Monday, August 8, 2011

February 25, 1944


Dear family,

Here we are again, it is Fri. afternoon and I have been very busy all week but have things sort of cleaned up now and I hope to slow down a bit and write more letters in the future and read a little too.

The camp baker and I made a ‘proof box’ for the kitchen this week. Maybe Mom knows what a proof box is. The way I understand it is so that you can control the temperature of the dough after it is made out into loaves. They put it in this box that is heated with hot water running though it in an open trough. They can control the temperature by turning off the water and the moisture is supposed to help to make a nice thin crust. We just got it done this afternoon and he hasn’t tried it out yet. I turned it on for a little while and the temp. went from 76 to 86 in about a half hour. So I think it will work. That was one thing that was keeping me so busy. The other thing is that I have been making a gadget for the Portland office for about three weeks. I haven’t been working very hard on it and they wanted it done by next week so I got busy the first of this week and finished them. They are three do-hickys the help compute the timber yield. They start out with the size of the load and there is a chart on a cylinder that they turn around till they come to the size of the log they are figuring than they run across till they come to the grade of timber it is and there is the answer. They used to have these charts in books and it was terribly slow to thumb through a book.

I won’t know the old church when I get back will I! I hope that the Shellac finish turns out good. I have been learning a lot about finishes since working in the woodshop here. I don’t have much use for varnish any more. And Shellac isn’t too hot either. You see there isn’t any pure Shellacs any more, it has to be imported from India. So probably any shellac you get will be substitute stuff. We have used some substitute shellacs here in the shop and it isn’t so bad but it don’t seem to have quite as hard a finish as pure stuff. The last I got was Montgomery Ward stuff and it looks better. I don’t know how it would last on a floor. The best finish we have fould for the trinkets and bowls the fellows turn out on the lathe is Linolium Lacquer. We get it whole sale by the gal. from the General Paint Corporation. The have a store in Eugene. It costs us $3.82 and retails for $5.00. I don’t know how come they let us have it wholesale but we don’t complain. Lacquer makes very nice finish cause it is more transparent than Shellac or Varnish and doesn’t crack or mar like Varnish. Pure Shellac doesn’t change the color of the wood much but this imitation stuff from what I have tried so far darkens it some. I’m very much sold on lacquer for a slick finish. Another thing about lacquer, you don’t have to do much sanding if any between coats ‘cause the second coat seems to partially dissolve the one before it thus making a perfect bond between the two. It dries fast and don’t catch much dust. You’d think I was selling something.
Those Gladolias are from a good friend of mine that is in camp here. He has a Gladolia nursery in Minn. I think he sent Warren’s folks some too. He was at one of the spike camps all summer and raised a bunch of bulbs and gave a lot of them away.

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