Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Wargames Illustrated Issue 360 - Shameless Self Promotion

Issue 360 of Wargames Illustrated is now out (at least in electronic form) and includes some very nice coverage of Historicon.

It even has a picture of my game, which I always find very rewarding.  I suppose I should sit sit here and wait for those huge wargaming endorsement contracts to show up....

Maybe not.

I am thinking about what to do next year.  Return to the civil war, war of 1812 or reuse my skirmish rules from this year.  I do want to share the table with some other gamers so I don't run as many games!

We shall see

Monday, September 18, 2017

Wood Working for Wargamers: Hmmm I wonder what this is? Post 8

What could this become?  It's 48inches long by 30 inches wide and will be a huge efficiency gainer for me.  For the few of you in the world that cling to that dubious metric system that equates to 122 cm's long by 76.2 cm's wide

Any guesses?

and no, it's not a really badly made picture frame.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

My New Friend in St Michaels

I met one of our neighbors while working in the Garden - a very elegant Northern Rough Greensake.  These are very small snakes that spend most of their time in trees.  This young lad or lass was about 24 inches long and rather docile.

 I was able to pick him/her up without any aggressive response.  These snakes primarily eat insects so are welcome garden area residents.
Kind of cute, in a reptilian sort of way.  After a short somewhat one-sided conversation I put the snake back in a tree and he was on his way.

Friday, September 15, 2017

To the UK and Back in 2 Days!

 I had an unscheduled and short trip to London this week Flew in Monday am and flew out Wed am.  Sadly on the ground for less than 48hrs.  The weather was very nice as the picture of Nelson's column attests to.

 While in London it's a legal requirement to spend time in a pub, and I'm all for following the rules.  This pub pictured was named "The Jugged Hare" and was very nice.  It's located about a block away from the Barbican Theater.  The pub does get overrun with Lawyers which is something to watch out for.  My favorite pub in London still remains the Black Dog in Vauxhall.

Pictured is Justin getting another round from the barman.    Justin is CEO of one of our companies, ClearScore and I'm on his board.  If you search the ClearScore website there's some information about me and (gasp) even some pictures.  I'm really ugly so it's not worth looking up unless you feel the need to be punished visually.

On the flight back with a glass of Chilean red.  I started to watch a really bad movie titled "King Arthur" - and thankfully fell asleep about halfway though.  This one was directed by Guy Ritchie and I find most of his stuff to be very tiresome.  Perhaps it's a sign that I'm aging.

I'm scheduled to be back the week of October 9th and will try to stay over that following weekend to see if I can get some gaming in while staying in Ole' Blighty.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Woodworking for Wargamers: Miter Saw Workbench Done!, Post 7

 When last we left the Miter Saw Workbench saga, a bunch of old plywood had been cut to make a swinging arm.  That's not really a cliff hanger but stick with me,

 Here's the arm mostly assembled - I made it really sturdy (aka heavy) to hold up to a lot of abuse.

The first test fit of the arm in the extended position - drat, I'm a little off as the arm is just a tad lower than the saw platform.  It's about 1/16th of an inch so some flat washers should do nicely as shims.
 The next step is to make the guides that go along the tops on the arm and bench.  It's critical that these be square to both the platform and the saw itself.  Why is the front part 3/8 of an inch lower that the back?

So I can fit some T-Track from Rockler along it.  The track will be how I move the stop block along to set specific cut lengths.

 The base platforms are all installed.

 Cutting the T-Track to length.  I prefer to use a hack saw rather than my table saw.  The table saw blade can cut metal but it shortens the blade's life a good bit.  I only had to make 3 cuts so it wasn't so bad.

 Installed the guides - it's critical these all be square with the saw, which is where a 4 ft level comes in handy.
 I've got the measuring tape in place and about to make my first test cut... Going for 17 15/16 inches (why go for an even number that's boring.

 Bang spot on!

Some of you might be really bored by all this but having a saw dialed in to exact measurements really improves productivity.

A really bad shot of the fully assembled saw (well mostly fully assembled - I still need to add the cabinets underneath).
 A picture of the swinging arm in the extended position.

 The saw itself - it's a DeWalt and I really like it.
 A shot with the arm down.  The bench will be much easier to store this way.
Close up of the hinge and guide blocks I added to prevent racking.
 The back of the workbench.  OK that's a really boring shot but there's plenty of room to add vacuum hoses for dust control.
And, lastly, the swinging arm - it's go a T-Ney with a bolt that I can use to adjust the height of the arm as needed.  Wood moves and in order to keep the arm level with the saw, the support arm needs to have an adjustable height.

Friday, September 8, 2017

In the workshop

Not much progress on the Miter Saw Stand other than cutting the plywood for the folding arms.  Each is 33.5 inched long and 12 inches wide.  These will get beat up so I used really cheap 3/4 inch plywood.  It will not "look good" but will be sturdy.

I should finish up this weekend and then move onto to something a bit more directly related to gaming.  Likely a gaming/tool caddy.

I'll do a more detailed post on the arms this weekend - assuming they actually work!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Star War Legions: Yee Gads!

As we toil under the lash of the ruling class, one of their most insidious enslavers is up to their old tricks again.  Yes, Fantasy Flight Games is releasing a new Star Wars game that is carefully designed to keep us all in gaming poverty as we, lemming like, hand over what few shekels remain in our pockets for their gaming largess.  Prepare for doom as Star Wars Legion makes it debut.

How dare they make such intriguing products with the ultimate licensing topic and chockfull of fun miniatures to paint, easy rules and well established player base.

The Bastards.......

I guess I can sell some more blood before the release and "technically" one only needs a single kidney to be able to play games.....

Editorial Note:
I am sure the decision to make the figures in a slightly larger scale was done not for financial gain but for play balance and aesthetic purity.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Woodworking for Wargamers: Miter Saw Bench Change of Plans, Post 6

 The more observant of you may notice that the Miter Saw bench is a good bit shorter than last time.  In fact it's reduced from 96 inches long to just 50 inches (I think that's like 9,278 mm's for you metrics out there - or close to it...)

Why the radical change?  At 96 inches the bench would "just" fit into the space I allocated for it but would be hard to maneuver in and out.  Rather then contend with hard to move beast, I decided to shorten the bench so it pops in and out easily - kind of like a sports car.  The tradeoff for ease of use is more build complexity as I need to add some foldable arms on each end to support longer stock.

A note on shop organization - I'm awful at it.  Look how cluttered my assembly table has gotten in a few days.  It's a mess and makes finding things hard - especially tape measurers which appear to burrow under the debris to hide.

So do as I say and not as I do when it comes to shop organization.

Newly Discovered Youtube Channel

RedneckDIY - This guy reminds me of home (I grew up in the deep south of America).  What I really like is his pace - it's deliberate but really informative.  A lot of woodworking you tubers skip over some of the tedious details - this guy really walks you through them.  The out-takes at the end of each video are fun to watch also.  The presenter made a three part set of videos on a miter saw sled which maybe the inspiration for my shortened one.  A note of caution here - he can sometimes be a bit coarse, not really vulgar but not always prim and proper Yankee style talk.

One last point - why build a workbench as part of a series called "woodworking for wargamers"?  Well a couple reasons:
- I needed one (that's a pretty good reason)
- The most important tool in a workshop is the bench so learning to build one is a very good starting point
- It's just a workbench, so doesn't have to look like heirloom furniture
- There's not that much difference between a top end game table and a work bench structurally

Monday, August 28, 2017

Rough Looking Customers

 I was forced to attend my wife's summer party for the her students that patciapta in her charity "Smiles for Success" - they perform free restorative dental work for women who are abuse shelters.  It's wonderful but difficult work and these young ladies really do spend a great deal of effort on the program.  Sadly I was forced to attend this event, do standard man stuff like BBQ, wash dishes and in general publicly display my subservience to my lovely, yet fierce wife.  You can see my wife' disapproving gaze after some comment I innocently provided.

To make matters worse, some of the young ladies insisted on me taking them sailing.  It was an arduous task that history will one day determine rivals Hercules Labors.

Steve-theWargamer remarked in a comment on the last post that my sailing milage is down significantly this year.  That statement is true.  I do think I've managed to upgraded the crew quality.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Woodworking for Wargamers: Miter Saw Workbench Design, Post #5

Planning is as important as doing in woodworking.  In fact it can save you money as it's a lost cheaper to make mistakes on graph paper than cutting wood the wrong size.  The design for my Miter Saw bench comes from the Wood Whisper website.  My version will look a bit different (not as nicely done and I'm going to have the saw off center (two feet to the left of the picture.  You can purchase the plans for this item from WoodWorkers Journal.

Google is your friend here because there are tons of free plans to use for just about anything.  Just make sure you makes those plans your own by redrawing them on graph paper.  That helps me "see" and remember the details and also figure out if I want to make changes.

Theres so much information on the web it can be very easy to become just a virtual woodworker - always planning, watching your tube videos but rarely doing.  Go at your own pace but when you try something (and fail) the learnings are really helpful and make a lot of the terminology start to make sense.

Some progress last night and a bit of a setback.  The basic frame has been assembled and is really sturdy.  I still need to add the cross braces and will do so this morning.

What's the setback?  I used very cheap 2x4's from Home Depot and was a bit careless in my selection.  If you look closely at the picture you can see the right side of the bench is level with the floor but the Upper left corner lifts off about 1/2 inch from the floor.  The wood I used for the stretchers (the 93 inch long pieces) weren't perfectly straight and I was both too lazy to plane out the boards (straighten them) and just didn't notice.  As Lasergunpacker pointed out in a comment to the previous post, the wood you purchase at  big box home improvement store really isn't top quality and you need to take your time in selecting the wood.  I'll do a post on wood sourcing and selection but it looks like I need to do some more research!

To repeat myself, woodworking is essentially a series of mistake corrections and I think the weight of the bench top and saw will force the frame to be square.  If that doesn't work I'll need to add some more braces and there will be some swearing, lots of swearing - the magical incantations of woodworking.