Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Long time Comin'

Haven't been around here much lately. Just have been rel busy with stuff. Wood working, land clearing, lumber making.
I was out looking around the property the other day, and noticed a nice sized fir tree, maybe 80 feet tall standing there dead. Looks to have died fairly recently, like withing a couple of years, so it ought to be in pretty good shape.
My garage is getting pretty crowded with wood for projects, projects in mid stream and wood working tools and supplies.
If I have free wood, and the desire for a shop, it is a simple but time consuming thing to turn the tree into lumber and assemble a shed.
First thing is to decide where to put it.
There happens to be a fairly flat spot behind the wood shed. No big trees, fairly level, covered in ferns and salal.  I took the DR Trimmer mower out there with the toughest cutters and cleared out a 14 X 20' area behind the wood shed, and cut down some scrub alders. About that time my back gave out on me, and it has been slow to recover. Getting old pisses me off. I am always attempting to do stuff and my body just says "Whoa there dude, you are exceeding the design specs."
So at the moment I am having to take it easy, which grates on me.
Yesterday I spent part of the day cleaning the garage, but when I got bored, I went to build a raised bed box for the garden. I didn't last too long. swinging a hammer just wasn't in the cards.
I also have a request from Carol to build a greenhouse. That won't be cheap. Harbor Freight has one 10' X 12' for $650, but I need to figure out where to put it, level the ground. The fun never stops.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


I have been awfully busy the last couple of months, hence no posts.
I cut down a good sized fir tree and made the structural components for my deck. It turned out to be more difficult than I anticipated. It was right at the upper limit of what I can do physically by myself.
I pulled a muscle in my back humping one of the beams out of the woods, so I have been limited a little in what I can do. But the bottom line is that the structural components are all done and under the eaves of the garage aging so they will be ready next summer when I go to build the deck. I have an adze on order to finish up the beams and work out any imperfections.
Besides the Alaska Mill work, I have been doing some woodworking. I just turned out an incredible live edge burlwood maple side table. I also have a really neat piece of skelotonized driftwood I and finishing. Don't know exactly hoe to describe it, but it has lots of interesting shapes and lines. I will probably post a picture of it when I decide it is done. That's part of the problem. When is something like that done. I guess it's done when I say it's done. I have thought it was done a couple of times, but found myself piking it up and doing "just a little more".
There is an area just to the East of the house that was overgrown with nettles and brush. I have been avoiding doing anything about it ever since we moved in here, but decided it was time to attacck the area before it got completely out of hand.
Fortunately I have a DR walk behind brush-cutter trimmer mower. Unfortunately it had not been started in several years, so I dug it out of the equipment shed and it took all morning to tear it down, clean it up and get it started. It ran pretty ragged until the second tank of gas. Unfortunately the drive belt was old and brittle. It didn't break, but pieces of it started unraveling, so I had to get a new belt.
I also ran out og cutting string. The best stuff I could find, was just not up to the task. I have ordered some of the right stuff from DR, but it won't be here for a couple of weeks. The stuff I found locally flys apart when it meets heavy resisstance, so I spend more time installing new string than working. At least it came in a 150 foot reel so I have plenty to work with.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Live Edge Free Form Burl Bowl

I made this live edge free form Maple burl bowl some time ago. I really like the way it came out, but had no good way to display it. I mean it just looked incomplete without a complimentary stand.
When I was working in the yard, I was removing an old diseased rhododendron and looked at the base where I had cut it down, and it just looked like what I was looking for to display the bowl.
A couple of hours of trimming and debarking and here it the result.
Sort of an entish star ship enterprise looking fluid look to it.
I love it when disparate elements come together to make a whole different thing.

Sunday, May 07, 2017


Last year we planted three cherry trees and two five-in-one apple trees.
In other words, deer feed.
We got one cherry and no apples. I think that the deer left the one cherry just to mock me. My deer repellent of choice is my Airsoft reproduction 1925 Thompson sub machine gun. It shoots 6mm plastic pellets, so it stings but doesn't penetrate the hide. Only two problems with that pan. First of all I have to be there, and also the gun has to be charges (it is electric).
So this year I stepped up my game. I purchased a battery powered solar charged electric fence.
Take that Bambi!
I haven''t quite worked up the nerve to try it out on myself. I have been bit by an electric fence plenty of times, and while not really harmful it is less that pleasant.
I remember the time when we were having a going away party for my and J.B out at Art's little place out by the airport. There must have been forty people there in a tiny little house with only one bathroom.
The guys resorted to going outside.
We heard this hellacious bellow outside and looked out the window to see all six foot seven of Dave clutching his private parts and jumping up and down while bellowing at the top of his lings. Ranks as one of the funniest things I have ever seen. The people next door had horses and ran an electric fence around their property. Dave had stepped behind a tree and pissed on the electric fence.

Friday, March 31, 2017


After we completed cutting up the two cedars for decking, there were a bunch of slabs of cedar left over. The way you get started making decking is to carefully level and nail some boards to the log to use as a guide for your mill.. After you have made your first cut, you discard the guide bards and first cut.
A couple of the leftovers were fairly thick, so I decided to make them into benches, which requires you to strip the bark off of them. I set aside two hunks for benches, which left me with a bunch of scrap. Some of it I cut up inn to small pieces to use as spacers to put in between the boards as they dry.
That still left several boards flat on one side, round on the other, and very pretty. I couldn't decide what to do with them.
Then I thought about the wood shed.
The wood shed is nothing fancy. Some 4 X 4 structure, a sound roof, and a few boards. Not very attractive, but passable and functional. But what if I took the left over boards and stripped off the bark and nailed them to the outside of the shed? It would lend the wood shed the appearance of a log building!
So I went and ordered a draw knife to strip the bark off of the boards, and started nailing them to the front of the shed. As I got into it, I did not like the way the shed was put together, so I tore a bunch of it apart, went to town and got some 4 X 4s and beefed up the structure.
It's looking pretty good so far. I'm just afraid I will run out of material to cover the front.
Gotta do some measuring and figuring.
Who knows, I might have to cut down another tree.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


There is a small deck attached to the front of the house. It is about six by 12 feet, made from Trex, which is recycled plastic. I hate it
There is not one single thing about it that is attractive. No handrails, no fancy wood, no furniture.
I had decided to replace it.
Since I have three and a half acres of trees, I thought it would be a nice touch to make it out of lumber cut from trees on the property.
We have a lot of Cedar, which is a very attractive wood, So I bought an Alaska Mill so I could make my own decking.
I decided I wanted the new deck to be 16 feet wide, so Kieth and I cut down a couple of nice medium sized cedars. The Alaska Mill Will accept a tree up to 19" so that was my criteria for choosing trees.
The deck is going to be gorgeous. The boards are 12 to 19 inches by two inches by sixteen feet long.
We have cut all the boards now. Some mighty fine looking boards they are. too.
Next we have to drag them out of the woods and stack them under cover to dry.
Where can you get cedar boards 19 inches wide by two inches thick by 16 feet long? Pretty much no where but at my place. It will make an incredible deck when it is done.
I still have to work out the details for the deck, but the lumber needs too dry for a year, so I'll have plenty of time to figure it out.
All the waste from the project will be turned into kindling.
Nothing wasted.
There are several 10 inch diameter fir trees that would make excellent structural supports

Monday, March 06, 2017


The old saying goes "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade".
Good advice, even when they are not your lemons.
Lisa and Kieth recently departed on an adventure. They moved from here to Hawaii. Keith has some property there, a brother living there, and had a job lined up remodeling some property and starting up a B & B. Sounds idyllic neh?
Except it wasn't. The job didn't work out the way it was supposed to, and they ended up stuck in Hawaii with no money and no place to live.
Not my lemons.
Except that they called here to ask for a loan. I am not inclined to loan people money, especially family. I have seen too many times it has come back to bite people in the ass. Carol was disinclined to loan them the money, and I don't blame her. No many things can go wrong.
So I came up with a win/win scenario.
Our rook appears to be the original roof that was on the house when new. It's looking pretty raggedy, and has a bunch of moss on it. The eves are dripping. We have been talking about putting a new roof on. Kieth is a contractor, and roofing is well within his skill set.
I payed for them the plane tickets home, I buy the materials, and Kieth installs my new roof in exchange for the tickets.
Everybody wins.