The box

February 2nd, 2018

I dug a piece of 1 x 10 out of the old chicken coop for a project, not really sure what project. As I attempted to remove some of the peeling paint off one side, I discovered something interesting.

Beneath the really heavy layer of yellow paint was another layer of red, which I can only surmise was either primer or stain. Once I got the stain off, I discovered that this old board was actually something more like hardwood than the pine I was expecting. The center was a light color and the outer edges look like walnut or some other brown colored wood. I could guess that the boards might be cherry or maybe even some sort of nut.box1

I had quite a time with the paint heat gun and an a spatula, finally drug out Dad’s old Sears belt sander, hooked up the vacuum and went to town. By the time I got that side stripped, I was pretty sure that this board needed a special project. I coated the wood with linseed oil, let it set and proceeded to apply several coats of clear water based varathane.

In the back of my mind, I was deciding to make a trash can for the living room, something you use most days and a regular furniture piece for the room. I did not want to cut any of the beautiful brown wood off the edges. My thought was to add vertical strips on each corner and cut dados and wood strips to join the corners. The board was long enough to make 12 inch sides and use the remaining piece for the bottom.

The size kind of got away from me, and my beloved thinks it is too massive for a trash can. In the spirit of usefulness, she suggested we might use it to hold a plant. I think that might be just grand.

Here are a couple shots of the finished product:



box1_smaller         box2_small

I really like the contrast between the brown and light. The background on the second shot was messy, so I had a little gimp cleanup to do.

Originally I was just going to leave the old yellow paint on the inside,

but I could not stand to hide that beautiful wood.

Here is a shot nearly finished on the workbench:




New Lathe

February 2nd, 2018


I finally got around to purchasing a replacement lathe. My old lathe was just too big for my little shop. I attempted to make a lathe out of various bits and pieces, and even turned a couple items with the lathe, but holding the work was sketchy at best.

The new lathe is smaller, a 10 x 18 1/2 hp lathe from Harbor Freight. Considering the source, it is actually pretty nice.

When I got it home, I unpacked it right away and turned it on and investigated to make sure it would suit my purposes.

In order to get it off my workbench, I made a quick stand out of a couple lengths of 2 x 10 by cutting ‘finger joints’ by a combination of scroll saw, band saw, jigsaw and chiseling. Still yet to create/design are shelves or drawers to hold the supplies.

I turned a top (of course) and a couple flat bowls just to investigate how it works.

Ben Turns 4

December 14th, 2014
Zach and Ben at the 4th Birthday Party

Ben with his Dad Zach at the Seattle Children’s Museum for his 4th birthday party.

Ben with a friend opening gifts

Ben opening presents at the Seattle Children’s Museum 4th birthday party.

Ben celebrated his 4th birthday at the Seattle Children’s Museum with friends and family on Dec 13, 2014. He had lots of fun and got some great gifts. He and his friends ran around the museum, or perhaps walked quickly when the parents could make that happen.

Katie Erickson

Katie enjoying being the driver of the car at the Seattle Children’s Museum for Ben’s 4th birthday party

New counters!

May 10th, 2014

We just got new granite countertops and did some miscellaneous cabinet work on the kitchen and I thought it would be good to add some along the way pictures. I still have some drawers, shelves and doors to finish, but the new granite looks great.

Happy Fathers Day 2012

June 17th, 2012

I am publishing this on the desktop, a Dell Vostro.
I set plum-line as the home page and noticed the ancient age of the last blog, I guess I am not really up to snuff on this blogging thing…

One week left then we go to Mexico (Ensenada) for a week long mission trip, lots to do(looks like a lot of water related devices).

  • Make sure the watering system is working correctly everywhere, add sprinklers as needed
  • Determine whether the greenhouse gets watered.
  • Put in the automatic watering trough for the chickens.

Happy Fathers day out there!

The evil Internet

March 3rd, 2010

Well, I suppose it was bound to happen sooner or later, but our Dreamhost accounts have been compromised by some nefarious creatures. It will take some time to figure out and fix the damage. But as they say, we have our best men working on it.

Knitting needles

February 23rd, 2010

My latest shop project is a set of circular knitting needles for my wife. I turned the kneedles from a bit of bamboo that I ripped down to a small piece. After smoothing the ends, I attached flexible plastic to the ends with a little nail (head cut off) and superglue. The kneedles are a size 6 with a total length of 16″ including the plastic string.

The chickens will come to roost

July 25th, 2009

At long last I have completed the nesting box for the chicken coop, the last step to make their lives complete. It took me a while to get back at it, but now it is done, and it is nice.  It hangs off a slanted board that holds it tight to the wall and has a hinged lid to open to get eggs and clean out the nesting material.  Now I can finish the siding on that side and it will be a beautiful thing to behold. I was worried about insulating it and making the lid so it would open completely, but neither seems to be a challenge. No insulation, this is a summer nesting box, made mainly of plywood. It also happens that the lid won’t open up fully because it runs into the roof before it gets that far. I figure if it gets too cold, I can take the nesting box off and insulate that side a make a simple nesting box inside for the winter.

Caleb and the kids came over and helped and Theresa took the kids to the library in the bike trailer. Fun times!

WordPress upgrade

July 21st, 2009

I love Dreamhost, it makes it so easy to upgrade your website software, just a few clicks and off you go. I put off upgrading wordpress out of irrational fear that it would break something. Now I have taken the plunge and am excited to see what new templates are available on the new installation.


July 18th, 2009

Today we began the fence project on the East side of the Yard. We cut down and chipped the forsithia, and lots of blackberries, ouch! I don’t think I have been stuck by that many thorns in a long time. Then I removed sections of the old metal fencing. As I was crouching to cut it off along the bottom, I observed yellow jacket wasps flying around the stuff in front of me, and of course at that same time I was being poked in the leg by blackberry spines. Talk about nervous. I couldn’t tell if the pokes were from bugs or thorns.