July 2008 Archives

Washout

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We've had quite a bit of rain here in southern Ontario this year. In fact we've already had more rain than we had all of last summer and we've shattered all previous records. I don't mind rain at all, but I'm not a fan of massive downpours that wash out my driveway. So far we've had three such storms this summer, and since we've never been washed out before that's pretty serious rain.

We've had Eric in with the backhoe twice now to fix the driveway, and the township has been working on the road pretty much continually all summer.

We think there used to be a culvert here. If there was, it's gone now.

If you look behind Declan you can see most of road, back there in the forest where it doesn't belong.

Fortunately this new gully is the township's problem, not mine.

Joanne makes me drive the truck over the washout, neither of our cars could make it.

Here's the road. There's a brand new ditch, the old ditch is full of the washout from the previous storms.

The new deck

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Long time readers might recall a post I wrote back in April of 2005 talking about milling cedar and the fabulous decks that would be built. I'm pleased to report that construction has finally begun on the east decks, including a new deck directly off the front door.

My helpers

This deck is a team effort, unfortunately I have to spend as much time trying to keep the kids on my team as I do building the deck. It takes only a matter of seconds for them to not only form their own team but for that team to splinter into two entirely separate (and warring) factions. Things degenerate rapidly at that point. So as a result both children are gradually accumulating their own tool sets and each has a simple task that they must perform in order to "help" me. For example both travel with a handful of 3 1/2" screws that each gets to hand me in turn as I screw down the decking. Both kids help me measure the deck (each with his personal dollar store tape measure natch) which lends an interesting twist to the old saw "measure twice, cut once" since neither can actually read a tape measure.

Deck boards going on.

I have noticed that they are doubly helpful when they are wearing superhero pyjamas.

The dynamic duo.

It's all worth it when you get a section done and the kids are so proud that they helped build the deck.

July Update

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Spring and summer have been busy around the house. The bench is complete except for finishing. I haven't decided yet what kind of finish I want to use on the bench yet, though I'm leaning towards Tried and True Linseed Oil and Beeswax finish as I love the depth and glow it gives to wood. Danish oil seems to be the traditional choice.

Front view Side view

I had to disassemble the twin screw vise and re-install it, but that was expected. It's very finicky to install correctly even when you follow the instructions to the letter. There's still a bit of stiffness in the last inch of travel but I'll probably leave it as is for a while and see if any other problems develop before taking it apart again. The rear vise jaws are secured to the bench with 5" bolts threaded right into the bench top. The front jaw, just like the end vise chop, is a piece of spalted Maple from a tree off our land.

We also had the portable saw mill in to mill the logs that I mentioned back in April. Of the thirty-eight logs only two proved to be rotten so we got away pretty lucky with storing them for so long.

Milling lumber Milling lumber Milling lumber Milling lumber Milling lumber Milling lumber

Unfortunately some of what we had thought was Maple when we cut it in the winter turned out to be Basswood. On the other hand some of the Bassword was very nice. In particular we flitch cut the crotch of the tree and found some gorgeous grain and colour which is uncommon in Basswood which is normally very clear and white.

lumber lumber lumber

We'll stack and sticker the wood through the summer and hopefully the Ash will be dry enough to go into the kiln this fall. My goal for this fall/winter is to get the ceiling done.

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