Wednesday, November 29
It was a nice day today. Rain was predicted, but it was actually nicer today than it was yesterday; warm and partly sunny. The weather-guessers have now decided that it won’t rain until tomorrow night. But I spent the day in the woodshop just the same. I got the large pile of 10 foot long walnut boards I hauled in yesterday cut down to where they will stand-up vertically. Then I finished assembling a garden bench that was ordered long ago by a local church – they wanted two, I delivered the first one and they decided that was enough. But then they decided they wanted them both after all. I’ve put that project off a bit due to this waffling, but now the parts for the second bench are in my way. Time to get it done and get it gone. It’s all assembled now, just needs to be sanded and oiled. I spent some time this morning working up a bid for a wall hung bottle stopper rack for a gal who wanted one. It turned out well enough that I decided to add it to our web site. I’ll post a picture once we build the first one. Tomorrow I’ll spend at least part of the day closing up the Treasures Of Appalachia gallery for the season. Friday I’ll be back in the woodshop. Talk to you then, Doug-Bob
Tuesday, November 28
Today was supposed to be mostly sunny and warm; it’s not. It’s quite cloudy and feels like it could rain at any moment. So I worked quickly to finish up the wall construction. Mostly. I still have three stubby posts to set at the far end, and of course the tops of the posts need to be tied back so I can remove the brace boards. But that will have to wait until after the rains. This morning I finished attaching the top rails to the posts and trimmed the excess from the top of each post. Then I cleaned up the job site and put away all the tools. This afternoon, I’ll be hauling about 200 board feet of lumber into the shop from our lumber piles for the next few projects. Then I’ll be sorting and stacking firewood. This evening I’ll be rubbing liniment on my poor aching shoulders. I’ve been doing a lot of lumber lugging lately! Tomorrow it's back to the sawdust mines, and I'm glad of it!
Monday and Tuesday of this week are the only days expected to be free of rain, so I’m reserving them for working on The Wall. Today I bought another fourteen 2x6’s and completed installing the planks. I got a start on drawing down the planks to remove as much gap between the boards (caused by boards crooking) as possible and fastening the top row of boards to the posts with heavy decking screws. I do this by using pipe clamps from the workshop: one across the 6x6 post as an anchor, the other reaching from the top board down to my anchor. This is not totally effective, but it did help. The gaps do not allow anything through the wall because the splines I inserted into the boards edges seal up between them, it’s just a matter of appearance. Filling in the blanks from last week: Wednesday I was on The Wall, Thursday was Thanksgiving, Friday I spent in the woodshop cleaning, moving and preparing to start a couple of new projects. Saturday I was down at Treasures taking my turn at being shopkeeper. See you tomorrow, Doug
Tuesday, November 21
Yesterday while I was working in the shop I heard this soft “whump” sound from the neighborhood of the woodstove. I didn’t see anything amiss, so I figured it was the burning wood settling inside and went back to work. Later, while stoking the stove I happened to notice that I could see smoke through the gap around the stovepipe where it passes through the wall. That shouldn’t be. Going outside, I found that the end of the pipe that goes out through the wall had rusted/burned away and whole smoke stack had fallen to the ground. I drove to Wilton Springs early this morning to get the replacement parts I’d need before Marie had to leave for work then spent all morning fixing the stove pipes. Two things are tricky; one, the straight pipes are not pipes. They come as curled up sheets of metal with a sort of tab & slot joint running along each mating edge. I have to deform the pipe to get the tab into the slot, then try to make the tube round again so the other pipes and elbows will fit onto them. I get the heavy gauge pipes so they will last at least one whole year; the light weight ones burn through too fast. The second thing is that the ends of each pipe have a “crimped” end which is supposed to slip into the uncrimped end of the next piece – but they don’t. So I have to rework the crimped ends to form a taper on the end that the next piece will slip over and I can work it down as I try to round out the new pipe lengths. To do it right takes more hands than I have, but with enough time and persistence I managed it. And a blazing fire is now warming the shop. After lunch I will get to shooting lacquer on the repaired leaf so it can be sent back. I got the leaf lacquered, allowed it to dry well and packed it up to go out on today’s UPS truck. Then finished out the day with some assorted chores that have been getting neglected of late.
Today it is cold and snowy. Not much snow, not enough to accumulate, just some flakes in the air. But definitely enough to discourage me from going up on The Hill to work on The Great Wall of Edwina today. So instead I actually got some woodworking done. I finished up Pastor Calvin’s shelves for his second book case – they needed adjusting. I should have done that last week, but didn’t; trying to get enough of The Great Wall done to contain the next cave in. But he has holiday guests arriving tomorrow and about 100 books stacked on his guest bed. He *needs* his shelves. So I made them a priority and got them done. Marie will take them with her to Newport tomorrow morning and he will retrieve them from her there. Then I worked some more on repairing the sewing machine cabinet leaf that came in last week. The repairs were done last week, today I sanded the repaired face down and re-stained. That will have to cure at least one day – more if the cool temps and high humidity interfere. I finished out the day by cleaning up a bit. The floor is caked with red mud from my running in here to mill grooves in both edges of the boards for The Wall. Tools and supplies used in the three projects were sitting all around. So I straightened up, scraped off the concrete floor and vacuumed. It is now somewhat better. See you tomorrow. Doug
Wednesday, November 8
It rained again all day today. Part of our dirt wall on The Hill caved in; what a mess! But I can’t do anything about it just now, so I focused on the bookcase instead. I got the casework stained this morning and have spent the afternoon shooting lacquer. Because of the high humidity it’s drying slowly – long periods of inactivity between rounds of spraying – but I got the whole thing done before I quit for the night. Tomorrow morning we have a meeting to attend in Newport. In the afternoon we’ll probably be working on The Hill; it’s supposed to be sunny tomorrow. Doug
Tuesday, November 7
As expected, we’ve had rain on and off all day, so it’s a great day to stay in the workshop and get some woodworking done. This morning I sanded the casework and shelves in preparation for stain. This afternoon, I prepared the shop and began the staining process. BOY I’ll be glad when the new shop is done and I have a dedicated space for finishing work. I got all the shelves stained – both sides – and they are sitting around curing for the night. In the morning they should be dry enough to move out of the way and start on the casework. Doug
As you know, we’ve been working on the second book case for the Pastor’s Study. Today, however, I spent the majority of the day working out on The Hill, where we are preparing a site for a new building. This morning I laid out the position for the posts that will support a retaining wall to hold back an eight foot high dirt wall at the back of the site. Then I assisted Tommy in cutting down a large oak tree that was just too close to where the building would go. If a branch broke off it would come through our roof so it needed to be removed. Then I spent a good part of the afternoon cutting the tree up into firewood for use later this winter and ‘prettying up’ the rock on the new driveway; straightening the edges, filling in the bare spots with rock from extra deep spots and generally evening things out a bit. It is supposed to rain this afternoon, and through the next few days, so I wanted to get these things done before the rain started. In the late afternoon I did get to do some work on the book case. I plugged the remaining pocket holes then sanded the plugs smooth, and did the first sanding on all the shelves and the cases with 60 grit paper. Since we have a 100% chance of rain tomorrow, I expect I’ll be in the workshop all day working on getting this piece done. See you then. Doug