Woodworking: universally awesome

May 15th, 2015 by Garrett Hooker

Yesterday morning I delivered another OB patient at around 9 am.  Luckily I didn’t have too many people in clinic, so it didn’t really disrupt my schedule.  Vance was back in surgery, so I just got the baby delivered, sewed up the lac, and let him know when everything was good to go.  Clinic ended pretty early, and I didn’t really have anything to do, so I decided to go back to Balfate and see if they had any little tiendas that sold trinkets or something I might want to bring back as a souvenir.  It was a bit more overcast, so the walk was quite a bit more enjoyable than the previous day.  I waited around at the hospital gate for a moto taxi, but I don’t think they come out this way very often unless they’re giving someone a ride from Balfate.  Here are a few pics from along the way:



174The one directly above is a picture of a neighborhood soccer field.


Once I arrived in Balfate, I ran into that machete guy from the day before.  He hollered “amigo!” from afar and then started following me around.  He rambled incoherently for a while then finally asked for some money.  Around this time, one of the hospital vans rolled up after picking the kids up from school.  I stopped to talk to them and said I didn’t really want to return to the hospital, but I might need a ride back if this guy didn’t leave me alone.  Luckily, as I was talking with them, another one of the hospital work trucks met us coming from the other way.  They were heading to Lis-Lis and I said I’d tag along with them for whatever they were doing.  My plans to do any souvenir shopping had basically been foiled at this point anyway.  So I hopped in the back of their truck and we headed west past Balfate until we arrived in Lis-Lis.  Along the way, I learned that we were going to pick up some lumber for a door.  When we arrived, I got a glimpse of a Honduran woodworking shop, which was pretty awesome.  I talked to the guy who owned it for quite a while.  He had a bunch of really exotic looking wood there, which I guess here is really more native than exotic.  They had a table saw, router, band saw, planer, jointer, all kinds of hand tools…basically anything you’d find in a self-respecting shop in the US, just a little older and definitely more dangerous.  Here are some pics:

175. lis-lis woodshop


Here’s a pic of us driving back once we got all the wood loaded up:




Once we got back to the hospital, we dropped everything off at the shop…which is an area of the complex I had not yet discovered.  I found Joe, the husband of one of the docs here, working on a table he was building.  He had a bunch of rough cut wood and was starting on the base.  There was another guy there who within just a few minutes not only caused the planer to bind up twice, but also the radial arm saw.  I cringed a little while watching.  Thankfully he still has all his fingers and the tools aren’t completely ruined.  I took a look around the shop and noticed they didn’t have any feather boards, which I figured Joe might be able to use to get his table top jointed…so I went ahead and made one.  Turning a crappy old piece of fence into something useful was a pretty good way to spend some time.  As far as getting those boards jointed, I would probably get them the correct dimensions, stick them side by side, and then rip them right where they meet.  That should form probably about as good of a joint as you could get considering the equipment available.  Also, this is the radial arm saw they use, which I believe is the exact same model my Grandpa had in his shop:




I capped the day off by heading down to the Children’s Center to see what was going on, and got smoked in soccer by a bunch of 6 and 7 year old kids.184