Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Jack Houwelling a Woodworker Piano Player with CMT/Charcot Marie Tooth

I am always on the search for something and I discovered Jack Houwelling's Youtube Channel    while doing just that and watching his video on a dovetail job I noticed something which stood out about him personally. His hands!!! I run the video again and yep there it was very distinctive.

I found he had a a website Jax  Design and through that contacted him regarding his hands I was amazed in his reply later in seeing more of his videos and reading his email and story. Jack has CMT Chacot Marie Tooth this is the same as myself.

From one of his video's I think he is located in British Columbia.
Hi Raymond,

Yes I do have CMT but don't let it get in the way. I still play the piano and am a fulltime piano technician and woodworker. You are welcome to share my youtube channel.

Jack Houweling

Jack has some amazing ideas and jigs made simply to aid ones woodworking go check them out and enjoy.

 Thanks Jack for allowing me to share.


Chris Lacey Update

Last July I posted about Chris Lacey, I recently had an email from him.

Hi Ray

How are you going mate? Hope you are moving better as the weather warms up.

Sorry it has been so long since I last made contact with you, or posted anything on the Forum. I have had a few health issues, but mainly I have just been very busy with organising social support for people living with Parkinson's in our area.

I have just finished the set I started well over 6 months ago. The attached pic shows the set in Melbourne at the Grand Designs Australia exhibition. It is part of a Tassie timber featured display from Distinctive Timbers - my local supplier.
I will shortly have a number of good pics of the set that I will post on the Forum. I designed a combined board and storage drawer that includes a high quality soft close mechanism. Very pleased with the result.
Chris sent more photos of his work and added that -:

The chess set is on display at the Grand designs was sold – yet to find out how much for, as the Distinctive Timbers owner is not yet back in the state.

Chris Lacey
2/11a Middle Rd
Devonport Tas 7310
PH: 03 64235208
Mob: 0448394836

Hi Ray

I thought that I would send you a little video taken recently.  It shows me in the state I often arrive at by the end of a day in the workshop.  It coincides with my having used up all my Parky medication.  Once the medication has been used up, the messages simple stop getting through effectively between the muscles and the brain.  This leads to the hunched over “Parky Shuffle”.  I am sorry that the visual is horizontal rather than vertical, but I don’t know how to change it.

Believe it or not, these physical effects are quite humorous – in terms of the weird movement at least.  What is a little harder to deal with is that my face loses all ability to express what I am thinking or saying.  It is surprising how much we take for granted being able to communicate very much through facial expression. I recently had my oldest daughter see me in this state and, even though I told her I was very happy, and only in that state because I had such a wonderful day in the workshop, my face was telling her that I was either very angry or very depressed – she found it rather freaky.  Needless to say, my next dose of medication followed by a good night’s sleep gets me back fit for another days work the following morning.

You are welcome to add the video to your Blog, as long as you use it to get the message across that these states are just a manifestation of “getting the most out of each day”.  If you approach life like that, it is inevitable that on some days at least, you end up using all the medication up.  To me it is just proof that I am living my life as it is now, to the very fullest.  I would not be dead for quids.

I have not yet posted anything on the forum – still hoping to get some more good shots from Distinctive Timbers.


Friday, 5 September 2014

Almost An End to My Sitting High and Mighty

Just over a month ago I replaced the castor wheels on my workshop stool, the old ones had worn down and the breaks would not hold when I was transferring. New castors were bought, what a day that turned out to be. Car wouldn't start due to flat battery at Richmond Castos and Wheels, thanks to our son and Richmond fellows who got us going again. Not for long though just streets away it stalled again battery dead, this time NRMA was called he got us started followed us down to Supercheap where he fitted a new battery. Car still stalled, seems Subaru Forester has to have the ECU re-set every time its jump started or battery replaced. Damn dangerous as the vehicle stalled in changing from 1st to 2nd or 3 to 2nd gear. Going into a round about or even just in general traffic this could cause a fatal accident. We survived had the ECU reset the next day.

Oh yeh he castor wheels and the stool, well 4 weeks after replacing the castors and thoroughly checking for cracks in the alloy base it failed while I was on it. One arm of the base snapped and I toppled no major injury just lucky I missed the bandsaw on the way down.

I have now taken the spare stool into the workshop and back doing things again. The old stool has been scrapped for parts as the gas shock, castor wheels and some knobs were all fine.

Below are photos of the broken ally arm. The stool has been used by me for now some seven years so it has done well.

Warmer weather on the way spring s here so is the rain and winds.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Winter Chills

Yes its winter here and this one although its been sunny and dry mostly we have had some windy chilli days. This has slowed any workshop time I have had on some day bring me to a stop as the wind comes straight off the Snowy Mnts down south some 350k away.

My body aches with the cold at times but there are days I have ventured out around 10am and as the day warms and I move about I loosen up. Yet the workshop can still be around 10C.

Over the last month I have been using the wheelchair to do some work from, cleaning up, rearranging things, finishing off a few pens ie:- sanding and applying the finish.

Using the wheelchair as I have said previously causes problems and now I am suffering upper and lower back pain, due to the stress of sitting position in relation to what ever I am doing.
When I have used the draughtsman stool again and I did while turning a wet piece of camphor a full day and yes I was sore and aching the next day but it was from using the muscles.

I have been jumping from project to project as I do i hope your all still busy and enjoying your time in the workshop or out doors.


Monday, 2 June 2014

Riaan Cloete An Able Turner

I found out about Riaan Cloete through his posts on Facebook, he had  posted some photos of the woodturners group he belongs to in Johannesburg . It caught my interest as I saw so many different people wearing a variety of clothing from a thick coat to short sleeves, woman as well as men at the lathes.

As usual I flick through often all to quick but hang on something caught my eye.........maybe it was just camera angle? OR the shirt he was wearing!! So I flicked back and I was right Riaan was turning using his left hand and right arm the latter which I saw stops at just below the elbow.

Happy if you share this. This last lathe is one that Schalk built - it working via a Toyota gearbox - you just select the gear and switch on the lathe. Dankie / Regards Riaan Cloete

 Thanks Riaan thats some lathe as is the one in the background.
I see you are well into turning demonstrating at schools as well at your group meetings.

I received more information from Riaan this morning and a few more photos.
He says he hasn't tried deep hollowing yet, doesn't count the gobblet as such LOL.

Hi Raymond

I don't mind the questions regarding my disability. I was born like this. In the 60s and 70s Doctors prescribed medication to expecting moms.(I am sure Riaan means Thalidomide)  They realise to late that this caused birth defects like mine. Our local Spar (shop) had a manager the same as me.

I was in a normal school that made me more determined to excel in everything I do. I achieved the first prise for woodworking in my last year in school.

I also need to adapt in the way I do turning. Luckily I have one of the best mentors that you can have. We discuss what I want to do and then together we workout how I need to adapt to do it.

I have not attempted deep hollowing - that is my next step. I actually need the correct tool for end grain turning. We are going to manufacture it ourselves.

We have a range of timber from hardwoods to soft. The nicest hardwood that I work with was Matumi (see attached photo of Penn's - #1&3 matumi), the softest Jackaranda. I just picked up two huge pine tree stumps.

Dankie / Regards

Riaan Cloete

 A couple of Pine logs he picked up.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Quiet but Busy

I am still here I have been busy with an long term project which is ending soon, my plan is to have it finished by Easter so its been head down tail up.

I have still been turning yet to put a final finish on those and making other things as well as having time out.
I have found others I can post to this blog but have not contacted them as yet, some are hard to contact as the only thing I find is video's posted by others.

I have found in my blog one post in particular that on Tickling madusa aka John I am getting spam comments,  I can not find the source or the reason why just his story I have deleted a number and sent them to the spam folder.
I did delete a couple of comments which I know feel were true comments to those people I am sorry.

Yesterday I had a morning out to see destruction testing centre at Sydney's UTS hope you enjoy the read.

I hope your all well and enjoying your time in your own workshops.