Saturday, January 29, 2011

Old wood, the hard way

No one can say I don't do my part for conservation and 'using up' all of a resource. I'm working on more of the shelving, for the kitchen and the pantry, and since we wanted to have 1 inch thick shelves, I have to make that lumber.

a long time ago, I wrote about 'the tree in the valley', how I cut it down:
and then how I got it out of the valley:
and how my neighbor came to help mill it up:

well, after all that, the thing ended up being too full of bugs to use as a structural element. I had cut the thing up into about 6ft pieces (for some stupid reason) and milled them into square beams. There they sat for what looks like 2 years.

Then this shelf project came up, and I noticed those chunks sitting there. So I got them up on the mill. I had to rebuild my jig to hold them properly:

Then mill them up into planks (I cut the short way due to cracks that would compromise the plank if I cut the long way)

then rip them straight with the table saw:

then mark them all out

cut them to shelf length (they'll be like the other shelves, notched in)

THEN, start a fire in the earth oven and let it burn for 3 hours or so,

Then BAKE all the pieces at 400 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, to kill any possible bugs that still might be in there. (I did see a few during the milling process)

THEN glue them together to make the 9" shelves and the 13" shelves.

Still have to plane them all as well. By the way, I'm working on 18 different shelves.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Some Garden

In addition to building the house, we are of course, trying to grow more food. Gardening is enjoyable, but I always feel it steals time away from the building project.

Our artichoke is finally looking like this year will be its year:

I pruned all the fruit trees and grape vines in the last week; I'm going to work harder on monitoring the grapes, pinching off errant shoots and stressing the vines a bit more now that they're 4 years old.

and would you believe the black plum is already thinking about budding out?


Melissa continues up the shower walls with the tiling. The green pieces, where the plumbing bits come through, are to represent a wall fall. It's starting to come together.

Have I ever mentioned we use a Berkey water filter for our drinking water? It sits outside in the shade, and we fill the double sized wine bottles with the pure water and fill the thing from the hose (you can see the white hose in the picture). works for us!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Check out the evening light!

as the walls get whiter, the winter sun setting in the west brings in some lovely orange light:

it doesn't look like much progress, but I got the vertical trim in the kitchen windows, and they're all caulked up - making it possible to start to clean those windows, and keep out the wind

"I planted these trees in the driveway and they just won't grow!" actually, I made a holder for these posts so that I could easily varnish all of them at once without having to lean them on anything.

and then I spent the day planing planks so I could start building the north wall of the kitchen - which will be all shelves

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Shower and stuff

Melissa has started putting tiles on the wall! Here you can see she's almost to waist high:

Jack hoping for something to fall off the table:

Melissa flabbergasted that I was still wearing these work pants, with no pockets and the leg half gone. She made me throw them out.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Apples and Sky

2nd to last apple off the tree yesterday, a nice big granny smith. After those are gone, on to the apple sauce and dried apples!

Took the camera on the morning dog walk - the cloud cover fills in Monterey Bay almost to our place, but we're above the clouds.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Over the door window

The last window is done! well, actually, most of them still need trim to close off the gaps around the edges, but as of today, the last of the glass got put in, officially closing in the house.

Here you can see a close up of the window over the french doors. I decided to use a round post for the middle divider, to replicate the pattern in the kitchen and the living room. Now that it's in, it looks a bit smaller than I intended, but I didn't want to cover up window area. This first photo actually doesn't have glass in it, and the trim pieces are cut so well as to be held in place by how tight the joints are - i.e., there's no screws or nails yet.

Here's the window with both pieces of glass in. These pieces of glass are scrounged from my neighbors, who's been collecting crap since the early 70s. There's a good chance these pieces of glass are 50 to 70 years old. They seem to have some ripples in them, like old-timey glass. Love that.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

More Progress

Melissa has spread out the future shower walls on the bedroom floor as she's deciding the pattern. This is the (dusty) pattern that will be the prow - two walls coming to a point at the front - of the shower... the idea is to look like a waterfall.

French Doors are in, but need trim and everything else. Still, keeps the weather out. The dog is already on the wrong side.

and the front door is up. Still needs some work, but it's a start.

and here's Melissa, working out more details of the tiling project, next to the avocado.

$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 ...