2021 – Week 52

Catastrophe to end the year. The people in power, who have clearly taken leave of their senses, throw open the borders to states with wildly out of control Covid infections, and Qld now has wild out of control Covid infections. The rhetoric has turned to ubiquitous Covid, from zero Covid only a fortnight ago.

Shops and restaurants are closing, as their staff become infectious. 300,000 people enter the state bringing plague with them. The “open up to get business moving” crowd have been shown to be the idiots they are, as people stay home to avoid getting infected. Where once they had local business, now their have neither local, nor tourist trade.

2021 – Week 51

Did some more welding practice, and made some reasonable progress:

Had to rush over to wildlife rescue, as one of our local magpies was attacking one of our local baby bluetongue lizards. Poor fella was a little beaten up, but seemed to come good once he was at the wildlife rescue centre, and the blood that was completely covering one of his eyes, making me think it was lost, had cleared away.

2021 – Week 50

On the down side, we didn’t get the house.

On the up side, I got the welder back into operation, and started experimenting with different tip geometries, using my nifty new electrode grinder, which has made life significantly easier.

I picked up a third welding curtain and frame, thinking I’d join it to the existing pair, linking them as a single folding unit, that’ll let me screen off more of the carport, while meaning no increase to the amount of feet the screens use, as the middle one hangs between the other two. However, it proved unworkable as a solution, because there wasn’t any overlap between screens, which could have represented a flash hazard to anyone walking past. So after futzing around, I had three separate screens again.

I also picked up a third air-grinder, because they’re ridiculously cheap and therefore just having a different one for each type of grinding wheel – a sander, a grinder and a cutter, is easier than changing wheels. I also bought a cut-off grinder, which is like an angle grinder, but the cutting wheel is perpendicular to the handle, rather than parallel in a normal grinder. Again, they’re so ridiculously cheap that having dedicated tools for specific circumstances – the cut-off one will be for slicing thin rod, makes more sense than making-do with a less well suited tool.

2021 – Week 49

Not much going on this week. The weather has seen torrential rain and humidity, that makes welding a little problematic. However, I spent a fair bit of time going through all my documentation for the welding processes and getting everything noted down. Plan, plan, plan – get it all right, then execute on the plan.

Someone stole the Kreepy Krawly pool cleaner off the end of the hose from the building’s pool.

Saw the new Dune film. Eh. It’s OK.

2021 – Week 48

Finessing the lengths of steel box section for the hall shelving unit, before I begin construction, so that everything is nice and square.

Continuing to look at this house, as it may be within our means, with a small mortgage. So I am once again losing sleep to SketchUp modelling. The goal is to convert two small bedrooms at the back of the property, along with a laundry, into a self-contained dwelling, by constructing a new room on the back, and changing the outer rear wall, into an inner wall.

2021 – Week 47

Rode my bike once or twice, but mostly feeling like crap post-covid-shot. Looked at a house that had a lot of potential, but I suspect will go for more than we can afford. Unfortunately that’s always an unhealthy thing for me to do, and I ended up with broken sleep, being kept awake at night thinking about said house, and said house’s potential.

Gotta focus on my shelf-making welding project.

2021 – Week 46

Continuing the end of year medical appointments, and my third Covid shot. Got out on the bike a bit working on rebuilding my endurance and energy levels. I managed to get my steel triaged so that all the donor parts from the old project have been allocated to be cut down into new parts.

Found this treasure by the roadside…

Got into a bit of steel cutting, and I’m convinced my bandsaw simply doesn’t work as a wet saw. The blade was once again creeping its way off the drive wheel. I think I have to redesign the drive wheel to add a flange to it, so that the blade is unable to slide off it.

2021 – Week 45

More medical stuff that always clusters at the end of the year, but I was able to get get work done on filing down the height-adjustable feet for the new shelving system, so they’ll fit in the thicker 2mm-walled tube of the steel I’m using.

Other things that are interesting from a creative perspective, I had an inspiring moment, when I realised a really doable story for the character of The Dealer from Surfing The Deathine. It’s actually a real solid story idea, a short story / spinoff that deepens the character, while having no actual impact on the main story. It’s interesting, because it’s that character’s perspective on their involvement in the events of the main book, but that involvement is only one end of their day.

I was thinking I’d maybe use it as an excuse to buy an iPad Pro, and do the whole thing digitally, but then I started to think that all the digital tools I’ve bought for a while really only succeed in making me unhappy – you’re always a victim of how the vendor chooses to change the product after you’ve bought it.

Instead, I think I’ll spend a similar amount of money on buying a stack of large format fine art paper, and draw the book as another loose wall-scale work, similar to The Metaning.

2021 – Week 44

Routine medical appointments, and work on creating the new cutting list for the hallway shelving.

I had an unsettling discovery – the front and rear fascias on my welder are cracking, and may fail while trying to lift it by its handle. They’re structural in terms of binding the handle to the actual body of the machine. It’s a worrying development in a ~20kg piece of equipment. I’ve called the company who makes it, and the parts are user-replaceable, but won’t be leaving the manufacturer, possibly in China, until November.

I managed to do some surgery on it to shorten the handle, which will relieve some of the outward pressure so that when the new fascias arrive, they should have a longer lifespan.

Aside from that, I was able to move all the gear out of the hall shelves, and move the hall shelves to the carport, then stack all the steel I had for the cupboard’s doors, back into the shelves. It works well, and I think will eventually be a superior solution to the original plan.

Also, a bit of a modification to my new temp welding cart, to make it able to fit the footprint of my welder when positioned a bit forward (and to clear the top shel’s lip which conflicts with the low port placement on the back of the welder).

2021 – Week 43

A quiet week, but one in which I made a decision to give up on the Studio In A Box project. It’s a hard skill to learn, giving up on things, resisting the sunk cost fallacy, and just stopping.

On the upside, I am able to start work on Studio In The Hall, which is a salvage of the project, making use of most of the steel, but having several advantages.

Primarily, it keeps all my equipment indoors, where temperature and humidity are better controlled than outside, where I observed a significant amount of moisture condensing on steel in the early hours of the morning.

The main enabler for this, has been this wheelchair ramp, which means rolling gear in and out of the house is feasible as an ongoing thing.