of flowers that are edible. Please, tell me what your favorites are, what growing conditions they like best, and any known sources for them.

I live in central KY.

Thanks for your input.

Our favorites are calendula, nasturtium, pansies, borage, marigold, squash blossoms, chive blossoms, and day lilies.

Once around 10 years ago my wife got day lilies and regular lilies mixed up.  We felt horrible.

Anne Miller wrote:The only flowers that I have eaten are squash and nasturiams.

They make pretty salads but not too filling.

I like the radish flavor nasturtiums add to a salad.
The neighbors look at me funny when I eat some while picking.
They also look at me funny when I eat dandelion blossoms and leaves.
I don't mind being "That weird science teacher" that lives across the street.

Jesse Glessner wrote:You have one photo (from the Web) that shows gourds growing.
A suggestion is to grow hard shell gourds in one of your arbors. That keeps the gourds growing in good shape, especially long neck gourds, extra long handle gourds, martin houses, and Tennessee Spinners, ect.
Nicely grown gourds bring prime prices at Gourd Shows and through Internet Sales.

Good point.
Tromboncino is another one that looks different depending on if it is grown on the ground or trellis.  They can also get quite long.  It's fun to walk into work and hand someone a 28 inch / 70 cm long squash.
1 month ago
I've grown squash, cucumber, tomatos, and small mellons on trellises.  Learned the hard way - make it tall enough to walk under with 6 or 8 inches to spare.  Unless you like getting bonked in the forehead by produce.  But, try to keep the tallest part where you can still reach it so you don't have to use a ladder to pick things.
1 month ago

Phil Swindler wrote:This was a re-build from a broken bench.
The single screw holding the cross brace to the legs couldn't handle the stresses of daily use.
The screws came loose.  This let the bench go askew and the tongue and grove joint one one end broke.
Some of the rebuild was done with power tools.  Some of the work was done with simple hand tools.
Shortening the bench and re-cutting the tongue and grove was done on a table saw.
The mortises were cut with a chisel and mallet.
The tenons were cut with a hand saw.
The old brown finish on the bench top was removed with a hand plane.
The draw peg was cut, tapered, and inserted with hand tools.
The parts that were done with the table saw were much quicker and easier.
The parts done with hand tools felt much more satisfying.
The purple stain was the juice from a red cabbage.

Yesterday I was talking to the teacher whose room this bench is in.
We both noticed the purple color is fading.
That's a little disappointing.
But, I shouldn't be too shocked.
New purple heart wood is a brilliant purple.  But, by the time it is 10 years it changes to a deep brown.  It's a nice brown.  But, it's still brown instead of purple.
Any ideas on how to make the cabbage stay purple?
1 month ago

Tom Hooper wrote:Never posted here but... just fyi almost the best tool for seeding grass in all those little out of the way places is a manually operated handled tool called a "Garden Weasel" cultivator.  And we use handtools almost exclusively for our woodwork and boatbuilding.  Be well.

I have one of those.  It's good for breaking up the top few inches without turning things over.
2 months ago

Kevin David wrote:The topic of this thread has been on my mind a lot lately. I plan on building a practice cordwood shed/cabin before winter for temporary living. I have no building experience so I’m trying to make everything as easy as possible. I’ll be using timber framing a la Rob Roy’s ‘Timber Framing For The Rest Of Us’. But in the case of prepping the cordwood, I’m not exactly sure what “easy” is. I’m wondering if I should stick with hand tools or use a chainsaw to prep the cordwood. I have no experience with a chainsaw and would like to take a course if I end up deciding I should use one.

Rob Roy has a setup he highly recommends in several of his books which uses a chainsaw to make cordwood prep fast and efficient. Personally, I would prefer to stick with hand tools to prep the cordwood even though I know it will drag the process out. For one thing, I feel much safer using hand tools. My mind gets a little spacey at times due to some health issues.( To be clear, there are times when my mind isn’t spacey too.) I like the idea of gaining experience with hand tools. I just don’t know if I’ll have time get all the wood ready since I haven’t even bought land yet. The biggest factor will be how it takes to find land I suppose.

How big of a time difference could it make for a shed a little under 200 square feet? I’m thinking in the time it takes me to learn to use the chainsaw, build this setup for the chainsaw, and become reasonably efficient with it—it might not be worth the time. But I have no idea what I’m talking about, so any observations would  be appreciated.

I've used both gas powered and electric chain saws.  
Gas powered is faster, but, electric is easier to operate.
Electric is quieter and doesn't give you a headache if you use one without ear plugs.
Electric is also lighter and easier to control.
But, with electric you are either going to be near a power source, bring a power source (aka generator), or re-charge batteries over and over again.
With either, keep your chain sharp, which means keeping it out of the dirt, which dulls a chain quickly.
2 months ago