Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Treading Slowly

   So much more work gets done when I have days off in a row, and I'm not between shifts.  Typical between shift day---Get up (at AirOps) around 05:30 and take care of some end of shift things.  Give a turn over to my relief sometime between 07:00 and 08:00.  Go to hardware store.  Call A.M. see what she needs me to pick up.  Stop at WalMart/Target/Market/ whatever.
  This time of year there's an awesome weather phenomena---it's wet and drizzly on the coast where work is.  Then I drive up through the clouds to 5000' where it's clear and Autumn warm and Autumn colors.
  Get home, unload groceries, take care of home stuff.  THEN I can get over to build, usually if I get going by 10:00 I'm doing good.  I had to get some painting done before putting the stairs together.

   This was fun.  All the little custom cut bits getting put together like a giant 3-D puzzle.  I'm very glad I numbered the pieces....I tried to stain the treads so they looked like the floor.  Next I biscuit joined the end trim of Jacareuba to the treads, glued and clamped them.  I got a system going where a few treads were always clamped and setting while I worked on completing some stairs....After clamping they get a light sanding----I decided I'd install them first then put the final coat of varnish on, that way I wouldn't be too worried about nicks and cuts.
   Here are two treads clamped; the kitchen drawers are in the background drying from their final coat of paint
  As is too often the case, once I got into a productive rhythm I had to quit.  I had a lake board meeting I couldn't miss.  I think I can finish the stairs with another full day...These few are done except for filling the screw holes.  The treads are glued down with construction adhesive then screwed in place--the first step squeeks though because it flexes slightly rubbing against the wall.  I couldn't back the screws out without damaging the surface of the step, but each of the other steps get adhesive where it meets the wall now, that seemed to fix the squeek

   The treads will look a bit better after the final coat of varnish.  I really like how the oak/white/jacareuba tie everything together....I'm going to caulk all the seams so dirt can't get stuck in there

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Dear Sandra...

   Sometimes I think the ONLY form of liberty liberals understand and push for is sexual liberty. 

   Sandra---you really pose little threat---you drew a crowd of 10 people at the Obama rally.  You aren't exactly a sex symbol either; it isn't so much the leftist crazy eyes or the man hands either---it has more to do with your outlook which could be very destructive.  I'm sure you tell yourself men like me want to tell you what you can, and what you can't, do with your body.  Please let me set the record straight.
   As a Conservative, I believe 100% you have every right to do whatever you want with your body.   If that's what 'liberty' means to you, well, have at it.  Difference is, the consequences of your decisions are yours to bear, not mine, and not the most innocent among us whom I have no doubt you'd force me to pay for you to have aborted, and you wouldn't lose a wink of sleep over it.
   You are to blame in part for our depressed economy.  Time was, if a young man wanted sex, (I've heard quite a few do) the way to get it was 1) Learn a trade or get a degree 2) Establish an income 3) Get married.  Sex is a great and powerful motivator.   With women like you removing all consequences from sex, and requiring a commitment only from tax payers like me to pay for your birth control, abortions, treatment for STD's, or to raise any offspring fortunate enough to escape the knife, there is little motivation for a young man to better himself..
    Turns out things like morality come from lessons learned by societies over and over again---not some random ritual necessary for eternal salvation.  Sandra, this is probably way outside your wheelhouse, but imagine a world where all women got together and refused to have sex with anyone until they were willing to make a lifelong commitment towards you, and at very least could take responsibility for the expenses of birth control---more ideally, for the expenses of a family.  Imagine that every single child born could look daily at a mother and a father that loved each other, and that child had a daily reminder they were a product of that love.  Imagine if Family was the core basis of society and government took a way far backseat.
    I hope you one day can look big picture at the cause you've cashed in your 15 minutes of fame for.  Premarital sex, with the expenses forced on fellow citizens.   Liberty isn't really about just doing whatever you feel.  Liberty is the ability to make your own decisions, and reap the benefits of good ones and suffer the consequences of bad.  Leveraging government to cushion the blow of the bad, and to leech off the benefits of other people's good decisions, is not liberty.  Quite the opposite.

Friday, October 19, 2012

One Step At A Time

(Thanks BG for the tag line)

  The staircase for the cottage is an important design element.  It's the only thing you see whether you are upstairs or down.  It has to be functional--there are more design requirements involving stairs than most people realize.  Rise over run, max/min stair depth and height, head clearances, railing height, widths, distances, turns, loads, finishes, noses, lighting, etc, etc, etc.
   It is also one of the final touches.  We are so close to the final inspection it's tempting to make it 'good enough' but I'd regret it later.  I really wanted the stair treads made out of the same Jacareuba that's become an impromptu theme throughout the cottage, but it was too difficult to cut slabs thick and true enough for that purpose.  Instead I'm using 1" thick oak stock and staining it to match the 40 year old oak flooring we put down.  The risers are just soft pine that will be painted the same white as the walls.  The Jacareuba trims the ends and goes up under the tread bull nose; it will be finished with a clear varnish so will match the balusters.  I did end up with enough straight, flat pieces of Jacareuba to do the landing---7 boards we milled from an old beam (before frying the band saw) that I carefully biscuit joined, clamped, and sanded.  I'm going to wait until it's varnished before posting a pic of that.  It's gorgeous. 
Every step gets at least 5 custom tetris pieces--the step itself, this end trim that has to go around the balusters, the riser, the riser trim, and the piece that goes under the bull nose

  So you have to sort of imagine the long piece that's sitting on the step goes up under the tread.  In these pics they are all just set in place.  Right now it's all taken apart, every bit numbered, and ready for paint/stain/varnish.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Planet Pic

   We went out for night vision hoist training currency....On the way out over Santee I was bored so took a picture through an NVG tube mounted to my helmet using my old school cell phone.  The 'sun' is just glare, known as 'edgeglow'

Monday, October 8, 2012

If You Can't Stand The Heat.....

   In the dash towards the finish line, the biggest remaining hurdle is the kitchen.  So very tempting to just go to Ikea and buy off the shelf stuff and make it fit---but decided against it.
   With ObamaGas costing $5 a gallon we combine trips down the hill---this was doctor visit/tandem bike date night/lumber run.  No way I'm making my date ride in the old truck for date night, so just figured we'd make it work one way or another...

   What a great time---AnnaMarie's working on painting while I'm doing other stuff for the kitchen.  She's deciding stuff as we go, and really getting into it.  Also it gave her lots of time to think about what color the kitchen wall would be.  Very little of that wall shows but it's a dramatic difference contrasted to all the white.

   The microwave will go right where she's vacuuming, the outlet's below it there.  She wants the microwave hidden from view from the livingroom.
   Her favorite counter material happens to be one of the least expensive, too---formica.  All the pieces we needed were in the culled lumber bin for less than half price.  Where there were chips and scratches, were all parts I could cut away.  I cut off the backsplashes except where it's actually against a wall and trimmed it with more of that jacareuba, with a comfortable angle where the bar stools are. 
    So the counter insets where your legs go for the bar.  The thin drawers on the opposite side slide just under the countertop and are rounded over so no one will hurt their knees...The big open box is the firewood crib and the slot next to it is for the fireplace tools (poker, tongs, etc).  The color she chose for the wall is 'fresh guacamole'.  When I first built the trim for the bar, I carefully shaped the very hard jacareuba and made it big on purpose, thinking 'bar'.  When AnnaMarie saw it she made THE FACE....Uh oh.  So it got re-shaped to the thinnest it could be, then she liked it.

    I won't bore you with the details of building cabinet doors, but the challenge was making the slot for the interior panels but still having room for the biscuit joinery.  I noticed the panels and the biscuits were the exact same thickness, so I just jammed the guide back on the joner, flipped it over, and used it as a wood shaper---basically cut the trough for the panel at the same time, and the panel acts a a giant biscuit.

Here you can see how the doors wnet together.  If I was careful when cutting the trough it was completely hidden.  On some doors, like this one, there's a little bit showing so it got filled with wood putty.  The biscuits expand with glue and one in place are very strong

     If you look a few pictures back to the pic of AnnaMarie painting, the cabinet behind her needs 4 identical doors.  So cut all the pieces, assembled them quick, and clamped them all at the same time.  The bedroom was the perfect place for assembly because it's not dusty, and it doesn't matter if some glue gets on the floor.