Life on the frozen tundra of South Dakota Life on the frozen tundra of South Dakota

Stuff You Never Asked But Were Afraid To Know

Stuff You Never Asked But Were Afraid To Know

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: Who is the Tundra Man?
    A: I believe a certain amount of mystery adds to my allure(kind of like the Lone Ranger or the Unknown Comic) so I won't give out too many details. My name is Terry and I live in Sioux Falls, South Dakota: I work for a local computer software company. Previously, I spent over 18 years working for a computer component manufacturer whose name, despite being the biggest name in their industry, you've probably never heard. I have a wife of nearly 25 years, and a son (the Tundra Boy) who is an accomplished musician. I am also the worship leader for two churches. And if you read everything on this site you can put together all the other missing puzzle pieces.

  • Q: What are you like as a person?
    A: I'd describe myself as somewhere between Roy Rogers and Gabe Kaplan.

  • Q: Why do you say that?
    A: Because I couldn't think of anything else to say. Also I have a somewhat warped sense of humor.

  • Q: Where did the name "Tundra Man" come from?
    A: When I met my wife, she was going to school in New Orleans. Previously, she had grown up in Dayton, Ohio which compared to South Dakota is a balmy oasis. She had to go through quite an adjustment to get used to the winter temperatures here. She also noticed that I had a penchant for bundling up and spending hours outside in sub-zero temperatures, so she coined the name "Tundra Man". With the advent of the internet, I needed a screen name, so naturally I selected "Tundra Man."

  • Q: Does it actually get that cold in South Dakota?
    A: Yes

  • Q: Why don't you move somewhere warmer?
    A: Because "Tropical Man" doesn't garner the same sympathy. And, believe it or not, I like it here. Who wants the same weather year-round? If it was nice outside 12 months a year, I wouldn't get any woodworking done.

  • Q: Speaking of woodworking, how long have you been doing this?
    A: My first woodworking project was in kindergarten, hammering two pieces of wood together to form a cross and calling it an airplane. I slowly graduated up to more intricate projects. About ten years ago I decided to get serious about working with wood and purchased my first table saw. Since then things have escalated. Now I half-lap two pieces of wood together to form a cross and call it an airplane.

  • Q: You should see the woodworking projects my father/mother/brother/sister/cousin/friend does. They turn out a lot nicer than yours.
    A: I have seen them and they are nice. In fact, I was looking through their window just last night...

  • Q: Are we not men?
    A: We are Devo!

  • Q: Is your sense of humor really that strange?
    A: Only to those people who don't find rutabegas funny.

  • Q: Besides woodworking, what else do you do?
    A: I have been playing guitar since 1989, and piano for even longer. I lead worship at Set Free church on Saturday nights, and Restoration Baptist Church on Sunday mornings. I ride a motorcycle and raise guinea pigs, but not simutaneously. I have a cat named Spot. I am a full time, year round bicycle commuter. I also enjoy running, but unfortunately because I also enjoy eating you can't tell that I enjoy running.

  • Q: What woods do you like to work with?
    A: I do most of my furniture work with oak, mainly because it's cheap and plentiful, and looks pretty decent. My favorite wood to work with is walnut, because it machines very nicely, looks beautiful and smells good when you cut it. I like maple because it contrasts nicely with darker woods. I like the look of cherry but I'm too cheap to pay for it. I dislike working with species of wood that splinters easily. I also avoid pine because the pitch gets on your tools and is a pain to remove. I love the look of cocobolo, but I'm so allergic to it that if I merely touch a board I start to itch.

  • Q: Why do you keep refering to yourself in third-person?
    A: Tundra Man likes it.

  • Q: I know you are a man who likes vegetables, so I was wondering if you would be able to explain the complexities of working with wood using terms from your vegetable vocabulary?
    A: Wow. I knew that opening my FAQ page up would allow the weirdness of the internet to seep through, but this question caught me completely off guard. I would have to answer it like this: some wood splinters like celery, some carve nicely like a potato. Some wood is smooth like a tomato, some are grainy like a carrot. Some wood is irritating like an onion, some are pleasant smelling like a cucumber. No woods are as funny as rutabegas.

  • Q: If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be? Don't say weeping willow, 'cause that's so sad. Also: Having chosen the DW734 planer for the Tundra Man Workshop", do you have any regrets in not holding out for the DW735?
    A: Oooh! A two part question. Without a doubt, if I could pick what kind of tree I would be, I would choose a "shoe tree". Nobody ever takes a chain saw to a shoe tree. As far as planers, actually I have the DeWalt DW733 not the DW734. They "upgraded" the DW734 to have a 3 knife cutterhead vs. the 2 knife cutterhead of the DW733. As far as regrets for not holding out to get the DW735? Not really. The extra 1/2" of capacity, two speeds and fan assisted chip ejection that the 735 comes with would have been nice, but I can't say I've regretted my decision. I picked up my 733 when they were on clearance for less than $250. The cheapest I've ever seen a 735 go for up to this point is $490. So, for half the price, I got about 90% of the planer. The 733 has worked great for me.

A warm summer day in South Dakota

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This page last updated on 07/11/2018