Sunday, April 29, 2018

Watching High Drama from my back porch

Sometimes it gets exciting out here in the boondocks.  Check out this 3-minute video. 
Turn up the volume and go to full screen if you can.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Redneck Recliner

During construction of the house, the carpenters taught us how to kick back in a wheelbarrow.

Good Bro-in-Law Danny liked it so much, he and sweet wife Jo bought me a new one as a housewarming gift.

When Danny came to visit me recently, we decided to get fancy and we made wood slats to go in the new "redneck recliner."  Each slat had to be scribed, beveled and fitted, one at a time, so it kept us entertained for several hours and several beers.

Varrnishing all four sides of the wooden handles presented a challenge, solved by these little jigs.
Dan suggested I paint the tub in a cool brownish red called "Caliente," which was Benjamin Moore's Color of the Year this year, but my local farm supply didn't have that, so I got something I like just as much if not better:

International Harvester Red
An appropriate color for a Redneck Recliner!
(Sorry Kenny and Joy... John Deere Green was my first idea, but the red goes better with my rug...)

Between what my mama taught me and a few YouTube videos, I managed to make some cushions to finish off the project. Surprisingly comfortable!

My ship

Danny wasn't the only one to visit me recently.  Old buddy Bruce came down from Washington for a few days and we made a Plexiglas case for the ship model he built for me a few years ago.  It's a 52" long replica of the destroyer I served on in the 60s.  Went around the world in that ship.

The beautifully detailed model occupies a place of honor in my study/guest room.

Gluing Plexiglas requires injecting water-thin glue using a syringe and needle.  Luckily Bruce is a retired veterinarian.

USS Davis DD 937 as configured for Vietnam, 1966

Monday, February 19, 2018

Hall Tree

Latest project: a place for coats and boots just inside the back door.

As Always, the project started out in Adobe Illustrator.

Note supervising dog

Thursday, December 7, 2017

A New Piece of Furniture

Firewood is a necessity in an off-the-grid home, but it's so messy. I've heated a couple of homes with wood, and piling logs next to the stove leaves dirt and wood crumbs all over the floor.

So I put on my inventor's cap.  Here's what I came up with.

The heart of the piece is a heavy-duty canvas bag for bringing in the night's wood from the porch.  Because it's a bag and not just a sling, it keeps all the mess contained.

To make the bag hold its shape so it would slip into my cabinet, I made a plywood inner box that stays inside the bag.

The top drawer holds home-made fire starters, lighters, gloves, etc. and the bottom drawer is for kindling.

Now I need some kind of box for the porch so I don't have to go out to the woodshed in the dark of night.

Stay tuned!

Monday, November 27, 2017

If you receive emails when I update...

If you signed up to get an email whenever I update the blog, please don't respond to those emails. They come from Blogger, not from me, and I never see your response.

The best thing is to click on the blue title of the post and the hyperlink will take you to the blog, where you can see the pictures properly formatted and if you care to make a public comment, you can do so at the bottom of the page.

If you want to write to me, use

Don't reply to the message from Blogger.



Friday, November 24, 2017

Now I can call it a bungalow...

A very common feature of the old Craftsman bungalows is the bookcase colonnade. It made a nice transition from the front parlor to the rest of the house, defining the room without using a solid wall.

Since Sábado wants to be a real bungalow when she grows up, she needed to have a real colonnade, complete with overhead beam, side beams, and leaded glass doors.

So I built one.

Here it is

The Beam

First order of business was the overhead beam.  I thought it needed a carving and the house needed kind of a motto, so I chose a lyric from an Irish folk song.

The letters are hand carved with chisels in a font that I thought looked kind of "Craftsmany."

I hired a great local craftsman named Paul Bloomquist to do the "double house" leaded glass for the doors.  He did a wonderful job. You can't see it in the photos, but the glass itself is antique style, with very subtle imperfections and a few little bubbles.



Next Project:

A firewood box. Stay tuned!