Tuesday, September 11, 2018

A tale of trees

That tortuous Silver Birch tree that was behind my existing deck, and in the way of my larger new one, is now finally gone... for good. Or is it??

At time of purchase in 2011, the building inspection found some issues with the deck.

We always do a home inspection when buying / selling houses, well worth the price IF you get a reputable one.  Knowing that this deck is nearing its useful life, we decided that we would simply address the issues to extend its life a few years, while we attend to other renovations inside.
And that tree behind the deck came in handy to fix the deck
It was one of the first thing we did, to make it secure, in time for our first party at the home :-)

The tree behind it made it great to pull back the deck from the house.
Notice the two stumps, that trio was cut earlier by previous owner

In order to replace the rotten ledger board against the house, which was also only spiked with rusty nails, as was the norm back when this deck was built, 70s.

Temporary braces on, deck was pulled back just enough to be able to detached it from house and replaced with a proper PT piece lagged bolted to house framing and flashed with drip edge, as per today's code. We proceed in two sections for ease of work.

Having rescued the deck for a few years, we could then proceed with our renovations inside and have the deck handled our friends safely :-)

My friend Ray, we served in the RCAF together

That tree was useful, as a bird feeder, and it did provided some shade on the deck.
Heather wanted to keep this tree, incorporated it in the new deck she said.
We could never agreed on that, so it went on for a while...

In the winter she made me cleared a path to go feed the bird feeder

It did made a good platform for bird photography.
Set my camera WIFI on, controlled from my iPad on the couch with Rudy on my lap,
 I could view and snap pics 

How such pics were possible

But still the debate about this tree went on for a few years. After she passed I was torn about cutting down "Her" tree.

The new deck will extend past the tree


A good friend of Heather and I, David Morris, suggested that I transplant a part of it before cutting it down, this way it will live on.
I mulled that for a while and thought he was right, dilemma solved. Thanks David
A year ago, we did just that, transplanted a sapling from it, and made sure that it was well established before cutting down the tree behind the deck.

That sapling with a little statuette.
Heather's angel holding Rudy

This year, we cut down about 11 trees of various types and sizes around my lot in order to put a fence in to let Rudy be free ranging in the yard. The street in front of my house is a rural secondary highway, HWY 201, I am worry about Rudy running across it chasing squirrels. We get a fair share of traffic on it, it goes to the local shopping mall and the Wing. Not to mention High speed Rice Rockets (Japanese high performance bikes) zooming by in the summer months. Speed limit is 80 KPH but, you would never know at time... 

So, then the tree came down

But like others around my yard which were cut about two month's ago, some are showing signs of life again, they just wont die...

That small oak tree in the middle was cut
Now you see it

Now you don't...

2 months later...

We then made a small controlled fire on top of it to dry up the stump and kill life on it

Later that nite. 
Have not seen any signs of life around it since. About 3 weeks ago

Similarly, that tree behind the deck just keep sprouting new shoots, as fast as I cut them.

We then gave him a similar treatment, except that I first started to dug around it to expose the roots in prevision for pulling it out shortly with the help of a friend.
Overkill? Perhaps, but its in the way of digging post holes and I don't want it to keep growing under my new deck.

Started to dug around and exposed the root ball. 
No wonder there was quite a hill there...

Later on Jean did another controlled fire on top of it

Then started to follow the roots to get them out

My friend Doug, shows up and cut most of the roots away. 
The plan was to cut all the exposed roots using a combination
 of a chain saw and a recip saw, then pull it out using his truck

Digging under, we can start to wooble it

Finally, flipped over by us, no truck pulling was required

The under side of the root ball, most of the solid growth was side ways, not downward.

We rolled it up his truck using a ladder

The final mess Im left with :-)

Took the rest of the day off yesterday, I'm still aching, but relieved it went easier than I thought, just like Doug said :-)

So there you have it, why my blog has been quiet for awhile, I'm a tad busy in the yard still.
The plan is to get ready for next year with our deck plans.

Bob, who keep forgetting I am not 20 anymore, I feel a tad sore everywhere, but real men (read stubborn old goats) keep on trucking. One down, and more to go...

Monday, August 27, 2018

The boring bits till, hand tool edition

Now that my Boring till is finally on the wall (Heh, it only took me a year), I have been thinking about how best to store and yes, display my boring bits...

The boring till, on the right of the window.
I have yet to decided on what is going up behind bench in front of it...

I fully envisaged that the power bits storage would be different than the brace bits storage, but how, I did not know yet.

This Week End in our travels, we passed conveniently by the large Wilmot flea market, and I spied this little rack, for one buck (Cdn $1, a Loonie)…

It is a home made collector's spoons rack

When I saw it, I thought, hum, wonder if it would fit my bits??
So you know I had to drag some into the kitchen to try it, don'tchuno (pronounced a la Ken :-)

Some of the smaller spoons and gimlet bits, will somewhat fit. 
Definitively would need larger holes

Laid down to see how much height I have.
About two (2) rows for the larger one would do.
But I like how the longer ones on top are resting in two (2) rows, 
better secured, less rattling's around 


About 1-1/2 inch spacings

Wide enough for my big paws, with wide bits

 But how many can I lay out...

12, not quite the full set of 13 bits, in any kind of bit set(s).

In the brace bits world, a full set of bits was 1/4 inch to 1 inch by 1/16 th inch increments for a total of 13 bits, numbered by the number of 16ths (EG No 4, 4/16 is a 1/4 inch bit, No 13, 13/16 is 1/16 smaller than 7/8 and etc)

So in this cabinet size, I can layout two rows of 12 bits each, for a total of 24. Not bad, but I will extend it to do a full 13 bit set(s). Height wise, it is a bit wasteful for only two rows.
I will keep the middle row to help support (cradle) the bits. And I think we have a winner!

Some quick measurements, and we are off to the races.

19 inches wide, outside dimension.
Will need to add two inches to the inside holder to hold 13 bits

By 22-3/4 inches high.
Will cut that back down a bit (pun intended), maybe one inch?

The outside sides are 1-1/4 inches wide

The inside depth is 1 inch, sufficient for all bits

This is the current holder shape, for holding collector's spoons by the neck
Will uses round holes and open straight slot up front, like on boring till

The back thin ply is made of wafer boards??
Everything is glued and pinned by a small brad.
Bit of flex on the holders, mine would be stiffer

So, there we go, this would be my Boring Bit Till, hand tools edition.
And the scalloped sides? Well, it does help to reach in the outside bits, I will keep that detail, unless it becomes a cover for a deeper box???
And those favorite's bit of mine, the center bits, they can get quite large, quickly. Their spacing wont be evenly spaced  Will need tinkering on some scraps

Coming up soon, same Bat channel

Bob, jumping around projects, easily distracted... Squirrels!!
Meanwhile, back to the moulding planes...

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Cleaning and reminescing

Before we left end of July, I was starting to get some blisters from all the tree pruning I had been doing.  Jean made me stopped my yard work until my hands looks better.
Thats right, real men dont wear gloves... :-)

Well after all this time, I’m healed, lets make some new ones :-)

We don't have the heat waves we had recently, but it is still pretty hot in the day time.  I usually work outside early in the morning before the sun heats up too fast. Past 1100 or whenever I am sweating buckets, it's time to stop and retreats inside to the air conditioned rooms.
Everyday, I check after 2 PM, our Government website which shows which County are OK to burn today. I live in Kings County, by the Bay of Fundy.

More branches to burn, getting there slowly.
Sure am getting good uses of my new fire pit.

Since our return, I managed to get four nites of burn so far, yesterday being my last one.
I am slowly going around my lot line cleaning up the trees branches from the trees that were dropped.
I need to get that line cleaned up in prevision of an upcomming fence.

When I retreat inside, lately the garage has been cool, thanks to the cross breeze from my opened new windows. Of course, in order to get remotely close to those window frames, neccessitated some ahem, re-arranging, stuff around the floor.

OK Dad, a little more stuff on the right and the left and we are done,
 I don't see any squirrels in there


While I had to, may as well, keep going around the floor and peek a boo inside crates, boxes what have you.  Some have not been opened since... a long while.

As I go around, the idea is to re-organize and turf stuff out.  Well, that would be the idea ...
Relocating the lathe, opened up a whole area I have not seen into in awhile.
And since both bench areas in front of the windows had to be cleared, I have horizontal surfaces to spread out stuff.. or Crappola as Ralph would says

One of my old school box lunch, circa early 60s, with stuff inside

During the Apollo moon missions, I was fascinated with all the cameras and stuff.
So I made myself a bunch of cameras and set d├ęcor and filmed my own man on the moon landings:-)
Mom had a super 8mm cameras, I made some films with special effects, including pyrotechnics using smalls firecrackers and pellets gun shooting.
What? You did not think I could had landed on the moon for real right!? :-)
Oh, and they all got shot by aliens at the end...

One of my early digital clocks from the 70s. This was No 2, a deluxe version made a lot simpler by the use of a dedicated clock chip. My first one was a power hungry TTLs affair.
That used a Tandy Radio Shack board and chip, most other parts came from Addison in Montreal 

It will need some tender loving care.
Wonder if it still works?? Will find out...

Under it was a bunch of old headsets, some world war 2 surplus stuff

Wow, some of these chemicals are getting old...
from L-R
- A Kodak film cleaner, went thru a few of those in the early 80s transferring my old Super 8 to VHS
- Contact cement, no idea if still good ?
- A very interesting magnetic fluid, used to troubleshoot multi heads tape recorders, it let you see the recorded pattern on the tape, pretty cool stuff.  From my early days of  maintaining tape recorders: audio, video and digital tapes
- A caved in ABS cement can, trash.

Found this stuff in an old Steinberg grocery store bag, 
so from Quebec and mid 80s. Looks like stuff that was found in our old farm house we lived in before moving to Bagotville on our first tour 1984-7 
Yes, turfed most everything...

Starting to look good, pretty well done in that area.

I can walk around my table saw, bonus :-)

This area has all been cleared and cleaned, there was evidence of squirrels activities, 
but I don't think they are back.  Nonetheless, Rudy is still keeping an eye out, 
every times he goes in... making sure

My next wall to tackle, yippee

Between gathering wood in the morning for burning in the late evenings and cleaning the garage, not much progress on my next installment's on the moulding planes.  But I promised her that my accumulating piles of planes and books in the living room will disappeared soon, so I better get back to it, besides, I still don't wear gloves :-)

Came across an older sign that was in my dad workshop

Dad old sign, that type of sign was common in Quebec in the late 40s-60s
A glass plate with back painted gold lines, a backing of lightly embossed aluminum foil with black lettering. The whole sandwich is held together by crimping the bottom mounting plate to the wavy glass sides. They long stopped making those...

I normally hang his "shingle" over in my shops, 
like I did in my last shop in Bagotville 2006-11


And these cabinets in that last picture, are the usual types I built for my shops thru the years. 3/4 MDF, with rabbet and groove joinery, glued and screwed, using special screws, then painted. They are mounted on adjustable foots so they are not in contact with the floor.  I plan on doing some more soon for this garage.

And lastly, all my previous woodworking mistakes and some stuff I kept for what??? are going up in smoke.... never to be seen again



Bob, who better get back to his moulding planes saga before she... :-)
Yes dear...