The Maker's Quest

A Podcast exploring the journey of making things and living a creative life

Podcast

Make It Work With What You Got EP9

Make It Work With What You Got EP9

In this episode, we talk about how to get the job done with the tools and skills we have on hand, even if they are not right for the job.

 

Audio Version

 

Video Version

 

Hosted by

Greg Porter
https://skyscraperguitars.com/
Greg On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gregsgaragekc/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/SkyscraperGuitars
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/GregsGarage

Brian Benham
https://www.brianbenham.com/
Brian On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/benham_design/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXO8f1IIliMKKlu5PgSpodQ

 

Transcript

00:00:00:07 – 00:00:03:03

Brian Benham

You are listening to the Makers Quest podcast. I’m Brian Benham.

 

00:00:03:13 – 00:00:32:16

Greg Porter

And I am Greg Porter. And today we are talking about making it work with what you got. Sometimes we don’t have what we need, but we got to make it work. And I think every maker out there, every designer out there has been in that situation before where you might have an ideal set of materials or an ideal set of tools to do Task X and you’re stuck in a situation where you don’t have those things.

 

00:00:32:22 – 00:00:39:10

Greg Porter

So you’ve got to somehow patch something together that works. I’m guessing, Brian, you’ve probably been in that situation more than once.

 

00:00:39:20 – 00:01:03:07

Brian Benham

Yeah, quite, quite often, actually. And I think I’ve had some really close calls with trying to push that too far where I’ve almost gotten hurt. But quite a few years ago, back before I had my band sore and in my shops, probably a lot like most everybody else is shopping or first starting out. We don’t have all the tools in the world.

 

00:01:03:08 – 00:01:19:23

Brian Benham

There’s no tool fairy that comes in and sprinkles tools around our shop while we’re asleep. And so I had a build up my tools over time and I had didn’t have a band saw yet and it was coming up on Christmas time. And I wanted to make some Christmas ornaments on the lathe and I wanted them to be like a segmented turning kind of a thing.

 

00:01:20:08 – 00:01:37:24

Brian Benham

So I glued up all these little pieces and I wanted to square it up somehow so it would be easier and like Bevel it or something like you make it into an octagon so it’s easier to get started and turning on the lathe. And I didn’t have a band saw and I thought to myself, Well, I could take it easy on the table.

 

00:01:37:24 – 00:02:04:14

Brian Benham

Saw. And it’s just this little short, you know, three or four inch thing and it’s kind of wobbly. But I thought push stick and just go nice and slow. I’ll be able to get one side flat and then just start rotating it around and make it an octagon. And just as it was completing its first cut, it tilted just a little bit rock just a little bit on its uneven surface and caught the back of the blade and turned it to a missile and flew back.

 

00:02:04:14 – 00:02:24:16

Brian Benham

Hit me in the safety glasses. It broke my safety glasses. I cut the side of my forehead as it veered off, and then I could hear it bouncing around behind me. And I’m not exactly sure what exactly happened after it hit me in the face. I was doing that check. Okay, hands are okay, but I know I’m hurt.

 

00:02:24:23 – 00:02:40:02

Brian Benham

Kind of a check and I’m bleeding off my side of my face. And it was just one of those things that was I probably should have stopped and thought of a better way, but I didn’t have the tool that I thought I needed to make it work. So I was making it work with something else.

 

00:02:40:04 – 00:02:46:07

Greg Porter

It probably went by your head like a Nolan Ryan fastball. If I had to guess it.

 

00:02:46:14 – 00:02:49:16

Brian Benham

It was just a split second. It happened so fast.

 

00:02:49:20 – 00:03:11:16

Greg Porter

That’s in I don’t want to get too far off topic here, but I think you and I both use Delta unicycles. We don’t use the fancy saw stops. And I think there’s a a hidden fallacy there that people think the SawStop is going to help all of their table saw accidents. And quite honestly, the table saw accidents that I’ve had in my life.

 

00:03:11:16 – 00:03:17:19

Greg Porter

The SawStop would have done nothing to to save them. And that sounds like a prime example. Yeah, exactly.

 

00:03:17:19 – 00:03:40:23

Brian Benham

That kickback is not is not going to stop you from getting hurt if you don’t contact the blade. And and as you know, with your units, it probably doesn’t have a driving knife because it’s probably that was back made back in the day before they thought about those kind of things or or someone cornered the market on riving knives and Delta wasn’t able to put it in there, saw something.

 

00:03:42:01 – 00:04:04:10

Greg Porter

Well, mine has mine has the attachment for what is it, the blade guard that had a driving knife in in the guard. But someone who owned the saw well before me took that off and threw it in the trash. So I’ve never had it and I’ve actually gone in and looked at how that’s attached and could I put one on.

 

00:04:04:10 – 00:04:27:20

Greg Porter

And when I started looking at all the inserts and everything else that I would have to modify or change or add to my arsenal, it was like, Well, you know what? How about this? Be careful and don’t do stupid things like that. I know sometimes as careful as you are, you can’t avoid some of those things. But this talk isn’t about table shop table saw safety.

 

00:04:28:01 – 00:04:30:08

Greg Porter

But man, it can surely go there in a hurry, can it.

 

00:04:30:13 – 00:04:54:06

Brian Benham

Yeah. Before we, before we move on one, one thing I think we should mention mentioned about table safety and kickback is that if your table side doesn’t have a driving knife, that you can make a slit in your zero clearance insert and glue a piece of wood in there in line with the blade that’ll help prevent kickback. And I’ve done that since that accident.

 

00:04:54:06 – 00:04:59:21

Brian Benham

But that one was piece of wood was so sparse, I don’t think it would have helped. I think it’s still when it caught the back edge of the blade.

 

00:04:59:21 – 00:05:28:16

Greg Porter

But yeah, I think I think I’m with you. There’s an old saying when you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail. And yeah, really, my first power tool. I shouldn’t say that. My first power tool was probably a drill press or something along those lines. But for cutting wood, my first power tool was a table saw as well, and that became my Swiss Army knife, if you will, just doing different things on the table saw that might be a little more unconventional.

 

00:05:28:21 – 00:05:57:22

Greg Porter

And to this day, I think people see me use the table saw and sometimes try to, you know, pull back. But all of those moves come with an insane amount of experience with that tool and understanding where those danger zones are and how you actually can use it safely to do a number of different things. There was I take that back, the first power tool was a radial arm saw that my grandfather had and you know, wound up in my dad’s shop.

 

00:05:57:22 – 00:06:20:07

Greg Porter

And so when I was a young man, we didn’t have a table saw. We had the radio arm saw, which is probably ten times more dangerous than the table saw. If you’re trying to do things outside of crosscutting. I used it for dado cuts. I used it for ripping. I used it for doing all kinds of bevel cuts, compound meters, you name it and some of those things very safe.

 

00:06:21:03 – 00:06:54:21

Greg Porter

But when you lock that blade, turn it 90 degrees and start feeding things in the direction that the blade is spinning, it starts to get a little dicey, to say the least. But. But, yeah, so I guess back to back to making it work. That was probably from the time I don’t even think I was a teenager yet when I started doing woodwork in my dad’s shop and probably from from maybe 11, 12 years old, somewhere in that general vicinity to somewhere in my twenties where I got my first table saw.

 

00:06:54:21 – 00:07:17:07

Greg Porter

And man, that radial arm saw was everything, you know, that was the Make It Work tool. And if between the table saw and a hand or sorry, the radial arm saw a hand grasp and some chisels, I felt like I could make almost anything. I look back now and it’s like, Man, how did I make some of the things that I did make?

 

00:07:18:05 – 00:07:36:23

Greg Porter

Make it it, work on it, on that tool. But you look at it and I think you know, rewind the clock a hundred years they didn’t have the the power tools that we have now. And they could make things that would make our jaws drop, that’s for certain. And to a level of precision that most people now just don’t ever experience.

 

00:07:37:09 – 00:07:55:04

Brian Benham

Yeah, I think the starting out without having a whole bunch of tools is going to make you a better craftsman is probably a better problem solver too. If you don’t have the tool, you can’t make it work or you have to figure out how to make it work. Without that tool, you just don’t want to push the limits to where you get hurt.

 

00:07:55:04 – 00:08:22:07

Brian Benham

But another story about hurting myself when I was a kid, my dad had a radio arm saw and that was what I started my woodworking journey on. And he also had a router and those were kind of the two main tools I gravitated to. But my mom had this rule that I could not use any of the power tools until my dad got home from work like he had to supervise it.

 

00:08:22:07 – 00:08:46:11

Brian Benham

She didn’t want anything to do with any kind of blood or accidents or anything like that. And I was a big fan of Roy Underhill with The Wood Ray Shop on PBS, and he was all hand tools. So I was like, okay, my dad also has a whole bunch of chisels and hand planes and all that, and I wanted to cut a dado and a board, but he didn’t have the right hand playing to cut dinos in the board.

 

00:08:46:12 – 00:09:07:06

Brian Benham

So I thought, well, I’ll cut it with a chisel and I slipped and ran that chisel right between my thumb and finger and sliced all the way to the bone. So that was really my first trip to the emergency room as a maker. And of course, it happened while my mom was home and I was using power tools.

 

00:09:07:06 – 00:09:14:11

Brian Benham

And so my mom had the pleasure of driving me to the emergency room to get six stitches in my in the crook of my thumb.

 

00:09:15:04 – 00:09:40:11

Greg Porter

Oh, man. Well, I’m I’m sure you were probably in the same place I was when I was young. And I think a lot of those lessons that we learn, you know, as kids using dad’s tools and, you know, you you you got to touch the burner sometimes and get burnt to understand how dangerous something is. But I can I can remember the chisels that I would use, which were just completely rounded off.

 

00:09:40:11 – 00:09:59:06

Greg Porter

There was no sharpness left in them. So you were just banging on them, trying to get them to cut through whatever it was that you were trying to cut through or that I was trying to cut through. And in in my older, wiser years, I’ve realized that sometimes the most dangerous tool isn’t the sharp one, is the dull one.

 

00:09:59:06 – 00:10:25:04

Greg Porter

And I somehow made it through my teenage years and early twenties using dole tools all the time. You know, we had one whetstone that was probably a coarse grit, wet stone, and that was what I sharpened everything on. And that was as sharp as they got was, you know, somewhere around 36 grit or something like that. And that is that is definitely not a safe thing to do.

 

00:10:25:04 – 00:10:44:03

Greg Porter

But as a as a young kid, that’s what you have to do. You got to use what you got. And again, you know, gosh, I was in bands growing up and we couldn’t afford to buy big speaker cabinets and things. So I would buy raw components and build the cabinets and you know, it’s just pine boards and things like that.

 

00:10:44:03 – 00:11:06:23

Greg Porter

But putting them together in sealed boxes that were nice and square again with a radial arm, signs, chisels, and I used a lot of dowels for alignment and things like that, but it was kind of amazing. And with that limited a number of tools, what I was able to accomplish, and I would even start to flip that into some of the metalworking that I started doing.

 

00:11:07:14 – 00:11:30:21

Greg Porter

I started doing sheet metal work. I’m going to say it was my freshman year of college, so I was probably 18 years old. And you’re talking about forming panels for cars and everything else, right. And a hammer and dolly. You know, I say a hammer. It was probably four or five different size hammers and a few steel dollies and then some tree stump type material.

 

00:11:30:21 – 00:11:49:07

Greg Porter

And you can make anything with those tools. And I’m the guy who’s also had an English wheel. I don’t have it anymore. I sold it when I moved, but I had an English wheel. I’ve got planning hammers and everything else and those tools are very nice. You can do a lot with them very quickly, shrink or stretchers, those types of things.

 

00:11:49:07 – 00:11:54:18

Greg Porter

But with with just simple hand tools, you can make almost any shape that you want to make. It just takes a little time.

 

00:11:54:18 – 00:12:17:03

Brian Benham

Yeah, I think I credit a lot of my success to the fact that when I started I didn’t have a lot of tools and so I had to figure out how to make it work with the tools that I had, especially like a hand tools. Chisels were, you know, relatively inexpensive. At wood craft. You can still get a better chisel than you can get at Home Depot and Japanese pulsars.

 

00:12:17:03 – 00:12:40:12

Brian Benham

I used to this day and there, but I got first got started. I think they’re really like 20 bucks or something for a pulsar and I think they were like 60 or 70, but still that’s pretty cheap compared to like a $300 Ali Nielsen and saw but being forced to figure out how to use it really like kind of honed my my skills in and I think that’s kind of something that is lost in today’s world.

 

00:12:40:12 – 00:12:59:09

Brian Benham

If someone has a lot of money and they go out and buy the best tool domino, which is the easiest way to make a mortise and tenon. And I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that. I have one and it’s fantastic. But if I started with a vessel Domino, I don’t think I would have the fundamentals down that I had today to help me with more complex projects.

 

00:12:59:09 – 00:13:20:18

Greg Porter

I think I’ve talked about it before. I’m not sure if it was on our podcast here or not, but one of my architecture professors showed us a movie called The Japanese Carpenter. It talked about that the apprenticeship that the Japanese carpenters have and essentially they spend their first year sharpening tools and they don’t get to do any real wood work.

 

00:13:20:18 – 00:13:31:01

Greg Porter

They get to sharpen tools. And it it always reinforces to me how important it is to have those fundamentals so that if you you’ve got a bug in your room.

 

00:13:31:02 – 00:13:37:23

Brian Benham

Oh, I was looking there is a bug that you reminded me of. Oh but you’re telling me go with your story involving the grout book.

 

00:13:38:04 – 00:14:06:09

Greg Porter

Sure, sure. But, but the fact that they sharpened tools for an entire year that builds a skill and a discipline that throughout your entire career, if you have a tool that’s not sharp, you have the discipline to stop and sharpen it. Because you did that for an entire year. And the 5 minutes that it’s going to take you to touch up your chisel or your plane blade is nothing compared to that year that you spent 2000 hours sharpening those same blades.

 

00:14:06:16 – 00:14:26:08

Greg Porter

And I think when we’re talking about making it work and all those kind of things, it’s it’s amazing how few tools you need if they’re tuned up very well and, you know, real life stuff. Right. I shared with you before we hit the record button, I got my Karmann Ghia down off the lift and started driving it a couple of weeks ago.

 

00:14:26:08 – 00:14:49:14

Greg Porter

And I’ve always said when I drive that car and I arrive somewhere, I’m the happiest guy in the room because I actually got there and I was meeting somebody for coffee the other morning and I was like, you know, it’s a nice day. We’re taking the gear to work, right? So away we go. I get caught in some construct action, the gear starts acting funny, I pull over and it dies and I’m like, Oh God.

 

00:14:49:23 – 00:15:12:00

Greg Porter

And I usually carry £400 of tools in the front end of that car just in case something happens. I have the tool to fix it, and of course I pop open. I had a really small toolbox, and literally the only tool that I had in there was a six millimeter wrench that I didn’t need, and I had a set of vise grips and I thought, Well, here we go, the vice group challenge.

 

00:15:12:00 – 00:15:14:07

Greg Porter

What can I do with a pair of ice grips and.

 

00:15:14:11 – 00:15:16:02

Brian Benham

It’s not stripping the head of the bolt off.

 

00:15:16:08 – 00:15:39:12

Greg Porter

Yeah. And you know, these are in most cases or, you know, 50 year old German parts that are really difficult to replace with the right parts. You can get replacement parts, but the right parts. Anyway, I had to go back. I had a throttle cable that had come loose and I also had the line from my ignition coil to my distributor somehow had shaken loose and that was what it caused it to die.

 

00:15:39:12 – 00:15:59:01

Greg Porter

But the the accelerator cable had come loose as well. So anyway, that that pair of vice grips got me out of that jam and I thought, all right, you know, we’re good. I’m covered in Greece and oil, but we’re good. We’re going to make it to my my coffee appointment. But again, just making it work with what you got.

 

00:15:59:01 – 00:16:21:24

Greg Porter

I think there’s definitely it’s a mindset. It’s it’s almost like when you if you’ve ever watched one of the challenges that that golfers do all the time is they play a round of golf in every hole. They have to give up a club or something along those lines. And, you know, they wound up wind up playing entire holes with like a nine iron or something like that.

 

00:16:21:24 – 00:16:46:00

Greg Porter

And I always feel like that’s such a great exercise as a woodworker or anything else. You know, if, if what you really need is over your shoulder or out of reach, deal with what you’ve you’ve got in front of you and see if you can make it work. And it’s amazing if you slow down and use use your skills and your knowledge, you can accomplish just about anything with almost any set of tools.

 

00:16:46:01 – 00:17:10:14

Brian Benham

Yeah. So that revises Colonel Chris Hatfield. He is a Nasser astronauts been to space several times. And one of the things that as part of their training is you’re in space, so you can’t just stop in and go look something up on Google when you’re out doing a spacewalk or whatever. So you have to you have to work the problem until you solve it or you die.

 

00:17:10:15 – 00:17:23:01

Brian Benham

That’s basically you’re you’re two options. You can either you have a problem, you’re either going to die or you’re going to have to figure it out. And you have to figure it out with what you have on your spacewalk or on that space station.

 

00:17:23:02 – 00:17:31:01

Greg Porter

Yeah, yeah. No pressure there, I guess. You know, our Apollo 13 astronauts are living proof, right, of that.

 

00:17:31:02 – 00:17:32:04

Brian Benham

Exactly.

 

00:17:32:04 – 00:17:58:11

Greg Porter

You just you just got to keep moving forward until you can’t move forward anymore. And thankfully, they they all returned to Earth, which, by the way, if anybody ever has the opportunity or finds themself in the middle of Kansas, there’s the Kansas Cosmos Sphere and Space Center in Hutchinson, Kansas, and they have the Apollo 13 capsule there on display, and it looks like a crispy burnt Triscuit on the outside.

 

00:17:58:19 – 00:18:13:18

Greg Porter

So really a fascinating thing to see in person when when you see that capsule sitting there, how small it is and how burnt it is, you realize how close those guys were to not making it back. So just a sorry total sidebar.

 

00:18:13:18 – 00:18:15:00

Brian Benham

Yeah, that’s that’s it’s.

 

00:18:15:00 – 00:18:17:07

Greg Porter

A testament to the what we’re talking about tonight.

 

00:18:17:11 – 00:18:35:14

Brian Benham

I’ve never actually been to Kansas and I live within probably an hour and a half of the border. And I think there’s like a Dairy Queen or Wendy’s just on the other side. So I keep telling my wife, we need to just go to Kansas for lunch so we can say we’ve been there, but maybe they’re going to see the capsule will be a better a more exciting trip.

 

00:18:36:02 – 00:18:59:05

Greg Porter

There’s there’s definitely more. You know, another little sidebar, I went to space camp when I there when I was in sixth grade. So I got to spend some, some great time touring their exhibits. You know, when that when the museum was just completely open to us and we got to go beyond the velvet rope, so to speak, and sit in some of the capsules that had actually been into space and all those kind of things.

 

00:18:59:12 – 00:19:20:03

Greg Porter

Apollo 13 wasn’t there at the time, but that said, what a wonderful place to visit out in the middle of nowhere. I think it’s second only to the Smithsonian in terms of their space memorabilia and not fake space memorabilia, real stuff that’s been in to space that’s now on display that you can see and interact with. Pretty cool.

 

00:19:20:03 – 00:19:25:14

Greg Porter

I think they’ve also got a an S.R. 71 on display now too that you can get underneath.

 

00:19:25:14 – 00:19:45:05

Brian Benham

That’s pretty cool. Definitely. Go check it out, baby. That’ll be my next road trip. So the movie you were talking about, the Japanese woodworker where he had to sharpen his tools. I don’t know if you’re aware of Christopher Suarez from Lost Art Press used to write for popular woodworking before he started his company. And now he writes. Books are republishing his books.

 

00:19:45:14 – 00:20:09:18

Brian Benham

And The Joiner and the Cabinetmaker is one of the books that he published. And it’s basically about a young man that goes through an apprenticeship, very similar to what you described, where he had to learn how to do all the sharpening. And then he had to learn how to do all the like board prep. So he had to flatten all the boards before he had to pass it off to the master carpenter to do the joinery.

 

00:20:10:03 – 00:20:21:21

Brian Benham

And it’s just really good book. So I just wanted to was that was why I was looking around the room. You thought I had a fly in here? I couldn’t read the book, but I remember it had a red cover. It’s been a while. Yeah, it.

 

00:20:22:05 – 00:20:41:06

Greg Porter

I’ll have to check that one out. That sounds like a good read. Or if nothing else. Well, I don’t know. This lost art put things out on on audio books. If so, I’ll, I’ll queue that up the next time I’ve got a long drive. So the joiner and the cabinetmaker. Yeah I would definitely check that out but yeah.

 

00:20:41:06 – 00:21:03:01

Greg Porter

Back to back to making it work. I think we’ve been talking about tools quite a bit. I think materials is another one that I find myself in the middle of all the time and on on the metalworking side of things. Heat is your friend. Heat can turn any piece of metal into any other piece of metal depending on what you’re trying to do.

 

00:21:03:11 – 00:21:37:14

Greg Porter

And it’s it’s kind of amazing to me as I design things and think about things, there’s always a need for a custom fastener of some kind or some kind of pin with a with a head on it that doesn’t really exist in a catalog. And I would I would tell you, that’s one place where I have really honed my skills or I don’t know, skills is the right word, but hone my craft in understanding that you have to you have to let the problem tell you what it wants, rather than the other way around.

 

00:21:37:14 – 00:22:05:21

Greg Porter

And when you’ve got a catalog of fasteners, you’re you’re sort of pinned in by what you see in front of you. And when you flip that switch and understand that anything can become anything, then all of a sudden it’s like, okay, what does the project need? You know, well, maybe it needs a pin with a cross pin, or maybe it needs a pin with a pinned over and or maybe it needs a threaded piece with a dowel piece that allows a bearing to spin or whatever it is.

 

00:22:05:21 – 00:22:31:15

Greg Porter

And I, I now have seen see milling machines and things like that that allow me to do all kinds of cool stuff. But before, before I had that, I did a lot of work with a, a tap and dye set and hand grinders and files and a torch. And it’s amazing with, with just that simple set of tools, you can make almost any kind of specialty fastener that you might need.

 

00:22:32:07 – 00:22:56:12

Greg Porter

Obviously, a lathe is a great tool to have, but I’ve never had a metal, I’ve never had a lathe of any kind. But as as we all know, our power drills can become lathes if we need them to be kind of the difficult way to do it. But if you have enough you have enough time and put in enough effort, you can get the same quality of stuff with a power drill as you can with a layer that just takes a little bit longer.

 

00:22:56:12 – 00:23:14:23

Brian Benham

Yeah, before I had a layer, they tried to use my drill press as a lathe. I will say that that drill press no longer drill straight. It bad things happen from the side load pressure. But yeah, yeah. I still was able to at least get a taste of whether or not I wanted to get a lay there or not.

 

00:23:15:09 – 00:23:39:13

Brian Benham

But on a side note to your fastener thing that reminded me of a thing that just happened recently of trying to find the right fast or the right hinge for a particular project or the right whatever. We seem to have everything at our fingertips with the Internet. We can just look everything up on Google. But if you don’t know what it’s called, you’re you’re stuck.

 

00:23:39:13 – 00:23:58:00

Brian Benham

And like I was trying to find this specific hinge for the sideboard that I’m building because the way I want the doors designed is the door and can’t have a swing out into the area where you’d normally swing it out. Like you put a, a filler strip in there so you have room for the door to go. It needs to just come out and turn 90.

 

00:23:58:00 – 00:24:17:23

Brian Benham

So I needed that specific hinge, but I didn’t know what it was called, so it took me a while to find it and Bloom Hardware makes it or Bloom Hardware makes it. And there’s also another company called Hethel, I think it’s called or Hethel. Half a lot. Half, yes. So I and I, I found them by accident just in my Google searching.

 

00:24:18:12 – 00:24:37:10

Brian Benham

And I called the lady or I called their customer service line to ask if they could see me a catalog. They had a printed catalog because I don’t know what they all is. And she’s like, So which catalog do you want? And I was like, Well, I’m a custom guy, so I make everything. So if I just have your complete catalog would be great.

 

00:24:37:10 – 00:24:58:09

Brian Benham

And so a couple of days go by and I get this box that’s like a moving crate. Yeah. And there’s like 15 catalogs in this thing there. There’s like the most extensive stuff ever. So now I feel like, okay, I have the catalogs of all catalogs for everything I need to build as long as they keep making it.

 

00:24:58:11 – 00:25:18:15

Greg Porter

Yeah, there’s there’s always been three catalogs that have been in my mind, maybe not the must haves, but you should have, you should have a copy of each of them at some point in your life. And one of them’s kind of gone downhill a little bit. The Granger catalog that I don’t even know if they print anymore, but when they used to print the Granger catalog.

 

00:25:19:13 – 00:25:20:21

Brian Benham

One in my office somewhere here.

 

00:25:21:04 – 00:26:00:20

Greg Porter

Just fascinating amounts of of motors and shivs and pulleys and hardware to make them all go. Feels like pumps and valves and anything industrial or the Granger catalog has fastened. All is the second one, and at one point in time fasten all was just fasteners and they very rarely got outside of that. In their catalog was literally every every style of fastener head, every length, every thread, every everything you know from shoulder bolts or stripper bolts to sex bolts to, you know, just straight, straight, bald screws, whatever.

 

00:26:00:20 – 00:26:19:04

Greg Porter

That was always a wonderful resource because again, if you don’t know that a socket head cap screw is called a socket head’s cap screw or a socket head button screw is also in the cap screw category, but not the same as a socketed cap screw. You don’t know where all these things fall. It’s hard to say what they are.

 

00:26:19:10 – 00:26:44:01

Greg Porter

That catalog was great. And then the third catalog, which has become sort of the granddaddy now, I think it probably gets a little more face time than it used to is the McMaster car catalog. And again, they bridge such a broad spectrum of industrial pieces and parts, but those three catalogs can put together almost any hardware thing that you may ever need.

 

00:26:44:08 – 00:26:44:17

Greg Porter

Anything.

 

00:26:45:07 – 00:27:03:12

Brian Benham

I wonder if the McMaster car I know you watched him salvage from time to time on his YouTube channel, and he talks about this catalog that like, you can’t really just like order it or get it, that you have to buy a certain amount of stuff and then they’ll send it to you. I’m wondering if that was the McMaster car that he was talking about.

 

00:27:03:12 – 00:27:04:23

Brian Benham

Our if there’s another one out there.

 

00:27:05:10 – 00:27:26:12

Greg Porter

It’s it’s become that it’s become almost a cult thing. Like I see people on Instagram put pictures of their McMaster car catalog like I got one and back in the day it was never really that big of a deal to get one. I think the the fact that we just don’t print everything anymore is the reason they’ve become a little more scarce.

 

00:27:26:21 – 00:28:02:04

Greg Porter

I don’t know if they have a threshold for it anymore. I don’t have their catalog. I find they’re online. Catalog is so visual they probably do. Of all the different places I shop for odd things, which I feel like I’m always in search of odd things from the manufacturing side. I need a doodad that’s this big that does that, you know, instead of trying to make them all myself, they’re there online catalog is very visual and you’re able to sort of drill down through through their visual menus into the precise things that you need.

 

00:28:03:09 – 00:28:29:09

Greg Porter

You know, it goes from from pins to pins with releases. You just I can’t even begin to talk about all the iterations of things, even even washers, you know. So okay, we’ll start with a it’s a circular washer. It’s a thick circular washer. It’s a thick circular washer that is anti-microbial, that’s made of rubber. That’s, you know, and you just keep drilling down through these these wonderful menus.

 

00:28:29:09 – 00:28:54:00

Greg Porter

And then the fact that Fusion 360 wrote an interface for it so early in their programing, and you can literally grab a model of anything from the McMaster Car catalog, it’s like, Why would I want the paper one anymore? But I digress. It definitely has become sort of an underground group that brags about having them. I think Tom Sachs was one of the first people.

 

00:28:54:05 – 00:29:10:11

Greg Porter

I don’t know if you know Tom, he’s an artist in New York, one of the first people to start really bragging about it, and then, you know, there was a whole line of of folks, I don’t want to say bad things, but maybe who were riding coattails a little bit that would do the same thing and brag about their McMaster car catalog.

 

00:29:10:11 – 00:29:28:12

Greg Porter

It’s like, wow, all right. Yeah, that’s Adam’s great. Don’t get me wrong. I love Adam to death. I think I think his his stuff is is high class and awesome. I watch everything he does, and and he is definitely worthy of owning the McMaster car catalog. Yeah, he’s earned that right for sure.

 

00:29:28:20 – 00:29:51:12

Brian Benham

Yeah. There’s an unfortunate thing in there and just the world in general. I’ve seen it not just in maker communities, groups on Facebook, but other hobbies that I’m interested in and that there’s like the ability to flex on someone like, look at me. Yeah, I don’t think Adam Savage, when he was showing off his catalog, was flexing. I think he was generally excited that he got one like or that he had one.

 

00:29:51:12 – 00:29:57:13

Brian Benham

But some people, like, really push to their just to show off their flex their look at my new thing.

 

00:29:57:24 – 00:30:17:04

Greg Porter

I think he’s about as humble a guy as I’ve I’ve ever seen. I’ve never met Adam in in person but ever seen on the Internet in his abilities. He he has a level of humility that I think sometimes he understates the amount of talent that he has. That guy is supremely talented, bright.

 

00:30:17:08 – 00:30:24:20

Brian Benham

He’s he says his brand is screw it up and it’s just like well, that’s how you learn to not not screw up, you know?

 

00:30:24:20 – 00:30:50:12

Greg Porter

Yeah, I think and again, not to get too far off topic, but I think it’s a very similar thing, right. He his his channel. He talks about the additions that he makes to his workshop and the tools that he has. And, you know, in recent time, he upgraded his mill to a new mill. I think it’s a I think it’s a Bridgeport style and not an Excel style, which kind of surprised me a little bit, but it’s common.

 

00:30:51:12 – 00:31:17:04

Greg Porter

But he talked about how that tool would make him such a better, you know, have better abilities in the machine area. And maybe it will give him an ability to hold tolerance maybe easier than he could in the past. But Adam has the type of grit that you need to make, the tool that you have work. And I think that’s where he was for a very long time, is just, hey, I’m going to make this work.

 

00:31:17:10 – 00:31:37:08

Greg Porter

And now he’s got a tool that really helps him excel in terms of time. And I think that’s the big difference. You know, from the tool side of things, you don’t need the tool to do the job, but sometimes you need the tool to do the job quickly. A good tool can help you get through some of the stumbling points where you might mess up a piece or two.

 

00:31:37:14 – 00:32:11:04

Greg Porter

But at the end of the day, it’s a it’s a poor carpenter that blames his tools. Right. And yeah, we’ll say that. Well, I did want to shift a little bit, too, and talk about materials. I’ve I’ve got so many things in my daily life that were made from the dregs. And I spend not a lot of time, but more than most probably I spend time in scrap yards looking through piles of stuff, sometimes for inspiration, sometimes because I’m looking for a thing that’s shaped like another thing.

 

00:32:11:13 – 00:32:33:09

Greg Porter

And the easiest way to find that is in the scrap yard. And I think that that type of resourcefulness leads us when we have to make it work and we don’t have all the right stuff. I mean, I’m thinking in particular, I’ve got a video on on YouTube about making my shop stool. And I did this, you know, when I when I see it in my shop, I’m like, nothing looks beautiful.

 

00:32:33:16 – 00:33:00:04

Greg Porter

It was all made out of scrap wood, you know. So a little bit of mahogany and a little bit of maple and a little bit of something else. I can’t remember all the different woods that are in there, but it was literally out of necessity. I needed the shop bench or shop stool, and I had this pile of weird lumber and you know, you slowly send it over the joiner and through the planer and get it square and parallel and all those kind of things.

 

00:33:00:04 – 00:33:20:15

Greg Porter

And then, you know, start rearranging pieces to see what’s pleasing to the eye. And sometimes that challenge actually produces a better piece than if I would have just had, you know, one big solid chunk of fill in the blank mahogany or hard maple or something like that. And it makes for some really interesting projects when you just have to make it work.

 

00:33:20:21 – 00:33:44:05

Brian Benham

Yeah. A few years ago I built an oval table and had these little sculpted legs and there was four legs and I was cutting off four legs and I don’t remember what happened, but for some reason I moved the stop on my table, saw and forgot to cut the fourth leg. So I somehow I got interrupted. I don’t remember.

 

00:33:44:05 – 00:33:59:22

Brian Benham

This was quite a few years ago. And so I was like, Oh, I got to start to cut the joinery. And I’m like, Oh, I forgot to cut the fourth leg to length. And I went back to the table, saw foot to stop down, which was now in a different spot. And I cut it. And so now it’s too short and I just like what I do.

 

00:33:59:22 – 00:34:20:18

Brian Benham

And this is like going to be in a gallery show that weekend and I didn’t have time to go buy another board because it’s like 10:00 at night, right? So I just needed to figure out how I’m going to make this work so I can get it glued up. So gets a finish on it the next day. So this oval table has three tiers to it.

 

00:34:21:02 – 00:34:52:09

Brian Benham

So the top tier now is held up by the three legs, and then the bottom two tiers are held up by the third leg. That’s shorter. And that that where the fourth leg would have is just cantilevered. And the design turned out way better because of that mistake, because I had to figure out how to make it work, then if I would have had it done four tables and when I took it to the gallery, show it like it sold like that because everyone is like, holy crap, that’s really cool how that’s cantilevered over there like that.

 

00:34:52:09 – 00:34:56:18

Brian Benham

So making it work kind of I think is what sold the sold the piece.

 

00:34:57:09 – 00:35:33:04

Greg Porter

I think is as a designer on the architectural side, I say this to people all the time, but sometimes the constraints actually make for a better project because they force you out of your comfort zone. If you just have a frictionless plane and everything is and true to the world, it it makes for very boring pieces. I mean, even looking at the pieces of lumber that you have on the wall behind you, if you start with something like that there’s a lot more inspiration that can happen out of a piece like that that can cause you to make a different move because you are using this piece that can’t that doesn’t fit the mold.

 

00:35:33:04 – 00:35:59:03

Greg Porter

Maybe it’s got a big knot or a big void or something where you would have normally shaped this classical queen and leg or, you know, fill in the blank. And all of a sudden, since your materials don’t support that very straightforward copycat design, now you’re forced to do something different and innovative and make that work. I’ve got a guitar that I want to grab off the wall that I want to I want to talk about this.

 

00:35:59:03 – 00:35:59:21

Greg Porter

Give me two.

 

00:35:59:21 – 00:36:00:15

Brian Benham

Seconds. Okay.

 

00:36:00:24 – 00:36:27:07

Greg Porter

This was a little I want to call him Internet acquaintances. There we go. Somebody that I talked to early in his career had very few subscribers on YouTube named Ben Crowe. And he has a channel called Crimson Guitars. He has a business called Crimson Guitars, a very successful guitar maker out of the UK. Phenomenal. He he supports what he calls the great guitar build off every year.

 

00:36:27:07 – 00:36:51:21

Greg Porter

And hundreds of people enter this great guitar build off and build guitars and do videos really inspirational inside of the guitar community. But I started watching Ben when he was in his guitar, in his garden shed out behind his house, tiny little shop, doing a lot of stuff with hand tools. And he wound up buying a bigger shop in a building and expanding and doing a bunch of things.

 

00:36:51:21 – 00:37:17:09

Greg Porter

And he did a Kickstarter to fund ACNC machine and some other things that he needed to make his business grow. And this was a guitar that was made out of a kit that he was selling on the Kickstarter. And so I can’t remember what this is. English, English Elm or English Ash, maybe, but the body you can see is carved.

 

00:37:17:09 – 00:37:42:09

Greg Porter

And when when I got the kit, this was not intended to be a carved top guitar. And I started carving it and I blew through the output. Jack hole that he had put in the kit. And that became an opportunity to do a little insert and make a nice detail as a just basically a walnut dowel with a hole drilled through it.

 

00:37:43:08 – 00:38:02:02

Greg Porter

And it was one of those make it work moments. And I knew I was going to cut through that hole because, you know, you start planning out where you’re going to make your cuts and it’s like, yeah, it’s not going to happen. But it was one of those Make It Work moments and I knew I wanted this to be a curve top and well, that was the way to do it that I thought would look the best.

 

00:38:02:09 – 00:38:10:02

Greg Porter

And it came out as this is this really interesting feature that none of these other carved top guitars have. So yeah, that’s fun.

 

00:38:10:05 – 00:38:36:00

Brian Benham

Really cool. So for the the audio listeners that are watching the video version of this, we do have a video version on YouTube. If you want to look at what he’s saying. But to kind of describe that, well, that’s where the the cord plugs in for the electric guitar to go to the amp. Right. So this this chord instead of just going straight into the the body of the guitar and disappearing like you normally would, it kind of goes in at an angle.

 

00:38:36:00 – 00:38:42:06

Brian Benham

So from the lighting, it looks like it’s a piece of ebony that’s super polished up there. But you said that was walnut.

 

00:38:42:24 – 00:38:49:00

Greg Porter

I think it’s walnut. It’s either walnut or it’s African mahogany. That’s very, very, very dark.

 

00:38:49:08 – 00:39:05:14

Brian Benham

It’s almost black in color. So it goes in and it kind of tapers away and disappears into the guitar. It’s a really cool effect. So if you listen to the audio version, I would definitely check out or maybe you could send me a picture and I’ll post it on our website. Yeah, with the episode. Yeah, yeah. It’s very cool.

 

00:39:05:15 – 00:39:30:23

Greg Porter

But again, make it work type of moments and when you’re, when you’re into a guitar for, you know, several hundred dollars and, and, you know, you come upon it’s like, well, is this going to wreck my plans or am I just going to shift and make this thing work somehow? I think as designers and as makers, that’s that’s our job is to to work with what you got to make it the best you can.

 

00:39:31:07 – 00:39:48:10

Greg Porter

And, you know, sometimes again, sometimes those constraints, I think, actually make for better designs. And it’s interesting. I think some of us look at that and start to impose our own constraints because it inspires that creative liberty.

 

00:39:48:18 – 00:40:07:18

Brian Benham

Yeah, that’s what I think. We talked about it maybe in episode one that the thing that I hate and and are excited about the most is when a client says, says you have free reign to do whatever you want. And I always thought that was really cool. I could do whatever I want. And then I sit down and it’s like, well, I don’t have a direction to go.

 

00:40:07:18 – 00:40:35:22

Brian Benham

So yeah, having having a constraint is very important. I think that example of the guitar thing is opens up a whole nother potential conversation on this subject of hiding your mistakes. Like you make a mistake and it’s like, Okay, so how am I going to hide this mistake or what I’m what am I going to do? Like if there’s a gouge in the word, can I cover it up with a bow tie or a Dutchman or make that a feature and do some kind of inlay in there or something along those lines?

 

00:40:35:22 – 00:40:57:12

Greg Porter

Yeah. I often wonder, you know, where, where are the origins of some of the techniques in woodwork and metalwork and other types of crafts come from and, and you always wonder, you know, when, when you see marquetry and some of that stuff did that come about because there were knots in the middle of pieces and somebody said, You know what, I’d rather put a butterfly here.

 

00:40:58:04 – 00:41:22:02

Greg Porter

I’m talking about a literal picture of a butterfly instead of having this not here. And then, you know, from there it grows into how else can we cover these things up and and make something that’s I mean, can you imagine 200 years ago, the tools that they were using to produce some of the art that you see in museums, how long it would have taken to get to a point.

 

00:41:22:02 – 00:41:42:10

Greg Porter

And then all of a sudden you uncover a map pocket in the middle of your in the middle of the piece, the words you’ve been working on for the last three months with, you know, very, very primitive tools. And, you know, the reaction to that, like, how can I how can I cover that up? How can I make that into a feature rather than a bug?

 

00:41:42:21 – 00:42:08:13

Greg Porter

So we’ve talked a little bit about tools. We’ve talked a little bit about materials and making those things work. When it comes to finishes, that’s probably a totally different category that as you approach the finish to a project, I feel like there’s a lot less improvization that you’re capable of doing because you get into chemistry, you get into surface finish and everything else.

 

00:42:08:13 – 00:42:25:05

Greg Porter

And it’s definitely it’s nothing to be cavalier about, although you can be creative with finishes. I feel like that’s a part where you really do have to execute well and you have to you have to do things a little bit more by the book. It’s, it’s baking versus cooking, right?

 

00:42:25:15 – 00:42:45:01

Brian Benham

Yeah, cooking. You can just throw a little bit of spice here, a little bit of spice there. But baking, you have to be very precise for that bread may not ever rise. I think we should also make a kind of a delineation between staining a project and finishing a project, because staining is kind of an art in itself.

 

00:42:45:01 – 00:43:03:09

Brian Benham

And it can be used not just to color the entire piece of your entire project, like you’re building a dresser and you want to stain it kind of a golden oak, which I hope dies someday that never manufactured again. But let’s just say you wanted a stain on the golden oak, so you stay in your entire piece of golden oak.

 

00:43:03:09 – 00:43:28:07

Brian Benham

But it doesn’t half to be that that way. I use a lot of times dyes when I do bow tie inlays in a crack, like maybe I’ll intentionally carve the crack wider or carve a crack altogether just to give the illusion that there’s a crack in the wood to put bow ties in and to help sell that illusion, I’ll use some dark brown stain and stain the inside of my carving to to dirty it up a little bit.

 

00:43:29:00 – 00:43:52:13

Brian Benham

But then when you get into finishing I yeah I think finishing is something you either get it right or you get it wrong. And there’s a huge amount of practice to get a good finish. And that’s kind of the first thing that the client runs their hand across. When you when I bring a piece out, the first thing they do is run their hand across the top of the desk or the bench or table or whatever.

 

00:43:52:13 – 00:44:02:24

Brian Benham

I’ve built to feel how smooth the finishes. And so if if you don’t nail the finish, it’s they’re going to be less impressed with your work. There’s a weekly we we can.

 

00:44:03:17 – 00:44:04:23

Greg Porter

Oh, go ahead. Sorry bro I.

 

00:44:04:24 – 00:44:16:01

Brian Benham

Spy last thing you’re not going to be able to really hide that or just make it work, right? You’re you’re either sanding it back or and reapplying or you’re like, yeah, it’s supposed to be a rough, rustic finish.

 

00:44:16:02 – 00:44:42:10

Greg Porter

Yeah. I was going to say the the make it work part of finishing is if it’s not right, you make it work by sanding it off and doing it again. Although I would say interestingly enough in the automotive finish arena and that’s where I’m most familiar is your acrylic, acrylic, enamels, acrylic lacquers and acrylic urethane that are, you know, two part very dangerous.

 

00:44:43:06 – 00:45:05:03

Greg Porter

You want the right breathing apparatus type of type of products. They’re not just generally over the counter. You have to you have to know what you’re doing when you’re working with those things. I’ve found that it’s amazing how much build you can get out of some of those finishes. Again, prep is everything. There’s way I would ever spray a finish over something that was marginal in terms of prep.

 

00:45:05:05 – 00:45:29:16

Greg Porter

Like you learn your lesson the first time you screw that up to never do it again and but when you’re putting the finish on famously on my Carmen Ghia when I was painting it, the last thing that I put clear on the very last piece of that car that I put clear on was the hood. And I literally spent from I think it was somewhere around 5:30 a.m. in the morning.

 

00:45:29:16 – 00:45:50:08

Greg Porter

I done painting that car at something like 10 p.m. at the in the evening. It was it was like a I remember it being about a 17 hour day. It was just brutal. It was hot is in the nineties sweat all day just down and Gatorade and the last piece I put clear on about three or four coats of clear something like that.

 

00:45:50:15 – 00:46:27:00

Greg Porter

A spider came down right in the middle of the hood as I had just finished the last go to clear. Now, the interesting thing is with with some of those automotive type finishes is the build is so high you can actually sand out those imperfections and fix a lot of the problems and make mistakes work. I also dipped my elbow in the clear on the fender and I had a big run, a big sag down the driver’s side fender that I wound up scraping off with a razor blade and leveling out and polishing.

 

00:46:27:07 – 00:46:51:23

Greg Porter

And I was able to make it work. You can’t tell where it was. And so so there are I feel like there is a little bit of latitude in some finishes that you can you can put enough build on there to to pull back off some things and buff them out. But I think you’re absolutely right. If you’re I’ve always treated finishing I’ve always thought mentally of it as surgery.

 

00:46:51:23 – 00:47:10:17

Greg Porter

Like if you’re going in to cut somebody open and replace a heart valve, you want to be very meticulous and in my finishing, I have a routine. The first thing I do is stuff a paper towel in my back pocket because something is going to go wrong. You could spill something or you could drop something. You could whatever.

 

00:47:10:17 – 00:47:35:22

Greg Porter

And if you’ve if you don’t have that paper towel in your back pocket to respond in a heartbeat, you might lose that piece or you might be in for a you know what, call it a day, let it dry, and we’re going to send it back off. And then everything’s I’m sure you’re this way. Everything’s rubber gloves and you start tacking things off and, you know, you’ve you’ve really got to be in that surgery mentality when you’re finishing something.

 

00:47:36:13 – 00:48:00:19

Brian Benham

Yeah. One thing that I’ve learned the hard way is once something starts to stack up and you’re looking it over and you see a blemish, don’t touch it, just let it dry because it’ll be way easier to sand that little blemish out once it’s 100% dry and then shoot another clear coat over the top of it. Then it is whatever you’re going to touch it with because it will f that spot up no matter what you’re you think, Oh, it’s just a little hair.

 

00:48:00:19 – 00:48:23:10

Brian Benham

I’m going to take the very tip of my pocket knife and pop that little hair out, though once you do that, it’s just going to make this big, huge line and it’s going to be nasty and the edge of the knife is going to touch something that you didn’t want it to touch because your hand shook a little and it’s just all over everything every single time I thought, Oh, I could I could just touch it up a little bit before it’s dry turn into a mess, absolute train wreck.

 

00:48:23:19 – 00:48:45:16

Greg Porter

And I’m certain you’ve done this because I think we all have you. You have a pair of tweezers or something and you pull. Sometimes it’s a brush hair, sometimes it’s a human hair. I don’t know how the hell human hair floats around in a shop and lands in the middle of a panel. Like, I don’t have hair. And somehow hair lands in the middle of my piece is all the time.

 

00:48:46:02 – 00:49:05:01

Greg Porter

And if you take a pair of tweezers and pull that hair out, it leaves a dent in your finish and you can put 20 more coats finish on there. And it’s it’s like kryptonite. That dent will just push the paint away and it will just get worse instead of better.

 

00:49:05:01 – 00:49:08:08

Brian Benham

Yeah, it’s even better if you just left it there and then sanded the hair away.

 

00:49:08:17 – 00:49:35:07

Greg Porter

Yes. I still don’t know what, how how it how something like that. An imperfection in the surface tension of a finish repels finish. From there forward it’s it’s like it’s reverse magnetic. I don’t know how to explain that but yes, definitely in the in the make it work arena leave it alone. Stop touching it and deal with it later.

 

00:49:35:07 – 00:50:02:14

Greg Porter

Yes, I had a a good friend again in the middle of a paint job. Something had gone wrong. And I’m trying to think what it was. It was a drip from my gun. So spray guns, volpi guns, have a cap that you screw on and then there’s usually a little breather hole there. And if you’re painting the bottom side of a rocker panel or something, you’re your gun goes upside down for just a brief moment in time.

 

00:50:02:20 – 00:50:26:16

Greg Porter

And that brief moment in time is just enough to get a drop of paint out of the cup and onto the top. And later, as you’re spraying the car, that drip will work its way down and into the finish somehow. And I had done that drop to drop something in the finish, and I can’t remember exactly what it was, but I literally called a good friend of mine who’s a hot rod painter.

 

00:50:26:16 – 00:50:46:14

Greg Porter

He paints the half million dollar cars, you know, he does the really expensive paint jobs. And I said, Jeff, I’ve got a problem. I’m I’m into, you know, like a coat and a half into into a paint job here. And you got to remember, you might be spending $1,000 on color. So it’s expensive, the mistake that you’re about to make.

 

00:50:47:01 – 00:51:14:03

Greg Porter

And I told him, I said, I’ve got an imperfection in the paint. I can see it. It’s right it’s right outside the driver’s, you know, the driver’s side on the fender. I’ll be able to see it every time I jump in this car like it’s going to be the bane of my existence. And he said, I’ll tell you what, Greg, why don’t you why don’t you just put your paint gun down and go inside and grab a drink, have some lunch, and let it dry, and then you can come out.

 

00:51:14:03 – 00:51:40:07

Greg Porter

And at the time I had a car. What’s it called? It’s a it’s a surface prep type of type of solvent. So it’s the last thing you go over the car with to get off all your fingerprint oil and that sort of thing. And he said, just squirt a little bit of that on there. Use some 800 grip paper once it’s dry and sand it out and then you can repaint that area and do another coat on the car and nobody will ever know it was there.

 

00:51:40:17 – 00:51:55:22

Greg Porter

And he was absolutely right. The best advice I ever got was to just walk away and let it dry, have some lunch, have a drink, and then come back to it. Because if you stand there, you’ll touch it. You keep screw with it, you’ll just make the whole paint job bad. So anyway, good fun. Yeah.

 

00:51:56:08 – 00:52:21:16

Brian Benham

So fun. Tip about that little hole at the top. I have a finished slop up, slosh up into that hole all the time and the finish I use dries really, really fast. It has a kicker in it, so it sets off really fast and that stupid little hole has made me lose my mind multiple times, not just from drips, but when it dries, it plucks that hole and it’s a gravity fed gun.

 

00:52:21:16 – 00:52:32:16

Brian Benham

So it’s like putting their finger over the straw. And now all of a sudden I’m getting half, half atomization or only half a fan because the holes plug in, there’s not it’s starving the gun to finish.

 

00:52:32:16 – 00:52:51:09

Greg Porter

Well, I can tell you that experience Brian taught me to just take a piece of two inch tape, and I put it around the rim of my cap and it sticks up over the top of the cap. So when I have that drip come forward, it just runs into the tape and stops. But yes, I always that’s another thing.

 

00:52:51:09 – 00:53:03:19

Greg Porter

I have I have a handful of things. I have a paper towel in my back pocket. I have a pair of tweezers because every once in a while you get something that you do have to pick out. And you have to you have to. You have to.

 

00:53:03:21 – 00:53:05:10

Brian Benham

If it’s big, you got to get rid of it.

 

00:53:05:10 – 00:53:27:18

Greg Porter

Yeah. If it’s a spider, you probably need to pull it out. And then I have a toothpick and that toothpick is because it doesn’t matter. You’re going to have some small holes somewhere that needs attention in some way, shape or form, whether that’s on your gun, I don’t know whether you get something in your eye or you have to pick something off of a glove or something like that.

 

00:53:27:18 – 00:53:51:00

Greg Porter

You wind up that toothpick will save your bacon more times than not. So just little, little fun tricks that I’ve learned over the years that those those handful of little tools in your back pocket will save you massive amounts of frustration. And of course, I’m talking about painting things that are car sized. When I’m painting things that are guitar size, it’s a lot different.

 

00:53:51:00 – 00:54:08:10

Greg Porter

I just have a usually I just have a paper towel in my back pocket and again on a guitar. It’s it’s so easy to just stop right now, walk away and come back and paint it again tomorrow, where once you get moving forward on a car paint job, you pretty much kind of want to finish it, right?

 

00:54:08:10 – 00:54:11:04

Brian Benham

That you’re kind of committed. Yeah, something like that.

 

00:54:11:13 – 00:54:21:21

Greg Porter

You are? Yeah. Like I said, you know, you start you start reducing $1,000 worth of paint and you really don’t want to let it sit very long. You can, but you don’t want you don’t want to.

 

00:54:22:00 – 00:54:46:13

Brian Benham

Yeah, I think the key to not screwing up a finish is being prepared and having your your work area organized. It can have I’ll have my thinner and a little bit of another cup of some ice butyl acetate sometimes to clean the gun because when you get in that you’re in the middle of a spray gun and you get a plug in the gun instead of breaking the entire gun down.

 

00:54:46:13 – 00:55:05:03

Brian Benham

Beetle acetate is so strong, it’ll peel anything out of that gun you need and you can get right back to pour the finish back in with a new strainer, of course, and then back gone. But yeah, having it all organized and laid out ready to go can help keep your finish project moving on without catastrophe.

 

00:55:05:03 – 00:55:39:10

Greg Porter

Well, one point for people who aren’t who aren’t experienced at finishing things. You always want to set your finish table up away from your project. And I say it four or five steps away because if you accidentally tip over a quart cup of finish and it hits the floor, it splashes a long way. And the last thing you want when you tip over a cup of finish and, you know, there might be a couple hundred dollars worth of stuff in there, you’re going to be really pissed because you lost that.

 

00:55:39:10 – 00:55:51:17

Greg Porter

The last thing you want to do is also screw up the project that you just spent the last 40 hours prep sanding on. So if you can separate those two things from one another, you can keep a bad day from getting worse.

 

00:55:52:04 – 00:56:03:18

Brian Benham

Yeah, for sure. So I have two, two thoughts that kind of came to mind while we were talking. One, I don’t know if you watch a blacksmith on YouTube called Alex Steel.

 

00:56:03:22 – 00:56:06:06

Greg Porter

I know Alex Steel. I know who he is. Yes. Okay.

 

00:56:06:06 – 00:56:27:09

Brian Benham

So I’ve watched him from when he was just starting out his YouTube journey and he didn’t have a whole ton of tools. And he’s even moved from the UK to Montana. Montana, yeah. And then he reset up a shop during COVID so he could go back to his family back in the UK and just set up like a makeshift shop.

 

00:56:27:09 – 00:56:51:07

Brian Benham

And so he’s definitely someone that I’ve seen go from very little tools to a fully outfitted workshop. And he’s definitely a guy that that has made it work with what he’s got. And people have made fun of him in the comments of his YouTube channel for some of his methods of how he gets things solved or fixed or moves the project forward.

 

00:56:51:07 – 00:57:08:11

Brian Benham

And so he has a shirt that a T-shirt that says if it’s not stupid, if it works. So I thought that was a pretty good t shirt. If you ever want to get something along the lines of make it work with what you got, that would be a good way to go.

 

00:57:08:11 – 00:57:12:16

Greg Porter

I’ve always liked is his t shirt that says less yak yak more whack whack.

 

00:57:12:24 – 00:57:41:05

Brian Benham

Yeah, that’s another good one. Yeah, for sure. And then my last, my last thought is last weekend I went down to a national park called Mesa Verde. It’s in southern Colorado, a swift cliff, the cliff dwellings by the Pueblo Indians. And it’s basically these ancient ruins of these cities that they built into the cliffs and they had no power tools or anything.

 

00:57:41:05 – 00:58:05:03

Brian Benham

Power wasn’t even a thing back then, and they had just had to make tools out of sticks or rock or whatever. And they built these massive cities, just the materials they had around them. That was really fascinating. So if you’re ever in southern Colorado, I highly recommend visiting the cliff dwellings, but bring your hiking shoes because some of them you have to climb down ladders and down steep hills to get into.

 

00:58:05:19 – 00:58:33:00

Greg Porter

I’ve seen pictures that Mesa Verde area and it’s always been on my list of places I need to go see. I need to do that fascinating stuff. But I think that speaks volumes. You know, if you ever, you know, Google the word bushcraft, that’s what it’s all about, making it work with what you have. You know, how do you trudge into a forest, you know, a couple of miles and then all of a sudden everything that you need to have should be there.

 

00:58:33:09 – 00:58:41:01

Greg Porter

And kind of fascinating to see people who are good at bushcraft, what they’re capable of doing with almost nothing.

 

00:58:41:10 – 00:58:46:04

Brian Benham

Yeah, for sure. So should we start to wrap this one up tonight?

 

00:58:46:04 – 00:59:01:08

Greg Porter

Yeah, I think we’re about an hour in, so that would probably be a good wrap point. Right. Well, thanks for joining us on our podcast today. I’m Greg Porter and my YouTube is Greg’s Garage. And I also have another YouTube that is Skyscraper Guitars.

 

00:59:01:08 – 00:59:17:22

Brian Benham

And I am Brian Benham and you can find me at Brian Benham dot com and that will give you all the links to all my YouTube and social stuff. And of course, this is the Maker’s Quest podcast. So you can Google the Maker’s Quest podcast and that’ll take you to our website that will have all those links there for you.

 

00:59:18:12 – 01:01:45:03

Brian Benham

Thanks for listening.

 

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