Rust & Time

I haven't posted here in a while. Well not a real post anyway. It seems that my other sites have gotten the better of me. Fusion Ring is up to 80+ followers and so I find myself posting there every day. Plus it's easy. I'd already be done with a Fusion Ring Post by now....

Secondly and more to the point I've been neck deep in a 1950's vintage table saw restore. That is a post that really has nothing to do with my geek side and so, Kludge Spot has been void as of late. Every waking moment of free time has been devoted to looking up motor wiring diagrams, tracking down compatible bearings, vintage color charts and removing 49 years of rust. This one is the kicker...

When you're removing rust off a table top like this, it is important that it remains dead flat. Compromising that compromises the work you can create. What that means is that nothing more abrasive than your knuckle hair and can be used to remove the rust build up. In addition chemical products like naval jelly, discolor the surface, leaving it yellowed and patchy. So it you really want it to look like it did when it came off the assembly line in 1950, you get two things. A green scrubber and a can of WD-40.

Removing rust gives you lots of time to think.... Here is a shot of what it looked like the day it arrived in my garage.

So I set to work. Four hours alone with your thoughts can be a bit daunting. Luckily that can be overcome by the sound of blood pounding through your temples. This is accomplished by sheer exhaustion. See a man who spends 40+ hours a week sitting at a desk typing is in little shape to preform the repetitive back and forth scrubbing motion for four hours straight. In addition I was sweating like crazy. Which was dropping salty water all over the surface of my table. Sweat that would turn into rust, if not cleaned up. I was working against me. After 4 hours...I got maybe 15% clean. You can sort of see it under the other parts.

The next morning I awake to find I couldn't move my legs. How disappointing. I wept. Then rolled out of bed and stumbled to work. Over the next 4 days I recuperated enough to try again. Two more weekends of work and about 10 more hours of rust cleaning time, brought me here. I had now disintegrated 22 green scrubbers and emptied 3 bottles of WD-40. I smelled like a mechanic shop and the grease under my fingernails took three days to completely remove. But... I'd removed a fair amount of rust.

I have to say I'd never really give rust much though before. I mean you get a little on tools from time to time. You spray some lightweight oil and it mostly comes off. Really bad rust you sand it off. Not this stuff. Some of this stuff hadn't seen the light of day for decades! I think It still thought Eisenhower was president. Korea? Vietnam? Persian Gulf? Never heard of it.

My shorts, are now brown. They used to be grey! I literally have a terra cotta stripe across my crotch area, which is where the level of the top meets my broken and twisted form. Another 5 hours of work, 2 cans of WD-40 and 6 green scrubbers brought me here...

It's really close now. Not completed, but close. I would guess another 4 hours or so till I can say I'm done scrubbing rust. I hate rust. I probably hate it worse than brussel sprouts at the moment. But when I'm all done and smiling at my face in the cast iron, I'll think...

Boy I wish I could get out of this wheel chair and use my saw...

Signs Of The Time 4

Right. No more troubles now. We've got a sign!

Stupid Dogs

My kind of health club!

"John...Where's our carry on?"

It was way too complicated before this sign was installed.

Lesson learned the hard way!

So does daddy!

When old people make signs...

Love it.

Knew it was coming!

Ask yourself, "Is it really worth it?"

Signs of The Time 1
Signs of the Time 2
Signs of the Time 3

Considering Fatherhood

Yesterday I took my oldest daughter to the cardiologist. It was a rather normal visit for us. A long drive into the city of San Francisco, a quick trip up and over Divisadero, a miscommunication of our appointment destination, running with a stroller up and down Geary St, sweating profusely in a small dark room while holding a 5 years legs for an echocardiogram while watching Elmo's World. All in all it was a pretty normal trip. For us at least.

Taking a 5 year old to her cardiologist is a pretty normal thing. Hearing the doctor proclaim that she was born with a malformed valve and and hole in her heart leaves us unsurprised. And being told that the current leak between chambers of her heart is minimal only triggers to us that another tedious visit to the heart doctor is done.

On the way home we talked about what to get for lunch, how we planned on spending our upcoming vacation and which bathroom vanities we think would match the d├ęcor of our guest restroom. We've been through this too many times to get worked up over it.

Ask me if any of this would seem normal to me 6 years ago. Back then I thought fatherhood would be quite different. I pictured a walk in the park, play time in the sand box or wrestling matches in the living room. Heart surgery, sign language, echocardiograms and leg braces never seems to factor into the equation. Weird huh.

I'm comfortable with where I am. I love both of my children, but normal? Nothing in life is normal. Not even in a normal family. Whatever that might be.