As you know, I have been making shaped planes and John has been melting aluminum (aluminium, for my British readers) to make castings. Now both of these activities have groundwork to be done. In my case I make my own plane blades from scratch, namely scrap steel. I cut my blades from circular saw blades. In John's case, he cannot obtain very fine-grained sand without importing it from the lower 48 states, at enormous expense, so he sifts it by hand from what he can find. Both these activities have one thing in common. They involve extensive manual labor.
A circular saw blade is cheap. A used circular saw blade is free. It is very tough steel. It may even have carbide teeth, which cannot be cut (or sharpened) by anything short of a diamond cutter. I collect used circular saw blades. But they are difficult to cut with a hacksaw and the process finally got to me. So I built gadget one.
Gadget two is a bit more specialized. It is a power sand siever or sifter. I did not invent it. I found the idea on the myfordboy blog, on his YouTube channel, video #31. This is a blatant knock-off. My thanks to myfordboy. It is a power sifter based on a reciprocating saw, the kind called a sawz-all in the trade. No doubt a trademark. I picked this one up for about $10 at a yard sale; the trigger is very dicey. But it works.
Note the duct tape, known as "gaffer tape" in the UK. Without this commodity, the state of Alaska would grind to a screeching halt. I do not remember the official motto of this state, but the unofficial motto is "if it moves and shouldn't: duct tape. If it doesen't move and should: WD-40." Oh, how true.
Seed in the field
1 week ago