Let me Introduce Myself
by John Cupp
FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE DUCK POND AND
IT'S CRAZY DUCK SWIMMING THERE. Actually I'm at PORT ORFORD,
OREGON. Celebrating the anniversary of my wedding to the most
wonderful women on earth (I should mention she's reading over
my shoulder as I type this). But that has nothing to do with
the bottom of the DUCK POND, except I am at the ocean in Oregon
and I have been trying to get a good deal on some Port Orford
At this particular harbor all boats
are lifted from the water at night and put on giant trailers.
They are then returned in the morning. WHY? Because the rough
water causes strong tides, making anchoring an impossibility.
Huge fifty-ton capacity cranes lift trawlers in and out of Port
Orford as if they weighed nothing.
Let me introduce myself, I am John
Cupp. Sometimes I go by Announcer and many other names depending
upon ones earned before or after I stopped drinking and fighting
years ago. I moved from Pennsylvania to California as a small
child and boating was in my family’s blood including my
own. My maternal cousins own a large fleet of paddlewheel gambling
casinos. For reasons unknown to me, they have shunned our side
of the family and rarely ever talk to us unless money matters
when inheritances are divided.
Our family grew up in East Palo
Alto until Martin Luther King was shot and the riots forced us
to move around from school to school. I loved my wood shop classes
and even accomplished building my first kayak. My father was a
commercial bus driver with a love for fishing. We ended up commercial
fishing from Sausalito, Princeton and Moss Landing depending upon
what type of fish we were going to long line. I went to DeAnza
College and majored in Machine Tool Technology. At the time, select
students were allowed to work for the government at NASA Ames
Research Center. I worked in one of the machine shops and became
a certified welder. My love of wood was enhanced instead of harmed
by the knowledge I received. I graduated from De Anza just as
the Aerospace Industries suffered a huge cutback from Congress.
I chose to go to a union school as a heavy equipment mechanic.
Compared to all the things I have
done in my life I prize woodworking the most. I have an eclectic
collection of my own tools ranging from a huge single phase 220-volt
industrial table saw, to fine carving sets with nearly everything
in the middle. Many of the huge barges and boats that have collected
algae from Klamath Lake, (where I live) were built and worked
on by my consulting business. On Memorial Day 2001 I fell and
injured my knee. Several months went by (painfully) followed by
surgery (finally!). February of 2002 I fell on ice and re-injured
a 1998 spine injury that had been previously operated on.
So this is where I am. I have knowledge
and skills to pass on. I understand tools because at one point
I built them. Let’s get going so I can test these tools
and give you my opinion of how they work, the good and the bad,
In my secret laboratory at the
bottom of the Duck Pond I have agreed to test new and vital tools
specifically for the homebuilder and DO-IT-YOURSELFER.
Not the high priced tools that
we all dream about, but true inexpensive tools our members ought
to know about. And have I got some nice tools for you to think
about. Makita has just tuned up its hypoid saw from 13 amps to
15 amps, a nice saw with excellent power and a left hand cut.
They even throw in an $80 tool belt in some promotions. I give
the rest in detail in my complete
write up! What a cavalcade of products coming for
your reading delight.
A powerful 13"X6" tabletop
planer that will make you pull out your wallet when you read this
report. You’ll marvel at the top of the line performance
at bargain basement prices. This is a table saw for around $400
that will match the competitions saws that consistently cost a
thousand dollars or more. My father always told me to buy the
best whenever possible but not to waste money unnecessarily. We
will look into solar and alternative propulsion and the benefits
to the air and water. Boaters and builders, come with me on a
journey from the past you now know to the future of smarter, stronger,
less expensive alternative approaches. We’ll combine good
sense building with a love for sailing and boating.
I have a few strong backs to help
me, very good friends who both are master carpenters. I also have
a jointer coming made by RBIndustries Inc. that will make laminating
4’X8’ sheets of plywood child’s play. We are
talking length or width! It will make any joint faster with a
modest cash layout compared to any other jointer.
It’s still hard for
me to walk and get around, but I’ll do my darndest to swim
with the best of the others at DUCK WORKS. This is a heads up
for all of you to be prepared to have the latest information on
new tools that may even come into notoriety right here at Duckworks
Magazine. If you have any thoughts or criticisms, this little
corner Chuck’s made for me will always be open.