Sabbatical Day 7 – A Long Day

My company, Red Gate software, has given me a 6 week sabbatical. I’m documenting the time with all the posts under a tag if you want to follow along.

Yesterday was a very long day. I left the house at 8am and didn’t get home until after 10:30pm. I was beat, and I realize how easy life is for my most days.

The day started with a shift at the ReStore. I arrived, walked right in, signed in and grabbed gloves and was immediately given a project.

Photo Jun 10, 9 02 57 AM

There are lots of faucets for sale, and more coming in all the time. They are displayed on wooden pieces that have 3 holes cut in them for the faucet to fit inside. The display area was about half full and the manager showed me the large pile of faucets in the back and asked if I’d mount and them them ready.

Photo Jun 10, 9 13 12 AM

One thing I’ve noticed is that quite a few people volunteering seem to be doing it for some Community Service hours. I think a lot are either seniors in high school that need hours to graduate, or court ordered volunteers. Most of the people need hours tracked and forms signed. I’ve also seen a lot of them not be familiar with tools.

Photo Jun 10, 9 21 26 AM

It was a quiet day, and I enjoyed the first 3 hours. My task was to grab some scrap wood, mark out the places for holes, and then drill them out. Once they were done, I mounted the faucet inside, got a price on it and put it out on the display. Easy, necessary work. I ran through the wood I had, found a few more pieces, got permission to cut them, and continued on, eventually emptying the pile of faucets from the bins. There were plenty more that needed to be checked, but there are certain volunteers that do that.

Photo Jun 10, 10 47 55 AM

I unloaded a delivery truck and helped a few people load their purchases as well, all good breaks from the constant drilling and cutting work I was doing. I took a short break to grab some food and then came back to ask what else I could do. I almost wish I’d found something because the guy asked me to look at the tile aisle and clean it up. Apparently people are stacking partial boxes of tiles on top of others when there are slots to display the tiles like records. Small on a long shelf, big on a lower set of pallets with rails.

Moving tile is hard work, and most of the work was with big tiles on the lower shelves. I arranged things, cleaned up areas, and managed to make the aisle look good before I left at 2. I had to take a few breaks and sit down a few times and my knee was aching a bit during the day. A hard day.

And only half over. I also had class. I’d arranged my shift on the same day as class to limit driving, which was good. However it made for a long day. I had 3 hours between work and class, so I grabbed lunch (a protein bar wasn’t enough), read some homework I had, sat in the student lounge for an hour and tried to relax, and then went early to do some sharpening.

Photo Jun 10, 4 52 15 PM

I managed to get my chisels sharp, removing the machine marks from the back, and also getting the back flat. I finished just after class started, and was happy. That put me behind on sharpening a plane iron, but since my board was flat, and others hadn’t done that, I wasn’t worried. In fact, since my board looked good, I then flattened the other side. Either I’m getting good, got an easy board, or others aren’t doing well, because I showed the instructor both sides. He then challenged me to make the sides parallel.

Hmmm. I knew a planer would do this, but how to do it by hand? He actually showed me that using a marking tool and then a pencil, you can find a parallel thickness. We marked my board and one corner was the low spot, with the other three, and most of the board, high. I’d actually build some sort of trapezoid. I went to work getting it close, but didn’t finish before we moved on to learning to square a board. We learned how to flatten a side and then get the next edge parallel.

That was a challenge and much harder. I got one side flat fairly easily, but the second side was almost angled away. I marked it, planed, checked, and struggled. At one point I either went too far, or I had the board backwards, but by the end of class, 3 hours later, I almost had it square. Just a little off.

However I was tired, so I called it a day.

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