I can build an airplane here.

Wow. Looking at my history here, I see that it’s just a week shy of six months since I posted about my big move to Texas. I guess that thought that it might be “as late as February” before I got back to work was hilariously conservative. There’s just been a fair amount of stuff in the way, I suppose. Getting really settled in the new house and buying all the little things involved with that eats up a surprising amount of time and money.

Beyond that, I ended up investing some time and money into my flying as well. After looking around at various rental outfits here in Houston, I eventually settled on one near my house that gave me the choice of learning my way around a Cessna and learning my way around a Piper Arrow. The Arrow is essentially the retractable-gear version of the Archer I’ve been flying the last few years. After looking over the rental options, I decided to take the plunge on complex training and checkout in the Arrow. I had my complex endorsement after about three and a half hours, but insurance requirements dictated that I log ten hours of dual in the Arrow before I could take her up solo. I’m pleased to report that I finished my time requirements last week, so I’m all set to get myself flying again, and I stepped up my game in the process.

In the meantime, I’ve been sporadically working on getting the garage set up. Due to limited space on the moving truck, we had to triage some things, and one of the things that got left behind was my big workbench (I did manage to bring the smaller one that I have the drill press and stuff mounted on). So I had to build another workbench. And since I’d have to buy materials to make more than one, I went ahead and made two. I’ve had a few times before that I wished I had more bench space, and now I have more garage space, so it seemed like a no-brainer.

This also gave me the chance to put some lessons from the first bench into play. Caster on all four corners made moving the bench around a snap, but it wasn’t as steady when I needed it to be. So this time I did the “retractable gear” modification. I also added threaded feet at each post to enable me to account for uneven surfaces and/or table legs. All in all, it’s a pretty good setup, and I finished up my workbenches this past weekend.

Finally, there was the matter of organizing the garage. As per usual with a move, it became a clearinghouse for Stuff We Just Didn’t Know Where To Put. I’ve been gradually moving stuff up into the attic, but there was still a lot of clutter out there. This past Sunday became Garage Cleanout Day, during which time I essentially moved everything in the garage out into the driveway and then put it all back where I wanted it. A lot of stuff went up in the attic, which helped immensely. I also put up some Rubbermaid Fasttrack railing, which let me unpack the horizontal stab and hang it up, along with a few other things. I want to get a few more hooks for the rail to get a few more things off the floor, but overall, the garage is looking pretty nice now.

It’s time to get to work on the airplane!

(click the image to get a larger view)

Garage pan

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