Monday, September 11, 2017

Yesterday And Today

It was another sunny day here yesterday. I got in a 5AM porch sit with the pooch. I was in my skivvies and a T-shirt, but there was a stiff breeze out of the east and I wasn’t very comfortable. I noticed that it was cold enough that only one cicada was still singing and not very many crickets. Even they quieted down as it seemed to grow colder toward dawn. A couple deer came out of the woods to graze in the lawn and were silhouetted by the dusk-to-dawn light we have out by the road. The Mighty Dachshund wanted desperately to tell them that they were on her turf, but I wouldn’t let her. She’d have never kept quiet for the missus.

We went to the other Chinamart a little early to finish up our grocery shopping. On the way, we stopped at the sign of the fallen arches and got some breakfast burritos. They weren’t that full, so I tore a lot of the tortilla off mine and fed it to the English sparrows that had just arrived in the bushes by our vehicle. I tore the stuff into pieces the size of a quarter or smaller and they all got a piece and some was left over. I imagine they came back to check for scraps later, but we didn’t stay to find out.

When we got to Chinamart, there was some well-fed black dude panhandling at the entrance that I’d never seen before. In the store, the missus informed me not to get too much, because we didn’t have much money this week. I resisted the urge to tell her that we had exactly the same money that we do EVERY week, since I budget it. I didn’t get anything at all, but I noticed that along with the regular groceries, she got some potato chips and a magazine she wanted. I bit my tongue. OUCH!

Leaving the lot, the black dude was still there. I looked at his sign, but he tried putting too much on it and you couldn’t see what it said. Some of those guys don’t understand that brevity, and thus big letters, is a virtue on signs. I did some serious porch-sitting again with the pooch when I got home but, didn’t get anything constructive done except go to the basement to locate and carry out some pieces of 2x2 to use as stakes on my chainsaw mill frame.

Today, I cut the stakes to length and pointed them. They’ll be used to keep the saw frame from sliding around on me. It’s measures about five feet by eight and is sitting on cement blocks at the corners. There are already six stakes holding it in place, driven about eight inches into the hard soil; when I get the rest driven, there will be six more. Once the final leveling is done, I’ll use drywall screws to fasten them and the frame to one another.

The missus wanted to escape Alcatraz for a while late this afternoon, so we went to town and got a Coke at McD’s and drove over to the other side of town and back. On our return, I stopped at a store on that side of town that would pass for a general store, I guess. I was hoping that they’d have an assortment of metal handle wedges, but all they had was a “kit” with a wooden wedge and two small steel ones.

I have two sledges that need tight handles before I can drive the stakes for the mill, or finish splitting the firewood out front. One had the handle that the old man who once lived across the road put in it 35-40 years ago. I made a stub wedge the same size on the bottom that the old wedge was on the top, put some gorilla glue on top of the old wedge and drove the new one down as far as I could. It didn’t go far, so I suspect the old wedge bottomed out in the notch. I added some more glue around the new wedge and stood the sledge on end to let the glue dry for a day or two.

The other sledge is actually a splitting maul that I bought cheap in Amish country a few years ago. It has two of the circular “wedges,” one about ¾” across and the other one about ½ inch. I tried to drive them tighter using a center punch and the other sledge, but it was a wasted effort. The circular wedges are worthless, I think. That was the sledge that I was trying to find a regular wedge for at the store. Maybe they don’t even make them anymore except in the one size. It wouldn’t surprise me; I may have to make my own. I swear, you can’t find ANYTHING you need anymore. I guess that’s what I get for trying to use a factory-installed handle.

Until next time, y’all stay safe out there! © 2017


Sunnybrook Farm said...

I have a good supply of splitting wedges, I find them at the flea market that they have at our old farm days. Nobody seems to want them anymore so I got them cheap. The round ones are too light, fell like cast iron though I doubt they are that dumb to use that. I have seen new square ones but they seem to be small to me.
I think in the old days they used wooden ones which might have been hard to work with but very cheap to make.

Gorges Smythe said...

The wooden ones were called "gluts" and were often made from dogwood. They usually started the split with a steel wedge and finished with the gluts. The Germans here, though, had steel tips for wooden wedges, for when iron was scarce. You probably know that by adding an "e" you get "glute," which is a carrier for four quart boxes of berries.

deborah harvey said...

new words to add to my supply. wish you showed pictures.
when you become a millionaire you might find what you want at lehman's.

Gorges Smythe said...

I try to save the old terms when I can, dh. There's a hardware store near the edge ofm town that I may try for the wedges. I'll keep my fingers crossed and check with them today if I can.