Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Thoughts about what to build when I get home.

I  haven't been very productive this time on board, mostly because the weather has been miserable, so as soon as you get off the shift you had better try to get some sleep, because no one knows when the ship will be moving so much that sleeping is impossible, and holding on to something is the best solution for staying in the same spot.

But I am looking forward to signing off in a weeks time, and I have been thinking a bot about projects that I would like to complete the next home period:

Both our regular cars will have to go through the bi-annular inspection in the beginning of 2018, so I'd better make sure they are OK.

Both Volvo Valps are down at the moment. The black one needs a new set of points and a new capacitor, possibly a new fuel hose from the tank to the pump and a new muffler. The green one needs a new set of timing gears.
These cars are "essential" to my well being. I really like to drive them, and getting one of them back in business will get a high priority.

I would like to complete the interior of the small barn, and perhaps install a hand rail for the staircase as well. But apart from that I don't think I'll work much out there this time.

Our daughter would like to make some leather belts for her friends as Christmas presents, and I am looking forward to helping her with that project. The plan is to make one belt that will look like a saddle girth for the horse interested friend, and the other friend would apparently love to get a bright red semi wide belt. As luck would have it, I have some bright cherry red shiny leather that I haven't been able to use in any project, so making a belt of some of it would be great.

I need to work the sawmill a bit too, so we can get a new load of sawdust for the horses. I am also starting to run low on regular boards, so a day or two spent re-stocking the barn at home is also pretty high up on the list.
If I manage to produce a lot of sawdust, I would like to empty the boxes of the horses for the old sawdust that has been there during the last year, and at the same time give the stable a coat of whitewash. But for that project to work out, I'll need at least one Volvo Valp to be running. I need the 4WD to haul the laden trailer onto a wet field and unload the old sawdust.

It might sound like a lot, but my experience is that I can be fairly efficient when I am at home, given that I can devote the entire day to a project. So there should hopefully still be plenty of time to enjoy the holiday season with the family and take the dog for long walks and perhaps even ride the horses if the weather permits it.

And who knows, perhaps some last minute projects will suddenly find their way onto the list.


  1. Very jealous you have a Valp (two, in fact!)

    1. Hi Andrew.

      Thanks for the nice comment.
      Despite their age (50 and 54 years), they have been incredibly reliable. And normally I have always had at least one of them ready for running anytime. But given that the timing gears suddenly failed meant that both of them were down with the flu. That was only one and a half weeks prior to going back to sea, so I didn't want to get started on some repair job that I couldn't complete.

      The mileage you can get out of a gallon of fuel isn't impressive compared to modern vehicles, but the joy of riding one is hard to beat.
      Most people smile when they see a Valp due to their clumsy looks, and you don't have to worry much about speeding.


  2. My problem is always deciding what to do and getting to it. Instead I tell myself I should really do X before Y and then Z but then get started on Z (because it's fun) switch over to X out of guilt and then realize I should've started with W and end up with 10% accomplished on lots of things and not really accomplishing anything.

    1. Hi Jeremy.

      I know the difficulty of sorting out what project to do and then sticking to the plan.
      I normally allow myself a project or two that will be "fun" to make, just as a treat for having made some of the more boring stuff.
      I have become a lot better over the years to push on through a project even if it isn't the most inspiring one.


  3. If my vote counted, I would say start with the Christmas projects first, as they are time sensitive. Obviously the cars are important as well. After that my vote would be for cleaning and whitewashing the stables, and that is only because I am a bit of a neatness freak.
    Good luck!

    1. Hi Bill.

      My Christmas projects are very limited this year.
      There's the leather belts, but Laura will need to be at home for those, so that is why I am guessing on Friday evening or Saturday for those.
      The two regular cars shouldn't require much work from my side, I am just going to drive by the garage and have a chat with my usual mechanic and see what needs to be done.

      The whitewash is a bit more tricky though.
      First I need to remove all the old sawdust that the horses has used as bedding for the last year. That means that I have to have roughly 60 cubic feet of sawdust ready for making a new layer of bedding for the horses.
      I also need to be able to pull the trailer onto a soft and wet field for unloading the old bedding, so I need a Volvo Valp to be up and running.

      Normally I try to whitewash the stable in October or November, but I am running a bit late on it this year.

      If I am really efficient, I can normally do the entire stable in one day. But I might choose to break it up this time.
      As soon as the boxes have been emptied, I can whitewash in there, and put new bedding on. Then I can whitewash all the other walls the next day after sweeping all the dust and cobwebs from the exposed beams.