Tuesday, March 6

Back By Popular Demand

I've recently had several people ask why I'm not posting Shop Notes articles like I used to.  I explained that - but they want to know what's going on anyway.  While this is not a thundering herd of people, it is enough.  And, this blog is the most popular of the 4 I run and sell through Kindle.  Can't disappoint those folks.

Updates to the Pew Project will be added to that post.  I'll mention them here, so you know it's there (blogger does not send out a notice or update the RSS feed when a post is updated, only when a new one goes up.) But I'll toss out some notes on my daily activities in (more or less) daily posts as well.

Because woodworking is no longer what I do 10 hours a day, 6 days a week, not everything I talk about will be woodworking technique, but I will try to talk about only the woodworking related stuff.

Yesterday (Monday) was the day I do our weekly radio program.  Nothing woodworking related about that.  Moving on.

Today I split my time between sanding bag handles and building a garden box.

I have at least one person wanting bag handles, but we're sold out of those, so I need to make up more.  I have a whole shelf full of them cut out and routed, so all I have to do is sand and finish them.  But sanding is the tedious part.

I start with a fixture I made that has pins that fit into the slots to hold the handles in place so I can sand the flat faces with a random orbit sander.
I'll start with 120, then work through 150, 180 and 220 grit papers.
As I work through each grit with the sander, I hand sand the curved edges with the same grit.  This is the tedious part, and my hands cramp up pretty quickly.
When my hands get sore, I take a break and work on the garden box.  This one is 8 feet long and 4 feet wide.  All of my previous garden boxes are 4x4, but this one is specifically for a group of blueberry bushes and needs to be bigger.  I'm building it out of 2x8" lumber and fastening the corners together with coated deck screws.  I'm using untreated lumber to prevent the "treatment" from leeching into the soil in which I'm growing our food.

I'll alternate back and forth between building and mounting the box and sanding bag handles.
Once the box is built I lug it out to the area I'll be expanding our garden into.  this is normally the simple part: Just tack some weed cloth on the bottom and flop id down on top of the grass. But we live on a mountain and have to do things a bit differently.  To prevent all the special soil from washing out of the box in a heavy rain (which we get often here) I have to dig the box down into the dirt to level it up.  I start by going around the outside of the box with a pick to mark the location.  Then I use the broad blade of the pick axe to dig a trench into which the rails of the box will sit.  I can set the box in place every now and then, check it with a level and know where I need to dig more out.
Here I'm almost done, I just need to remove the rest of the grass and dirt from inside the box, use some of it to build up around the downhill side and toss the rest into the garden cart to be hauled away.

I dig in the upper side, build up the lower side.  If I were to dig it in completely the high corner would need to be dug in about 16" deep.

As it is I'll need to add a second run of lumber along the upper two sides to make sure water running down the hill won't wash out my fancy dirt and fill the box with grass, leaves and mud.

Over the next couple of weeks I need to build another 4x8 box and 10 more 4x4 boxes.  We're going to be raising some for selling at the local farmer's market this year; that's one of the way's I'm replacing the lost income from flat-lined furniture sales.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Appropriate comments are welcome. All comments are reviewed before being posted. Spam messages (anything not a direct discussion of this message) and all profanity will be deleted. Don't waste your time or mine by posting trash here.