My home island leads the pack, once again. Spencer Spit State Park on Lopez Island is the beach at the top of their list — and I can’t argue with that choice.
This public information map from esri.com shows just how bad the wildfire situation is.
2012 Wildfire Statistics (Year-to-date):
Ethan Parker questions the worth of much that is “said” on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc., on his blog “Salty Like The Sea.” I have often considered the signal/noise ratio of the ‘Web and found it to be much more chaff than wheat.
Ethan characterizes the social media fad as “an obsession with fluff:”
Or, The Saga of the Driveway Rattle-Can Paint Job
In October of last year, my venerable Buick decided to die.
On the highway.
On my way to work.
Fortuitously, Brenda’s niece and her husband had a Honda Accord wagon that they wanted to sell. It had been their fill-in while her Jeep was in a state of repair. It’s a few years older than the Buick, but it’s in good mechanical condition and the body was pretty straight.
All except for its hood . . .
So, when Summer finally arrived, it was time to get out the random-orbit sander . . .
And, go buy a half-dozen rattle-cans of Rustoleum & Krylon. I guess I should mention that the term “rattle-can” refers to the cans of spray paint that you can pick up at any hardware or department store — beloved to taggers and shade tree craftspeople everywhere.
Also had to dig around and find an old shower curtain and a used poly drop cloth for masking the areas where we didn’t want paint to go. You’ll notice that I’m painting with the hood open in the photos. This made masking a snap! I just put a 6′ 2×4″ across the fenders, draped the old poly drop cloth over the engine and fenders, then lowered the hood on top of the 2×4. No mess, no fuss! Then it was time to prime!
Have to let it dry for an hour.
Then, it’s time for a very light sanding with 400-grit wet/dry sandpaper before applying the second coat of primer. Both primer coats were Rustoleum, due to the amount of rust that was involved. Unfortunately, the local Wal-Mart doesn’t stock Rustoleum’s high-loft primer, which would have done a better job of filling in my lame attempts at feathering the edges of the spots where I had to grind my way to bare metal. If I had it to do over again, I would spend much more time on feathering those edges. Should have feathered each one to the full (5″) width of the sander disk, then spent a lot more time on them with the sanding block and 400-grit wet/dry. (Of course, looking at the photos, if I feather sanded all the down-to-metal spots out to 5″ from each edge, it probably would have made more sense to just take the whole surface to bare metal . . . ) Coulda/woulda/shoulda . . .
Another hour of drying needed . . . But, by now, I’m running out of daylight, so it’s time to take a break and get some rest. Then, it’s on to the first color coat!
The day was pretty breezy, so getting the color to actually go onto the hood instead of into the air was definitely a challenge. That is why the first coat looks so thin in some places with a lot of over-spray in others.
When I ran out paint in my first color can, (Unnamed medium-dark blue from Rustoleum.), I let it dry for 30 minutes, then applied a coat of Krylon Global Blue on top of it to lighten the color value.
The second coat was followed by another coat of the Rustoleum unnamed medium-dark blue. The intermediate coat of Krylon Global Blue brought the color pretty close to the shade of the metallic medium blue that came on it from the factory. And people think I just waste my time when I’m messing about with water colors with the Boy-Os! “Hah,” I say!
Of course, with that said, it’s still not metallic blue . . . But, c’mon people! This is a commuter! It’s not a show car, for pity’s sake! My goal here was to stop the rust and automotive psoriasis that had taken hold of the hood of my car. It’s not a bad little car, it just had some cosmetic issues . . .
The paint job just needs to cure for a couple weeks, then I can wet sand it to try to take care of some of the worst problems with it.
And, problems it has! Yesss, hmmm . . .
(Please excuse me while I break my Yoda-like pose.)
I know that wet sanding is supposed to correct a host of sins, but I’ve only worked on one car painting project in the past — that was over 35 years ago, and I was working with a pro. Needless to say, there weren’t nearly the number of issues in that paint job as in this current project. I was going to try wet sanding last weekend, but the temps were in the (High!) 90s, so I thought that would be just a touch on the insane side.
OK, time to evaluate the project to this point:
I will update this post when the wet sanding is done — then again once the clear coat is applied.
Note: Brenda saw another ’91 Accord wagon at Papa Murphy’s tonight. She said it was the same situation as ours. Rest of the body paint looked great, but the hood was almost completely stripped! Whoever Honda subbed out their hoods to must have had a bunch of 80s primer left over, or something . . .
My Dad’s workshop was always a place of wonder for me – as were both my Grandfathers’ shops.
Dad was more mechanically inclined over being a carpenter, but he never shied away from any woodworking or carpentry project that I can remember. Dad never had a lot of power tools beyond a Skilsaw and an electric drill — although I do remember one case of creative chainsaw demolition to remove some rotted flooring. =:)
Pa (Grandpa Weeks) was trained as a cabinetmaker, so his collection of woodworking tools was more extensive than Dad’s and more up-to-date. I remember watching Pa work in his shop on a couple projects and being fascinated by how quickly they progressed. Pa wasn’t one for wasting time or motions.
Grandpa Gallanger was a blacksmith of some local renown. I don’t remember watching him work on anything, but I do remember him showing me his shop one time. It was all very mysterious to a young boy.
Like my Grandfather before me, I have worked as a cabinetmaker. There’s a satisfaction to building something that will last with your own hands that people who’ve never worked in a craft can’t understand. You pour a part of yourself into each piece that you create. You want it to be as good as you can make it — and there’s definite pride in a job well done.
Like my other Grandfather, I too have worked with metal. Not as a blacksmith — yet. But I have welded and machined metal to construct large seed drills for high prairie farmers. I’ve also machined precision bearings for cars, trucks and aircraft — as well as a host of other applications.
Whether we’re talking wood or metal, I found that I preferred the small shop to the large factory. The pace was more bearable, and there was time for human interaction.
To this day, I enjoy a chance to turn my hands to a carpentry project or something else that creative or restorative. My last project was replacing three rotten planks on the front deck of the cabin at my Grandfather Gallanger’s homestead. I was being a bit curmudgeonly and remarked how I could remember a time when you could actually go into a lumberyard and buy a straight board. My nine year-old son, John, asked “When was that, ancient times?” Out of the mouths of babes . . . I remembered that when I was hauling lumber off Mt. St. Helens before she blew her top, my boss would have to re-grade every unit of lumber when it came into the yard. I never went back to the mill running empty. That was in 1976. A few days earlier, one of my nephews, Scot, had remarked that any date whose year started with “19” was, in fact, now ancient history. I had spent 20 minutes sorting through the pile of 2×6″x12′ to find three decent boards. When I dropped each one into place, I found that they were the shape of the letter “C.”
Each end touched the plank to the right of it, while its back was against the plank to its left. The answer? We had a pile of salvaged cedar shakes by the fire pit. I used them to wedge the new planks into shape before nailing them down. Of course, each plank was about an inch too long, so I used my Japanese log saw to trim them off. I didn’t have anything with me to seal the ends, but they should outlast all the planks around them anyway. Not one of those planks showed a sign of a crack when I put it in place, yet each one cracked at each end before the next morning. Makes me want to mill all my own lumber.
Afterword: I’ve had the opportunity to see the repair detailed above almost a full year later, and the inserted planks are holding their spacing well. I’m very glad that those cedar shingles were in the woodpile for the fire pit! 🙂
Yesterday was my first day back to work after 12 days at Grandpa Gallanger’s homestead on Lopez Island. If the month of June in Western Washington could be described as “Junuary,” then our first few days on the island would have to be described as “Julapril.” Cool, rainy & windy days followed by rockin’ thunderstorms at night. By our third day, things had started to calm down and we actually started to see sun in the afternoons and stars at night — but it still felt more like early June than late July.
There were compensations for the variable weather, though — as the photo shows.
Had a smallish family reunion this year, due to a lot of family members having conflicts, but, it was very good to see those who could make it and spend time with them.
As always, time passed much too fast for my taste. Going to have to try to get more time on the island next year.