Saturday, August 09, 2014

"Yeah, we lied about this for two years, but

it's not a BIG lie.  And it'll help the bomb squad!"
Right.  That's why you lied about it for two friggin' years.

Eric Holder and his 'Justice' Dept. get a big kick in the ass on voter id.
The Justice Department had actually argued that even if black voters turned out at higher rates under voter ID (which they do), because blacks have to take the bus more and their life is generally harder, then voter ID and curtailing early voting violates the Voting Rights Act.

It's possible this is a simple case of 'Idiots with badges and guns', but I have to wonder:
Eyewitnesses called the police, stating that Crawford was “waving a rifle around” in the store and pointing it at children. Another call claimed Crawford was loading the gun in the pet section and was about to start shooting. In the background, someone was yelling that they’d been shot.
Considering all the "I see someone open-carrying, I'll call the cops and say they're threatening people!" crap we've heard from the gun bigots, I have to wonder if some of them just got a guy killed.

A Californicated Democrat doesn't want the commoners to be allowed to own body armor.
The ban would not apply to body armor already in private hands, but Honda says law enforcement might want to encourage people to turn in the items anyhow. “If there are records of sales [law enforcement] could track those down,” he says.
'Because it may be legal, but we don't want you to have it.  So we'll ignore actual crimes and spend time trying to track down owners of legal stuff we don't approve of."

I think I shall take refuge from all the bad news

in science, and the study of more data

Yeah, trust in officialdom was pretty low before this;

Ken Isaacs of Samaritan’s Purse told a Congressional Hearing that the WHO is underreporting the Ebola epidemic. “Ken Isaacs, a vice president with Samaritan’s Purse, a North Carolina-based Christian humanitarian organization, also said the number of Ebola cases and deaths reported by the World Health Organization are probably 25 percent to 50 percent below actual levels.”
Which takes this from a big problem to a HUGE problem.  Which lead us to
Much of the coverage has centered on the epidemic in Liberia and Nigeria, because these countries are relatively accessible to English speaking journalists. But we have no idea what is happening in Sierra Leone or Guinea, which is one of the most corrupt countries on earth. Officials claim only about 1,000 people have died from Ebola in West Africa so far, ‘not many’ in such a vast region. But this completely underrates the real danger. The relevant population against which such casualties must be measured are the medical personnel. They are being wiped out. Africa has a very limited store of scientific, medical and technical human capital and once these irreplaceables are killed or intimidated then the man issuing the medical exit visas will be an illiterate with a rubber stamp

And then anyone can get on a plane. Maybe anyone already can — providing he’s official.

It appears the Bureau of Land Management has been pissing-off

just about everyone.
James Perkins sees the federal Bureau of Land Management more as a belligerent occupying army than a government agency serving U.S. citizens, including those like him in south-central Utah.

Perkins is the sheriff of Garfield County, a rural bastion the size of Connecticut with only 5,500 residents, where 90% of the land is maintained by the BLM. The relationship between local law enforcement and often heavily armed federal officers has always been tense, and now threatens to reach a breaking point.
In an interview, he described an incident this year in which a county detective was investigating whether a BLM officer had failed to report a traffic accident, as required by law.

"I was told by the chief of BLM law enforcement in Utah that we had no right to investigate one of his officers and that the matter should have been turned over to their internal affairs division," Perkins said. "When

I'm told by the federal government that I don't have the authority to investigate crimes in my county, well, that's just troublesome to me."
Sounds about standard for a lot of fed agencies anymore.  Especially this told to a Rep.:
"Nobody is trying to take away weapons from BLM law enforcement people, but some of these regulatory agencies have SWAT teams or what they call special-event tactical units," Stewart said. "When I asked when these agencies deploy their units, I was told they couldn't answer that. This isn't the CIA or FBI. Why can't they tell the American people their rules of engagement?"
A:  A bunch of these clowns NEED to have their noisy toys taken away from them.
B: One of the problems with the EffingBI for decades has been this "WE are Feds, you commoners have no need to know what we're doing" attitude; they don't get a break on this either.

Wonderful man, isn't he?

Just the sort you want in charge of your kids' education!
Video surfaced on Thursday showing Michael Mulgrew, president of New York’s United Federation of Teachers, as he unloaded a hateful rant against critics of the Common Core Standards Initiative.
“If someone takes something from me, I’m going to grab it right back out of their cold, twisted, sick hands and say it is mine!” Mulgrew bellowed clownishly. “You do not take what is mine!”
“I’m going to punch you in the face and push you in the dirt because this is the teachers’!” Mulgrew threatened.
For the moment let's ignore this violent assholes' threats; If someone takes something from me and because this is the teachers’! ? Really? Just exactly what has this dirtbag so emotionally- invested in Common Core?  What exactly is behind this?

Simple control?  He wants it, and opposing CC threatens that?  Or something monetary in there that he doesn't want to lose?  Questions, questions...

Friday, August 08, 2014

Because we do not live by steel alone;

other things are deserving of study as well.  Happily, we're in a data-rich environment

"You commoners better qualify, or else! But I

am too important and busy to actually shoot this icky gun I carry."
Department rules require all police officers who carry guns to pass shooting range tests every six months. Fong said in a statement this week that "the duties of a police chief are demanding and time-consuming. I acknowledge that I have not scheduled time for firearms re-qualifications. This will be addressed for future re-qualifications."
Cohen noted that in the last five years, "scores of officers" have been disciplined and even denied pay raises and promotion for the same infraction the chief has committed.
Allowing those under her to be disciplined while she was skipping target practice herself amounted to an "arrogant, ethical and moral failure" on the chief's part, Cohen said.
The primary story in this is "The Chief felt herself too busy to be bothered with the qualifications required", but please take note of ..."scores of officers" have been disciplined and even denied pay raises and promotion for the same infraction the chief has committed.

One of the standard lines is "Only cops are trained and qualified enough to carry a gun", yet here, in Frisco, we have 'scores' of officers disciplined for either skipping or failing qualifications...

So the horrors and disaster finally piled up enough that The Lightbringer

decided he had to do something.  So he's doing... something.
The mandate he gave to the armed forces was more limited than that of his predecessors, focused mainly on dropping food and water. But he also authorized targeted airstrikes “if necessary” against Islamic radicals advancing on the Kurdish capital of Erbil and others threatening to wipe out thousands of non-Muslims stranded on a remote mountaintop.

And this:
The Pentagon revealed that two F/A-18 aircraft dropped 500-pound laser-guided bombs on a mobile artillery piece near Erbil.

Here's what I think: despite his wanting the whole thing to just go away and stop being a problem for him, the mess is now so bloody awful he can't ignore it, talk around it or wish it away.  Too many news sources nowadays, things like thousands of people dying slowly on a hill can't be covered-up or ignored.  So he and his minions(or handlers, as may be the case with some) got together and decided "What's the least we can do to say 'We did something'?  Not enough to upset the Right-Thinking People, but maybe enough to shut everyone else up, enough to pretend we're actually trying to stop ISIL?"

Reason I think so?  There's a bloody carrier in range with enough firepower on it to do some serious remodeling.  If he actually wanted the bad guys stopped, the orders would be "Find their heavy weapons, supply points, convoys and troop concentrations and smash them."  Which could be done, between the carrier aircraft and drones.  Instead we've got 'drop some supplies and- if necessary- drop some bombs.'  Makes you want to know what 'necessary' is being defined as, doesn't it?

Something else: want to bet that a bunch of pilots are wondering if, if they're shot or forced down, they'll wind up like those people in Benghazi?

Making two knives, the grips

When we left this the knives were being tempered in the oven.  Once they'd cooled completely, they went back to the belt sander to clean off the fire scale and oxidation.  Came out pretty well.

Those lines are to lay out the holes to drill.  I'm going to use brass pins and epoxy to hold the scales on.  I used the centerpunch to mark the hole locations, then drilled them on the press.
See that clamp on the left?  It's there as a safety: if the bit grabs- when it happens, usually just as it's breaking through the far side- it can start the piece spinning.  This is Bad; unsharpened, that point can rip you, and even with the back of the blade in the lead, it hits you it's going to hurt.  Some things I clamp in a drill press vise; can't do that here, so you put something in position so it's out of the way but will block the blade if it starts to spin.

Put a bit of cutting oil in each punch mark, use light pressure, and drill through.  When they're all done, you can take a larger bit and turn it in the face of each hole by hand to deburr the edges.

For the larger one I'm going to mark and drill some smaller holes(1/16") for more pins, so it'll match the big chef's knife already made.

By the way, on a knife like this I try to make sure the tang does not harden; makes drilling the holes a bitch.  Which is why I prefer to drill them before heat-treating.  If you plan to harden the entire thing, you WILL drill the holes before, or you won't drill at all.

Now we need the grip materials.  I've got a piece of walnut I'm going to use
Make sure the piece is thick enough, then on the side lay out the size you need to fit the tang, and cut it.  Remember, it has to be thick enough that, when you split it, the wood removed by the saw won't leave the scales too thin.

At this point you need to split the piece lengthwise.  Remember that the side you marked is not where you want to split; turn it 90 degrees and use that edge. 
Draw a line down the length and across one end(a square helps here), then clamp it in the vise.  If you start the saw at a diagonal on the corner, and keep it centered on both lines it'll make sure you're cutting straight down the center; once well started it's easy to keep it straight with just the one lengthwise line.  That gets you two scales.

To the belt sander, or to a flat surface where you can put down a sheet of sandpaper and sand the inside of each scale smooth.  Don't try to get it too fine; you want it flat to fit the tang, but that's it.  Say 100 or 120 grit will do fine.  That leaves a surface that's flat but still a touch rough, which means more area for the epoxy to get into and grab hold of.

Back to the drill press.  Line the tang up on one scale, and drill an end hole. 
Then stick a pin in that hole(I'm using 1/8" brass rod) to keep it from shifting, make sure the tang is lined up on the wood, and move down and drill another, preferably at the end, at least in the middle.  Then stick a pin in that one and drill the rest.  That'll give you holes nicely lined up.  In the case of the larger blade, I changed to a 1/16" bit and drilled those holes.

Take that scale off, and do the other.  That gives you the set.

Next step is to, one at a time and using a couple of pins to keep it aligned, mark around the tang with a fine-point pen or pencil. 

That will allow you to cut the excess off each scale right down to the line with a saw, or knife, or the sander.  You'll notice the front of each scale is a bit further forward than you'd want it to be, and that's deliberate; I'd rather sand it back a bit to fit than be looking at it a bit short and engaging in language practice.

Shape the profile of each, then use a couple of pins

to hold them together and shape the front as you wish it.  Go slow, check it frequently  so you don't overdo it.

At this point you can either glue the scales on as-is, or do a bit of sanding and shaping on the sides first.  I generally leave them pretty flat, as that gives a better surface for the clamps.  Also, if the clamps make any dings it doesn't matter, as they'll be sanded off.  I'm using a 'sets in an hour' epoxy, as I like to have enough time to get everything together before it sets, and if I can't do it in that time...

That's if all is ready.  Get all your pins cut, and use the sander or a file to bevel the ends a touch so they'll go in smoothly.  Make sure they're long enough to go through both scales and the tang and either be flush or stick out just a touch on both sides.  Count twice, be sure you've got enough(of each size in one case).  Get a place ready, have your clamps ready, and something to mix the epoxy on and with.  Note: if you're worried about time, get the 1 or 2-hour-setting epoxy; works just as well as the faster setting, and takes some of the time pressure off.  If you're confident, you can find 30-minute-set epoxy.  Be very confident before you do that...

Try the pins in the holes and make sure the damn things fit, no matter what the label says.  If they're a fraction large, now's the time to find out and either get some other material or sand these down to fit.

One more thing while setting up: either have some waxed paper to put between the clamp surfaces and the wood, or give them a coat of paste wax and let it dry first.  You do NOT want to find that one of your clamps has formed a bond with the wood.

Make sure the tang is clean, no traces of cutting oil, sweat or anything else on it.  I flushed these off with brake cleaner, and it wouldn't hurt at all to take some sandpaper and rough the surface just a bit.  Same as for the scales, more area for the glue to get into and grab onto.  I'd also suggest wearing some gloves, as you'll get the stuff on your hands if you don't.

Mix the epoxy. 
Take two pins and dip one end in the stuff and stick them in one of the scales.  Coat one side of the tang, the one matching the scale with the pins, put that scale in place and push the pins through the tang.

Coat the other side of the tang.  When I say 'coat', I mean it, don't be stingy.  You can mix some more if you need it.  Fit that scale on the two pins and push into place against the tang.

Dip each pin in the epoxy and push into place.  You can also use a toothpick or piece of wire to pick up a little and put it into the holes, then the pins.  Ideally a little epoxy will push out the far side as the pin goes through, you want the pin and hole to both get a dose.  Look everything over, make sure all's as it should be, then clamp.

Make sure the clamps are holding the scales snugly to the tang, but don't try to crush-fit it; you want there to be a fine film of epoxy in there, so don't squeeze all of it out.  Wipe off all the excess you can, especially on the blade, and then set it aside.  Whatever the label says, unless you're in a desperate hurry for some reason, let it cure until the next day.

Next day, take the clamps off and look it over.  Check for any cracks or splits in the scales, any actual problems with the fit.  If all's well, time to start sanding.
Yes, this is the smaller knife; I didn't trim the scales as well as the larger, and for some reason forgot to shoot a pic of the larger as it came out of the clamps.

If you cut the length of the pins so there's quite a bit sticking out one or both sides, no worry, just use a hacksaw and trim them flush.  Remember, when you start sanding those pin ends they'll get hot, push it and it'll be 'hot enough to make the epoxy soften' hot.  So use a light touch, and give it time to cool between cuts on the belt or disc.

Or, you can use a coarse file to do a lot of the shaping.  Wrap something around the blade to protect it from scratches, clamp it in the vise, and file away.  Completely removes the heat problem.

On the sander, I use a fairly coarse belt first so it does the gross sanding fast with less heat, but be careful not to take too much off.  Round the corners off, and remember you can use the belt at the rollers as well as on the flats or disk.  Keep trying it in your hand, and when it's close shut off the sander, and go to the vise and start using sandpaper.  'Close' being very subjective: when you get the hang of this you can get it very close on the power tools, until then I'd suggest leaving enough that you're certain of not removing too much.  Remember, power tools not only make a job easier, they make it possible to screw things up REALLY fast.

At this point I'll clamp the blade in a vise(use some padding, but not anything that'll give and let it move on you; it'll shift a bit just from the springiness of the steel, you don't want to add to that.

You can start off with a file(half-round here) or fine rasp where you have a lot to remove.  Then to to the sandpaper.  Or  abrasive strip.  It's 1" wide cloth with the abrasive on one side.  You can get it in just about every grit and different widths, just tear a length off and use it shoeshine fashion, or where you want to keep a surface flat wrap it or a piece of sandpaper around a fine file or a flat stick and use it that way.  Smooth the shape, and keep going until it suits you.  I'll throw in, it doesn't HAVE to be rounded; you can make sure the scales are even in thickness and just sand the corners off so you have a octagonal shape for the grip.  Works nicely for kitchen knives.

I'd suggest taking it to 220 grit for the finish, though you can go as fine as you'd like.  Remember, the finer you sand, the smoother the surface will be.  In the ase of a kitchen knife like this, I don't want it slippery, so I stop at 220.  For that matter, you could just go to 120-150 or so and stop there, though it'll take more finish to fill in the grain.  When all's done, the shape and finish are as you like it, time to finish it.

That can be as simple as linseed oil, getting some of the 'knife handle oil' from one of the kitchen supply companies, or a gunstock finish.  If the wood's pretty dry, might try a combination. 
For linseed, get some boiled linseed oil and wipe it heavily onto the wood.  Let it sit a few minutes; if a spot starts looking dry, put another dab on.  You want the stuff to soak in, so no rush.  When you think there's enough(I'd say ten minutes tops for thin pieces like this), wipe off the excess and set it aside for the oil to dry, I'd suggest either clamping the blade in the vise or otherwise security it so the wood is not in contact with anything.  Depending on weather, it can take a week or more to dry completely.  One thing I have known people to do is put the linseed on, give it plenty of time to completely dry, then do the other finish over that.  I'd not suggest it if you won't/can't give it the time to be absolutely dry, as if the linseed isn't when you put the other stuff on it can cause problems with the finish over time**. 

For the other stuff, follow the directions.  What I like best is Minwax Antique Oil Finish.  Doing it right will take a week or so(multiple coats, each needing time to dry), but it soaks into the wood, dries hard and is a good protectant.**

What happens if you check the work over and find a real problem?  A big crack, or split, something that can't be fixed in place, something that means you have to replace the wood?  Remember I mentioned heat making epoxy soften?  Turn the oven to 350F, when it's at heat put the knife in on a piece of foil or something and leave it a few minutes while you put on some gloves.  When the stuff gets hot enough it starts to soften, and you should be able to pull or pry the scales off.  Clean the epoxy residue off the tang and pins, and do it over.

And that's it.  Start off with good steel, take care while you work it, and you can produce a knife better than that available to most of humanity(including royalty) through most of history.

For sanding a truly flat surface, you can use either a surface plate, or, if there's a glass place around, get a piece of thick plate glass about a foot square.  Use a piece of plywood to make a base for it, maybe a piece of rubber tool-drawer or cabinet liner under it.  Stick a piece of suitable sandpaper on and start sanding.

*Same with gunstocks.  Linseed is often used as the first treatment on the stock, but if you're going to use something else to seal the surface, make damn sure the stuff has had time to dry.  I'd suggest a full two weeks, more if the weather is cool/cold and/or humid.
**First heard of this stuff on a thread at The High Road
which had the procedure for gunstocks.  You basically do the same with knife hilts.