Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Shed Project

It continues.

I replaced 3 of the four back panels last week. They had rotted in places, so I put up new fiberboard panels. It was really 2 panels and a 12" wide part on the edge. Today I went to get paint and caulk, and was thinking to get started, but I decided that the last board had a small rotten part at the bottom, so I pulled it out today. I slightly messed up my other piece, but I think it's OK.

After I cut and replaced the last part, I put trim back on and then caulked the top of a number of pieces of trim and a few sides. Then I started to paint.


Rain was coming in, but I wanted to get something done, so I brushed in the edges where my roller might not reach. I got the bottom of the back, and then went to work on the sides.


I got around windows and most of the front before a lot of wind and some droplets got me to stop.

Tomorrow I want to rolled it and caulk a few more spots and then I'll be down to trim. Hopefully we can call this a done project by next weekend.

A good run

Not a PR, but Delaney had a 25:11 today in the cross country meet. I didn't see it, but looking forward to seeing him run on the 9th. I did have to get up a 4:45 to get him to school for the bus, which was a long day for him. Left at 5:30, back around 3:00.

He felt good and looked good, and more importantly, he ran in the varsity race. That's the second one for him this season. A couple kids haven't made races, which means Delaney's in line for a letter if he runs in 5.

that would be so cool.

Friday, August 29, 2014


A good, hard yoga workout this morning. I had been missing it, not able to go this week to yoga or Pilates, so I needed the time.

It was a new instructor, and a new class for me, and it was hard. Lots of twists and turns. Lots of balance. I was surprised how well I did.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Game 2

Some KJ pix


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All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Ride

I was thinking that I'd go a little early to Kendall's practice and take my bike. I've been working hard on the stationary bike, and out a few times on the mountain bike, but not the road bike. I pumped up a tire, ordered a few spares, and had it ready to go today.

I actually loaded it onto the truck and then put on bike shorts and my Red Gate jersey.

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I worked into the afternoon and when I went outside to throw an extra shirt in the truck, it was an ugly sky. Dark clouds moving East and a few droplets of rain. Windy and cold, and likely an ugly ride. When Tia texted a few minutes later asking if she should get the kids, I agreed she should and went inside.

To ride the stationary bike Sad smile


Maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Match 2

The second match of the volleyball season for Kendall’s team. Not a good afternoon for the team. The girls were nervous, tight, and couldn’t pass. Even Kendall and Casey, the stars, made mistakes that let both games get out of hand early and EMS couldn’t catch up.

To be fair, the other team certainly played better. Better serves, better passes.

Disappointing, but time to move on. Kendall was fairly optimistic afterwards. She’s already looking forward.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Last Meeting

Tonight was the last Scout meeting of August and the last one for Delaney as senior patrol leader. He’s held that position for a year, since last September when he was elected. He took a second term in March, and now he’s done. No meeting next week and the new SPL, elected last week, takes over on the 9th.

Proud he made it a year, and glad to see he’s grown up, managing everything about Scouts this summer without my help.

Monday, August 25, 2014


The end of PT today. I went for the last time, getting some explosive, plyo-type movements to work on. A few of the slower movements with weights today, which was hard. I need to definitely work on getting the other side in shape.

Overall, things are good. Now I just need the ACL brace so I can start working harder.


Today was Kendall's first volleyball match of the season. We went, not sure what to expect after watching some practices last week that weren't the greatest.

The other team served, and we scored a point. The rotation had Kendall serving first. She had 6 great serves and scored until a return got botched by her team and they lost the ball. However they played well and dominated the Canon City Ferguson team, winning around 25-11. Kendall was one of the setters, and made some good plays, though it was still a lot of serves and few volleys. She set the other top girl on her team, who made a hard kill on the team.

Kendall even got a set to the back row (a bad set really), and she killed it from the back. It was great to see her playing aggressively and working hard.

She sat most of the second game, giving the reserves a chance to play. It was a mess, and Kendall and Casey got in for a few points while the coach talked to players.

The third game was close for about half, with some of the EMS team getting too anxious. A timeout cleared things up and with Kendall and Casey serving for 8 or 9 of the points, they won going away.

Neat to see them playing, and get so excited over a win. Hope it carries over to Wed.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Back to Class

A new semester starting tonight for me. Woodworking Intro part 2.

All the kids started Monday, and they’re worn out. With tonight being my first night, I’m sure I’ll be feeling the same way by the time I get home.

Now if I can just find time to finish my table and flagpole from the summer, I’ll feel like I’m accomplishing something.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


It seems that I only get to Boulder once a year when I present at their user group. Last night was my first trip this year, and I realize that I like that city. I went early to avoid traffic and sat at a coffee shop, working for a couple hours before the user group meeting.

It's a neat town, and a beautiful one. As much as it's nice to see things renovated mall, I miss some of the older style buildings around the college.

Monday, August 18, 2014


Tonight was the sports meeting at the high school. I was thinking it would be quick, but it was anything but quick. I watched the end of Kendall’s practice (she looked good) and then took the kids to Subway. After the first day of school and sports they were both hungry, wolfing down sandwiches.

Then after a little grocery shopping, it was meeting time. The first 45 minutes were all the sports in the gym, with general rules about the way sports work. We got handouts and most of the information was on them, but I guess they need to clarify problem areas.

Then it was the cross country group meeting separately, where we got the schedule and a few specific notes, along with a few repeats of the bigger meeting.

It was there that the group asked for someone to run the booster club. With 6 trips during the season for me, I didn’t do that one, but then they asked someone to be the liaison with the Cardinal Club, which is the overall sports group that sits above each booster club. They meet on Mondays, which is almost always a day in town for me, so I agreed to help. I felt bad for not doing anything last year, including not helping at the home meet or even going to any other meets.

I guess this is my year to help there.


Finally, our new broadband service from Aerux is live. And working well


Let’s hope it keeps going. We contracted for 15Mbps. They let it run full throttle for a month to see if they can get us to upgrade, which isn’t a bad idea.

I set up 15 for $55, but I’m sure they get a few people to go for 30 for $99. Crazy speeds.

First Day

Up too early today. First day of school and I didn’t want to be late. Kendall wanted to get up at 6, and I set my alarm for 6:15. I woke up Delaney and then cooked breakfast for him. Kendall cooked her own, but we were done at 7:00, so earlier than needed. I’ll fix that tomorrow.

I could use more sleep. Kendall struggled to get to sleep and actually slept in our bed for most of the night. It was crowded and hard to sleep. I woke up quite a few times, pushed to the side of the bed and missing covers. Eventually I put a light jacket on and slept, but was worried about getting up. A broken night’s sleep.

Delaney was up late finishing homework for AP Chem, so I’m sure he’s tired as well.

Frustrating Internet

After waking up Fri morning to find no Internet, I called Skybeam. They noticed an issue and sent out a tech. He saw the low signal strength, and replaced a radio, but he could connect to their tower. However he said there was an issue at the tower and it wouldn’t likely be working Friday. He also recommended another company, since they’ve had issues with our area.

Tia thought they didn’t want to service us and so they were trying to pawn us to someone else. No problem for me. I called the other company and they said they could come out today (Monday).

I was thinking we’d get things working over the weekend, and we did a few times, but it felt like minutes. I’d get a connection periodically and then a few minutes later it would be gone. Despite the router showing connections to the Internet, no traffic was working. I moved our DNS server to Googles (, but it wouldn’t resolve.

Very frustrating and annoying. The kids were especially annoyed. We tethered off phones a few times, but for the most part we were without Internet a lot.

Still down this morning, and I came to town after dropping off kids at school to work at Starbucks. It’s frustrating and problematic for me since I’ll work on something and then need to check something or get a link for work. And I can’t.

The positive side is that Kendall and I watched a DVD together Sat night. Neat to spend time with my little girl like that.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Book #36–The Antaran Codex

Not sure why I grabbed this, but I really, really enjoyed it. I hope that the author writes more. In the Antaran Codex, we have a freighter captain/smuggler that’s pulled back into the human intelligence service. Why?

Apparently in the galaxy there are lots of races, thousands. They’ve built a code of conduct, under which races are allowed to trade and work together. Centuries ago, the humans offended the races that lead and were exiled for hundreds of years. They are close to being given permission to leave their few systems, but there is a threat that a group of humans might cause problems. Since the race is responsible for the actions of all, the Intelligence service sends the Captain to find out what the issue is and stop things.

He ends up moving through systems, learning that there is an item being bid on that is from another race. He fakes his way into the auction and has quite an adventure. I don’t want to talk about it, but it’s an easy read and fun.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Book #35–Dove Season

51S3jPU1QfL._SL250_Tia recommended this for me, so I started reading Dove Season. It’s meandering, a slow book where Jimmy comes home to the Central Valley in Southern California, a desert farming community. He tried to get out, but his father is sick, so he returns.

Jimmy has grown up, gone through college, though he’s mostly been working menial jobs. However spending a little time with his father makes him come back to reality. He enjoys the time, but he struggles with his lack of growth. His father dies, but before he does, he asks for a prostitute to come to visit him.

It’s an adventure as Jimmy must deal with his friends that never left and remained farmers, the changes in the area, the prostitute and the knowledge he gains and more.

It moves to be a bit of a thriller as we go on, but it’s mostly the story of a kid growing up a bit. I enjoyed it.

Flaky Internet

Our Internet service has been flaky for awhile. We had DSL for years, but it was slow and with 5 of us in the house, problematic. The wiring seems bad, so this spring I switched to another provider. We chose Skybeam, which neighbors had, and was a wireless service.

However it was flaky. Our connections from some devices were a little unstable. We’ve changed routers, but Tia especially had issues. Storms have slowed things, and they’ve been out to re-align the dish.

Today, however, was the last straw. Things died overnight and when I called, they saw some issue, but not sure what. A tech came out, and replaced some parts on the dish, but apparently they still had issues at their tower.

So I called Aerux instead. They come out Monday, but it will be a long weekend if the service is down until then.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Book #34–Rich Man’s War

51umejZ xpL._AA160_After I finished Poor Man’s Fight, I grabbed Rich Man’s War right away. This picks up a few months after the last book, and we follow Tanner Malone again. In this one he’s struggled with his survival from the first book (and his awards) and has taken a post as the Honor Guard in the President’s Palace.

We also have the Archangel system (where Tanner Lives) pulling back from the corporations, sure they are cheating the students and government. We see a war starting, with the Northstar corporation leading the way.

Tanner sees it as well and decides to join the Master at Arms school, with some prompting from the admiral. He goes throught training and then is assigned to the carrier in time for war.

Not much I want to disclose, but I was captivated by this and enjoyed it. I raced through it and enjoyed the ride.

Book #33–Poor Man’s Fight

Poor Man's Fight was recommended to me by Amazon, so I grabbed it. I was hooked right away. It’s the future, with a number of systems settled by humans. We know there are aliens, but we don’t see them. Instead, we find that kids go through educational systems, take a test, and then can move to university. Like today, right?
No, all the debt is held by the students. Most come out in huge debt, and must work to pay it off most of their lives with 3 large companies running education and holding the kids semi bound to them. Half the book follows Tanner Malone, a smart kid who gets stuck with debt and rather than take out more, he decides to join the Navy.
The other half of the story is pirates, who take advantage of cruise liners and freighters, preying on them like might have happened years ago.
The two stories some together a bit as Tanner goes through basic and then gets deployed on a ship. He struggles fitting in as the ship is strange and somewhat slack after his basic training. He’s unhappy and doesn’t get much training, but he learns what he can on his own.
However when they get called to respond to a patrol, they take off short handed, and Tanner shines. He goes aboard as an extra as he had marine training in basic. The freighter they boarded is a pirate ship, with plans to kill the boarders and ship. However Tanner’s quick reactions save one of his crewman and allow the corvette he’s stationed on to capture the pirates. He’s awarded medals, despite the fact that he feels guilty a few of his fellow crew died.
The crew doesn’t like him, and he feels guilty. They go out a few months later and the entire crew is killed, but Tanner survives with an exciting ending. A good space opera.

Getting Faster

Three days in a row of running and feeling good. I’m taking 20-30 minutes at the start of Kendall’s practice to run, which is a good way to take advantage of the time.


Day 3 was interesting. I went for a run again, and when I came back, kids were serving. Kendall looked good, in control, and hitting straight. Her tosses were nice as well.

Then they started spiking, and chose Kendall with last year’s setter to showcase things. She looked really good


The flip side was her demo’ing the setting:


During the spiking drill, she looked good. She’s on the right.

She got her offer letter at the end. She made the team, though no mention of A or B teams. However Kendall and one other girl (spiking in video #4), are clearly better than everyone else. Hopefully she’ll get good play this year and continue to improve her skills.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


I’m booking things today, after a few questions from my co-workers on plans. I had been delaying a bit, but I had two people ask me about events, plans, and flights/hotels, so I decided to get some things booked.

I had already set up my trip on Sept 3-4 to FlowCon 2014 in San Francisco, and I’m really looking forward to that. It’s a conference that I’m just attending, not speaking, and I haven’t done that in a few years.

Then I had my SQL Saturday #300 trip to Kansas City on the 12th-14th, and a quick turnaround to DevConnections in Las Vegas on the 16-18th. Fortunately I don’t have any travel for the next weekend at the event in Denver, though I am tempted to get a hotel to reduce my commuting.

However I needed to set up October events, of which there are lots. I have a SQL in the City event for work in Boston on the 8th, which means traveling the 7th and leaving the 9th. I thought I’d have to go directly to Silicon Valley for their code camp, but I there are two days between. So I’m coming home for around 30 hours before turning around.

Then I go back to London the 22nd for an event on the 24th. A short, 48 hour stay in London, which is good because I need to go to Seattle the following week, for almost a week. I’m hoping I’m not speaking on Thur or Fri so I can come home early, but I should know in a few weeks, so I’ll hold off booking that.

That’s a busy few months, and I’ll still have a trip back to DC in December, but I can ignore that for the time being.

Monday, August 11, 2014

School Sports 2014

It’s the start of another sports season. Kendall went to school all day for her WEB training. It’ s a group that helps out with various things at school, like orientation on Friday.

Then she got shuttled to the other high school for volleyball tryouts. Tia and I went, after dropping Delaney off for cross country.

Kendall looked good. The tryouts are always slow, with the team working through easy drills, slowly so the coaches can evaluate each of them. 28 girls for 24 spots (12 A team, 12 B team). First bump passes, two sets as each pair of girls had one girl toss, then another pass. Great, high passes from Kendall.

Next it was sets. Kendall was a little off, somewhat rusty, but sets aren’t her thing. She really wants to hit, and last night when she and I had pickup, she hit them hard.

Then it was serves: underhand, roundhouse, and overhead. Kendall looked good at all of them, and surprisingly, a number of other girls did as well. Last year they struggled to get 6 girls on the court that could pass a ball to each other and rarely had three hits. This year things look much better and I think there are 7 or 8 girls that can play a bit.

We then picked up Delaney, who actually got a ride over, and was honking at us as we drove back to his school, but we didn’t realize it. He was excited, and looked much better than previous years. He said they ran 3 2km runs, and it was hard, but he looked good. The previous two years he’s collapsed in the car and tried to nap on the way home. This year he’s doing much better.

An exciting season ahead for both of them.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Being Successful

Warren Buffet had some advice for being successful. I ran across it in this Inc piece, and loved it.

"Never do anything in life if you would be ashamed of seeing it printed on the front page of your hometown newspaper for your friends and family to see."

Fantastic advice. This is what I’d say about how you approach your career, your friendships, and your life.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Riding around Lake Dillon

Random pictures. After hiking yesterday, everyone was too tired to get up early and raft. Kendall stayed at the truck, reading and writing, while the rest of us rode around.

A fun time.

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Mt Quandry

Tuesday was hike day for us. We got up early (6:30 ish), ate, and the drove over to the trailhead, getting moving around 7:30.

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We started up, walking through trees for a bit before things broke into fields and then lots, and lots of rocks. Lots of smiles to start

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from all the kids.

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We took a few breaks, more and more as we went on. Even had some company on one.

Photo Aug 05, 10 09 19 AM

Kendall got more and more tired, and as we got across the first saddle, I told Tia to go ahead with the boys. They headed up and Kendall and I made our way. We did 20 steps at a time, then a few breaths break, then repeat. We were making decent time, but then dropped to 10, then 5 steps.

Kendall was winded, and a few times she said she was done. Then someone would come by and motivate us, or I’d agree we could stop. However she’d dig down and find something inside and we’d go.

At one point we could see Tia and the boys just below the summit. A hiker coming down told us it was 10 minutes, but Kendall said she was done. As I waved to tell Tia to go, Kendall got up and started hiking more.

We made it to the top, and she was proud of herself. Tia and I were also really proud to see her make it to the marker.

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Kendall was glad to be there, and smiling. She’s the first kid of ours to make it to the top on her first try. Both boys had two attempts to summit on their own.

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There used to be logs, but now just a marker in a case. Kendall took a minute to sign her name.

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The boys at the top.

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and me

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A panorama

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And a group shot



Sunday, August 3, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy

Go see it. Delaney and Kyle saw it Fri, went back with the family tonight. A very enjoyable movie.

Around the Mountains

Yesterday Tia was volunteering with the mounted patrol at an endurance race. She was supposed to ride a section of the race, about 12 miles, behind the 75 and 100 mile competitors and pick up flags and ensure they all made it safely through.

Kendall went with me to drop off Tia at the start of their section down in Roxborough Park. We were thinking we’d drop her off, then get some lunch, hike a bit, and pick them up just to the South of where we let them off.

We were so wrong.

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We hadn’t been able to read the map from the race organizers as it was a topographic map without roads. The lady Tia was riding wish couldn’t quite describe the place, but there was one other couple there, packing up to leave, who had a map. The map showed me the route, and needless to say, I was worried.

We had to go up to Conifer, in the mountains, and then take some smaller roads to a park near where the North and South Platte rivers meet. I’d never been there, but more, this was up over the mountains, meaning Tia was riding into the foothills across some steep territory.

We left, stopped for Subway, and then headed into the mountains. I knew we had a 45+ minute drive, and after eating lunch, we’d barely be there before 2 hours were up. I figured Tia might be done then, but probably not long after.

I missed one turn, and when I hit the Platte River road, all dirt, I wasn’t sure I was going the right way. We passed a horse trailer leaving that gave me confidence, but I was still worried. Finally, as I was about to try to turn around (not a fun thing with Tia’s truck and trailer), we found the bridge where the river forks met and a mile down the road found the race people checking out a horse or two.

We parked and walked over, and they said 8 more riders were due.

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We hung out a bit, not sure how long things were. It was just over two hours when we arrived, and Kendall hung out by the river for awhile as I chatted with people. A nice, quiet, Friday afternoon. After a bit, I went to read in the car to get away from bugs. Kendall joined me shortly thereafter.

As I read, she was re-writing part of her story (The Bombed City) and I stopped occasionally to help her edit it down. It was a fun time with my little girl, though I felt a little guilty for not writing or working. I did a little work, but my battery was low, so it didn’t last long.

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The race crew packed up around 5:45, as the last riders were in, vet checked, and had continued on the next section. The leader came over and we talked. He expected Tia and Carol soon as the trail was well marked. He left water and feed for them, but said he had to head out to meet the riders at the next section.

It was 6:00, and he said to worry at 7:30. We’d have to drive out to the camp or the top of one of the hills on the way to Conifer to call 911, but that’s what we should do.

At 7:00, I decided to hike up a bit. I was giving myself 20 minutes up the mountain to see, about a mile or so. Just about 8minutes in, I heard voices and soon enough saw Carol and Tia coming down the trail. They said they had been able to see us for 45 minutes, but were too far away to call and no service.

All in all, things went well, but it was a hard, steep trail. They made it down, watered the horses and we drove to camp.

A long day, but a good ride for Tia on Chance, and good time with Kendall. Not what we expected, but a nice, challenging trail Tia made it through.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Final Project–Sabbatical

Thursday, July 31. Final day of class for this semester. I knew I was close, and wasn’t too worried. I got to school early to miss traffic and was working on my laptop as a few other students walked by around 5. We chatted for a minute and they were heading in to finish. Around 5:40, I started to feel pressure and closed the laptop and got started.

Most of my table was together, dry fit, but I wanted to pin it, and also needed to clean up shoulders. I walked in early and sharpened a chisel to begin work on the shoulders. Sharp tools make a big difference.

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I managed to clean things up so they fit well. Looking back, I should have checked lengths as I ended up shortening a few shoulders more than I wanted, meaning two aprons were different lengths. However I had things fitting well.

Next the instructor showed us how to pin the joints, and gave us the option of pins or glue. He also showed us glue, but I wanted to avoid that. I went back to my bench and got everything fitting well and then started to drill.

Things went quick on the drill press, though once again, I learned something. Good to have an instructor there to help guide and give hints. I might have drilled the wrong edge, which a few students did. Pay attention to the details.

The plan was two pins on one side (each leg) and one pin on the other. I marked carefully and then punched them out. Here’s the pattern. Roughly 3/4” from the top and bottom of the tenon (not apron) and then the one I between those.

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With those all cut, and then offset (1/16” holes in the tenons, I was ready to pin. Here’s the first one going on. A dowel, sharpened on one end, driven through.

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Once through, I had to cut them off.

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The saws don’t get that close. I did borrow a flush cut saw from one guy, but didn’t want to keep using it, so I moved on to the old fashioned method.

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It’s slow, and I learned to put the direction of the chisel perpendicular to the grain, and then saw sideways to get things cut. Once I had them down, they were pretty flush.

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Next I needed to attach ledgers for the top. Glued on and then stapled to hold them. It seems like less hand tools over time, though another instructor said this is hard in the summer. Things are shortened up, moving at almost twice the speed of the fall/spring semesters.

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I continued on, pounding in the long sides with two pins each.

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Since this was final assembly, I ended up putting in four, then cutting off and chiseling all four at once. The a repeat on the other side.

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With all four sides on, and almost 9:00, I measured and then put the top down with the legs on and screwed things down. This is where I realized that the top wasn’t square, with 1/16” off on two sides. A lesson, but it’s hard to tell with the table that it’s not square. Another lesson.

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The only screws (and glue) are holding these ledgers to the aprons and then the top on. Overall, a success.

I set it down in front of the instructor at 9:15, 15 minutes early. Close, but better than most. I was first done, though 3-4 were done in the next few minutes, so not bad. A few people were still getting legs tapered or tops beveled.

To be fair, I didn’t use a plane for the bevel, which a few people did, but I wasn’t overly concerned. I’m confident I can, and I was running short of time with travel for work. I also learned a bit about how I might bevel things on the table saw.

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I set the table on the floor, put a glue bottle on it and it didn’t roll. Considering I hadn’t double checked leg measurements, that’s a bit of a success.

Final project done, though I need to sand and finish it this weekend with some poly.