Shade tree fabricating

A buddy of mine just got a new”-ish” truck for his business and wanted to do some mods to it. First he wanted to swap his dump box from the old truck to the new one and refurbish the box. Over the years of dropping rocks into the box the floor was pretty much trashed.

Second, since the new truck is a cab over design the bed frame is quite a bit longer. He decided to use the extra frame to add a toolbox/mini excavator deck.

After a couple days in his yard we got pretty close to done.

Shop time

I managed to get over to the shop a couple times this week. There is a lot of work to do before the space is actually useable. It has not been used for several years except for off season storage and as a location for used items to be placed and forgotten about.

First thing I thought I would do would be to fix up the shelving that was already there. Simple plywood shelves fastened to the wall. Once I removed all the stuff that was on it and was able to get a better look at them, it quickly became apparent that the whole thing would need to be rebuild.

After a second, unplanned trip to the lumber store to get more wood and a couple new driver bits I tore the old shelving down. Once I got to the last shelf I made a discovery. Two discoveries actually.

The first I was expecting; a mouse nest. This is one of the problems I have to address with this space. There are a few places I need to plug up where nature comes to visit. This includes the attic which the landlord says is probably full of squirrels.

The second discovery made me laugh. I’m not sure if they belong to the owner or their kids. The issues are 24 years old, so could easily be either.

Out and About

The local chat group has been talking about the sea lions hanging out at one of the local points for the past few days. There are always sea lions around but not usually at this location. As a bonus this spot is a lot more accessible than some of the usual viewing places.

We also did a quick trip to town to get supplies for planting our starter seeds for the garden. Funny I never noticed the Dr Seuss tree beside the parking lot before

Winter starts on the cusp of spring

Today is the first day we have had any accumulation of snow. Certainly not a lot, we had much more last year. Not a lot by other area’s standards either. But considering that we don’t see any that lasts more than 15 minutes on the ground some years it is always a nice thing to see.

Trading spaces

I started a new project this week. I was asked by a lady to finish a repair to a home made kayak her husband started and was unable to finish before he fell ill.

He made two of these kayaks from plans in a 1986 Wooden Boat magazine article. They are made from door skin mahogany plywood. You can still find lots of these projects on the internet, usually titled as a skin on frame boat.

plywood kayak

The task at hand is to replace the coaming. After that I think they both could use refinishing.

The deal is I get to use the workshop whenever I would like to in exchange for some handyman work and paying the hydro bill for the shop. Nice trade!

Living Room Shelving Idea

Painting over Christmas went well, with us finishing the kitchen, living room, dining room and bathroom. We are taking a small break before we start the hallway and the bedroom, probably in February.

In the meantime we have been looking for a shelving solution for the living room. Specifically we want something in the corner to hold a few books and decorative items. It is a small space; about three feet either side of the corner before the wall runs into the patio door on one side and a window on the other.

Kelly has developed a love for the Poul Cado Cadovius shelving/wall units. Unfortunately they are crazy expensive to buy and most are too large anyway. I have not seen one up close and personal but looking at images on the web I think the basic idea in fairly simple.

After a bit of paper noodling I think I know how to build a Cadovius inspired shelf . Here is what the real ones look like:

Here is a mock up from some scrap wood I had in the shed.

Obviously this crappy plywood and MDF trim is not what I would use, it’s just what I had handy. Even so I could exert 30+ pounds pressure and get a half inch bend in this sample shelf without splitting anything or having the metal rods pull out. Proof of concept verified!

Next is a trip to town to find some appropriate wood. Maybe Windsor Plywood will have something nice.


It’s been a very wet month.

Over the past three or four weeks we have been receiving an average of three inches of rain each week. The average yearly rainfall here is 36 inches. The summers see very little precipitation. Most of it falls between October and May. Ten to twelve inches in a month is still twice the usual.

What we have not had is any snow. The last two winters we saw more than normal amounts of snow. This time last winter we had several inches of snow on the ground.

Hand in hand with the rain instead of snow theme is the temperature. Only three frost days so far, and wandering the yard the other day here is what I found for a New Year’s surprise.

And they’re off…

I sit surrounded by toiletries.  Yesterday we emptied the bathroom as the official kickoff of the whole house repainting project.  By the time we are done, probably in early January, we will have painted all the rooms inside.  

This is more of a decorating decision as opposed to a necessity.  Some of the walls do have the odd ding and there are a few suspicious ‘I want to get my deposit back’ repairs done by one of the renters over the years.  Personally I wish they would have left the repairs undone.  I would have been less work for me to fix the ding then it will be to fix their attempt at a patch and paint.

We could easily finish the project sooner but the living room and dining room have wallpaper to remove and that is always a crap shoot.  I once had to remove wallpaper from unpainted drywall.  Lots of work, lots of patching.  We are hosting Christmas supper this year and have decided to wait until after the supper before starting the wallpaper removal.  We will paint these rooms in-between World Junior Hockey games.  

We tried a new paint formulation for the bathroom.  Benjamin Moore has a matte finish bathroom paint the store talked us into.  Benjamin Moore is our favourite paint but I would have not normally used a matte finish.  

First coat – looked like a primed wall
Second coat – looked like a first coat
Third coat – looked good and felt normal going on.

I do not usually need three coats on a wall.  I am not sure if this is the paint or the wall.  I am putting white over a colour but the regular Regal and Aura higher sheens cover better in my experience.  I guess I will know soon enough as the bedrooms will be next and we will probably use a slightly higher sheen.  

Keeping busy

I finally got around to reupholstering the ottoman.  The original cover was  vinyl faux leather and as vinyl is prone to do was starting to wear down to the base fabric at the corners.  This past summer I redid the dining table chairs and we bought enough fabric at that time to do the ottoman too.  Not a big project.

Something else I have been working on this week is a rock wall.  I have done a little bit of rock work before, some deck steps at the lake and a dry stack flower bed, but this is my first mortared wall.  All the hours of Tetris coming to use now!

More winter prep

This summer we spent a day cleaning the bbq and the smoker.  Wow.  We did not realize how much mildew was growing on and in them.  We did note how bad the bbq cover had gotten.  We now suspect that the covers actually made the problem worse.

I recently was lucky enough to have access to some salvage metal roofing.  I scavenged enough to be able to put up another rain shelter this time for the cookers.

I have one more project I would like to get to.  The recycling is currently in under a tarp roof in the back yard.  This is a leftover arrangement from when we bought the property.  The roof works fine enough but is really low, like 40″ low.  I have a bit of metal roof left and I think I will put a new, higher roof over the recycling.  It would be a good additional to the new gate I put in to shorten the hike when taking it to the street on pickup days.