Monday, December 7, 2015


The Holidays are upon us.
 It's the only time of year that it's totally fine to ultimately lie to your kids on a daily basis.
I'm fine with keeping the Santa lie going for as long as possible, but now I'm forced to perpetuate some brand new bullshit with this whole "elf on a shelf" thing.
 The concept is brilliant in order to keep these little fuckers on their best behavior for a good month. You see, apparently this little elf is supposed to keep an eye on yer kid and report back to the fat man on a nightly basis.
 I pride myself on the fact that I've always been brutally honest with my son. I never baby talked him, rarely sugar coated harsh truths, and ultimately spoken to him as if he were an adult. That's why this 5 year old has a firm grip on language and can hold or gracefully bow out of a conversation with any adult.
 Now...everyday...for over a month, I have to fucking lie to him. It kills me. It makes me hate Christmas and I generally love Christmas.
 The day is gonna come where he is going to arrive at the reality that his old man was totally full of shit, and the damage control will go on for years, because now, he's going to think that everything I've told him is bullshit...Thanks a lot Christmas.
 Every year around this time, I get into building small, extremely heavy items that I envision as a great gift idea.
 It's a tough market, and I don't usually partake in the gift market, but I do like the holidays and usually produce a couple of small things, just in case.
 We did a couple of different coat rack pieces with the whole railroad thing. Me nor Zack remotely care about trains, but railroad hardware is as tough as it gets and nothing screams Americana like rusty, heavy steel.
 The last photo is a gift for a friend.
It's another chain lamp. I keep working these chain lamps in the hopes that I'll get the right jig set up to make them faster and straighter.
 I fought with this one. After it was all welded up, I had to beat it straight on the concrete floor with a 3lb. sledge.
 I mortised in the bullet casing on the base. They serve no purpose other than adding a little shine and detail.
I decided to add the steel letters on the back of the lamp base, just for the purpose of making the piece more personal. After all, it's a's supposed to be personal.
 We don't have a CNC machine, nor do we have a plasma cutter, so I cut these letters out of 3/16" thick steel with a regular 4 1/2" grinder, then I used a hand file to clean the cuts.
 After all the work that went into cutting those letters, I mounted them on the lamp, stood back, and said "1988 Madonna belt buckle", shut the lights off in the shop and went home for the weekend.
 What was just a gift, a lamp, a token of gratitude, became something else. It became a beacon of the art of "trying". Try this jig, try these bullets, try cutting these letters.
To me...THAT'S a gift.

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