Thursday, July 31, 2008

Finished Bench

I forgot to post the finished bench, with a plaster coat, and tiles for the seat. That broken tile in the back was a hot plate type thing that my father's mother painted the flowers on. We kept it even after I broke it, so I put it in the bench.

Wood working away

Melissa continues the hard work of marking all the logs for the center 'bent', doing lots of math and checking and re-checking angles and lines.

I'm simply in charge of the wood removal, which I generally enjoy.

Notice that the joint I'm working on is a 'shouldered mortise' -- we're getting more complicated as we go on!
Another side project

Years ago, our place in SF was broken into, and the smart thief who came in the window during the day when I was traveling and Melissa was at work actually took the top drawers from our dresser (and their contents). This is where one generally keeps good stuff, so it was a smart move... but it meant our dresser didn't have drawers for a long time.

I'm finally getting around to feeling like I have the skill, tools, supplies, and time to rebuild them. I'm using a madrone piece - from a tree I cut down and milled - and I'm using redwood as the drawer floors, from old growth stuff I milled up when trying to make a beam more accurate- ie, it was skinny stuff.
So far, I've managed to get the two bigger ones together, and am gluing the third. Then I'll fully finish the wood, probably with tung oil. I will post a finished picture. They look pretty good already though! They won't be that light colored when oiled.
Why I'm not getting stuff done:

People ask 'why isn't there more progress on the blog?' well, because fun people come up and bring wine! KaYun and Alexei came up (seperately, at the same time) and we had a fabulous time eating and drinking all weekend. Life isn't all work, after all.

Did I mention my one plum?

actually, we had at least four off the tree this year...

These first years of fruit trees are really about trimming and structuring the tree, so not a lot of fruit at first.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Doing the Cob Thing!

In between cutting logs for the house, I'm making batches of cob to create a bench under the oven.

Here's my first batch, with some concrete pavers to hold back possible moisture and such.

Next day, one more batch:

and then, two days later, two more batches, with big 14" tiles on either side of the oven so I can put hot bread down somewhere while baking.

after this totally dries, I'll do a plaster layer that will smooth everything out.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Antique Axe: before and after

I'm always doing little projects like this, and I forget to take pictures. I got this axe head in WI from our great family friends who collect antiques.

With some elbow grease, a wire brush and some tricks, I spiffed it up.


We had store-bought grapes out on the counter in the heat of the yurt, and they started to dry up (not mold) so I put them out on my cooling rack with some cheese cloth under and over them, and made some darn good raisins. Nice to know it's easy.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Back to Real Work

We're finally working on the house again, so I'm cutting posts and beams. This one was huge, but it just seems like it's easier to muscle through with the handsaw than get all geared up with the chainsaw and then mess up the straight line. Partying like it's 1699!

Stuff sort of organized

all the stuff from Oshkosh got dumped out of the truck and reshuffled, and now I've got the furniture under one (brown) tarp, and the boxes and boxes of stuf under the green tarp.
The original plan was to build the house, then go get the furniture, but the floods and the price increase at the storage unit made me want to get it now. So now I have plenty of projects to refinish the furniture and fix the little broken things. great.
Floods, then Fire

We just got back from a roadtrip from Wisconsin (picking up flood-damaged items from a storage unit) and got a call that there was a fire very near by.

Much worrying insued, and we hiked over to our neighbors place for a view. They felt it was more under control than earlier in the day, so we relaxed.

I went back the next day and took this picture with my phone

What looks like fog in the center right of the photo is smoke.

$1 tool rescue

Had a moment last week, so we strolled the flea market. A woman had a pile of rusty tools "anything $1!" and so I dug through it ...