Weekend Projects (Sunday)

Ben, Tyler, and Will at Holmberg Orchard in Gales Ferry

Okay, I have to admit.  I didn’t get everything done that I had planned.  No real surprise to anyone that knows me. But I had a productive weekend even if I didn’t finish all my projects.

In the morning I helped Ben in the workshop. I hadn’t planned on doing any woodworking, but I would never turn down an opportunity to work with either of the boys. The two boys are working on building a gift, and there isn’t much time before it needs to be done.  I cut the big boards up to size and helped Ben on the bandsaw (he is still a little timid with the bandsaw – rightfully so).  Next, all three boys took turns using the hand saws to cut out notches needed in the project.  Will and Ben even sanded for a bit (something no one likes doing -so good luck getting an 8 year old to do a good job sanding).

I didn’t skip apple picking. Will had a friend sleep over on Saturday night. He lives pretty close to the apple orchard, so when we all went apple picking on the way to dropping him off. After a quick stop by home to drop Ben off, Will and I headed up to Home Depot and Target. Will had to get a present for his brother’s birthday, and I needed to rent a jackhammer to smash up some ledge that was in the way of running power to the garage.

I didn’t get power to the garage. I did get the ledge out of the way. The next step is to run the wiring and cover the trench. I also got  the big trench filled in. I will probably need another 1/2 yard of topsoil to level out the area, but otherwise it is done. I almost finished tying in the gutter downspout to the drain – but I needed another trip to Home Depot to get the right parts, and I wasn’t about to do a third trip today.

Ben checking his saw cut depth. The boys both use Japanese pull saws for hand work - they find them easier than western style saws.

And to finish off the busy day, Ben and I went for a short bike ride. Will decided to stay home and read.

Susanna split the day between doing homework and painting the house. The house is starting to look nice – our neighbors have been stopping by to tell us how much they like the new color scheme.

My house goals for the week are to finish the gutter downspout (tomorrow) and run power to the garage (maybe tomorrow and Tuesday). Tomorrow should also be the next step in the first batch of drunken cutting boards. Maybe I’ll be able to get the sailboat out of the garage this weekend – nothing like wishful thinking.

Weekend Projects (Saturday)

New drain system, almost completed...

I’m taking a weekend away from the major renovations to work on some “quick” projects.  Thankfully Susanna isn’t taking a break from the major house projects.

The morning was taken by the boys’ soccer games (they had fun, but were pretty well run over by the other teams).

This afternoon I continued troubleshooting the invisible fence. I had worked on it for a while yesterday and the day before, but couldn’t find the break. And the beagle refuses to stay in the yard without the fence. On a side note, don’t ever bring your young kids to the humane society to pick out a dog with you – but that is a story for another day.

I did get the fence working after a bit of work. Then it was off to the box store to get parts for a rainwater drain system.  I had to connect into an existing system that (I am assuming) was installed when the house was built 120 years ago. I got all the parts back home, and then promptly back to the store to get the connector that I almost got, but then figured I didn’t need.  After laying the pipe, the boys and I started filling the dirt back in the trench. A tractor would be nice right now. But I could use the exercise.

Tomorrow’s goal is to get power run to the garage, move more dirt back into the trench, and do a little painting. I’d also like to take the boys apple picking, and go for a walk. I’m pretty sure I can’t do all that in one day, so I’ll have to see what I can get done.

Drunken Cutting Boards (part 1)

The first batch of glue-ups

This seems like a day to start projects. Though honestly I started this one a couple of weeks ago when I ordered the lumber. I am planning on building four sets of “drunken cutting boards” with three other people I work with. Today, Jim Russell came by after work and we cut up the maple and glued up the boards. We should be able to complete four boards per person (two pairs).

We also cut up thin (1/8″) strips of cherry for the spacers.

Next week I’ll document the progress on the cutting boards.  The next step is to make matched pairs of boards (one of purpleheart and one of maple). Then we will cut the first wavy strips and do the first glue up.

Trenches, Trenches everywhere

Trench for electricalconnection to the garage

Today was a day to start projects. I know, I am ADHD.  I like to start projects. Finishing is the trick.

I had two trenches dug today.  The first was a trench to bring power to the garage. I need electrical on the garage for next summer – and cleaning up the garage this winter will be a lot easier with lights. The only problem with the trench is that there is ledge at the end of the trench, and I won’t be able to get the buried cable down 12″. I’m still trying to figure out what I will do, but will probably put a concrete pad in the opening to the last bay of the garage to cover the buried cable.

The second trench is to try to eliminate part of the water problem in the basement. Originally the house had a drainage system for the rainwater. However, in one corner the drainage system was clogged.  I also think I am getting surface water draining down the hill and into the basement.  I had a trench dug out along the foundation and will connect into the existing functioning rainwater collection system. Hopefully I can get both projects done this weekend.  I may not get the power fully connected, but I want to get all the trenches filled back in by Monday.  And we still have to paint the house in time for the wedding next summer.

Will inspecting the trench along the north foundation wall.

Time Zones Suck (and other random thoughts)

We took a short break to observe the ArizonaMemorial on our short run on Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

I would like to think the reason that I’m awake late on a Saturday night (ok, early on a Sunday morning) is that Susanna and I are out enjoying a rare weekend night where the boys are with their mom. That isn’t the case.  I’m sure if it were, I would have better things to do other than write on my blog.  Heck, even on a slow night like this, I have better things to do than write on my blog.  Like sleep. This is one of the joys of shifting one’s body 6 time-zones. My sleep schedule is all screwed up.

One would think that flying back to the east coast after a week in Hawaii would cause me to stay up late and sleep in late (i.e. stay on Hawaii time). A red-eye flight from Honolulu to Dulles last night allowed me to get a full nights sleep and wake up at a reasonable east coast time. But it is rough sleeping on a plane, so I’m never fully rested. Second, my week in Hawaii was spent underwater on a submarine, which never helps one get on a fixed time-zone. So here I am boring all three of my blog’s readers with my musings on my sleep patterns. Yes, I know, I found something more lame than woodworking to write about. Well done.

I have started running again. I’ll see how far that goes. I have slowly built myself up to 5k runs – and my knees feel it. Hopefully I can lose a couple of pounds which will make the runs easier on my legs.

I also ordered lumber online for the first time. I had ordered some small pieces from eBay in the past, but never the wood for a full project. I am planning on building several cutting boards (drunken cutting boards) with some of the guys I work with. The plan is to use purpleheart and maple squares, with cherry accents.  I’ll post pictures of the build here. I ordered the material from Bell Forest Products the week before I left for Hawaii.  The package arrived while I was gone, and I opened the boxes this evening. The lumber looks great. There wood is clear and straight.  The iPhone pictures don’t do the wood justice (thought the purpleheart isn’t quite purple yet – it will age to purple in the sunlight).

Purpleheart and maplefor cutting boards.

Now time to head back to bed. I’m sure I’ll have to reclaim my place and move Tucker to the foot of the bed.