What in the world is cull lumber?

In my previous article, I made a few references to “cull lumber”.  There were a few people who asked me what in the world that was, so I thought it warranted a short entry and explanation.

cull/kəl/ – Verb: Select from a large quantity; obtain from a variety of sources.

Most lumber yards and big box stores that carry lumber have a small section, usually a rack of some sort, where they display cull lumber.  Cull lumber can be any number of things, such as off-cuts from other customers who “just need 3 feet of an 8 foot board because I can’t fit it in my Ford Focus.” (I don’t know what that guy’s problem was… I’ve successfully fit thirty, yes thirty, four foot boards of 2×4 and 2×6 mixed variety in my Mazda 3, which was easy, as well as a 7 foot oak clothes rack and shelf for a closet, which was not that easy.)  In that scenario, the customer pays full price for this stick of lumber that the store has cut for them, but instead of throwing it away, the store will put it in the cull lumber pile. (Read more while your bacon fries….)

OSHW Eagle symbols for schematic and silkscreen

Recently, I started designing a piece of hardware (more on that in a future post), and decided to release it as open source.  In Eagle, I began looking for available symbols and silkscreen images to make it a little easier on myself.  My search initially led me to a post over at MightyOhm, where Jeff talked about a ULP available for creating the logo on your board, written by Bill Westfield and available here.  Also feel free to read the initial thread on the Open Hardware Summit website.  The ULP actually does a fantastic job of drawing the logo and allows you to specify the scale and other things without too much trouble. (Read more while your bacon fries….)

Dewalt Powershop rebuild

I have no idea why I haven’t written about this until now, since the video have been together for almost a year now, but enjoy.  Here’s build highlights from a 1960’s DeWalt Powershop that I put back into good working condition after I inherited it from my father-in-law.

The Folding@Home project, with a little VMWare. Part 2

If you linked here directly, feel free to go back and read part 1 for background on this project, located here.  If you’re still with us from Part 1, Thanks!

Recently, I filled a 4 foot rolling rack with equipment.  A 4 core IBM eSeries server with 2 TB of SCSI storage running ESXi is one of the main components.  I always like to keep the server online for various sundry items, but it usually sits largely idle, even with two Red Hat Linux instances running on it while I am studying.  This is somewhat of a waste in my opinion because the server is sitting idle with spinning fans while not doing much of anything.  A wonderful solution to this is have ESXi run a guest, specifically for the folding application.  If set up correctly, you can even have ESXi dedicate as much of the machine’s resources for CPU and memory as possible during downtime, and have it throttle it back when other applications are working on mission critical things.  I’m looking at you, small business and enterprise owners.

(Read more while your bacon fries….)

The Folding@Home project, with a little VMWare. Part 1

Around this time last year, I made a post about helping the environment through a service called “Earth911”.  This post isn’t about the environment, nor is it about woodworking, electronics, weather, or any of the other weird stuff you’ve come to expect from my writings.  This is about helping the thing we all hold most dear in this life: ourselves.  Readers in my audience who are on the techie side of things will likely have already known about this for years, but I also know I have others in my audience who are not.

(Read more while your bacon fries….)

Welcome, visitors from “The Daily Matt”!

Hey Everyone, thanks for visiting my site! If you linked here from “The Daily Matt” (I’m noticing A LOT of referrer traffic in my logs), let me be the first to welcome you on your arrival!  I have taken the liberty of organizing all of the hand planer restoration articles into one concise source.  Again, thanks for visiting, and I hope you enjoy the restoration articles!

Refurbishing Old Hand Planes Part 1: Flattening the Sole
Refurbishing Old Hand Planes Part 2: Truing the Frog
Refurbishing Old Hand Planes Part 3: Modifying the throat and chip breaker
Refurbishing Old Hand Planes Part 4: Sharpening the iron

Refurbishing Old Hand Planes Part 4: Sharpening the iron

Wow, a tremendous response from some of you who are following my restoration articles! Thank you all for your kind words and support!

For those of you just joining us, we’ve been discussing how to refurbish an old Stanley #4 hand plane that I inherited as a family heirloom. If you have missed part 1, part 2, or part 3, feel free to go back and read them. I’ll wait…..

Some of you may have noticed in part 3 that the plane iron was cutting really rough, despite having trued all of the surfaces of the plane so far. The reason is that not only was the iron not all that sharp (like yours truly at times), but the angle of the cut was not optimal. As if that weren’t bad enough, the angle was not homogeneous all the way across, and there was a small knick in the edge.

We’re gonna wanna take care of that I think……
(Read more while your bacon fries….)

Refurbishing Old Hand Planes Part 3: Modifying the throat and chip breaker.

For those following along, welcome back! For those of you just joining us, we’ve been talking about how to restore an old Stanley #4 hand plane. If you’d like to catch up, feel free to check out part 1 and part 2 beforehand.

We’ve got our sole flattened and our frog is true, and now it’s a good time to address tweaking a few of the components that deal with chip removal: the plane throat, and the chip breaker.

(Read more while your bacon fries….)

Refurbishing Old Hand Planes Part 2: Truing the Frog

Welcome back! If you’re still with us after reading part 1, you are a most curious soul. I mean, how could you not be to withstand so much of my boring writing in the name of woodworking?!

So now the sole of the plane is flat.  I would have to say that 80 percent of your grunt work here is done…..but there are a few other crucial things left to accomplish.  If the bottom of our plane is flat, we need to ensure that the rest of that translates all the way up to the plane iron, because what have we really accomplished if we stop here?  Flattening and truing the Frog isn’t JUST to make it parallel to the sole, it also ensures we have a mating surface for the blade to rest on the whole time the plane is in operation.  When this surface is not flat, we get that ever so annoying movement named “chatter”.  As the plane iron skims across the wood substrate, it will unseat itself and bounce around on the surface of the frog, causing an inconsistent cut.

(Read more while your bacon fries….)