Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Lath Laugh

I bit the bullet, and finally tackled my entire pile of dirty lath. I strung the scrubbing out over a few days, and even had a little fun with the drying process. With that roadblock out of the way, I can really get into some of the bigger pieces I have planned.

In each of these, the lath is mounted to another piece of unaltered, salvaged wood. Three of the compositions use varying lengths of 2x12, and the last image in this list is tacked to 1/2" ply.

Except for the frame, Good Fences(below) is lath in its natural, clean state. All other works have been brushed with linseed oil.

Good Fences 12x19.75
Since the house that I pulled these boards from was just down the alley, I thought an homage to neighbors was in order. (There was a beautiful wrought iron fence post in that yard, but I just couldn't get it out of the ground).

Family Tree 12x38
In most instances in woodworking the knot is an undesirable attribute. Knots form in a variety of ways; this one is partially encased (also called 'loose'), and most often happens when the tree grows around a dead branch. An intergrown knot is the base of a living branch. I've chosen to highlight this one for what it really is, growth in a new direction.

Desert Scene 12x21

...because who doesn't like clues that hint to ancient civilizations being so much better at things that we can't even comprehend? The high technology of the Stone Age, presented in wood!

Speaking of dry, I decided to be a little more free from the constraints of rectangles with this cocktail inspired piece.

Shaken, Not Stirred, 18x28.5

This piece does not actually float freely in space, though I am working on a model that does. Eleven elements of SNS are held in place by compression force only, no nails or glue. So far, changes in humidity haven't had any discernible affect.

I could really tighten up those gaps if I started sanding and planing. However, that process is a dust storm I'd rather avoid for now. Though, I do see future works being painted and stained (which means sanding).

And, I finally set up a winter work bench in the garage today. My next panel, made from pallet planks and shipping crate pieces, is ready at 22.5x70. Time to get to work.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

No Can Do

Recycling Reusing Is Stress Relief

Wow! I haven't posted anything in so long that my browser didn't even recognize the address.

Five lath based pieces are in the works. The only thing I've really been slacking on is getting good pictures, and sitting down long enough to put the final stamp on things. But, the hectic holiday season is over, and I'm out of excuses.


A few weeks ago, when temperatures plummeted to single digits, and our entryway became a place that was cool enough to hang meat, I started tinkering with the solar powered convection heater, the one that uses black soda cans to conduct and channel heat.

One problem, I didn't have any cans. We don't buy soda, and we don't drink beer. All I had on hand were pie pans.

The testing of my pie pan version led me to seek out cans. The efficiency of PPv1 is low, but I could see the benefit of waiting for the right parts.



Last weekend I tended bar at a wedding that only served four beverages, all in cans.

As with everything else, they have to be cleaned. So, I drew them a nice hot bath, let them soak quietly for a while. I may have lit a candle.

Then I turned them upside down to dry.

A Challenger!

Of course, such an arrangement couldn't last; 75 aluminum cans precariously balanced on the window sill over the bathtub were a cacophony waiting to happen. With two cats and a Cate, it could come at any time.

As soon as she saw it she asked... no, stated, that she wanted to knock them down. We agreed on a grace period during which they could continue drying, and on stipulation that a good record was made of the demolition.

Vent vs. Vent, Last Can Standing! With her frustrations in tow, Cate chose her wrecking ball. 3.. 2..

Fun times! Now that they're clean and dry, I have to punch holes in the bottoms.

Until then...

Shaken, Not Stirred. More like this on the way.

Friday, August 8, 2014

It Takes A House To Build A Wall


I'd been living in my new neighborhood for four months, two of which were exceptionally cold. I still hadn't met most of my neighbors, so I was made more a stranger by my habit of sifting through rubble (sometimes in the rain) and driving slowly down the alley with a heavy load of house parts weighing down,and hanging out of, my Focus.

Eventually I met Joe and his wife, and they were very friendly and encouraged me to take it all away. After months in a pile, the site was finally cleaned a few weeks ago. You'd hardly know that something had stood that ground for close to a century.

...and this is how we met. (don't worry, it's brief)


Now the back yard is filled with old timbers, a few dozen bricks, lined with 10" trim and sash windows...and projects. Because if you're going to drag a house down an alley, you should do something big with it, right?

I'll spare you the 7 minute video of me scrubbing mold and dislodging multiple species of insects and their larvae, but rest assured that it exists. Also rest assured that, as a time lapse, I spent far more than 7 minutes in those particular tasks. They were easily the most arduous, but they made the rest of it more of a joy to execute.

All the lath, lapboards and trim are from the above property on Grove. Eight pieces of the tongue and groove also came from that same pile. The remaining 10 tng came from various porches and fences. The 2x4s were pulled from a construction dumpster near a downtown development. The remaining ply and board lengths were found behind an electronics company that frequently receives large items in crates.

Here's a little step by step on how I put it all together.

The final piece is roughly 8x6. It's first job will be as the backdrop in a photo booth at a wedding. It's storage is still in question.

Now to finish the other one that's hiding under that tarp...

ps. I would like to thank the Shiloh Baptist Church for their decision to raze the property. From that aged wreckage, something new was born.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Seussical Musical Chair ...It Rocks!

I came home one evening to find this tiny toddler's rocker abandoned against my garage door.

Its vintage stenciling has been re-made into A Seussical Musical Chair, complete with a Swiss music box by Lador.

With over 40 books to his credit, new Dr. Seuss characters are constantly making appearances in my life. Generations have grown up with these wonderfully whimsical stories.

Appearances by: The Cat In The Hat, One Fish, Two Fish, Green Eggs and Ham, and the Two Siblings.

This chair was specially refinished for Corey's Crusaders, a chair-ity auction to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

See it at The Vue on May 8, 2014

To Be Auctioned! .........update! Sold for $150

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tardis... 50 years of Who?

Tardis trash bin
All the power tools in the garage couldn't get this thing bigger on the inside... and my screwdrivers will work on wood.

You won't be crossing dimensional barriers with this Tardis (Trash and Recycling Disposal Implementation System), but you can see the stars reflected in its windows. A salvaged glass insulator, painted on the inside, replaces the old wood pull. Throwing things away has never been so fun!

Sorry fanboys and girls, this box de-materialized when you blinked. You were warned.

original receptacle
glass insulator as lid pull

Plant Stand into Fountain

stenciled plant stand
The original stand had an old olive paint job, (refer to this post). It was lightly sanded, heavily oiled, and received a variety of stencil applications to brighten up its drabness.

Influenced by water instead of earth, the pedestals top has been given a fine coat of wax to help resist further absorption from potting trays.


detail of surface.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Drop Leaf Challenge


A friend of mine came across this and dropped it off for me. Definitely an interesting item to come home to.

Chippy paint, various stains, nooks and crannies galore. This one is going to be a test of patience and perseverance.

Strange, I didn't have a dining table for years, then as soon as one was purchased THREE more magically appear. You just moved to the front of the line, Chip.