Author Archives: joel

Fermentation Experiments

I've been experimenting with some fermentation recipes lately. From left to right they are:

1) A red hot sauce from fermented Fresno peppers and garlic. Delicious and extremely flavorful, without being crazy hot.
2) The brine the red peppers fermented in. Only a tiny bit of heat - it's more like a salty brine that you can add to things like a baked potato, etc.
3) A green hot sauce from fermented green Fresno peppers and jalapeno peppers from out garden. This one fermented so aggressively that the jar would foam over every time I cracked it open to relieve the pressure. It's not really hot - it's more "peppery". Also delicious.
4) We've also been trying to make some homemade miso. It needs to age in a crock at room temperature for about a year before you can use it. While it is fermenting, it gives off a liquid called tamari, that is basically just like soy sauce (and can be substituted for soy sauce in any recipe). As the miso ages the tamari it gives off will get darker and darker - this tamari is from early in the process, so it's still pretty blond.

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Cherry End Table

I used some more of scrap cherry leftover from the credenza build, and made this end table for our family room. It's been working out good so far, but I think I'm going to swap out the tile in the top. We've all decided that it is a little plain for that table. I think I might use a sheet of mosaic tile instead, to punch it up a little.

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Plane Cabinet

I had a bunch of scrap cherry plywood leftover from the credenza build, and tried to think of some way to use those scraps for something useful. I decided to build a wall cabinet for my hand planes. Cherry is a bit fancy for the workshop, but it sure looks nice!

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Screwdriver

Turned this screwdriver on the lathe the other day. It's a lamination of curly maple and cocobolo. It's one of the reversible ones - where both the bit and the shaft are reversible, for a total of 4 different tips.

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Root Beer Sampling – 2018 Update

Carter and I have continued to try lots of different types of root beer from all over the country. The last time I posted, we had tried about 20 varieties. Now, we're up to nearly 80! I've had to build more shelves. :)

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Carter’s Artwork

Carter has been using a lot of my plywood scraps from the workshop as canvases for painting. We've been hanging the better ones up in the attic. She's slowing filling the wall along the stairwell.

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A Pair of Credenzas

I recently finished a pair of credenzas for our family room. They were built to house our growing collection of retro gaming consoles. The drawers are full of games, controllers, and accessories. We've got a NES, SNES, Gamecube, Wii, Wii U, Atari 2600, PS2, PS3, PS4, and a Switch. The credenzas are built from cherry, and have tile tops. Since this picture was taken I built a shelf above the TV for the soundbar, and have moved that PS3 controller charger off of the top and to another spot in the room. I'll try to get a new pic of the setup sometime soon.

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A Tangle of Feet

I found Amber sleeping this way the other day. She apparently found it comfortable, but I'm not sure how. I'm not even sure how she ended up that way.

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Roadtrip Tracker

Carter and I found a cool US map poster that we hung up in the basement, and we're using colored sewing pins and embroidery floss to show the path of each of the roadtrips we've taken so far. I really like seeing them all laid out like that - it reminds us of all the trips we've taken so far, and gives us ideas of where we'd like to go next.

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Machine Embroidery

Those who follow this blog know that I love patches - my daily-carry backpack is covered with dozens of them. Because of that, I've always been interested in machine embroidery - as I'd love to have some personal, custom patches to put on my stuff. Make Magazine recently reviewed an entry-level hobbyist embroidery machine and that was basically all it took to convince me to give this a shot. I'm really just getting started and learning, but I've already made the Millennium Falcon patch you see in the bottom right photo. Pretty cool!


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