Archive for the ‘Woodworking’ Category

I took the girls down to the cabin between Christmas and New Years.  I had a load of the Blue Stain pine T&G to install and we opted for a little quiet down time.  Tori stayed home and had some quiet time of her own.  She actually roughed it a bit, as we did,  because just before I left we discovered the water heater was leaking, and I had to shut it down….I replaced it on New Years Day when I got back ( but that will be another post in itself).

The Snowy driveway

My main goal of this trip was to add some more of the siding, In this case on the back wall.  I brought down (20) 12 foot lengths, some 1x for the closet wall end, and a few bits of the cove molding.  Another side project was the “speaker” shelf.  Here I joined some blue stain 1 x 6 into a shelf for holding the iPod speaker sound system in the dining / sleeping nook.

We got down to the cabin a bit after sunset and the cabin’s passive solar was once again doing its thing.  Temps were in the low teens, but it was a balmy 48 inside when we opened her up.

Sunsets at the ranch

Thursday morning I promptly got on the siding and was pretty pleased with my progress, Friday I combined some cove trim with the last of the siding and got a temporary shelf up on the new brackets I installed Thursday moring.  I was still adding some poly to the shelf so that did not get fully installed until just before we left.

Thursday morning...Maybelle resting in the truck

Siding start on the back wall

steady progress

Totally Cool Wood grain

We got a small hike in on Friday, despite the snow and Tasha’s crappy footwear, when will the Ex and a 12 year old learn that Fashion does not beat usability.

Taking a break hiking

Shoe drying in the middle of the night


Speaker Shelf taking shape

In addition to the siding and shelving and cove mold, I did cut in two more windows.  These are the pair that flank the chimney pipe and provide main level viewing to the north.  The blue tarp is still in place on the north wall, so the views are not quite there…but it looks better than storing all of my nails and bits in the old window  holes.  I have just one more window to instal in the loft.  To store the nails out of site and use up some of the small siding bits I boxed in the below the seating area  in the dining / sleeping nook.

Two new windows installed


seat bases boxed in


Miss Maybelle had a good time on our hike too.


Our sparkling snow dog




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Our version of Black Friday

As many of you may have known Tori and I had planned a trip to the cabin for Thanksgiving. Our original plan was to head out Wednesday after Tori got off work (with me running errands and packing on Wednesday afternoon).  Tori was not so keen on the 6 extra hours added on to a long day, and the fact that all of that drive would have been in the dark…as the driver I could have gone either way.  Considering the fact that the views on the way there are pretty darn nice and a good chunk of the country (most actually) would probably sell their grannies to the devil for the views we experience on a typical drive there.  We otp’d for leaving Thursday, on Thanksgiving itself.  Its been a few years since I have traveled ON Turkey day and was very pleased to see not much traffic at all.  We had our our “family” Thanksgiving on Sat. ( brothers, kids, cousins etc) and a “Mini”version with just Tori and my girls on Sunday of last.  With those obligations out of the way we were refugees to the open road…and open it was.

We  hoped to grab a bite to eat at the Subway in Leadville but they were closed as were a lot of places…we hit another one further down the road in Buena Vista ( they were open until 4).  The weather was dry and clear and we made some good time.

When we got to the cabin it was a just a bit past sunset, temps were chilly and dropping.  My digital temp gun was reading 26 on the surface of the deck, but INSIDE the cabin, the tile floor and granite wall behind the wood stove was reading 65.  The completely passive Solar Design of the cabin was functioning perfectly.  Last year we brought a “fire bag” (Newspaper and kindling in brown paper bag) for a quick start to the wood stove.  This year we did not bring one or need one.  I had brought the temp gun along just to do some evaluations on how the cabin was performing now that we have some siding on two walls and have “tightened” up the thermal envelope a bit.

In the past we have tended to fire up the wood stove prematurely and create a bit of a sauna in there.  Temp control was obtained by opening a few windows.  This time we used restraint and only had to do that a couple of times.  A couple of sticks burned around 9 and then again at 4 or 5 am was ideal.  In one of the early morning burns I used a lot a kindling and it got pretty hot…in the near complete darkness of a moonless weekend the exit elbow of the wood stove was glowing red.  When I saw that I cut back the inlet and fully damped the flue.  It’s nice to know that IF we did need the extra BTU’s the little Scandia 150 can go the distance with plenty of power to spare.

By the time Sunday rolled by we had our routine down pretty good ( Saturday Night we had -5) and our complete fire wood use for the weekend was about one” mail tub” worth.  We can go through that amount in 3 or 4 hours with the big wood stove back home.

My goals for the weekend were to install the Blue Stain T&G I brought down, install some of the tile trim, install Tyvek on the east and North sides of the cabin, some hardi trim and maybe a window or two…but in practice the weather was not 100% cooperative.  Friday we woke to fresh snow and a light breeze.  The weather did come around a little later so I did get the T&G up.  Keep in mind I’m cutting these 12′ lengths outside using the chop saw…which is run off the solar system.  When installing over dining area I had to tweak one of the wiring runs for the LED’s to get things lined up.  Tori and I were very pleased with this recent lot of wood. This batch was from a different supplier and I think it is a bit better…Not quite as “green” as the other stuff since it is kiln dried and coming from Montana ( the other wood was Colorado local and air dried)   I even had a few boards left to add some more to the upper parts of the South wall. What remains is 2/3 to 3/4 of the main ceiling…the wood part of the north wall and some minor bits in the loft and above the kitchen.  I just keep plugging away as money and time allow.  All of the corners will get some cove molding and the windows will continue to be trimmed in cedar.

New Blue Stain installed over "dinning / bed" area

The weather was even chillier and windy on Saturday so I I ended up just getting the tile boarder up around the black granite, the free border tiles were not suffcient to complete the “column” that would have mimicked the black stove pipe along the back wall. So plan “b” took over and I just outlined the main field.  I’ll have to cut away the excess backer board before the wood gets installed between the two un-installed window locations.

Border tile around black granite is new

On Sunday the weather was calm and clear and I got in some shooting too, I ran some rounds through the new Springfield Champion .45 Semi auto and got to run some longer distance shots with the Winchester 1873 rifle.  The GPS had the distance from in front of the cabin to the target log across the gully at about 220 feet.  With not much wind and the open steel sights I landed a good handful on paper.  That 1873 is still my favorite. Tori finally did a little herself and plinked a bit down in our canyon at our “mini range”.

The truck and woodshed Sunday Morning

Friday morning’s snow continued to melt through the weekend, with the result producing some nasty mud.  This was one of the messier trips at the cabin and a new “Punch list” item has been added to the list…and pushed up near the top.

Get Some Crushed Rock!

Our scraps of decking used as a walk way help but they come up far short in the “keep the mud out of the cabin department”.  Granted our tile floor is easy to sweep and our grout color was chosen to be the exact match of this mud on purpose…but the sticky messy shoes (with me forgetting my slippers was the pits).  I’ll look into getting some crushed rock delivered before my next trip…then we or should I say I, as if Tori and the girls will be man hauling  tons of rock,  can improve the paths and nearby areas out front.

More time and Money….as is always the case.  Progress is moving forward but a bit to slow for Tori…To that end she might kick in some funds to finance a “working trip just for me.  With no kids to care for and entertain, and with my simple solo needs…many things could happen in short order.

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For those that have been following along closely you might recall a gap in my posting and my mentioning of a trip to the cabin for spring break.  I returned late last Friday after a week of mixed work and recreation with the girls down at the ranch.  My main goal was to get more of the tongue and groove interior siding up at the cabin.  When Tori and I were down there for Thanksgiving I got a big chunk of it installed on the west wall, and  a big slug of tile work done.  This trip started with about 400 lineal feet of sanded and oiled boards loaded in the truck, 10 gallons of water, grout for tile, a few sticks of window trim and 50 feet of roof drip edge flashing, throw in two eager children, one big fuzzy white dog, a 12″ compound miter saw,  and a weeks groceries…and there was not much room left.

We left early Saturday morning and made the 6 hour haul in good time with good weather, we unloaded relaxed and popped a cold one…at least I had a cold one the girls had something a little more tame.

More T & G for inside

The quick unload pile

A bit after dark I noticed some slight precipitation, a little mix of some rain and sleet.  I had left the chop saw on the deck and decided to bring it in.  We routinely leave the cooler outside to prevent the ice from melting prematurely.  Sunday morning we woke to about 3″ of snow, which was a complete surprise considering the T-shirt weather we had when we unloaded the truck.

3" of Fresh White at the Ranch.

A small stoking of the wood stove and the inside of the cabin was toasty warm in no time.  After coffee and some snacking I dove right in with the siding for the East wall, since there were no complex scarf joints required I did all of the cutting with the 18 V Dewalt cordless circular saw.  The batteries were swapped out and charged via the solar system and the 1000 watt inverter.  Later in the week I would swap out the 1000 watt with the 2500 watt unit I had brought down over Thanksgiving.  With the idea that it would power the chop saw for a few seconds of cutting every few minutes or so…way more convenient than firing up the generator.  I had tried to run the saw before with the 1000 watt inverter but it fell just a bit short on power.

T &G on the east wall

Next up was more siding on both sides of the “closet” wall. This wall went pretty fast due to the shorter sections, and also not having to slip them in behind the studs of the closet wall as I had to do for the east wall. A bit after lunch and the walls were looking sweet.

Not looking at open studs is indeed an improvement

The wood stock was getting low, and it was apparent that more insulation would be needed to start on the south wall, we also noticed that we forgot mustard and ketchup for the hot dogs…a combined run into Taos was planned for Monday morning.

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A few weeks ago Tori picked up a “Travel Banjo” from our local music store.  She has been playing the Banjo I Built a number of years ago for some time now…and I’m happy to say its nice to hear it being played.  She has gotten pretty good with it and switched over to “claw-hammer” playing.


Hooks on top of tension hoop



The new travel banjo is something that we can take to the cabin and on camping trips without too much worry about bringing the fancy one.  The new banjo uses hooks that set on top of the tension hoop, while the hook and hoop configuration of the one I made has cut outs in the hoop.  The first hook on the travel banjo was troublesome with the claw-hammer stroke.


I pulled everything apart and notched the hoop to allow the hook to set down a bit.  During this process I also noticed that all of the hooks were a bit long in the thread..which caused the nuts to bottom out and limit the tensioning of the hoop.  So as part of the process I cut down all 18 hooks, cleaned up the threads with a 4 mm x .70 die and reassembled every thing.


recessed 1st hook


To help with a more mellow sound we set it up with  thicker set of strings, The new set is tuned with 16 ga as apposed to more traditional .09 or .10’s.  It felt good to be working in the shop on this repair/ upgrade.  Cutting down all of the hooks was a bit of a pain but at least now the hoop can be properly tensioned.



Hook with anti-seize compond applied to threads


Next up in my luthier adventures are finishing up the little ukulele, and starting a Appalachian Mountain Dulcimer.  I picked up some african Mahogany last week when I was at the fancy wood store getting some Hard maple for a clients desk project.


recessed hook back in place



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I’m getting closer to finishing up a custom desk for a client. This is a large “L” shaped unit made with Black Walnut.  The walnut was locally harvested, and air dried so on the “green” scale its pretty much at the top.  From a design perspective the natural edge of the 6/4 slabs looks very cool, adding some awesome crotch figure really makes it POP.

Balck Walnut Slab desk...in process

A couple weeks ago this creation was a hand full of raw wood slabs.  I initially started working with a #5 Lie Nielsen bench plane and made some great progress with that.  The quiet swoosh and the curly shavings a sign of simple hand working.  Near the end of the smoothing and flattening  process the  hand plane was starting to be less efficient, winding sticks and straight edges told me I needed to pull the edges down.  The hand plane was having a hard time pulling off this wood, in grain direction strokes…in that plane I was dead flat.  With the prospect of belt sanding a lot I instead picked up a new tool,  a Dewalt,  powered hand planner.  This tool has been on my “to get” list for a few years, and this proved to be a good time to need one.  A hand full of passes with this guy and the edges were brought down, some minor touch up work with the belt sander and presto..done and flat.  While I prefer the old time hand tools, I have to admit that the power plane did save a lot of time.

Hand work of the rough slab.

On the cabin front…I picked up another 300 lineal feet of  the Tongue and Groove paneling / boards and have started some more sanding.  After I get this desk out of the finishing area of my shop I can start oiling up the blue stain pine.  The plan is to get this 300 feet done, add it to the 120 feet or so I finished up a month or so ago, and take it all down to the cabin for the spring break trip…and If I can talk the girls into helping, get it installed.

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Some recent updates for this blog post…

An article I wrote for Networx.com on floor finish types.

And  a Scientific study  on the high embodied energy of bamboo flooring transport (its worse than concrete)


What everyone needs to know about bamboo flooring.  Lots of Americans have been brainwashed with the “green-washing” of bamboo for its use as flooring.  It is advertised as being “green” and durable, more durable that most other types of hardwood flooring.  It’s neither green nor durable.

Here are some facts to set the record straight.  Bamboo is not a hardwood, it’s a grass.  To convert the grass into “boards” a multi-step energy consuming process is required.  The bamboo is harvested and the hollow, round shoots are sliced into strips and boiled to remove the starch. (Major energy input #1) Then the strips are dried and then boiled again in a solution of water and boric acid to remove sugars (a termite attractant) and to inhibit fungus and mold growth. (Major Energy Input #2 and Chemical Input #1)

If a darker color is desired the bamboo will go through a carbonizing process of steaming the bamboo under controlled pressure and heat. (Major Energy Input #3) The bamboo will change to a brownish color. Carbonized bamboo is softer than the non-carbonized variety. The carbonizing process can reduce the floor’s final hardness significantly, Rendering it softer than some pines and softer than more common red oak.

Most bamboo is then Pressure laminated into solid boards (Major Energy input #4) using carcinogenic chemicals like urea-formaldehyde (UF) adhesive. (Toxic Chemical addition #2)

If working with a local hardwood all of this previous energy and chemical input is not required,

The bamboo “boards” are then milled into standard strip floorboards with tongue and groove profiles, sanded and readied for finishing. (Energy Input #5) The input for this step would be equal if working with an alternate hardwood. Most Bamboo is then pre-finished with another chemical, and then shipped half way around the planet to US markets. (Energy Input #6 and Chemical addition #3)

Durability Issues

Comparing the durability of bamboo.  It ranges from 1180  (Wikpedia Janka Hardness) in its more common carbonized form, Softer than all of these woods:

Australian Cypress                 1375
White Oak                                    1360
Tasmanian Oak                         1350
Ash (White)                                1320
American Beech                       1300
Red Oak (Northern)                 1290
Caribbean Heart Pine              1280
Yellow Birch,                              1260
Heart Pine                                    1225
Larch                                              1200

Natural Bamboo’s higher 1380 (Janka Hardness) is still below all of these woods:

Lignum vitae                                            4500
Brazilian Ebony                                        3692
Ipê / “Brazilian Walnut” / Lapacho   3684
African Pearlwood / Moabi                  3680
Bolivian Cherry                                         3650
Lapacho                                                        3640
Cumaru / “Brazilian Teak”                      3540
Ebony                                                            3220
Brazilian Redwood / Paraju                 3190
Bloodwood                                                  2900
Red Mahogany, Turpentine                 2697
“Southern Chestnut”                                2670
Spotted Gum                                               2473
Brazilian Cherry / Jatoba                      2350
Mesquite                                                       2345
“Golden Teak”                                               2330
Santos Mahogany, Bocote,                     2200
Brazilian Koa                                                 2160
“Brazilian Chestnut+ Walnut”                 2140
Bubinga                                                           1980
Cameron                                                         1940
Tallowwood                                                   1933
Merbau                                                            1925
Jarrah                                                               1910
Purpleheart                                                    1860
Goncalo Alves / Tigerwood                     1850
Hickory / Pecan                                           1820
Afzelia / Doussie                                           1810
Rosewood                                                       1780
African Padauk                                             1725
Blackwood                                                      1720
Merbau                                                            1712
Black Locust                                                  1700
Highland Beech                                             1686
Wenge, Red Pine                                            1630
Zebrawood                                                      1575
True Pine, Timborana                                 1570
Sapele / Sapelli                                               1510
Sweet Birch                                                      1470
Hard Maple / Sugar Maple                         1450
Caribbean Walnut                                          1390
Coffee Bean                                                       1390

In doing some research for this article I found a string of comments about the durability of Bamboo in many flooring applications at this website

Here are some of the more lively comments:

“I just had bamboo floors installed into my new home. The product came with an aluminum oxide urethane finish. The flooring industry has been touting bamboo floors and this coating as the hardest wood available with a coating just about impervious to anything. Wow, were they wrong! It’s brittle and scratches more than oak. Has anyone out there had similar problems? And if so, what can I do? I’ve asked my installer to ask a manufacturer’s rep to pay a visit. Outside of that, I fear I’m stuck putting booties on my dog’s paws!

Sue J
Severna Park, Maryland

“I had bamboo installed throughout my home in March and the very next day after installation, we had multiple scratches – even gouges in the floor. Every thing has scratched this floor, dogs, my vacuum cleaner, even a plastic hamper my husband pushed to the side to clean under. We have been fighting with the manufacturer ever since. Today, we are sending a sample of the bamboo to a forensic lab for testing. I cannot believe the coatings they say it came with are actually on it. I’m not giving up.

Donna B
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

“We just had a natural bamboo floor installed and selected for the very reason that it was advertised as very hard. The very day installation was complete I found an extraordinary number of shiny scratches and also many deep gouges. Needless to say, I am very unhappy and in dispute with the installer about the installation and waiting to hear from the manufacturer’s rep about this finish and what can be done to 1) repair it, and 2) make the finish hold up to normal wear and tear. We had planned to get a small dog, and now I don’t think any dog could live on it without causing extreme damage. I never intended to have a floor I had to tiptoe on in booties.

Sarah S
Cary, North Carolina

“Just had a black bamboo floor installed. It was totaled within a week. Deep scratches even with a finger nail. Manufacturer is replacing but I’m not confident the new floor will be better. The samples of the new floor certainly were not.

William H
Melbourne Beach, Florida

“My wife and I had the caramelized bamboo flooring installed throughout a 2400 square ft house. indentions and scratches result by the least amount of friction or weight upon the floor. We had the dealer visit our house and he offered a bucket of commercial grade finish which the installing company agreed to apply. Now we have shiny scratches and indentions. I may seek legal counsel.

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

“I installed bamboo throughout my home this past year. And as many others are saying, all of the advertising, research and phone conversations were misleading. I asked about dogs & scratches & was assured my two beagles wouldn’t do damage. I some parts of the floor there are more scratches than not. I am at the point I have to replace my whole house. The manufacturer recommends I refinish it in a commercial grade finish, even though when I ordered it they told me the finish was the hardest out there. I am wondering if anyone else out there is interested in participating in a Class Action Lawsuit. My old maple floors held up better than this!

Mona C
architectural designer – Royal Oak, Michigan

“I would like to join a class action law suit. I experienced the same problems. I can’t wear my shoes in my unit because the wood scratches and dents so easily. In addition, at least half of my boards are cracked. I feel I was mislead as well. I was also told that the product is extremely hard. Any pressure results in dents and scratches as well as cracks.

Jen D
– Winchester, Massachusetts

“Just installed 2200 sq/ft of carbonized Bamboo and the finish can be scratched off by my finger nail. Dents and scratches everywhere! Class action let’s go!

Jason J
North Berwick, Maine

“My husband and I just built a brand new 4200 sq ft house and installed natural bamboo throughout the entire downstairs. We were told it was the toughest wood flooring out – commercial grade – the first week we had several large scratches. If there is any dirt, sand, etc. on floor – watch out – major scratches. We moved a rug from our entry which has been down 2 weeks and already major bleaching of the non covered wood. What a disappointment! What a waste of money – beautiful yes – worthless yes – it’s only good if you don’t walk on it, live on it, breath on it. Water leaves marks – horrible floor!

Stacy H
Little Rock, Arkansas
These type of comments continue with about 4 more web pages….about 95% are negative, and the term class action lawsuit makes a few more appearances.

In regards to the “green nature” Bamboo does mature more quickly than other species that are more often used for flooring.  If these dissatisfied homeowners replace their bamboo with maple Hickory or Oak. Then the “green-ness” of the bamboo is more drastically compromised.  The old flooring will likely end up in a land fill and additional flooring installed in its place.  Two floors are never as green as one.

I quote here from the Wikpedia article on bamboo flooring. Some interesting points are covered.

“Environmental Criticisms

Some research has shown that bamboo may not be as environmentally-friendly as it could be. The following are statements made in a report by Dr. Jim Boyer in a research paper for Dovetail partners.

“Recently, bamboo expansion has come at the expense of natural forests, shrubs, and low-yield mixed plantations . . . It is common practice to cut down existing trees and replace them with bamboo.”

• “As forestlands tend to be in hilly and mountainous areas with steep slopes, clear-cutting has resulted in an increase in erosion until the bamboo becomes fully established . . .”

• “Natural forests in the vicinity of bamboo plantations have sometimes given way to bamboo as a result of deliberate efforts to replace them or because of the vigorous natural expansion of bamboo in logged over forests. This process has also had a negative impact on bio-diversity.”

• “The intensive management practices employed involve manual or chemical weeding and periodic tilling of the land to keep the soil clear of undergrowth. These practices increase erosion and result in single-species plantations over large areas.”

• “The intensive use of chemicals (pesticides, weed killers and fertilizers) [associated with growing bamboo] also affects the environment . . .”

So to meet the growing demand for perceived “green” resources.  Native diverse tropical forests are being cut and replaced with “farmed” bamboo.  These plantations now require the application of pesticides and fertilizers.  Once harvested the bamboo is processed using lots of energy and a collection of toxic chemicals, it is then shipped to the opposite side of the world to be installed and admired for a short time before the likelihood of getting replaced for its inferior durability.
The Better Option

Locally sourced FSC certified domestic hardwoods.  Milled and air-dried to your local climate.  Installed by local craftsmen, and finished with natural plant based oil finishes.  I have seen many old homes that have hardwood floors that are living into their second century.

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I got to spend some time in the shop Friday.  I just completed the install of about 300 feet of base trim for a client earlier in the week.  He now wants me to re-do the door casings that the previous owner put in.  So after making a run down the hill to get some more lumber I Started machining, sanding, staining and oiling.  In the winter , I have to run the shop heaters a few hours prior to getting down there to keep from freezing to death.  When I fired them up Friday afternoon it was 34 degree down there…I get started when it reaches 50 or so.  I use two Mr. Heater infrared units that mount on the top of  20# BBQ propane tanks, one in each room of the shop.  When we build at the ranch…I get my wood stove in the shop…burn up some scrap…and get heat to boot.  We won’t need much since it will be passive solar designed.  Before I got started with this second round of trim, I had to stack to the side,  the 210 feet (half of the wood for the cabin ceiling) that I worked on last week..with all the ceiling wood + my clients…its nearly 850 lineal feet through or in the shop recently…sometimes I wish my shop was bigger…but heating that much space would be a bummer.

Blue Stain T & G for Cabin Ceiling

One of the challenges for this door trim project is the previous owners of my clients house (owner built home) used 5/8″ drywall inside the home for most of the walls.  The problem lies in all the interior door jambs are standard size….4 1/2″…When 5/8″ dry wall is used the wallboard sits 1/4″ away from the jamb…if the jamb is set to one side….most of them were set somewhere in the middle and were  nowhere near plumb or true.  I’ve reset them and now need to fabricate some 1/4″ jamb extensions, I’ll  install these later when I finish up the second round of trim.  Another first for me in the wacky world of half ass carpentry…done by morons, is that these doors were set with 3″ cabinet screws…through the door stops…..These are stain grade jambs…if these were paint grade…and were painted you might get away with it.  The second challenge is,  I replaced the el-cheapo luan hollow core doors with some nice 4 panel knotty pine doors.  These new doors that my client bought were slightly under sized, after mortising new hinge locations and getting them installed we had a gap of about 1/4 on the strike side…so I had to perform a little jamb surgery and reset them for proper reveal.  The original installs were crappy enough to make the top ten list.

Crappy Carpentry I have encountered over the years.

1.  Drywall  found sandwiched between a total of 7 layers of roll roofing.

2.  Lean-too addition on cabin…18″ out of square in only 7 feet.

3.  3/8″ thick  piece of cedar siding used as a ridge beam.

4.  Room Addition set 18″ below grade, back filled with dirt up along wood framing.

5.  Kitchen floor 3″ out of level in less than 8 feet.

6.  Deck footer, poured slab 2″ deep…in 48″ frost depth zone…demolition with 1 hand lift.

7. Plumbing repair to frozen pipe…8 repairs in less tan 2 feet of pipe.

8.  Toilet rough in 18″ from back wall (normal is 12″)

9.  Exterior window trim, installed with 16d framing nails

10.  Interior doors, installed with (3) 3″ gold cabinet screws THROUGH DOOR STOP…and nothing else.

I’m sure this list will evolve as I experience more projects in the future…but for now…its enough to put  a chuckle in the minds of my fellow carpenters.

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I was looking through some old pics on the computer the other day and I found one from Jan 2007 that shows the “glacier”  that we get most years in the yard.  It is a by product of our mountain snows combined with our mountain wind…those that have read some of my earlier posts will remember …he who must not be named… When it blows 60 to 80 MPH the snow gets pretty dense.  Most of the time you can walk on the drifts without sinking in.  Which means that the snow blower is pretty much useless.  For those events I have to use the garden shovel and chisel it down and then “blow it”.  Its pretty labor intensive, and I ‘m glad I have not had to do that this year….at least yet.  Our snowiest months are March and April,  but our windiest months are January and February.   So as January slips away I would like to share some pics with you.

Wind packed Drift

The "Glacier" Jan 2007

Jan 2010...No Glacier!!

The Alley between Trailer and Shed 2007

Summer time shed (8'x12' with 8' high side walls)

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I packed up the Christmas tree last week…and saved the blue lights for another project..I’ll post soon on that.  We fell in love with the Giant Blue Tree a few years ago.  It is a huge 60 foot tall monster that was completely covered with just blue lights, it is part of the annual light show at the Denver Botanic Gardens…last year they did not have it due to some construction projects and this year we did not get a chance to head down.  Tori had a bout with pneumonia for Christmas and gave me a good cold to boot.  We did not miss it so much since we had our own mini version right in the house.  I found a deal of some blue LED Christmas lights so we got to have a “blue Christmas”

Our own Blue Tree

Also last week I got to play with a new cookbook I got just after Christmas…its all Thai, and I worked up a few dishes since then.  The other day I made a green curry with coconut milk, fresh peppers and shrimp….it was great over the rice noodles but still my favorite has to be the panang curry beef I made when I first got the book….I used some boneless beef ribs and they were so tender they melted in your mouth.

Green Curry Shrimp with Peppers

I just got back up from the shop, continuing to oil the 6″ T&G for the cabin.  I have about 210 lf sanded and oiled with 5 coats….still have the other 210 feet to sand yet.  I could not get it all sanded as I had 300 lf of trim I’ve been working on for client still in the shop, I delivered it Friday,  and I start to install that next week.  Once this final coat on the T&G is dry I can rack it aside until it is time to take to the cabin…Its going to look Sweet!…There is a nice mix of blue stain, clear, and reddish.  It was  a great deal at 41 cents a foot…and I’m looking forward to getting another 400 feet or so for starting on the walls at the cabin.

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We had 38 degrees yesterday..woohoo. I got out and attacked the drift at the end of the drive, we have been driving over it for a couple weeks. It was not consolidated into ice yet but it did require some effort with the metal garden shovel. I busted on it for about an hour before heading to the flats…I’ll work some more on it today as the forecast is for more of the same.

On my trip in the flats I saw no less than three convertibles with the tops down and a bunch a people walking about in shorts…there was still snow on the ground there but my guess was that it was up near 55 or better.  I got some more electrical supplies to do some more work on the solar power stations.  I also made the run to the sawmill to pick up some Blue Stain Pine T&G for the cabin.   At 41 cents a lineal foot it is a great deal, I hope to get started with sanding and oiling it later this week.   This is round one for the cabin, we will use it for the ceiling.  I need to finish wiring for the LED lights for the main part of the room, but that should only take a few hours next time we are down there.

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