Thursday, December 30, 2010

Doors and Windows...and windows

Working on a website project, I needed to see the keys to type in some numbers,
so I lit a candle for just enough light. worked great.

Got the windows up in the clearstory... here's the loft one, with the center one that opens:

and, got the back door up! here's the inside:

and here's the outside! Not only did I paint it, oil it, plane it, glue it, tongue and groove it, but I cut down the tree that the boards came from. Boo Ya!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Foggy rainy, get-things-done days

Jack monitors the weather from the french doors:

Melissa cuts tile in the rain:

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Burn Day! Happy Solstice!

on the shortest day of the year, I started up one of my many brush piles, made from clearing out the woods of fire danger pile-up. Got it going easily (I throw tarps over them before the rain starts) and once it's going hot, you can throw both rotten, wet stuff and green stuff and it all burns.
Here's the 'just getting going' shot:

and here's the day after, with all the surrounding woods cleared out as well.

During the firing, we get out the dutch oven, to use all that great heat:

and cooked up a great chicken stew!

Varnish rooom

The second bedroom has become the paint room, with varnishing and painting going on. All this stuff gets multiple coats, so every day (unless other stuff is going on) they get a coat. What you see in this picture is the front door pieces, the back door (the blue parts) and the clearstory window trim (all the long pieces in the middle. The windows themselves are actually leaning in the closet in the back right of the photo.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Some random Autumn photos

as the solstice fast approaches, here's the view from the house into the meadow. The fruit trees are losing the last of their yellow leaves.

Melissa is still doing detail work, now on the inside of the built in bench:

The moisture has brought lunch items growing right up next to the yurt: boletes and blewits. yum.

and the sunsets are amazing these days. This one is through the west round window above the back door.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Clear Story work

As I'm making the window frames for the two other clearstory window openings (that don't have one big piece of glass already in them) I used the router to make rabbets for the glass to sit in, but they needed some cleaning up with the japanese slick:

Electric routers don't make square corners either:


In the meantime, Melissa continues to prep the clay surfaces and tape off the edges for whitewashing:

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Doorways to progress

Got the pieces of the door wedged into place, just to see if it'll fit, and what it looks like... well, it will be oiled and have hinges and some sort of handle... but still, progress:

and, then we went and put on the first coat of limewash, and Melissa took a picture late in the evening. It looks a little splotchy now, but this is just the first of maybe 5 coats.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

The front door continues

Working in the kitchen is quite pleasant:

The tools and the mark for the porthole:

a little later in the process:

Using a small japanese two-handed draw knife that was Melissa's grandmother's, I'm able to shape out the roundness of the porthole window


Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Typical Evening Light

Now in the short days, the sun comes in the south windows throughout the day (except for when the redwoods block it, but that's next year's project) and in the late afternoon, I love the way the light comes from the west and starts turning orange.

That bright spot in the photo is the top half of the front door, waiting to get the porthole window cut into it. In the foreground, you can see the future bathroom door getting shaped to fit.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

New Camera ! random views of today

We got a great new camera hand-me-down, which upgraded us tremendously. Thank you Ka Yun!

So, while trying out the camera, here's the front of the house, taken from the SW corner looking back to the east:

Melissa has already started in on peeling the hard persimmons and hanging them for drying:

The lower half of the front door is fit:

and the upper half is getting shaped by Goggles Le Pew!

Here's just a random yurt shot of Melissa unpacking from her trip:

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Single dinner.

Melissa was gone the other night, and I had a great set up for myself: salad, bread, cheese, wine, a warm fire and a movie on the laptop. can't complain about life in the woods!

Monday, November 22, 2010

More door work

And now to plane the planks smooth. I've moved them into the kitchen, as it's been raining a lot lately.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Actually feels, and looks, like progress!

More work gets done on door parts these days; I continue to work on the tongue and groove joints for the planks that will make up the doors. Here, after using the dado blade on the table saw, I am planing off the little bits the blade misses (my dado only does 1/2")

Each joint has to be checked and rechecked until it fits well enough to glue up. In this weather, on these beautiful days, this is very pleasant work.

Melissa meanwhile keeps prepping the interior walls for limewashing. Not only does she tape all the wood edges, but checks the surfaces for bits of straw sticking out or any rough spots.


Back in bedroom #1, it seems like the lime wash has hardened up over the last week, and it seems to have gotten whiter! Her's Melissa with one finger up, indicating that this is after just one coat. 2 or 3 to go!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I took this with my phone!
Making a Door - in parts

How do you make an external door for your house in the woods? First, cut down a few trees, and let them sit for a couple years.

Then, mill up some 1 3/4" boards on your sawmill:

Then use a dado blade on the borrowed table saw to make tongue and groves on the edges:

Then glue them up:
who's idea was it to make a back door 36" wide?? next time: squaring and planing.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Finishing up the finish plaster

we got to the final batch of the earthen finish plaster the other day... (we still have to do kitchen and bath with different plaster) and I took some photos.

Here's Melissa working at the living room bench. Notice the sun coming in now that it's winter, and how nice the big round window is in the east.

Probably my favorite bit, the arm of the built in bench, with the Spanish tile in the top

Nice big bench!


and now, on to the lime wash, to make it white. Here I am starting in the closet, as our experiment section. it goes on real milky, but dries up quite white. We'll be doing 3 or 4 coats at least.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Getting things done around the place

Just to keep the many 'fans' of progress up-to-date, I took some photos of what's taking our time these days. We've made good progress on the plastering, but that's pretty hard to document, but here you can see the sand sifter and the sand piled in the bedroom. In the rain last week, the sand pile, even covered, got moist, which makes it impossible to sift. To dry it, I thought of spreading it out on the earth floor of the bedroom. Since it's inside, and the floor can absorb moisture (until we wax it) it worked great.
We only have to fill that bin about once more to have all the sand we need for the earthen plaster parts. (then comes the lime plaster parts)

Here's the living room windows with the start of bits of vertical trim getting fitted. These little redwood pieces will get planed to fit the weird angles of where the post meets the window, and then sanded and varnished, and finally nailed in before we plaster the back of the bench.

Those darn madrone stairs are going back in. I had to rip them all out, paint the bottoms of the boards to prevent moisture coming in from below, and oil the tops for more protection. I also laid them in a wet layer of plaster, making a foot print of the board, and then pulled them off, so the footprint would be dry, but form-fitting, when I put them back on.
You can also see the bottom step is getting plastered in, with its already oiled redwood front. (looks really dark in this photo!) The bottom step has hinges on it so that things can be stored down inside it.

We're still cutting up apples from the free apple gathering we did a week or so ago. Drying them as well as trying applesauce this year. So far, it's turned out great!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Still plastering...

As the sun goes down, Melissa touches up some edges of the west kitchen wall.

Posts in, starting to rise

They are ready to start going up!