Wednesday, March 09, 2016

I Ain't Dead! (Yet.)

Go ahead. Say it. "Rich, you're a slacker!" Yeah, I am. I last posted here back on October 18th when we had our first dusting of snow. Then I fell into hibernation/slacker mode from which I'm just now arousing myself.

I say "just now" but I've been creeping back into a little more active life for about a month. It started with Joe and I going to the Great American Outdoor Show down in Harrisburg back on February 11th. We went with the express purpose of confirming our reservation with Caesar's North Camps for this coming June.

When we got back I started messing around with my fishing tackle and trying to figure out a way to store my stuff more neatly. (Just jamming the poles in a five-gallon bucket wasn't cutting it any more.) So I ended up in the workshop building a rod holder and moving a set of shelves into the utility room on which to stack my six(!) tackle boxes and the boxes holding reels and line.

That led me to start sorting the wood that I had stockpiled. Which, in turn, led to me trimming some old drawer wood of its dovetail ends and mortised edges. And THAT left me with lots of little 1/2 inch square pieces about a foot long.

Well, that little bit of woodworking got me itching and I started building some birdhouses. Starting with this log/timber home using those cut offs from the drawers.

And then I decided a log cabin needed an outhouse.

And, since a log cabin is often found in the mountains, the neighbors might have a chalet.

 That last one was a pip! I had to rip all the 1/2" wide pieces for the decorative "timbers" on the table saw and then used the bandsaw and sander to get the angles just right. I almost succeeded too!

All that sawing and sanding was putting lots of sawdust in the air and it was ending up everywhere. (One of these days I'll get some wiring done and install the air filter I bought two years ago.) I had an open shelf just below the workbench for storing some of my power tools and started to think about how best to close that up.

Doors seemed the logical solution, so I built some using select grade 1x2 and 1x3 pine and 5/32" luan plywood. I used my biscuit joiner to hold the frame together and glue and corner braces to attach the luan to the frame. They ended up looking like a hollow core door and would have been if I had added luan to the back sides. I got interrupted by another project for a couple of days (I'll explain shortly), bit finally hung the doors this afternoon.

I think they came out pretty nice.

About that other project....

As I was building the doors (and creating sawdust), I got to thinking...I had open shelves holding all kinds of stuff including boxes and boxes of nails and screws and hardware and they were both unsightly and (saw)dust collectors. I started to think about building cabinets in which it store/hide all this stuff. I drew up some plans based on the same principles as I used in building the doors: a 1x3 frame with luan sheath. Then I did a little calculating and came up with about $130-150 for materials for one 30" wide, 12" deep, 72" high cabinet.

Saturday I decided to go online and see what Lowe's and Home Depot had in storage cabinets. Lowe's didn't have what I wanted in stock and I didn't feel like waiting. Home Depot had a plastic, snap together cabinet measuring a near perfect 27x15x72 for just $80. And, the best part, they had several in stock at the store in Painted Post (just west of Corning and "only" 45 minutes away). (Bad news was I wold have to pay NYS and county taxes--and I hate paying anything to NY.) Terry and I went and picked one up on Sunday.

It took me a couple of hours to snap that cabinet together. The directions were hieroglyphics with very, very few words but things could only snap in place one way so there was that.

I liked the look so much, I went up on Monday to pick up another. This time I also picked up some 1/4 plywood to put on top of the plastic shelves so as to better distribute the weight and prevent sagging. (Each shelf was rated to 44 pounds but I had a lot of nails and screws. A. Lot.) This second cabinet went together easily but I spent more time preconstruction de-buring the injection molded plastic parts. (It was easier to do prior to construction and ensured a better fit for some of the parts.)

So I now have two matching cabinets where the open shelves used to be.

Look at that second picture. See the coffee can? Right behind it is the belt/disc sander and it shoots sawdust right at those cabinets. That's why the shelves had to go. Maybe I should look into a dust collection system? If I could ever figure out a good layout.

For now, it's a matter of sorting and storing all the stuff and trying to decide what to do with all the extra tools I've got. Besides those hand saws on the wall (seven of them), I've three back saws, two coping saws, three keyhole saws, three sets of metal snips (and by sets I mean one set has three snips: Straight, Left and Right), two orbital sanders, two hand held circular saws, wrenches, pliers, screwdrivers, etc. up the whazoo, and enough fasteners of all types and sizes to open a hardware store.

Anyway, that's what I've been up to besides some birding off the deck, picking up the bird feeders after the bears knock them down, going on some bird walks, getting a pre-molar extracted and a post put in for a cap.

For now I've got my eye on either building more birdhouses or figuring out what to do with this:

Boxes and boxes of baseball cards, painting materials (brushes, rollers, trays and drop cloths), and several boxes of craft paints. And there are cans of paint and stain under the stairs on the right. Maybe I'll be building a cabinet and a few roll-out storage units soon.


JDP said...

You have been busy, looks great! Be sure to post pictures of the fishing trip :)

joated said...

Oh, I'll post pictures...IF I remember the camera this year.

Last year the camera spent the entire week on the backseat of the truck in the parking lot as we flew into our remote lake cabin.

Rev. Paul said...

You've been a busy fellow, but I can see why it occupied your time. :)

threecollie said...

Nice work!

Tina Marie the Willow Witch said...

Love the bird houses! Glad to see your keeping busy.

joated said...

Rev. Paul, the Log Home took lots of time because each row of "logs" was glued on to a plywood bird house. They had to be clamped and allowed to dry. The Chalet took time because of the trim work and painting. (Hint, paint the trim before gluing it on the painted house. Much easier than trying to paint everything afterwards.)

Everything else took time because, well, there's just so darn much of it!

joated said...

Thanks, Marianne. Sometimes I over plan and get bogged down in details...that's my way of stalling. Other times I'll just slap something together as a temporary fix (the old duct tape and baling wire repair). Then there are times I'll just look at a set of plans, get an idea of how to adapt it to my needs/materials and get down to it!

The latter usually produces a rush of activity that leads to aches and pains if it involves outdoor activities like building a raised bed garden or clearing trees. Indoors, not as many aches and pains but lots and lots of sawdust!