I went to Walmart today (the only big store within a one hundred mile radius of us and therefore one of the only stores open on Sunday). I went with a list of things to look at under the guise of needing things for Miracle on 34th Street (which is true). I came home with a few things for Miracle... and quite a few things for others as well. I know that the Christmas stuff in the stores this early drives some people crazy. Not me. I love it. It inspires me and makes me want to buy stuff to make for other people. And buy I did. I came home with the makings of at least six Christmas presents. Now I just need to get busy!
Reid installed (with many expletives) his stovepipe for his forge and we tested it out last night... and it draws really well! He did have a set back this week in that the big machining vise he got for free won't work. He messed with it for hours and it is officially broken. After the forge and anvil, the vise is the most used instrument in a metal working shop. He has a little one that he mounted to his work table and he can use it until he can get a big vise... but we were sad that he couldn't get the free one working and instead will have to buy one.
(You can see how well it is drawing by the flame (and the smoke which you can't see) being pulled up the stove pipe. In the foreground you can see his anvil mounted to the block he made for it. He is smiling and pretty happy... and this is probably the cleanest you'll ever see his shop again! ) And just so you know, it isn't the stove pipe that is crooked... that is picture-taker error!
This week, his goal is to get some coal and some metal stock and start getting his skill set back! He doesn't think it will take him long to relearn what he's doing (muscle memory apparently)... I think it is going to take a little while for his muscles to get used to this new work again! But hopefully some Christmas presents will be coming out of his shop for Christmas '08 too! So, if you have any request you should get them in early! In other words, we are hoping that this is the Christmas of family, good eating, and home-made presents! How about Christmas for you?
(PS- Stephanie, you can answer a question in a blog either in your response or in your own blog post if you like... or treat it like a rhetorical question and not answer it at all... up to you entirely!).
(PPS- Tater is fine, just as we expected him to be... and yes, it is funny)