Archive for August, 2016

Travel Gaming

Posted in Gadgets, Games, Lifestyle, Travel with tags , , , , , on 08/24/2016 by Baghead Kelly

Travel Kit

 

  • Set of dice
  • Playing card deck
  • Notepad
  • Pencil

With a little knowledge these four simple items open up a world of games. Dice have been around for thousands of years whilst playing cards are only a mere eleven hundred years old. They have survived through to this modern era of computer games simply because we find them amusing. Beyond that we like them because of their social aspect. They make conversation easy.

If you take the time to learn some games or expand on the ones that you already know you will have a repertoire that you can pull out at any time. Missed your flight? Stuck in the emergency department? Not yet out on bail? Then perhaps a game of craps is in order or even strip poker. Maybe the grandkids are over and you can play Beetle or Old Maid. The choices are as many as you can memorize and teach.

The real trick here however, is in keeping it all compact. You can buy ‘Bridge’ sized playing cards which are generally a quarter of an inch smaller in width and die usually come in 10, 14 and 16mm sizes. The 10mm die are still a good size to play with, as are the ‘Bridge’ sized cards. Once you’ve sorted those items out and sized matched them with a pad and pencil you can start looking for a suitably sized tin or Tupperware container. Good luck with that.

My personal favorites dice games are ‘Pig’ and ‘Ship, Captain. Crew’ whilst I like Conquian and Euchre card games. I’m slowly learning new games and testing them out on my family; some work and some don’t. When they’ve had enough there is always time to fit in a couple of hands of ‘Solitaire’.

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English Benchwarmer

Posted in Art, Carpentry, D.I.Y., Design, Home Renovations, Lifestyle with tags , , , on 08/05/2016 by Baghead Kelly

Bench Warmer

I have a materials rack in my workshop which was filled beyond capacity and so it was about time to use up some of my hoardings. Essentially I had a pine plank which was 2.4 meters long and some dunnage/bearers that I had scabbed from jobsite skip bins.

What do you do with a plank?……… well you make a bench of course!

Now I wanted to make a knockdown bench so I could pack it up if I had to. Thus I used two wedges to hold it all together ( 9° from plumb and 8mm thick, hardwood is advisable). No nails, or screws. I used ‘ Sketchup Make’ to draw up the plans above. The components are essentially;

  • the plank
  • the cross brace
  • The legs x 2
  • The wedges x 2

It was all fairly straight forward but the hardest part was manufacturing the two legs. The feet were made from two pieces of 90mm x 45mm stud glued together so I could band saw the ogee shape and cut the 10mm groove out of the bottom. Then the uprights had a mortise and tenon carved top and bottom to house the feet which were glued and the bench which is dry fitted. I was worried about the dry fitting at the plank end for stability but in retrospect the mortice and tenon works great. However if you lift the bench by the plank it will come off – you have to lift it by the mid rail, which I can do easily by myself. If you’re worried about this you might think about a dowel to pin it on or glue it permanently.

Benchwarmer combined

The other modification I would incorporate would be to shorten the plank to 1800mm to reduce the span. Due to the detail that I’ve drilled into the centre of the plank there is a weakness right in the middle. Now I can sit on ‘Ye Ole Benchwarmer’ with my wife and six foot four son no worries but I don’t think we would be doing it across an infinite abyss. Plus I like the little detail of a cross cut with a hole saw and routered with an ogee to fancy it up – a little design feature I nicked from a church pew. The cross brace was also chamfered with a router in the middle to add a little old world charm as were the uprights and feet.

This was a fun project and I use it to put my toolboxes on, which leaves them on a convenient height to rummage through. So if your interested in a plank with legs, I’d recommend making the two legs first, followed by the cross brace and  leaving the mortises in the plank till last.

Any queries, I’ll try to help.  Cheerio Ladies and Gents!

Bench Warmer 4 pos