Framing Nailer Fun

About a month ago I spent a few days helping a friend resurrect his backyard shed that had burned to the ground. One day we used the tried and true 24 oz hammer to raise 3 of 4 walls. The following day the right “wing” was quite sore. On the next visit, a framing nailer was available for use. I knew it would be more efficient, but experiencing the difference was an enlightenment. The tool moved to the top of the wishlist. I searched for a deal. Got an Hitachi.


We were quick with Project #1: more sawhorses. Made from 2×3’s, they’re sturdy and relatively light.


Project #2: Mothers Day Adirondack chairs. Got tired of buying “disposable” plastic ones each year.

Adirondack chairs. 2×4’s and 1x’s

With galvanized ring shank nails, these projects are darn near impossible to pull apart. How do I know? I measured twice, but should have thrice. Had to pry off one of the curved back horizontals. Tore it up. Wood dough is good. Primed and 2 coats of Rustoleum should keep these in service for years.

I now see all kinds of use for wood cut offs. Awesome tool!

Boat Hooks to Crochet Hooks

Last Fall my daughter went for her first sail in UNA. She was quick to take note of the 8′ long boat hook I made from oak and red cedar. She suggested that I could cut the hooked end of the pole off for her crocheting use! Alarmed at the idea, I defensively I manufactured for her 3 hooks of various sizes mimicking UNA’s. I had trouble tossing the hardwood scraps from the build and here they got some use. However, apparently the largest hook wasn’t large enough, so a fourth hook made use of what was the bumkin cut off and some oak scraps. I’m now officially out of that business.


Boat Hookie

Sometimes you can get tired of laying on long epoxy parts. The sentiment hit me 2 days ago. As a diversion I picked up the rudder construction again, fiddled with the kick up controls, but didn’t come to a happy resolution yet so, I decided to craft a boat hook.

Most of my computations, receipts, notes and drawings for this project have been kept in this notebook.

In it is my rough sketch of a long, light and sturdy boat hook. The hook is a scrap of hard oak and the shaft is of glued cedar. At just over 8′ it should store well in the boat and float handle end up if dropped overboard. We’ll see about that.

I had thought about lashing the parts, but dowelled things instead. I gave it a flat blunt nose for more pushing off surface. Some progress pics:

Rough cut with jig saw.

tapered with jack plane and belt sander

Finessing with files.

Rough cut for scarf.

Joined, dowelled and coated with “soup”.

Shaped end.

All in all I have maybe 3 hours in this thing. It is handier, lighter and I think prettier than any of the several aluminum and telescopic versions I currently own. With a single coat of the “soup” (equal parts turpentine, tung oil, and pine tar). It is not the best smelling sauce, but it can grow on you. Maybe not for the rest of the family.

The kayak paddles I’ve put it on have worn very well. It also won’t give you blisters like varnish can. Easy to apply, it simply wipes on and buffs off after 20-30 minutes. These pictures show it wet, but after a few coats there is a nice satin sheen developed.

Well, back to the long epoxy parts.