Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Duelling Drills on the walls of the Garden Castle Shed

What a great day! Not bad for two people with no construction experience, just some woodworking.

It was a real test for the Bosch drill Jan purchased last December. It just couldn't handle driving in the long screws through the 2x4s and into the studs. Now we realize a hammer drill would be better. So, he pulled out my old Makita that I purchased in 1984 for my drapery business. It has been used for 30 years and in low speed got the job done. The Bosch was fine drilling holes and the Makita managed to do the rest, duelling drills.

Here is the back wall framed up.

 The front wall frame also went up! The center of the shed will have a slant roof, higher in front and 6 feet tall in back.

Tired and happy in the 4 foot wide doorway.

Guess who will be doing his job? The little gargoyle says, "It's about time."

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tool Haul and Garden Castle Shed Sprint

It's been so frustrating waiting to get back to building of the garden castle shed!

It took Jan too long to finish the lean to shed, then he caught a light cold and then last week I caught it. Darn! Thursday and Friday were miserable and I had a hard time sleeping so YouTube woodworking videos were my entertainment.

The Homestead Craftsman talked about buying tools at swap meets and showed a few of his great buys. I've always loved old tools with wooden handles and wondered where we might find some. By Saturday morning I was feeling cooped up and wanted to get out so for the first time ever we went to the Cherry Avenue Auction Swap Meet. We arrived about 9:30 a.m. and left hungry about 11:30 and decided to go to Caruthers for lunch at Brown Bag Burgers that we had seen on California Gold early in the week. The burgers were great!

We made a U turn back to a country garage sale, no luck, no tools but the lady suggested the old Sunnyside Drive-In swap meet. With full tummies but unsatisfied with only two small items we headed to the swap meet, and arrived about 1 p.m.

What a great little swap meet, a few people were already packing up for the 3 p.m. closing. Boom, boom, boom! Great haul!

The finds were from 50 cents to $5 and we were thrilled, they do need some care.

On the way home we stopped at Fresno Ag for special light bulbs for our mantle lamps. By that time I was worn out and was miserable by evening, had another terrible night coughing from post nasal drip and feeling achy. Sorry for all the misery descriptions.

We were busy working on Monday and this morning but I told Jan today I wanted to make some progress on the shed, my goal was to get the flooring in.

Here is how the project has been for three weeks, so sad.

The sun was moving fast and so were we.

Ta da!!! Look what was accomplished in just three hours.

The garden castle shed gargoyle is very happy and Jan is pleased with his tool belt. The next step is the front and back walls. We will keep our eyes on the goal.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Mother Lode of Old Fencing

Today we struck the mother lode of old fencing! At 9 a.m. I had an email from someone who saw our three week old Craigslist request for old fencing.

It was a little disappointing, a pile of junk and some wood. Here is Jan with the morning batch of wood.

Then in the afternoon we had a call from our friend Mike of "Mike's Garage Doors." He had just passed a house with a large stack of fence wood and sign "Free Wood" and it was only a few blocks from us.

 So, here is the second load of the day. There was lots more but things are getting out of hand in the back yard.

As soon as we got back we did some organizing of wood. Jan still done the roof on the lean-to shed.

The old potting table went back into use for now.

Removing nails from boards....

...had to get the back view of one of his favorite t-shirts.

The stack of fencing wood good enough for the siding for the garden castle shed is building up.

Here is a better shot of the fold formed copper piece I made and posted last night.

Any ideas or suggestions? Lisa?

Oh, keep Mike's phone number handy if you need a repair or new garage door, 259-8340. Thanks, Mike!

A Jumble of Screws and Nails

The sounds of metal and sorting screws is coming from the studio. Earlier today we stopped at Harbor Freight during their 3 day sale. Jan found some organizers and is now busy sorting, from this.......

....and this jumble

... to this

....and this!

 He's a happy man.

While he worked all evening in the studio I was keeping him company and doing some organizing and decided to work on a copper fold formed piece. First I cut a piece of copper about 1.5 x 4 inches, slipped it in the vise to fold in half then hammered the fold, annealed and repeated several times. Then the pod was opened. The copper has a purplish look after annealing.

Then I decided it needed to be torn apart, I used metal shears to cut parts open on the front side and used round nose pliers to curl back the cut areas. I buffed a little and will think about what to add, it will make an interesting necklace.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Another Hot Day in Fresno

Jan made a little more progress today on the lean-to shed for the tall wood. Yesterday's heat really got to him so today he only worked a while.

He brought in the last of the decomposed granite and tamped it in place.

More contemplation. That stack of wood all along the fence is looking precarious. He used some of the short pieces for the floor. The old potting table is put to use for now. Jan's plan is to build a deeper table for dismantling pallets and have storage underneath for the smaller wood.

Here he is screwing down the pieces for the floor.

Next will be the roof for the lean-to shed. There I am in the shadow, wishing it was done to get back to the garden castle shed project, sigh.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! Lean-to Shed Progress & Paris Notre-Dame Gargoyles

The weather has been so hot, I don't know how people work in the heat when it is in the 90s or higher. The low 90s is fine in Fresno in the shade, we don't have high humidity and don't need to run the AC at that temperature. It got to 93 today but Jan worked anyway.

Here is Jan this afternoon with the sides up for the lean-to shed for the extra long boards. The sides are pretty high, Jan is almost 6'2" tall. The sides were made of four panels he picked up from a discard pile.

Now I'm thinking, "Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!" Patience, patience, woman I tell myself.

It will be much better for Jan to get all the wood organized so we can get back to the garden castle shed project.

We have a very lonely little gargoyle waiting for his perch to protect his castle from evil. So, what do you think? Is he scary? Naaaa, he's a cute little guy.

Here are some scary gargoyles.

In 1991 Jan and I climbed the stairs at Notre-Dame in Paris to see the gargoyles. I had to scan the 3 photos from that day. It was an amazing feeling seeing them, here is Jan, peeking through.

The Notre-Dame gargoyles served a purpose, they were downspouts for the gutters. They look vicious to me.

The Notre-Dame Cathedral website says, "Although some of them may be frightening, they remind us that all creatures are the work of God, so they deserve His love and salvation."

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Garden Castle Shed on Hold

The garden castle shed is on hold for several days till Jan gets wood organized. He's collected a lot of scrap wood and some pallets and it's getting out of hand.

Pallets are difficult to take apart. After some research he learned a reciprocating saw is the best thing to cut through the nails quickly. Here he is with his new saw he purchased on Saturday. He worked all afternoon and until dusk and came in raving about how much easier it is to take them apart.

Here is the wood he's accumulated so he wants to build a lean-to shed on the side of the house for storing long wood and a couple of dismantling  tables with storage under them for shorter pieces of wood. He's moving everything to the fence side.

....and contemplating what to do.

The old potting table on its side in front.

The weather is hot, 90 degrees F. when I took these photos and 97 high expected on this day in October. He's going to get started early in the morning when it's cool.

I can't wait for him to get back to the garden castle shed project, sigh. A woman's got to be patient. In the mean time he doesn't know that while he was out moving wood, he didn't want my help, I made a batch of brownies for a well deserved treat.

iPhone Plus Pocket Problem Solved in Amsterdam

The Dutch are ingenious at their advertising, I saw that over and over when we lived in the Netherlands.

The new iPhone Plus has caused many problems with small pockets. KPN, a Dutch communication company has a very clever fix in the land of bicycles and windwinds.

Bakfiets is the old Dutch version of a pickup truck, you see them used cleverly. I remember one on display in front of a bicycle shop in Amersfoort.

Here is a photo from the short video at 5:30 a.m. in Amsterdam, people standing in line for their iPhone Plus and a bakfiets tailor comes to the rescue.

Watch the minute long video here: Pocket Fix

We laughed and watched the video over and over to see all the details, the people,  Amsterdam views, how the tailor did the repairs, the people in white robes as their pockets were enlarged and the hand crank sewing machine. It was right up my alley since I have a few wonderful old hand crank and treadle machines.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Gargoyle Protecting Garden Castle Shed Building Site

This little roughian is ready to pounce on any evil villain disturbing the building site. He needs a little smoothing out, may be like bathing a tomcat but I'm ready to smooth his rough spots.

Not too much happened today except moving the turret bases into position to check for leveling. We also discussed and researched ways to build the steep turret roofs.

I couldn't resist laying out a few stones that may be imbedded in the DC, not sure yet. I told Jan since we are going this far we might as well make it look like there is a moat around the castle shed, he said it already crossed his mind. So nice that we are on the same track!

Step by step it is coming together.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Two Tons of Decomposed Granite for Garden Castle Shed

It's only 7 p.m. and we are both beat, especially Jan. He worked so hard today making do without a wheelbarrow.

When I returned at 10:30 a.m. from an office meeting he had already moved some of the decomposed granite, DC as it is called.

We don't own a wheelbarrow so he used plastic garbage cans and a 5 gallon bucket on our flatbed dolly. Here he is shoveling.


Yesterday afternoon after ordering the DC we stopped at Harbor Freight for a tamper to compact the DC layers. It looks mighty small, it's an 8x8 inch square.

By mid afternoon the area was filled and leveled for our garden castle shed. I did help! I shoveled, tamped and leveled but sure don't have the stamina Jan does.

Just to keep our eyes on the project, the model we made a couple of weeks ago has gone through different planning stages. The plan now is the turrets to be 4 feet in diameter and the center part of the shed will be larger, an 8 foot wide and 5 foot deep shed.  

Here is a simple drawing Jan did. Nothing is set, could be a few changes as we go along with the building project for our garden castle shed.