Additional rack space for weapons will soon be needed so it was off to Home Depot for red oak (we love the grain patterns – the hardness of the wood not so much), L- and T- straps and various hooks. After getting the wood home it must be sanded and trimmed to length. Then a coating of mineral spirits is rubbed in to highlight the grain. Once that dries the future frame is laid out and the tedious process of aligning and drilling starts. Getting screws into red oak takes some doing as well as a little sensitivity: even brass screws can be over-tightened enough to snap them. This wastes time as one must try to get enough purchase with something like a vise-grip ply wrench to unscrew and remove the broken brass. Without leaving a crater. There are usually ten screws per strap. Some favor putting Gorilla Glue in the wood to wood joints. In this case when the four (4) 84 inch verticals were joined to the two (2) 60 inch horizontals it was time to drill the hook holes and apply the first coat of Rust-Oleum’s Varathane.

While all of this was going on a major fire near Mt. Diablo to the south had filled the skies with smoke. It was very alarming to hear that the fire had grown from a few acres to 100, 200 and finally 500 by Sunday sunset. As of Monday sunset the estimate is headed for 4,000 acres.