Glueing up some cases

Glued up one of the corner cabinets today. I’m using a my Festool Domino to cut some mortises so that I can use floating tenons to attach the sides. This is a but different than the typical way, which would ne to use dado’s and screws. I’m not entirely sure that using the dominos is a better way, but it seems to work pretty well (except when I muck up the domino positioning that is). For the regular cabinets the glue-up is straight forward, however for the corner cabinets things get a bit tricky. Trying to layout the dominos such that everything can be assembled is diffiult, but once I managed that it wasnt to bad to glue it up.


I finished cutting up all the plywood needed to make my office cabinets today. All told I used about 4 and a half sheets of prefinished maple plywood. Had to rent a van to pickup the plywood from Russel Plywood down in delaware. Breaking the plywood down was a piece of cake with my fancy Festool tracks saw. I drew all the cut lines on the sheet of plywood using my trusty drywall square, and then just layed the track down on the line and cut. Was a bit tricky to layout all of the panels to make sure that a cut for one panel didnt run into another, but it was managable. Next time I need to remeber to use a square on the track just before I cut though as I noticed a few of my cutta are not perfectly square.

Office Cabinets Planning

To complement the desk that I made a few weeks ago I’m going to put some cabinets on the wall and some filing cabinets underneath.  Then I’ll have a nice bit of storage for all of my junk.  I drew up some plan in sketchup to get an idea of what its going to look like.  Its quite easy to do as Kraftmaid has some nice pre-made sketches that can easily be imported and arranged.

The plan for my cabinets is to make them out of prefinished plywood with cherry face frames.  The drawers will be made from solid maple and everything is going to be mounted with some nice Blum Blumotion hardware. I got the hardware all from, the hardwood from Hearne Hardwoods, and the plywood from Russell Plywood.  The prefinished plywood was about $75 a sheet.  Which wouldn’t have been so bad, but I also had to rent a cargo van to get it home.




This one’s for Joe

When I redid the trim around the garage last summer, I only had two 8′ boards to cover a 18′ span.  So I put one on each end and spliced a 2′ section in the middle.  Sounds good right?  Well the problem was I didn’t do a very good job.  The two end boards were crooked, resulting in the spliced board being extra crooked.  It looked rather shoddy, but since I was tired of painting and trim work, I just left it.  Well my buddy Joe has been giving me a hard time about it ever since.  So last weekend I went and fixed it.  I got two 10′ boards and made a nice joint between them on the nice flat basement floor.  I also painted all 6 sides so that I wouldn’t have to worry about the board rotting from water being trapped behind it.

Day 9: Back to Austria

A nice relaxing day today, as we drove from Cortina back into Austria and stayed at Innsbruck.  As we drove into Innsbruck I was surprised to see  some clouds in the middle of the mountain.  I’m continually amazed at the amount of truck traffic on the European roads.  I had been under the impression that since Europe has such an extensive rail network, and fuel costs are so high there that there was very little shipping done by truck.  At least where we were that is completely untrue however, as there were even more trucks on the road than even a typical American highway.

We got to Innsbruck around lunch time and had a frustrating time finding something to eat.  I was trying to avoid another pizza place, and it seemed like every other place was full of smoke.  Attempting to find a good place to eat is defiantly my least favorite part of any vacation and its even more difficult in foreign countries.  We eventaully found a nice little bread and sandwhich shop, and from there we went on to a bell foundry.  We had a nice look around there and learned some about bell making which turns out to be a bit more complicated than I would have thought.

Day 8: Skiing in Cortina D’Amprezzo!

We arrived  in Cortina a bit later than I wanted to, as I still  needed to rent some ski’s figure out where the lifts where and how to get there.  Cortina isn’t like a typical American ski resort with a nice big centralized base lodge, there are instead little parking lots at the base of each lift.  Since Cortina sits in a little valley (thats in in the left center of the picture above) you can on any of the mountains around it, and the base lifts aren’t anywhere near each other.  I choose the mountain on the west side, as it looked to have the most trails, and the gondola was only a 30 second drive from our hotel.

Renting skis was the next big challenge.  There are a bunch of little ski rental places, of which to choose from and since I had no internet access to look at reviews or anything I picked the one that looked the biggest, and was closest to our hotel.  Of course this place turned out to have almost all cross country skis, with just a few down hill.  Something I should have noticed but really, whats the point of cross country skiing?  Since they didn’t have any boots that fit my freaky big feet, the guy there was nice enough to recommend a shop a little down the street.  This place was great and the staff spoke excellent English.  I got boots that fit pretty well, and the biggest pair of ski’s they had, some 182cm Atomic Giant Slalom Race 10.

The next morning I grabbed my stuff and hopped on the gondola.  This wasn’t the gondola type that I’m used to with little cabs that hold 8 or 10 people and go by every minute or so, this was a big ole 80 person gondola, that only went every 15 mins or so.  From that gondola, I got on another gondola, and then finally a rather slow two person lift to get to the top of the mountain at about 9000′.  Well not the actual top, that was another  600′ or so higher, but you can’t ski down from there, its only accessible by yet another gondola in the summer.  I skied around up there for a couple of hours, and was rather disappointed for a couple of reasons.  First off its above the tree line so the runs are rather dull, just wide and pretty straight.  Second off, the snow wasn’t good.  I’m not sure what exactly it was, as it was freshly groomed, and wasn’t icy or anything, it just wasn’t fun to ski on.  I think maybe it was to dry or maybe to cold.  Plus the top of the mountain is served by a few older lifts, that are all pretty slow, and it was pretty crowded.

So I stopped and had some gatorade and a delicious strudel and then bailed on the upper part and took a slew of trails all the way back down to the bottom of the mountain, about 6000′ down, and many miles long that took quite awhile.  Once I got out of the top bowl I started having a great time.  The snow down here was much better, the trail was great, meandering through the woods, and there was no-one around.    Sadly though they had to go and wreck the last bit of the trail by putting a bunch of very tight slalom fences up so that you had to pretty much stop as the trail crossed a road.

From there I hopped back on the gondola, to a quad lift, to another quad lift, and finally to a triple all the way to the top of another side.  The conditions here were much better, although the snow still felt funny.  I got to ski some great trails here including some of the trails used in the Olympics, and the trail I had watched Lindsey Vonn ski on in the world cup a few months ago.  The lifts on this part of the mountain were also pretty new, so they were all high speed, and there were no lift lines either.  Lastly here’s the obligatory car covered in salt with the mountains behind it pic.

Day 7: Off to Cortina via Konigsee

Today we left Salzburg to head over to Cortina D’Amprezzo.  Its only a few hour drive, so we took John’s advice and stopped on the way at Konigsee.   Its a lake that sits in the valley between some extremely tall and steep mountains, and is quite picturesque .  It looked amazing in the snow, although the cloudy skies made for poor pictures.  We took a short hike on some snowy trails around the lake, and I was also surprised to see a bobsled/luge track near the lake.  There are only about 20 current tracks in the world, and almost all of them are at the site of a recent winter Olympics.  This however is one of the exceptions, although it is part of th 2018 bid.

From Konigesee it was back into Austria on our way to Cortina D’Amprezzo in Italy.  Once again I was shocked at the complete lack of border between the countries, as the only thing of notice was a small sign with the new countries name.  I’ve seen bigger signs coming into New Jersey.  By stopping at Konigess we took a sort of back way into Italy instead of the highway.  This proved to be a great choice as the drive was incredible.  We hit very little traffic, and the views were ridiculous.  The 10 euro toll was also a tad ridiculous, although at least the road was in great shape.

Day 6: More Snow in Salzburg

Well yesterday we just got a coating of snow overnight, but today it snowed pretty much all day with a total accumulation of a couple of inches.  Still that didn’t stop us from having a good time.  In the picture above is the Castle we visited yesterday.  We first went to the Salzburg Museum.   The museum is quite new, it looked like it had opened in just that last few years.  It was pretty nice, although since Salzburg is rather a small city (only about 150k people) there really isn’t a whole museums worth of interesting stuff.  They tried anyway though, and as such we got to learn about a seemingly random women who lived 100 years ago and wrote some poetry.  They did have some cool stuff though, particularly the 30′ tall 360 degree panorama of what the city looked like around 1850.

Salzburg sits on a river between two large hills, which make it a great strategic point and combined with the nearby salt mines explain its existence as a small town even in roman times.  On the one side is the fortress we visited yesterday (and also in the picture above), on the other side is a monastery.  It has no fancy cable railway, instead there are a whole bunch of steps.  We climbed up them in the snow and got some great pictures of  the snow covered city.  We also went to mass this evening, and St. Sebastians, a rather small yet incredibly beautiful church on the newer side of town.  The mass was in Latin, except for the homily, which was in German.  Jess’s Latin is better than mine and she was at least able to get some of the prayers, where as I could only get phrases here and there.   The only misstep of the day was when Jess accidentally got both the shrimp and the lobster at lunch, resulting in a rather expensive lunch. However, if the worst thing that happens on our trip is that we spend an extra 20 bucks on lunch, I will be overjoyed.