Monday, July 29, 2013

Stairs for the slide

As soon as I came home Thursday evening, I really needed to do some woodworking that didn't have anything to do with the roof on the house or similar sensible things.
My children told me that we were going to get some visitors in the weekend who had smaller children. Therefore we simply had to make a new set of stairs for the slide by the terrace.

This seemed like an ideal project to me. Nothing too fancy, outside in the balmy evening and both boys were really hooked on helping.

Gustav wanted to sand the entire structure, so he found a random orbit sander and I helped him installing some sandpaper. Asger originally wanting to assist me decided that sanding looked so fun that he wanted to do that as well.. We found another random orbit sander for him, and he started sanding the old bench and the chairs on the terrace.

I found a piece of 6 x 1½" larch that I deemed was suitable for the project. I copied the old stairs, so there wasn't much measuring involved.
I made a series of dados using a saw and a chisel. These are approximately 1 cm (3/8") deep. I didn't worry too much about getting the floor of the dados smooth, so the depth varied a little.

The steps were made from the same board and plainly inserted in the dados. They were secured with two screws, and the entire stairs were mounted on the tower of the slide.

The old stairs with a broken step.


Chiselling out the dados.

Testing the finished stairs.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Woodworking celibacy

Having been on job for 1 week now, I can feel the impact of not being able to work wood.
I was made redundant at my former company, since a vessel was sold from the fleet, and therefore there were too many crew members.

This allowed me to stay at home for 3 months working on the roof and other projects, but I needed to get an income again.
I have joined my old company again, just as a reliever in the high season. This job is on a high speed ferry between Denmark and Norway.

The woodworking problem with this ferry is that we haven't got a real accommodation. So each night we go to an old navy base to sleep. So I have nowhere to work wood. Besides that, the workshop area of this ship is close to non existing.

On top of this, the Internet connection and the computer system on board is really not working very well. I would say it resembles the days of the Commodore 64 computer. E.g. a picture on the Internet is deliberately blurred beyond recognition, presumably to make the Internet faster (which it isn't).

I try to cope with this self chosen celibacy (self chosen because I need a job) by making a lot of small sketches at corners of pieces of papers. Those are mostly sketches of things I would like to build such as a bench and table that I have promised to make for a friend, or the future porch (where I didn't manage to take measurements before leaving anyway). The surfing and blogging possibilities are fairly limited due to the state of our IT system.
Previously I would have brought at least a couple of woodworking books or magazines, but I rode on the motorcycle when I signed on, so the luggage capacity was not suited for anything like that.

I miss working with wood - but I choose to look at it in a positive way:
-Missing working with wood means that it is the right hobby for me. If I didn't miss it at all, then I probably shouldn't spend so much time on that particular hobby nor any  money on woodworking tools.

-Being away from the hobby helps me appreciate working wood once I get back home again.

Before you start feeling sorry for me, I have to say that the contract period of this ship is only 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off, so in about a week I should be home again.

As a side not, the ferry is: HSC Fjord Cat. The current holder of Hales Trophy or the blue ribbon of the Atlantic. It is the fastest passenger ship to have ever crossed the Atlantic.
The ship is a Catamaran which is built in Tasmania by the yard Incat.

I hope that yoy all get to do some woodworking wherever you are, and if you can't get to woodworking, then I hope you will be able to cope in one way or another.
Have a nice weekend

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Working ahead of the schedule

With the roof not even finished, I have undertaken yet another grand project: The future porch!
The reason I have started on this project already is that we still have a hired dumpster for the offcuts from tiles and bricks etc. This represents an opportunity to get rid of the old concrete stairs which would otherwise have required at least 5 trips to the land fill site.

The existing terrace is level with the ground, and the old massive stairs have been cracked and looked worn out ever since we moved in 14 years ago.

The plan for the new porch is to go back to the old original design according to some pictures we have from when the house was new. At that time, the porch was level with the floor inside the house and thus elevated approximately 40" above the ground.
SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed) would like a wooden porch, and she would like it to be connected to another future wooden porch at the end of the house!

This leaves me with some planning and a nice job for next year or if I am lucky in the autumn.
Actually I am looking forward to this project since I am beginning to get fed up with having scaffolding and red dust from tiles everywhere.

I will need to mill some wood for the joists and the deck itself. The joists will probably be 2x6 and the deck itself will be 5x 1.25, all made out of larch which is the traditional choice for such a project here in Denmark.

The catch is that I have to go to a course on Wednesday and then back to work on Thursday. So I  won't be able to work on the projects for a period of 2 weeks. But If I am really smart, I am going to take some measurements so I will be able to plan into detail the build of the porch.

Yesterday I managed to persuade my daughter to paint the window for the machinery shed. She could choose between either to help demolish the concrete of the old stairs, or paint the window. She decided for the window.
It makes a remarkable change with a white window compared to the wood colour it was before. The difference is best seen from a distance.
I think that it looks so good that I might have to make some more windows for the machinery shed sometime.

The old stairs to the garden.

The painted window for the machinery shed (the left one)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Woodworking blog ethics.

Looking at my possibilities of settings etc. that BlogSpot allows me to use on the blog, one is called "Adsense". They boldly state that you can make money by writing your blog. As far as I can understand by the description, you sell space on your blog for companies to use for advertising. You can choose types of ads that you don't want, e.g. "get rich quick" and "cheap medicine".

I suppose that other blog hosts such ad Wordpress etc. have got a similar system.

But trawling through different woodworking blogs, I can't remember having seen any other blog having those ads.
If the owner of the blog sells a product, e.g. an old tool, a piece of furniture etc. there is usually a link on the side to their own product.

So it made me wonder about a common understanding, that people like to read about the topic of the blog only and having to be distracted by flashing ads for new aluminium rims or dirt cheap gardening equipment or dating offers from exotic countries.

Do you know of any woodworking blogs with those automatic ads?

Would you like to see ads on the various blogs that you read?

Personally I like pages without ads.
That was one of the reasons I really liked the old Woodworking Magazine, all black and white and no ads.

So what are your thoughts on the subject? Are ads OK, should we all put ads on our blogs and donate the money to some charity work (e.g. reforestation or a museum), or should we put ads and keep the money so we could spend it on classes, tools and wood, or should we just leave it as it is now, with practically no ads on peoples own blogs?

Monday, July 1, 2013

An unusual powertool for woodworking

The door of silence is finished.
Sadly the door and the frame are so heavy that I had to use a power tool to be able to get the assembly out of the barn.
Due to the roofing project of our house the carpenter has left his tractor mounted forklift for us to use, so I could move the door fairly easy.
This is actually the first woodworking project I have ever made that was so heavy and bulky and couldn't be made light enough by taking it apart that I had to use a tractor to move it.
The lower part of the frame is intended to be buried in the ground, hence the plates to protect it from tipping over.
Anja the artist called me the other day and said that another door had been vandalised, so she had found a new place for this door at an exhibition if it was OK with me.
So I have to make some sort of stand for the door so it does not need to be buried in the ground.
Anyway it has been a fun project.

An unusual power tool for woodworking.

The door is being placed up against the wall of the barn for the final finishing touches.

The finished door of silence.