Atlas46 Gear

Raise your hand if you have used a tool belt and spent the rest of the night wondering why your hips and back are killing you in spots you didn’t know existed.   How about spending countless hours looking for your tools that you “just had in your hand” and now they have mysteriously disappeared into that same world your socks must go to the second they enter the laundry bin.    Between sore hips and missing tools I had enough!

The first thing I needed to do was check out the Atlas 46 feed and decide which gear would suit my style and my projects.  I quickly fell in love with the Aims Saratoga NSN Kit.   This kit came with all the basics to get started, the drill holster, a magnetic patch, a fastener pouch, and a multi-purpose pouch.   I added an Atlas 46 flag patch because I liked the look, a pencil pouch, and the magnetic drill bit patch.

Upon getting my Saratoga Vest It took me a few days of working in the shop to get my AIMS attachments in places that seemed functional to me and didn’t leave me stabbed by a pencil when I leaned over.  I was able to quickly adjust the side straps so the vest fit nicely over a sweatshirt or a t-shirt.  I recommend wearing a Sweatshirt when adjusting the straps to give yourself a little room.  Side note, once your wearing a t-shirt and have just had a decent sized lunch, your vest will still fit nicely.

Whether I am working in the shop or out of the shop, having all of my essential tools on my person has been a real time saver.  I’ve lost less tape measures, pencils and drill bits.   My overall work flow is substantially better, not having to spend time searching for lost tools or heading back to the shop for more tools as I can fill my vest at the start of the project with whatever I need.

One night a couple weeks back I decided to do a little experiment and not wear my vest.  I simply left it hanging 10 feet away.  After about 30 minutes of wasting time walking back and forth to my vest for everything from my pencil to my Kershaw Knife I keep on there I had to put my vest on or risk going crazy.

Atlas 46 has been one of my favorite brands to partner with since day one for many reasons, but the real hook that sunk its teeth into my heart strings was when my Saratoga Tool Roll showed up in the Declaration of Independence box that Atlas uses.   In my shop, I try to make an effort to support as many small businesses, American Made and community minded companies as I can.

Here are a few links to my Affiliate page and my Instagram Account to check out my gear…. As always have a wonderful week!

Atlas 46 gear Affiliate Account

Action Shot of Saratoga Vest

Building a Table Top

Trampoline Assembly with Saratoga Tool Roll

Ginger Challenge 2018 Project Video

 

 

 

Kayak Storage Build with Bora Tools

Last fall, I was faced with a huge problem, three problems to be exact. We had 3 kayaks in the garage/shop and once the snow started flying I needed all the space I could get in the garage to work. For the winter, I was able to store the kayaks in our shed with all our other bikes and outdoor gear, but that wasn’t suitable come spring. Many of us are working around bikes, toys and watercrafts, so needed a solution that was fitting for 4 seasons.

Come spring I started measuring and sketching out some plans in my Log and Jotters. By May, Bora Tools jumped on board with me to make this project a reality, and Spax Screws sent some screws out to be part this party!  So, armed with my Centipede supports, WTX edge Cut guide and 50 inch clamps it was go time!

First I created a work space top for my Centipede Support using some 1/2 inch plywood.  I ripped that down using the WTX Cut Guide right at the job site.   Once my work space was set up, I was on to the project.

Building behind my shed had some limitations as my neighbors fence line is fairly close, leaving little room to work with.  That being said, I decided to build face frames for each end of the Kayak rack.  This allowed me to place each face frame at either side of the shed, and then assemble my Kayak rack in its permanent location.

Once the Face frames where complete I was able to run the 117 inch 2 by 4’s from one face frame to another.   I used 4 runners on the top and the bottom and 3 in the two middle sections.

Here are a few links to my Instagram feed depicting this process.

Centipede Support work space

Face Frame Build with Bora 50 inch Clamps

Kayak Storage Pictures

Kayak Storage Usage

 

Materials List:

19- 2x4x10 Treated lumber

6- 10 foot deck boards- treated

2lbs of Spax 3 1/2 inch exterior screws

50 pack of Blue Kote Kreg Screws

 

Cut List:

Cut the 2×4’s as follows

8 – 32 inches (horizontal beams for face frames)

4 – 80 inches ( vertical beams for face frames)

3 –  34 inches ( joist support for roof)

14 – 117 inches ( runners between face frames for frame/kayak support)

 

Deck Boards- leave at 10 feet

 

 

 

 

Any questions message me here or at Gingerwoodworks@gmail.com

 

 

 

Carbide Create Software

Once you assemble your CNC the next step is learning the software.  After about 3 weeks, I can say that learning the software and how to convert files to SVG has had its difficulties but for someone who isn’t currently using these programs for my employment its fairly straight forward.  First off, SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphics and for most of us our picture files show up as JPEG.  SVG files are 2-dimension files which allow for carving and cutting.  Like many of you who are currently considering buying a CNC machine the learning curve on the software weighed heavily on my mind.

My approach from the beginning of this journey with my CNC has been simple, learn it in stages, get better each day.  I of course got giddy when I realized I could carve my own logo, which I happened to already have the SVG file for.  So, the first thing I did out of the box was launch Carbide Create, input my logo, set the tool path and feel like a complete failure when nothing looked remotely like the Ginger Wood Works logo we all know and most of us love.

At this point I stepped back, reevaluated my skill set, and reminded myself of my plan to learn on each project.  I took a look at the sign that was mangled and realized it was way to small, and my bit was too large.  More on Bits in a future blog.  Next I decided that I was going to design some local themed signs that maybe my friends and family would be interested in supporting this new hobby.   I found a Buffalo silhouette and went to town creating some unique Buffalo NY designs.

My theory was correct, make some local signs, offer them up to friends and family and test the market.  I did this while learning how to design, upload, convert and carve each of these different designs.  Here I was learning the software, while showing myself that there is surely a large market just with your aunts, uncles and High School friends.

Stay tuned, because in the next couple blogs I’m going to speak to carving bits, new ideas I have coming, and how I am going about making this machine pay for itself, a topic I know many of you out there want to hear about!

 

 

 

 

Shapeoko Assembly

When my Shapeoko XXL arrived on my doorstep I was both excited and anxious. Now that it had arrived it was time to assemble it. The first thing you notice when you begin opening the large box your machine is in is that its filled with smaller boxes which are clearly labeled. There is no confusion as to what is in each box.  Here is a link to my Instagram showing the boxes lined up.    Once the boxes were laid out, I went to work assembling the base and each axis.  The instructions provided by Carbide 3d are impeccable.  Each Step has detailed instructions, Pro Tips, and things to be cautious about.  You can take a look at the instructions here.

Assembly for me took around 4 hours total, which was mainly because I was taking my time, learning the machine, the parts, really diving into the directions so I knew what I was working with.  This came in handy in the next phase of assembly.  I will refer to this as the period of time where I was able to test out the Carbide Support teams ability to help me troubleshoot some electrical problems the machine was having.  Out of the box, it was determined that I received a bad power supply, which Carbide is aware of and is quickly working to rectify a bad shipment of power supply’s they received from a vendor.  In my case, it ended up damaging the control board which the Carbide Support team of Meg and Will were able to identify simply from my videos and pictures of my machine.

Once the power supply and controller where replaced the machine struggled to find home.  For those not familiar with this process, consider the Claw machine at your local Game Room, each time you have finished trying to grab the prize, it returns to the starting location.  The culprit was simple, the X and Z axis motors had been accidently packaged wrong.  Jorge at Support quickly identified the symptoms and gave me an easy fix to this, swapping the X and Z wires in the controller.

Its always been my opinion that in every product there will be things to work through.   Although eager to get cutting and some frustrations grew as I worked through the trouble shooting, I was impressed by the Carbide Support teams ability to diagnose and fix my assembly problems.   I should note that each time Carbide3d identified a faulty part they overnighted me the parts to rectify my concern.

In closing, the assembly process is pretty fool proof.  Carbide3d pre-assembles the motors, has the wiring harnesses ready click into place, and as stated everything is labeled clearly.  Having watched others struggle with CNC machines built by other companies I can say that I did not feel I needed an engineering degree to get my cutter up and moving.   I must note that this machine was sent out to me by Carbide3d with the opportunity to review and use this machine.

 

Here is a link directly to the Shapeoko XXL for your to check out the machine I have. 

 

 

 

Little Shop, Big Dreams.

When I was a kid, my dad had a great big shop in the basement of our huge old house on the East Side of Buffalo, NY. So big I could ride my big wheel around that shop when saws weren’t buzzing. In his shop, he had a large cast iron table saw, a full size band saw, a drill press, and many more large pieces of equipment. When my dad got to working, not one of those monsters had to be moved to make a cut or drill a hole.

 

Fast forward to 2016 and enter the Ginger work shop. I have enough space to properly drill some pocket holes and lose a tape measure. That said, it doesn’t bother me one bit. What my dad taught me back in the day was to keep your shop organized and clean, and it won’t matter the size; great things can happen. Last year, as my kids got older and building things became possible, my wife so kindly gave up most of the garage in our home to this hobby. Soon, as she and her friend found pallets, and I cleaned up some boxes of old toys stored on the shelves, I had a bit more space. I quickly found new ways to store our kayaks upright and hand just about every tool that was less then 50lbs off the pallet shelves I made from their efforts.

 

In 2017, after a winter of building with the garage door closed (meaning even less space), I continued to find new ways to improve the mobility of the shop. I added a pair of Tough tBuilt sawhorses from Home Depot that can quickly be put up and taken down. I complimented that with a 48 inch by 48 inch #Gingerworkstation to place on top of those sawhorses. This coupled with the addition of a retractable extension cord for sanding and using all my mobile power tools with a cord.

 

Recently, I added the latest mobile station with lights that was written about previously and will be the new home of my Planer. As a Christian, I believe that God gives us everything that we need. I have been blessed with my space, and therefore I will be creative and use it to the best of my ability. Many folks message me and ask advice on their space. I believe the best answer is to consider a positive solution for every last inch of what you’re blessed with and then keep trying to improve it, little by little.

 

Keep an eye out this week for some new posts on the Centipede Tool I have coming in the mail.  For now, check them out here and be as amazed as I am at what it is going to do for my shop mobility!

 

No Tool Snobbery to see here……

Last summer, while my project list picked up, I quickly learned I was bringing a plastic spoon to a knife fight.  I know I am not the only one who started a project ill-prepared with quality tools. The tools I had gotten when I moved into my first house in 2007 were no longer relevant, and barely useful. Over the course of last summer I spent more time waiting for batteries to charge then I did building.

Why am I sharing this with you?  Because over this past year I have been blessed to add many tools to my shop, including many Ridgid tools.  I personally love how tough the Ridgid tool brand is, the Lifetime Service Agreement, and of course…..the color. That said, one thing you wont find here at Ginger Woodworks is Tool Snobbery.

We all started somewhere and there is a place for every tool. When I talk tools, I will find the positive. It may be the value, it could be the sale, and it could just be the quality. In every product you have ever used, there are good encounters and bad encounters. There will be more posts on specific tools that I like, ones that I recommend even, but you wont find me knocking brands here. Many of us are married to brands, sometimes its because we love them and sometimes because the battery cost is as much as a car payment.

My advice – you do you. Buy the best tools that you can afford and always get the one you need for the latest project before the one you want because it looks cool.  I’ve used a lot of brands in my shop, and I can say that they work for their intended purpose.  Not all tools are made for the pro job site and not all tools need to be.  Each of us is building, making, and creating something different.  Keep that in mind and be excited about your new tool purchase.

Hardwork…..How do your kids see it?

Ask yourself, what do my kids think hard work is?  This is a question I was pondering last summer.  When dad heads off to work, do they really know I work hard, or do they assume I do because I told them so.  As a social worker by trade, not many of the social ills I face on the daily can or do come home with me.  This inevitably leaves me at a loss when trying to educate my kids on what it is to work hard.   Then, one day last spring, I got this crazy idea to build the kids a playhouse for our backyard.  This playhouse had to be big and the kids had to help.  So, after searching online for some plans and pictures, and locating a gently used slide we were off!  After two weeks of cutting, drilling, screwing, and basically waiting for my NiCad batteries to charge we had a playhouse!  What happened next was the real treat; my kids wanted more.  Not more Playhouses, but more builds.  So, we set off on some new projects, and one by one their zest for what dad would come up with next was reaching a fiery pitch.  Each project brought lessons on hard work, precision, dedication and even money management.   Each project also turned this regular Ginger dad into a super hero.  I started hearing things like “dad can build that” or “dad can fix that”.  Its then when I realized, that not only did my kids get to make memories on a cool playhouse, but they were learning first hand with their own eyes what hard work was.  Hard work no longer meant that dad was away from them, rather it meant that we earned what we built with our sweat, smashed fingers, and splinters.