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
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
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, objectively.
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.
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.