Showing posts from February, 2009

An Open and Shut Case

One of a few I will be building. This is pretty cool for tool storage.

This one case occupies a 48 X 42 inch wall space and has a sheet and a half of pegboard storage. With a small shop, finding a use for every nook and cranny- maximizing working space and storage is paramount. Today with any luck I will complete the trim and varathane and maybe get a coat of paint on the pegboard.

I managed to get some bugwood trim around the small side entry door. What a trial.

There is a reason Mike Holmes makes sure everything is square and plumb before he starts. I thought the job would take about a half hour. Several hours later - when I went into the house for a calming cup of tea Jo-Ann mentioned that she was hearing a lot of crashing and banging and sawing and some swearing coming from the shop..

It was twenty below yesterday - time to work on the recalcitrant skid steer. the starter relay appears to be toasted. I will have to see if I can get a new one in town today as we have snow on the…

Heavy Metal

Well the tables were heavy, and they had metal legs and stiffeners. They were 36 inches wide and I wanted to cut them down to 24 inches so they fit better in the limited space. I want to be able to walk around the skidsteer when I am working on it inside. So narrowing the salvaged tables involved cutting the tubing and re-welding via a wire feed welder. Love the smell of burning metal in the morning. My brother, Tiny brought up a 110 volt powered M.I.G. welder that he doesn't use. Now I can build a few of the projects I have in my head that involve metal fabrication: like a firewood elevator..

I have always wanted to be able to weld but it is going to take some practice. I am a better grinder than a welder.

After we had fun with the welding I made cleats for the walls. They are made with the top edge cut at 45 degrees so I can build hangers, shelves - whatever and hang them from the cleats by using a piece of 1 by cut at a complimentary 45 degree angle. This makes it easy to …

Project Shelved

Well almost. Jo-Ann and I had fun yesterday putting together the repainted shelving, and deciding whether to listen to Classical or Country and Western while we bolted the things together.

Yes I know to some people Country and Western is classical. Lately I have been listening to Gregorian Chants which I find very soothing.

Now the trick is to make anything that wants to go on the shelving fight for the right. It's just too easy to fill up any horizontal space with crap.

While I was waiting for painted stand off blocks to dry I lugged a few more tools over. I now have more of my tools in the new shop than the old. What a concept-- having all my tools in one place.

I have a cubbyhole shelf to drag over and then I can get onto today's project: putting up cleats on the side walls so I can hang up tool shelving, pegboards whatever and make them movable should I change my mind about what goes where. but before that I need to make a stand for my little table saw so I can use one…

Green, Green it's green they say

And not just on the far side of the hill. Well, up the hill and in the new shop. The shelves that is.

I got them all sanded yesterday and started the painting process. I drove 3 inch screws into 2 by's and placed the shelves on them. I am using Tremclad paint, which is one of the best I have found for metal. The only down side was I used a cheap roller and the tenacious oil based paint just sucked the fibers out of it. And I thought I was being frugal by using one dollar rollers from the Fraser Lake Fields store that I could just toss after I used them. Now the carefully prepped surface has roller pile strands all over it. Yes I did ignore the little voice. I could sand it and start again but I may just call it a feature. I will make up my mind when I go out today..

The Shop Project is Tabled

Three times actually. Last year we scored three heavy duty tables that a local school was throwing out. The were over in the old shop and we brought them over to use as temporary workbenches. Endlessly moving the construction stuff from one wall to the other gets a little lame after a while.

Here's the view of where the Garage door will go. It will be 10 feet wide by 8 high. Now I am going back to get the shelving sanded and then painted. And then time to move in some tool chests and a cupboard, and then pegboard.

Tomorrow with any luck I will either be putting on a second coat or assembling them at the far end of the shop.

Boose the shop cat seems to really like the new digs. The other day I put an old red paint rag around her neck and she didn't mind it at all. She kept it on until it fell off.
About the only thing that seems to annoy her is the ticking of the shop clock. That little hand going round and round...

If Only We Could See..

Still sanding away in the new shop. Getting the shelves ready for painting. I decided to dismantle them which will make for a way easier paint job. Although I could spray them I have decided to just use the old standby rollers and brush. I don't want to be bothered by having to put plastic up all over the place to handle the spray mist.

And now for an entirely different rant:

I have been thinking about the recession we are "suddenly in". I am not an economist but it seems that essentially we have all been drafted into some elaborate and world wide Ponzi scheme. And when the chickens came home to roost, the NINJA traders grabbed their loot - well there were no chickens, just chicken crap - the "economy" collapsed. Actually that's not a very good metaphor because chicken crap can be useful. I italicized "suddenly in" because I don't think it was sudden - it was a long time coming, building since the second World War. The rise of the milit…

Somethings On My Mind

I don't know what it is exactly but it seems to be driving Xena to distraction.

I have all the shop outlets powered up, lights installed. Now I am dragging the shelving that I will be re-using from the old shop to the new. They are some old metal industrial shelves, still in pretty good shape but I think I will clean them up, sand them down, prime them and paint them with some good quality metal primer and paint.

It's hard to resist the urge to just get on with throwing all my stuff in the shop, but if I don't paint the shelving now I am pretty sure it will never get done and I will later regret not doing it. Once I have the shelves painted I can start working on cleaning up the place and starting on the workbenches, tool storage and power tool layouts. It's a small shop so getting everything in that I want will be a bit of a challenge.

I want to get on with the shop so that I can start the equipment shed, and new chicken house & runs ( the old blue shop) before …


On fixtures. As in let there be light. What a difference. My brother, Tiny, came up yesterday and we spent a couple of hours solving all the problems on the planet and installing fluorescent lighting in the shop. Hopefully today will see all the fixtures installed and I will move on to getting all the outlets wired up.

Using the drywall lift to install the ceiling O.S.B. worked so well that we twigged on the idea of using it to install fixtures on the shop ceiling. An easy way to make an arm busting job a pleasant task.

This shows the lighting with a little less than half the fixtures installed. I have another row the same as this to go up on the other side .

As there will not be any natural lighting in the shop I have decided to make the fluorescent lighting levels fairly high. With one or two incandescent lights, just in case it inadvertently ( power outage) gets really cold in there. That's one good thing about incandescent lights. They don't care if it's 40 below…

I've Fallen And I Can't Get Up...

So it's firewood for you then.

When I went outside yesterday I got the strangest feeling that something was different. Couldn't put my finger on it.

Went over to the Chicken coop, fed and watered them. Into the blue shed to look for some electrical stuff - back to the storage shed when I noticed, well O.K., Just about tripped over:

This is one of three trees that was supporting a shed that is mostly filled with old wood and metal. This particular one had a hoisting arm swinging on a cable. It creaked in the wind. I have never felt comfortable about the three dead trees, and want to liberate the living fir from the sheds. A faller friend of mine came and downed one of the larger dead firs. It was sound all the way to the top. The one that fell down in the wind a day ago wasn't. We didn't hear a thing. The bottom of it was basically ant dust - although it wasn't readily apparent from the outside. The building was holding the tree up-- not the other way round. …

Whacking Wood

One of the weekly chores around here is to bring the weeks wood supply in from the outside to an inside holding area closer to the downstairs RSF furnace. We make good use of a small electric wood splitter mounted waist high to quickly split the rounds into manageable chunks. The RSF wood furnace can take logs almost three feet long, but if they are 18" in diameter they are just to heavy to handle easily. One of those in and we are ofton turning on the "air conditioning" ( i.e. opening the doors) or dancing on the veranda in our ginch. Which is O.K. on a night like last night with a full moon, a warm wind, and +2C. Not so nice when it's in the -30's with a screamer Easterly.

The bigger rounds require splitting. My favorite tools for this is a pickaroon and an eight pound splitting maul. If it can't be powered through the wood a couple of whacks with a small sledge and the toughest limbed wood comes apart. I find splitting wood a great form of meditat…

A secret Vice

Until now. I go through a lot of gloves. Here is a portion of the collection.

Rubber types:

These are great for when my hands will get wet. Like in the spring. The orange ones on the right I have had for years. They make all the difference when the weather demands rain gear. Nothing like having cold wet hands to put the damper on a rock hounding trip. In the winter time at the Coast we even wear lightweight liner gloves inside them. I keep a pair of these in with the chain box for emergency chain ups - which invariably happen when the snow is near melting.

The blue and yellow ones are insulated and have "gription" built into them. They were introduced to me as a more economical alternative to the absurdly expensive high tech ones.

High tech ones:

These are incredibly comfortable. Incredibly expensive. And they never last more than a week or so before the fingers wear out. The rest of the glove is fine - it's just the fingers.

I have tried a lot of different makes and…

Can You Spot Waldo?

Actually it's Mabel the Moose. It turns out the rangers didn't go through our property but stuck to the road so we went down to where our driveway meets Savory road and waved at them and snapped pics as they went buy. Wished I would have thought to take the Canadian flag down and waved it like a mad Canuck. I am very proud of those guys & gals.

On the way back we startled the two moose that inhabit the place. They were crossing the road right in front of us. Were talking "fill the wind shield" big. Three cameras on the dash and this is the best we could do. No wonder pictures of the loch Ness Monster are always grainy.
I put the final coat of semi-gloss on the ceiling of the shop yesterday afternoon. Glad that particular part is over. The gun is cleaned and I will switch to a smaller one to do the shelving. But before I do that I think it's time to call the electrician in. In.

Home Again

Yesterday Sara and Kevin left on their flight back to the coast. We dropped them off at the air port in Prince George and they made it to the Vancouver airport and were picking up their luggage before we made it home. The Van made it up the roadway to our joint without a hitch. The ice had melted a little and then frozen with some snow on it so it roughed up the slick surface.

Here's some cool pics that Kevin took from the South East fields yesterday.

Xena just loves Kevin and was stuck in the house watching as he set up his tripod for some shots. When he was done we "released the hounds" and he got some cool pics of her running to him.

We're waiting to see a troop of Rangers and regular Canadian forces that are coming through on a training mission. It's quite the trek. They are planning on ending up in Churchill Manitoba. The Rangers serve as a vital, but largely under sung part of Canada's defense forces. Here's a link where you can track their pr…

Tripping the light fantastic

On snowshoes. My Daughter Sara and husband Kevin are up from the big smoke for a bit of a breather. Kevin has a new set of snow shoes so we just had to go for a bit of a tromp.

Boose didn't want to be left back at the house so she followed us, shrugging off Xena's attempts to get her to stay at home. Here, just as we started out, she is a bit fluffed up from Xena's attention:

Eventually, about a couple of hundred feet inside the tree line and away from the packed windblown snow of the feilds she decided that maybe, perhaps, if you insist, riding was more fun and a better view.

Sara is doing a marathon later on this month and hasn't been able to run as much as she liked so decided a snow show tromp would work as a bit of a training regimen. I wished I was in as good as shape as she is:
The uphill run through rotten crumbly two foot deep snow took a couple of hours. Eventually landing us at the summit rocks to the East of our place. We discovered where the two moos…