Monday, May 22, 2017

Barrel stand Day 4

Day 4 started with me turning the furnace back on this morning... it's a tad cold.
We were supposed to go back to the nursery this morning, but we waited for the temps to go up a bit.
Apparently I have money burning my pocket so we have to go spend it on flowers... Huh, no tools? :-)
Our flower production won't be enough for this year so we will supplement it for faster results :-)

Well there goes my pocket money for this long week end 
yard sales looking for tools :-)

For various sundries reasons, I could not get to work on it until supper time, for which I was I/C of BBQ. So how long should it take me to slap a couple of side frames together while I wait for the BBQ to warm up? And should I bother to change before working on it, since it could get dirty? Nah!

Good reasoning except that I was kinda rushed and the darn construction glue really oozed out and there was some on the grass, and I leaned over to inspect one of my corner assembly joint, and.... that's how I ruined yet, another pair of pants... Dear, I swear! :-) (Heather would be so pissed at me right now :-)

Assembly was straight forward, just a bunch of dadoes and half lap joinery.
I used construction adhesive and lag bolts with washer, should be plenty strong.
As usual I don't really have any plans to go on, I am just winging it as I go...

First mistake: Fail to ensure correct orientation of joinery in corner post.
Oups, had to disassemble and turn post around after I try to lined up all four before proceeding....

After supper: We had a birthday girl, so Jean bake a cake and Rudy grab the first paw, it was too close to the counter edge and two change of clothes later, this is were I am now... (short version of the afternoon :-)

Once the frame was assembled, time to work on the top of the platform
The top would be done with 5/4 decking boards, should be plenty strong
with an additional cross member in the middle.

Mocking up the top with two planks of decking

My corner post is too long, but I do not know the proper length yet, I have Min-Max height restrictions for the automatic drip system operation. Once my stand is finished and the barrel in place, at the proper location, I would know.

Now, you may be wondering why I set such a rain barrel far away from any gutters, and besides, I did set up a watering point feed from the house nearby... but... There is a reason for my apparent madness, as there is ...usually  :-)
One of the four post is set higher in order to attach the solar powered irrigation unit and to hold a hose hanging fixture she had.

I will have to fill up the barrel with tap water, but perhaps the rains will keep it up?? Well, will see... If not no biggie, I have a water point nearby for refill.
There is a water level sensor with the irrigation kit, so should be no problems

While I was at it, I wanted to install a tap on the barrel, to fill watering cans. There was a bottom drain line with valve, but I prefer to have a tap higher up for filing up water cans.  Even if using tap water in the barrel, said water will still be gentle on the plants, untreated, it is from my private well, and Heather's African Violets loved that water.

I did not got to it, was a tad busy :-)

While I was working on that infamous Rain Barrel Stand, Jean kept on cleaning up flower beds. We should be ready to move some of the bulbs flowers from our gardens to them shortly plus the new flowers we (?) are getting

Should be on track to finish this ONE DAY project in a few days :-)

Next up is the gardening tool station set up on another 4X4 PT post. Another ONE day project ?  Probably.  Heck I got the post already done... :-)

Bob, who is now the proud owner of yet another pair of fancy work pants :-)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Barrel stand Day 3

It was definitely cooler last nite, not sure if we went down below 6C but the house was definitively cooler this AM, down to 67F. Furnace has been off for a few days, bonus.

Started our day early to clean up the front flower bed, we were suppose to go to Valley Raceway opening today with the daughter and grand kids, but that did not happened.

Teamwork :-)

Did a few tulip transplants, found around the yard

We did also managed to transplant a few trees from around my property, one of them a single Silver Birch for Heather, when this tree shows signs that it is going to make it, I would be able to cut the one by the deck at peace with myself,. Probably next year...

By the time noonish rolled around we were both dead tired
We took a good 2 hours nap with Rudy and went back to work: Her with more cleaning of flower gardens , me I went to the base wood shop to start the joinery on the barrel stand..YES, I actually cut some wood today...good progress on day 3 :-)

Setting up my length stop for repetitive saw cuts or kerfs 

Ensuring all pieces were cut at same locations.
I cleaned up the saw kerfs back home

After 1-1/2 hour, including clean up, this is what I got.
some clean up and assembly required and voila...!!!

Back home, after Rudy settled down, he is always so excited when I get home :-) Started to cleaned up the joinery I did with the Radial Arm Saw.

Once that done, I slapped on some end cut preservative on all my cuts.  Should be dry enough for tomorrow to start assembly

And that is about all we got done today.... progress, slow steady progress.
I'm happy, tired and need a cold one... And where is my Voltaren, Babe?

Tomorrow on Day Four I should have a carcasse assembled and who know, maybe even a completed project??
Stay tuned ... :-)

Bob, riding off in the sunset with Rudy, time to go sip a cold one, or two

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Rain barrel project... Day 2

Day two started by a quick run to the nursery with the grand peanuts to go get some tomatoes plants.

We put the netting on the trellis then as Jean planted the tomatoes, I started to cut a trench to bury the water hose to my water point so I could mow the grass without having to moved it every time. Both operation were helped with the grand kids and Rudy...humm, took somehow longer than expected :-)

Trellis netting installed, tomatoes plants, cucumbers plants
 and pepper bell plants in, next is staking 

Trench dug for the garden hose

Came across the power line going to the shed.
Glad to see they used the proper cabling

Buried and cleaned up

Their mother came to picked up the kids and after lunch here they all went swimming with grandma on the base. I stayed behind so I could get some work done on the "one day" platform :-)

But first a nap... :-)

Next another trip to the nursery stores, following our discussions about the grand plan, we decided on a partial privacy wall, made of trees and plants... need more ornamental trees... off to the nursery we go with Rudy

7 in total, will no doubt need more but it will do for now...

Our grand plan is just that...grand :-)
Hence why we are doing it in phases, this year being establishing a garden area to produce plants and veggies.

In the coming months I will terrasse the sitting area and that will help define the location of the Fire & Water area. Once these fall into place the remainder becomes easier to locate.

So after all that, we were both tired, it is amazing how much energy the little ones can zap from you :-)
Some of the front flower bed got started, clean up, the privacy wall planted,
the water line buried, solar lights put up and all the veggies planters got protection from the frost...

FROST?? Yes, they forecasted a frost warning for tonite...after three days reaching low 30s.???
WTF??%?$@# OK, so all the beds got their required protection from the frost. Still can't believed it, but, mother nature does what she wants.
Welcome to Canada, if you don't like the weather? Just wait 5 minutes, it will changed :-)

Rudy pointing to a squirrel. I see him Dad let me go...

The 4X4 got its greenhouse cover and the treillis one got 
various sizes cloches to protect the plants

The Veg-Trug get its greenhouse cover

Rudy and I thought that was enough for the day, so time for a cold one 

Oh, and the rain barrel stand project you ask? Oh I thought about it alright, Ralph estimate got me to do a double take, and rethink my bright plans :-)
But then realized that, hum, I think I was correct in my guesstimate, so plan C can proceed... Another day

There is always another day in retirement...

OK, I see that squirrel again Dad, let me go...

Bob, slapping on the Voltaren and sipping a cold one :-)

Friday, May 19, 2017

The rain barrel platform... in a day...

Today is another scorcher of a day, 37.5 by 1100 this AM... but at least there is a breeze keeping the damn little flyers out of the circuit... less bites that way :-)

As I said earlier, said platform must be sturdy to resist the load of a full 50 US gallons of water (pretty heavy) and not be rickety to tip the barrel (would be dangerous). That means, overbuilding is of the rigueur , or simply put, Par for me :-)

This should be an easy one day project... :-)
First thing was to figured out the optimum height. Guesstimating 16 in high
Rounding up my limited stash of PT lumber we have...

Enough 4X4 but not enough 2X4 and decking..

So after some mental exercise, I put some ideas to paper and quickly concluded that I need more stuff...
Off to the local lumber yard to get it before it close by 1700. Yes it has taken me that long to get there: Rudy to the vet first thing this AM, one trip to bring Jean her purse that she forgot, another trip to the stores and checked the mail which resulted in one more errand, filed the trailer with soil, plant some more seed as we planned last nite and etc etc... Oh and did I mentioned that it is hot today? Well another winter's day in Ken's corner of the world but, for here... :-)

So near the end of day one we have...

Oh right, safety first people...

These nails and staples have to go, and I need another beer...

By then Jean was back home with a tree and the grandkids, so time for a break and a tree to plant... So end of day one :-)

Tree planted, Meadow giving it its first drink

We also planted some flowers around it

It is an ornamental tree, Susan Magnolia.
It represent the beginning of our lives together, sort of my life V2.0

We will also plant a Silver Birch in Heather memory nearby. So I can cut down the one by the house to build a bigger deck. I have long debated to cut or not to cut this tree, Heather wanted to save it, build around it she said, but Id rather not.

As you can see that tree had a hard life, 
which probably is what made Heather its protector..

During the Snow armagideon of 2015,  she was worried about the birds not being able to forage for food. So I had to clear a path to the bird feeder to replenish it throughout the whole winter :-)

Finally, a good friend of Heather and I, David Morris, talked me into cutting it down and plant another one in her memory.  Good idea, dilemma solved! Thanks David :-)

Bob, who gave Rudy a bath with his new special shampoo. Dry skin conditions, too hot and numerous insects bites. Thank you Bailey's skin rescue, that stuff works miracle on his skin...

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Progress under the sun

Boy is the sun ever out now...30 today.  Phewww and came to find out that my car Air Conditioner is not keeping up. Humm it was last "fixed" late last summer, they claimed there was no leaks just needed a recharge... Dropped in at the garage today to ask if their superb work was under warranty... Next Wed it goes back in for "fixing" apparently the dye they put in should now reveal the culprit...

Two pick up truck loads of soil later...

Then I just have to transferred it to my trailer for my tractor

Installed another 4X4 raised garden, just one section, the other similar had two juxtaposed. This one got the trellis for growing tall veggies the other got its frame and Green house cover.

Scraped of the grass (ok, weeds) then raked soil loose

Oh surprise that kit is designed to fit into the 2 in frame, not the 1 in, 
so I had to improvise. The frame is a bit skew but should be fine

Then fill her up with top soil mix (secret recipe :-)

I am getting better at backing up the tractor with the trailer attached, but it is such a short throw, not easy....
The Veg-Trug is now also installed and ready for her to do her stuff.

Rudy inspecting the parts making sure they are all accounted for...
Before taking off with one...Got it back :-)

Assembled, resting on blocks

   Fabric liner in

Filled up, need to tuck in the fabric

As I mentioned early on, it is brutally hot today,  well,  I'm sure Ken would beg to differ, but it is for here :-)
So I had the bright idea to assemble the two green house frames inside the house on my kitchen floor. Hummm, I think I need a bigger floor and door :-)

What is wrong with this picture ??? Doh!

I do plan on replacing the house's front door this summer so maybe if I was to take out the door frame... ? Nah, off to plan B while I sip a cold one and regroup.

Treillis and greenhouse frames up...

...Just need their covers and netting installed.
Later tonite when it's cooler

In the mean time I set up the water point and installed her sink inside the green house

Water point, feed from the house. 
Top branch goes to the sink, bottom to the watering wand on a 25 ft hose.
Hose storage would be taken care of when the barrel platform is installed

Found this sink at Lee Valley, could not make one up for that price point.
Stainless steel to boot, well its from China, but time shall tell

Now the fun part. I need to start in earnest on a couple of "One Day woodworking projects" to set up the automatic irrigation system.

One day, heh? We shall see...

First up is a platform for the rain barrel. Simple enough, but it must be bullet proof to prevent the barrel to tip over, that would be dangerous. A full 50 gallons US barrel is...heavy. Not to worry, I shall overbuild said platform in my usual manner. I'm pretty sure my design would withstood an earthquake, but we don't get them around here. But we do feel tremors from the Air base next door blowing up expired munitions once in awhile. Such as today and tomorrow. They are kind enough to let us know before hand via the local media :-)
Poor Rudy cannot read and does not seems to care much for that..

Next would be a gardening tool station near the raised beds.

I am now in the gathering material phase. We have the grand peanuts over this weekend so I hope to finish some of these projects before.

Stay tuned...

Bob and is ever growing Honey do list. Sipping a cold one to escape from the heat :-)