Archive for the 'Thoughts & Musings' Category

Apr 18 2019

Wildfire Disaster: Slow Recovery

Published by under Thoughts & Musings

It has been a while since I’ve posted an update. I apologize, but it’s been a very difficult and busy time. One could think of it as the new normal I suppose, but is not the kind of normal one would choose for themselves if they could avoid it.

First, here are some details about the Camp Fire wildfire that destroyed Paradise California.

The Camp Fire was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California History. There were 85 civilian casualties, and three people are still thought to be missing. It covered 153,336 acres which is approximately 240 square miles. It destroyed 18,804 structures of which over 14,000 of those were single-family homes. The cost of the damage was $16.5 billion.

We are still staying with family. This fire has displaced over 35,000 people. The local economy and housing market is rather overwhelmed. The job market isn’t easy, and housing is nearly impossible to find. There are zero rentals available without a long waiting list of people who need housing, FEMA is off to an extremely slow start at supplying housing. Much of it is targeted at cleaned up home sites so that people can return to their property in Paradise, however weather and other red tape has slowed the process of getting the toxics removed from peoples properties, and no housing or trailers can be allowed on property that has not been cleaned. Houses that are selling in the area, are selling for way more money than they are worth. Clearly, there are buyers for those homes, but it depends on everybody’s own situation. To some people, it is of value to pay more than market price for a home, to others it’s not a good deal.  It’s currently difficult to find a storage locker.

The authorities are trying their best to put Paradise California back on the map, even though we are not planning to return. There are a lot of new requirements now, a lot of red tape. A lot of initial work for public safety has been done and there is a lot more work to be done just to get back to where rebuilding can happen. Currently the Town of Paradise does not have potable drinking water.  The water system was contaminated by the wildfire, including major damage to the watershed and the reservoir and some of the water distribution system may need to be excavated and replaced in order to make it safe. It will be probably in excess of two years from the date of the fire before anybody has a rebuilt home, they are just getting started with removing six million tons of toxic debris, and that’s going to take a long time, in fact, they project that will take a year alone, maybe more. The easiest way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time, and so we wait.

We were allowed to return to Paradise and see our former home on the 15thof December. It took until then to make Paradise safe for people to be there. It was burned to the ground just as the photos on my website show, however on the day we were there, a foot of rainfall had fallen in Paradise since the fire, so all of the ash was actually muck. Seeing it for the first time with your very own eyes is, well, it takes the wind out of you.

After looking through what remained of our home within the footprint of the building, both our home and my shop, which was in the garage, there was absolutely zero that was salvageable. Everything has been burned as if it were in a blacksmith forge, and then corroded heavily due to the rain, and laying in the wet ash. The corrosion is really immaterial. The fire destroyed everything. Anything that was made of aluminum or copper disappeared. Brass melts at about 1800°, and I did find melted brass. Steel was burnt, warped and bent, the hardness was destroyed in all steels, even the cast-iron in my bandsaw got so hot that the top of the bandsaw bent over. Many of our cast-iron frying pans were cracked. Most of what’s left of my table saw is the top. The rest is collapsed. The toilets literally disappeared, and only the iron of the bathtub remains.

The only things salvaged from the yard, was some steel patio furniture that was also damaged by the fire, a few terra-cotta pots and some bricks. Nothing else. Aside from what we took with us when we bugged out, that’s it.

In California, fires happen all the time. But that was a perfect storm for a fire. The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning three days before the storm, and in the vicinity of the Feather River Canyon, which Paradise is near, and just west of. A red flag warning is usually issued win high winds and dry conditions exist simultaneously. What happens is the dry air removes humidity from the air, and moisture from all of the plants in the area, making them extremely vulnerable to fire conditions. All the wind that blew through that canyon basically exhausted itself directly into the fire. 

Cal Fire, the state of California’s firefighting Agency said that the campfire exhibited fire behaviors that they had never seen before. The Fire transported to hot embers in the wind 1-1.5 miles ahead of the main fire all day in a leapfrogging effect. It moved on the ground 1.5 mph as it was driven by 30 to 50 mph winds. Most of the fire on the ground actually passed underneath many of the trees. It did not burn the trees with consuming fire, but it was hot enough to actually kill them. It is estimated that over 450,000 trees are dead and will need to be removed for Public Safety even if on private land. It was a very fast moving fire. The fire traveled over 21 miles the first day. It burned everything behind it like a blacksmith forge. It was just an unimaginable fire, but we believe it because it happened. It happened to us.

Fast forward to today. The disaster is in recovery, but still just getting started. Bureaucracy and weather conditions have slowed recovery efforts. As I said earlier, we are staying with family. Because of the disaster and the effect is has had on the region, it looks like we will possibly be staying here a year before the rental market can open up enough to allow property owners in Paradise to find their way back into temporary housing on their own property, freeing up places to live in other parts of the county.  The county is overwhelmed with a major lack of places to live, and people just rooming with others. Those who could, have left the area. Not everybody can. 

Where we are staying is a small home, just 1100 Square feet. Unfortunately there is not space available here to have a woodworking shop. No shop machines will be workable here. There is only space to work at a desk, or outside when the weather permits. This does not mean I will be unable to do woodworking or other crafts; I will just have to do them differently, portably, and in smaller scale. 

I am trying to get some tools together so that I can return to some form of self employment to help pay the bills and recover from the fire, though I’m sure it will be humble compared to the shop we lost, because I won’t be able to make many of the items I used to. There are quite a few unknowns there, but without employment and an income, as well as an incomplete set of tools to really even get started with, I’m still working that out.

My wife is employed, and that is a huge blessing. Her parents are happy to have us here and this has been a blessing.  I’m trying to stay positive, but I have to admit, it is really humbling to be in this position. I am resilient and resourceful, I am slowly getting back to my feet, but it’s taking some time.  I’m still trying to put all of the pieces of the puzzle together.

I wanted to thank everybody who has made a donation to help us, we deeply appreciate all of you. If anybody would like to help with a donation, it will help us get back on our feet. We have a long way to go. There are donation buttons on main page of our website and on the store page of our website. I’ll put in links below so you can find it there.

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Thanks for visiting Evenfall Studios!

Copyright 2019 by Rob Hanson for All Rights Reserved. 

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Aug 20 2018

The Evenfall Studios Email Newsletter / REBOOTING

Hello everybody! I hope everybody’s having a nice summer, enjoying the warm weather in the outdoors! Depending on where you are, I hope you’re not negatively impacted by wildfires and smoke.

So this happened:

Today I logged into my email newsletter provider to find that 100% of my subscribers had been deleted. All of them. Disappeared without a trace. After being in touch with my provider’s technical support team, they say that there was no hacking to our account, and that they do not back up subscriber list information. Once it is deleted, it is permanently and unrecoverably gone. I don’t know how it happened, they don’t know either, but it’s do over time. I’ll chalk it up to gremlins, of which I may have been the biggest one. It’s a bummer, but we will just keep moving forward. C’est la Vie.

Alrighty then! We’ll just begin again. So we are rebooting the email newsletter list.

If you were a previous subscriber, you are no longer subscribed to our email newsletter. I apologize, but your subscription is safely and permanently gone. I would like to invite you to resubscribe.

If you never have been a subscriber to our email newsletter, I would like to invite you to subscribe.

Subscribe to our Newsletter Here!

What are the benefits of subscribing to our newsletter? That’s easy. Our email newsletter is the inside track. It is the first place we publish information about tools and any other good news we want to share with you. Sometimes we’ll run a deal to our newsletter subscribers that we won’t run anywhere else. So it can be beneficial to subscribe. You’ll also be the first to be informed of any new tools that we’re offering as well! So being a subscriber can be beneficial. After we publish things on her newsletter, sometimes we share it on our blog. Not always. So it’s a good idea to be subscribed to our newsletter!

Don’t worry, everything is GDPR compliant, we will not spam you, we won’t ever share your information with anybody else, and we won’t drive you crazy with a whole bunch of newsletters, I’m reasonably sporadic at publishing newsletters. My track record so far has been about 6 to 8 times per year on average. If I have something to say I’ll share it with you, if I don’t have anything to say, it could be a while before you’ll hear from me, but we’ll be along soon or later.

Like any email list you sign up for, you’ll confirm your subscription. When I publish an email newsletter, you will receive it. If you later decide you no longer want to receive it, you can unsubscribe, and you will no longer receive it. Easy as it gets.

In light of starting over again, I’m offering a discount to our first five email newsletter subscribers to make a purchase of bespoke made tools from us. Shooting boards, sharpening stations, handsaw tools, it’s your choice. Check out our Tools in the Evenfall Studios Store!

From today, Monday, August 20, 2018, through midnight, August 31, 2018 we will take 15% off your entire order for the first five confirmed email newsletter subscribers who subscribe and take up our offer. This offer is not retroactive to orders that have been placed prior to today and are already on file. If you are concerned whether or not the promotion is still active, prior to 31 August, please Contact Us. We will let you know if the promotion is still active and to place your order so you can save 15%. Remember this offer is to the first five subscribers, first come, first served, so don’t delay.

15% off is The first five email newsletter subscribers who place in order! Subscribing to our newsletter is a good deal!

Subscribe to our Newsletter Here!

Confused? Contact Us.

Want a PayPal Invoice instead? Contact Us.

Would you rather Pay By Phone and Not use PayPal? Contact Us.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Thank you for stopping by, please don’t forget our blog, our Woodworks Library, and the other resources of information here at Evenfall Studios!

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© Copyright 2018 by Rob Hanson for All Rights Reserved.

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Dec 23 2017

New ways to Complete Purchases at Evenfall Studios.

In addition to the shopping cart processing we offer on our website which includes PayPal, We have recently added a non-PayPal credit/debit card processor to help our clients complete their purchases at Evenfall Studios. This is good news for both our clients and for us, because it offers new purchasing options that we haven’t been able to offer you before. We are excited to share this news with you. But first, here’s a little backstory.

For the most part, a very large player in purchase processing on the Internet is PayPal. PayPal not only has its own function of placing your money that you load into an account at PayPal, for the purposes of funding your purchase, but they also are an online credit card processor. However, sometimes the rules that PayPal uses are not a good fit for the way everyone would prefer to transact business.

Over the years, we have had a number of clients bring to our attention, that PayPal is not their favorite purchase processor. In fact, a number of our clients have expressed their reservations about PayPal, for a number of different reasons and experiences, based on rules and practices that PayPal has had down through the years, which has had the effect of causing some people to close their PayPal accounts and choose not to make payments that are processed through PayPal.

This does not necessarily make PayPal a bad payment processing partner, but we understand why some of our clients have reservations based on their perceptions and experiences, and completely respect that. While we are going to continue to offer PayPal processing as an option for purchases here on the Evenfall Studios website, we kept our eye on the horizon for additional ways to help our clients complete their purchases with us.

We listened to what our clients wished we could do. We went shopping for the right partner to help us with this. Finally, we have found a card processor who can provide us the ability to not only process card purchases via telephone, but also in person with card chip and swipe capabilities, and the merchant costs and fees are commensurate with our perceived value of the service.

So here is what we can offer clients who wish to make purchases at Evenfall Studios:

  1. Our website still works as it always has – as a complete catalog of our tools and accessories, which can be purchased with our shopping cart buttons on each product page. Using our online shopping cart will allow you the choice of purchasing with PayPal. Alternatively, Credit Card Processing online is accomplished via PayPal for Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, Discover and Debit Cards with those logos.

  2. If you would prefer to place your order with us using NON-PayPal card processing, or would like to discuss your woodworking tool needs with us prior to purchasing – Via Telephone, we are happy to help. Please Contact Us via email with your best phone contact information, outlining what you’d like to discuss and that you would like us to call you back. We will try and call you back at a best time for you during our business hours which are 8 AM – 4:30 PM Pacific time, US. Monday through Friday. If you need a callback outside of business hours, we can usually arrange that too if needed.

  3. We realize that some woodworkers would like to discuss tools and applications, or customizations they may wish to have made to their tool(s) before they buy and would like to call the order in. We get that, and now we can place your orders with us via telephone. We hope this will help you in your efforts to buy the tooling for your shop that will meet your needs! If this is your want, please email us and let us know. We will set up a callback time to help you!

  4. Our new processor enables us to run Cards via Chip, Swipe or Phone. We can process Credit or Debit Cards with the VISA, MasterCard, AMEX, Discover and JCB Logos. We can also process Gift Cards with those logos, and are open to helping you make your purchases with more than one card if that helps. We can also take your Card Payments if you reside or are outside of the United States. To avoid paying international calling rates, we can be contacted via WhatsApp or perhaps Skype for secure conversations with no calling charges.

We hope that you find this new information helpful. We want to make purchasing as easy as possible and look forward to hearing from you soon here at Evenfall Studios!

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Thanks for visiting Evenfall Studios!

© Copyright 2017 by Rob Hanson for All Rights Reserved.

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Dec 15 2017

Shooting Boards for Woodworking and More

As you know, Evenfall Studios is a tool making company best known for our custom made shooting boards, as well as some other helpful tools for woodworking. You may be in the market for any number of these tools, and you may be interested in learning more about them.

First off, there is a great deal of information about every tool and product we offer on each individual product page on our website. These pages are really easy to acces by clicking the Store link at the top of nearly webpage on our site. When it comes to shooting boards alone, we probably offer over 50 variations that will allow you to dial in and get the tool that will work best for you. None of our shooting boards are a one trick pony, they are all very durable, and accurate, even after many years of use. They are a versatile and valuable tool in any shop.

Do you still need more information? We have written a large number of blog articles, so let me take a couple minutes and talk about our website, it’s navigation and maybe some information you may not have known that we have.

Something we want to remind everyone about our website, is that it is set up to be a searchable and researchable resource for woodworkers. You have free access to it, anytime.

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May 13 2016

Save Time Sharpening With A Strop

The Old School of thought is to use your tools until way past dull when they start damaging the work, then break down and haul out your sharpening gear for a long messy sharpening session.

Now I know we all love the old school tools and ways of building things, but lock up your brakes here, stop the insanity.

What insanity? If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got. In this case it’s a long dirty sharpening session. Are you ready to rethink this process? Good!

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Apr 28 2016

Tightening Up Your Craftsmanship

Craftsmanship in a word is just a word. We envision the ensemble of things we understand it to mean when we hear it, or think of it. We know what it is when we see it, on it’s face, we recognize it, but it is more than just a few simple words.

Busting a 2×4 in half with a sledge hammer is not an example of craftsmanship, it is however an example of demolition. The important thing to understand, while many people are capable of performing demolition, far fewer are capable of performing craftsmanship, even though they have the ability to recognize it, or even purchase such things for themselves.

But we all have the capacity to learn and do if we apply ourselves.

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Dec 16 2015

Our Shooting Boards Make A Difference

When it comes to shooting boards, Traditional designs come with limitations that have to be accepted. The downside to this is that these limitations become part of the mental lexicon that woodworkers carry in their mind when they consider the capabilities of the shooting board. I’d like to take a moment or two and address how our shooting boards help overcome many of these limitations.

A Versatile Shooting Board

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Sep 16 2015

Shooting Board Versatility

We get many questions about shooting boards, there is a lot they can help you do. There are many woodworking parts and operations that benefit from using a shooting board to true our work, and we can apply it in more ways that traditionally imagined. The tool in and of itself is capable of providing machinist level accuracy to woodwork, and better suited to be thought as similar to a series of different saws or bench planes. It isn’t a one size fits all tool, and it depends on your application(s). The shooting board is much more than a one trick pony.

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Aug 31 2015

Logging in the Redwoods – 1946

As woodworkers, we are always using our tools in ensemble to overcome challenges. What we need to make and the materials we seek to make things from are part and parcel of the challenge, but we must acquire the skill to wield our tools and we must learn the ways of wood.

For many woodworkers, it has been beneficial to go back in time and reacquire the skills and tradecraft knowledge that previous generations evolved, learning that both the tools and methods from the hands and eyes, which make for deeper craftsman skill still retain all the quality, productivity and capability they always had in today’s small shop.

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Jul 03 2015

Subscribe To Our Email Newsletter

Published by under Thoughts & Musings

Over time, I have had contact with a number of woodworkers who’ve asked to be included in updates when we release new tools or have some cool woodworking information. Until now, the only way I have had to keep in touch with woodworkers is through this blog. The blog is a great way to say many things, but it isn’t always the best way to to share everything or reach people directly on a regular, routine manner when they want to stay informed.

So, we did something about it. I’ve created an Email Newsletter.

I want to keep it enjoyable. Signing up will provide you inside track information about our tools, new releases, and relevant woodworking information. By signing up, you’ll receive this information first – prior to the readers of our blog, including exclusive information we may not share on our blog.

This will not be a daily newsletter or sale advertisement. It will keep you informed about our tools, specials we may offer, and woodworking info we want to share with you. I intend to publish infrequently – once or twice a month as time permits and whenever there is information we’d like to share so don’t worry, I won’t be filling your inbox.

I want you to know, we respect your email privacy. We have never shared data with anyone and never will. No one will ever be auto-subscribed to our Email Newsletter, we leave that choice to you. It is easy to subscribe and just as easy to unsubscribe or modify your subscription – anytime. To sign up, please follow this link:

Click Here To Subscribe!

There are also sign up links here in the right margin of the blog, and near the top of many pages on our website. You can sign up or unsubscribe anytime!

I think it will be a good fit for us, and hope it will be for you. We want to help you stay connected with us in the way that fits best for you. I’d like to have you in the loop with us. I hope you’ll subscribe!

Please remember to subscribe to our Blog, we offer both RSS and email feeds at the top of every blog page!

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We enjoy your questions, comments, ideas and suggestions! Please Contact Us.

Thanks for visiting Evenfall Studios!

© Copyright 2015 by Rob Hanson for All Rights Reserved.

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