Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A fox, a big(ger) bass, new table design, grass seed.

We've had a couple of visits from a fox, one at night and one in broad daylight - we think he's after the neighbour's chickens which are free roaming and not shy about crowing. I got a couple of shots of it the second time:

Both shots were taken from our bedroom window.

The fox spotted me here but didn't seem to bothered and hung around for another 5 minutes or so.
 I've also been more successful at targeting the bass in the pond with lures, managing to catch 3 in about 20 minutes today. This was the biggest one I've caught yet.
Big mouth!

 I've also been playing around with a variation on the George Nelson bench I made in November (click here for that blog post)

Smokey strikes his 'aloof model' pose.
The variation has four square slat modules arranged perpendicularly to each one next to it.

The table saw makes things a lot easier - I was able to do in a day what took me almost 5 days just using the mitre saw in November.

I haven't decided on the legs/stand for this one but will post the final product soon.

I also spent today manually-tilling, sowing grass seed, raking and covering with straw the area around the front of the house. That was hard work!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

DIY Bench no. 2.

I've been spending a lot of time looking at bench designs as we need one for our 'hallway' by the door. It's the first thing I've really designed and built from scratch so the process has been a really good experience. 

As always, I made alterations and tweaks along the way such as changing the distance between the slats (wider as you move away from the centre) and leaving a gap between the end of the slats and the frame. I also made good use of the table saw again, cutting a step out of the top piece making a ledge for the slats to sit on and for cutting mortices in the bottom pieces. The materials cost about US$15.

The two iterations of the design in Sketchup (this one has more slats and is slightly longer)

The shed and table saw set up.

It's great to be woodworking outside on days like this

The frame pre-oiling. (Very messy shed, I know) 
Test assembly success!

After the stain/seal had dried

Here you can see the mortices are staggered: 2" and 1" deep and the opposite on the other side

 If you are interested, check out my mid century modern furniture business Trystcraft . I find, restore, refinish (no chalk paint!) and repair mid century modern furniture and ship it worldwide.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A (not so) slippery slope

Part of the building inspector's checklist required us to stabilize the slope behind the house. I had a great time moving the + 200lb railroad ties (sleepers in UK) end over end into position at the base of the slope, then strawed (for the purpose of this blog it's a verb) the bank to reduce soil erosion. The two were definitely a visual improvement and the gravel was like a lick of new paint.

Straw, railroad ties and gravel. 
I like the way the gravel highlights the roof overhang after rain.

Now we need to get the grass seeded.
 I got a table saw for my birthday has meant I've been spending lots of time learning how to use. It's great to be able to get accurate cuts, angles and bevels and to be using wood thats wider than a 2x6. Here is a little stand I put together from some scraps: