Marilyn and I enjoy the odd flea market ramble, and a trip to Bussey’s in Schertz, Texas was fun. It was our first time to this meet, and we didn’t really know what to expect. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, but old tools, radios or cast iron always get my attention.
About 40 years ago, Bob (a high-school buddy) and I started a surplus electronics business. We were hoping to make a little extra money and feed our Amateur Radio habit. We started with a purchase of 18,000 pounds of stuff.
I’ve been a student of piano all of my life, and have always preferred hearing to reading when learning a new piece. My piano teachers cautioned me against this approach, since reading music would open a much larger window onto the classical world.
I enjoy flea markets, and there’s a great one near Fredrickburg, Texas — about an hour from our Hill Country home. We go almost every month. Last October we came home with vintage cast iron pots and skillets, a UT Longhorn-branded Crockpot and — best of all — an old Stanley No. 5 jack plane for just $8!
With the new handle installed, it was time to sharpen. The steel was pitted from its time in the woods, but had plenty of metal and potential. With my new-found interest in woodworking, I’ve been working on my sharpening skills. I’ve tried several systems from wet/dry sandpaper on a glass plate to carborundum, whetstones and diamond plates.
I enjoy restoring old tools. It’s fun to buy a new tool and investigate the abilities it brings, but there’s something about finding an old tool, removing the corrosion and dirt, and repairing and sharpening that are especially satisfying.
I learned how to light for television about 40 years ago while working in the broadcast industry. It was an expensive and difficult affair, but the basics of lighting haven’t changed — the tools have just gotten better and cheaper. Lots of folks photos and video every day, but the addition of just a little lighting can make the difference between “snapshots” and professional-looking quality. I hear protests regarding the cost of buying lights, not to mention carrying a pile of gear around. But what if you could build small, dimmable, custom lighting to suit your individual needs for about $50?
In a previous post, I mentioned my reawakened interest in woodworking. The cleanup of the shop and benches, refurbishing of several old tools, and the purchase of others are getting me ever closer to the goal of a proper woodworking shop.
In a previous post, I shared a brief history of the Jupiter lenses, a Soviet-made series that have become popular with mirrorless camera enthusiasts. There are several models, with some — notably the Jupiter 8 — often available very inexpensively on eBay. Intrigued by the possibility of expanding my lens arsenal with an inexpensive but useful lens, I did some shopping, and ended up with one of the 50 mm Jupiter 8’s for about $50, including shipping. Not bad.
In a previous post, I mentioned my purchase of an old, Soviet-made Jupiter-8 lens. It wasn’t very expensive, and would expand my mirrorless camera arsenal with a short telephoto prime lens. As I mentioned though, it didn’t focus properly through it’s entire range — more on that later — but had a great story. How did a pre-WWII Zeiss lens design come to be mass produced in the Soviet Union after the War?