Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Yack Update

step one, purchase book ------ check!
step two, orginize wood ------- check!
step three, build forms ------- not yet!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Gettin in under the Wire

Been a great weekend, colder than a mother-in-law's kiss, but i finished some presents. something isnt right with the shop heater, every time the wind blows more than 15 mph, the darn thing wont stay running. i think im gunna put in floor heat next year!

But here is some fence to keep the nephews critters in and a shed to keep them warm.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Putting in the overtime!

This one was a tough one to complete, the candle sticks are turned from a couple chunks of oak firewood and finished with a black walnut stain and toung oil. the table runner was completed by my lovely wife with some assistance from my mother. the whole package is a present for my aunt and uncle in Antioch CA. see he gave me the lathe i turned the candle sticks on...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Here is a hot little item

Model # 142
Willow Branch Wand
Eleven and three quarters inches
Griffin Feather Core
Bees Wax Finish

The Willow Wands tend to be the best under pressure,
as they will bend much before breaking.
For best results remember to swish and flick!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Shop Time

Spent the last few days in the shop, finishing some projects and cleaning up and orginizing. its amazing that ive been in there for 5 years and im still changing stuff. someday ill have it so perfect i wont know what to do.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Island Bar Stool

Being a frequent world traveler, I had stoped off for a fruity glass of refreshment at my favorite island hideaway and was impressed with this simple yet elegant stool. So I have recorded it with my camera and have now finished reverse engineering it. I will have to complete the prototype this weekend. My travel companion still has poor taste in travel wear.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Nice weekend to putz in the shop

actually managed to make a pair of matching candle sticks for my mother's b-day. even if they look like a 3rd grader made them, she will love them. Also finished up the tater bin to roll in the pantry closet, gotta keep them taters from spoiling.

Aslo recieved orders from the nephews for 1:64th scale buildings. one machiene shed and a couple of calf barns. of course they want them for christmas...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Catchie Name

its just a crying shame that i cut up a few dead oak trees to make firewood. so i started playing with the lathe, to sharpen my skills and make something useful... so i now present
i know, i know.... dont quit the day job..

Monday, October 27, 2008

What Season is it?

Its Hunting Season!

Yes its that time of year where we attempt to fill the soup pot for another winter! ill be back in shop soon!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Wooo Hoooo!

Firewood is done! now i can concentrate on getting the homestead ready for winter.

Friday, October 03, 2008


ok so some times i go a little to far. i do like to research a new area of intrest, sometimes to death. anyway thanks to the wonderfull resources at the local library i found this book. although i live about as far from an ocean that you can get and still be in the continental United States, i found the information on style and technique indespensable. i know there is no replacement for hands on instruction, but if im going to bulid a kayak, i should at least know what one will do.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Boat building

while looking around for options and plans, i came across this book by Gavin Arkin. this book is the perfect manual for a down and dirty, knock together, easy build. these boats are the simplest things to get out on the water. if you are wanting to build your own small boat but have limited resources and tools, and just want something to float, this is the book for you. there are a couple in here that im thinking about my self for puttzing around on my lake and sloughs...for the cost of 3 sheets of plywood and a tube or two of polyurethane glue, these boats are cool.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

forgot one

didnt post the close up, what a schmuck

Due Diligence

Doing all of the research to make sure i want to invest in a large project is a lot of fun and can be educational as well. I managed to get yet another book from the Inter Library Loan program. CanoeCraft is a fantastic book that takes you step by step through the strip build method of making a canoe. Methods and materials are similar to the Strip Built Kayak book. but when it comes right down to it, a canoe is not for me. I'm going for a kayak.

Project Complete!

.....except for the water supply, the drain and a little landscaping around it. but i finally got the garden counter and sink out of the shop and into place...

and a little cleanup, as the dust and banging around while installing the sink and trimming the counter to get everything to fit. i just love a diamond blade in the angle grinder! It will shape anything to fit.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


.... are suposed to be a relaxing, watching sports, drinkin beer kind of days. so what do i have planned? oh im thinkin about 2 tons of firewood need to be chopped down and chopped up, lifted, stacked, hauled, piled and stacked again. not that i really mind, its hard but rewarding work. i love to see the final pile stacked nice and neat in the wood shed. the smell of fresh cut ash, oak and maple remind you of why fall is such a lovely time of year. gets you in the mood to spend a winter tinkering in the shop, knowing the wood supply is laid in.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Fall Equinox

Not a bad weekend, i did have to help a neighbor replace some siding on the lakeside of his house. thought it would be a 2 hr job and of course it turned into an all day marathon. would have been easy except it was on the second story between two roof lines with different angles and no place to stand. oh well its done.

i did get the location for the garden sink prepped and sand hauled in and leveled. also painted most of the cabinet, until i ran out of paint.

the better half and B-man took out a nasty pine bush and burned the branches, and uncovered the perfect place to build a fire pit and sitting area.... will have to see how this develops

Monday, September 15, 2008


Ask a man what he can do, and the answer will vary. however in the interest of one upmanship... not only can i make the best brown gravy in the world, deep fry the meanest 10 lb turkey and the occasional snickers bar. grill the finest johnsonville braught to make the mouth water and the eyes cry......

i can make the ultimate pie. fresh apples from my own tree, fresh flaky crust made from scratch just so....

yes i know, it is hard to be this good and handsome too..... hahahahah

picture updates

the first one is a nice load of fire wood, that should last a couple of months. the second is the concrete counter top that is still sitting in the shop waiting to be installed. im going to the big city tomorrow and im going to look for some stain for the concrete, perhaps something with a green tint....

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Firewood Season

Oh yes there is a nip in the air, its the middle of September and you can almost feel old man winter coming down the path.... now is the start to that yearly ritual of cutting, chopping, splitting, hauling, and stacking six pickup loads of firewood. we went out yesterday, wanted to start at 9am, got up at 7, loaded the tools and saw then had to wait for the rain to quit, by the time we finally got to where we needed to go and started the saw it was 11am. my father-in-law helped out and we managed to get the truck and trailer full by 5 (with an hour lunch). for today i get to fire up the log splitter and finish what we started, and put it all away.... two more loads like that and we should be good. let Jack Frost do his worst, my hiner will be warm.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Countertop Update

the concrete counter top is looking pretty cool. i used three 60lb bags of redimix concrete and mixed them up one at a time. put in a layer about an inch thick and then pressed in some hardware cloth to add strength. then mixed up the rest and poured it in. did the usual screed and troweling and left it to dry. i pulled the outside forms the next day and will wait until i set the counter top in place before pulling the inside forms...now who can i find to help me move the dam thing...

Friday, September 05, 2008

A Salute to Thee, Dragonslayer

I dont know who the artist is who built this, but in a tiny ski town in Colorado stands a brave knight facing his worst nightmare!

and a Salute to Thee brave Craftsman Artist who put this together!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

State Fair Update

the B-man did well at the state fair, his boot box got a blue ribbon and the Jungle puzzle got the Purple! Way to Go B-man! he really put in the time on these projects. And the prairie maggots? can i interest you in a recipe for rack of lamb?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Another project in the works

I scored a metal kitchen cabinet from a remodel job. im thinking this would be cool down by the garden to store garden tools and a place to wash veggies and hands. the counter top and sink i found to go with it is pretty well trashed. so, im thinkin a concrete counter top would be spankin cool. i have never done one before and the process looks simple enough. im not expecting house quality the first time around but it should be workable. stay tuned to see what happens next.
and what ever happened to the corn crib?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Entry Step Rebuild

the entry step was going bad with dry rot and falling apart so i finally got around to rebuilding it with cedar.. nice, I'm going to try to preserve the cedar color with spar varnish
pictures when i remember to take em...

Friday, August 08, 2008

Here they are!

Finally got a couple of good pictures of the B-man's projects. He spent a lot of time on these with very little help from me..

and the prairie maggots did pretty good too.. one purple and one blue. now the B-man wants to take one to the state fair... i just want to paint one up like a poodle.....

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Important Lessons

Ok, important lesson number 1, polyurethane will never dry as fast at it needs to. the weather will always be 526% humidity for three days before achievement days.

anyway the judging went well, pictures to follow.....

Thursday, July 31, 2008

more Choises

Ok, here is another book i found at the library. this uses the plywood method of kayak building. the book is very easy to read and the instructions are simple to understand. now all i have to decide is what method to use. paddling is a lot of fun, but i think i am drawn to the beauty of the piece, the smooth lines, the glowing finish.....i might just have to try one of each!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fantasies in Wood

I have finally found the one wood working project that has totally captured my imagination, even though I live in South Dakota – the farthest you can possibly live from an ocean in the United States - I want to build a sea kayak. This weekend I found a book by Nick Schade, The Strip-Built Sea Kayak.

The process is so simple, the costs are reasonable. I have the space, but never the time. I have the tools and the talent. We are surrounded by plenty of lakes and rivers to use the kayak, im thinking of an 11’ boat like this…. This is a picture of a Little Auk built by Jean Yves Drouet from France. Thanks for the picture Jean, I got it from the Guillemot Kayaks site….

This might even be better than my idea of pet caskets!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Crunch Time!

4-H Achievement days are here again! and the B-man is working hard on two wood projects this year. one is a jungle puzzle where he cut out animals and trees with the scroll saw and the other is a wooden box in the shape of a cowboy boot. I'm thinking purple ribbons all the way around.
ill post pics when he takes them in.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Wife Wants......

one of these.......

i just got the latest issue of Workbench Magazine and of course the wife grabbs it before i have a chance to look at it... then i hear my name being yelled and she says "you know you could build this really easy"
if you want to look into this yourself check out this months issue or go to workbenchmagizine.com i think that it would work, if i can find the time to do it.. should fit above the french door below.

Oh Well, back to the shop!

Monday, July 14, 2008


of the labor... the camp box works great!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Last Post for June

yup, june is toast and im heading off for a well deserved vacation. im taking the family and meeting my brother in the black hills of South Dakota for a week of camping, fishing and 4wheeling, campfire cooking, eating and drinking...

i did get the final touches on my red neck camp box, a wooden base for the portable shower and more tiedowns for the trailer. the wife wants to do the driving at night so no one sees the contraptions we are pulling.. oh well cant please everyone...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Wordless Wensday....

on Friday the 13th and im still typing

here is a silly little sprout holder

and the flock of prairie maggots... barn photo

bad pic of camp boxs

bad pic of Linies box, half empty or half full?
who cares, if they are cold?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Monday Update

on Tuesday...

module 2 for the camp box is coming along very well. note to self, when using recycled materials be sure to square the dam plywood before cutting to size. i have a perfect parallelogram for a box... oh well, I've been known to lean one way or the other. picked up some handles from MAC's hardware, and found some parts on an old junk tent trailer. tonight's plan is to make a couple of drawers and sliding doors for the front. to bad work gets in the way, i need to weed the garden and finish the scout as well. oh and did i mention that we want to use it this weekend? things left to do: paint, hardware, hinged drop front , trays for cooking tools, rack for plates and pans and cups....arrrg i need a vacation!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

STD's (stuff to do)

ok on the top of the STD list is to take the camera home and snap a couple of pictures, module 1 of the ultimate camp box has been built, and a planter box for the herbs. the stupid sheep got a hair cut (i'll never work for supercuts) and a deck on the new trailer.. with any luck ill take pictures..

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

mayday mayday mayday

no its not may day but i feel like the ship is going down. no pictures yet but i haven't just been sleeping through spring. the garden is in, a couple of planters got built, a screen door for the bro-in-law, fence for the prairie maggots. time to start building the ultimate camp box...why? because we like it!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Stupid Sheep

Yes, we are back in the stupid sheep business, the project this time is a self feeder that will hold 50lbs of pellets. this year we have started with 4 lambs, got them as bottle lambs. i dont know how we will compete with the fancy $1K lambs people were buying at a fancy show. i paid $20 each for ours, prob'ly wont get the purple ribbon but the process is kind of fun, besides its a learning experience for the B-man....

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Greatest Gold Fish Joke Ever

from comedy central:

Two goldfish were sitting in their tank,

one turns to the other and says,

"You man the guns, I'll drive!"

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Dead Fish are no fun!

its been really busy around here over the last couple of weeks. i did finish up a couple of projects, if i can just to remember to take pictures. anyway my main distraction has been the fish kill on my local lake. its been coming for a couple of years, lots of sediment and manure has been running in, bringing in phosphorus that feeds the algae. then when the algae die in the winter, the decomposing uses up the available oxygen and the fish cant breathe.. here is a couple of pictures.

but dont worry folks, im from the goverment and im here to help.............right

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Slow Update

still the same project, did get a couple of coats of paint on the sheep shed. scored on the pain, the local paint shop just happened to have 35 gallons of mistint paint that matches close enough for a sheep shed. normal $20+ a gallon, MY PRICE $5 A GALLON. woo hoo what a bargain! i love it when i win! still no pictures but ill keep trying... still need to build doors. with a major spring snow storm on the way, i might get some snowed in shop time.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Quick update

Lots of things going on, not enough shop time.... anyway after the Jr. High Basket ball tourney in Aberdeen, the bman and i finished the siding on the sheep shed. still need to build doors and install trim and nail down the roof. and paint andandandand.... cant seem to get the camera from the house to the shop and back to the computer.... ill keep trying

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

in progress

well its time to start thinking about 4-H projects again, this year we decided to do the sheep project again. my barnyard improvement for this season is a little lamb shed that measures 6x8 with a sloped roof and a 2 ft overhang. the framing is done and i am now working on the siding. I'm using old barn wood that came off a 100 yr old granary. i need to recondition the boards into ship lap siding... ill send pictures next time... built the frame in the shop and almost couldn't get it out.... thought i was smarter than that, good thing the B-Man set me straight.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sad Story

a friend has a son who has a horse..... no its not one of those story's..... anyway the horse passed away this winter and the

kid couldn't bear to have his buddie hauled away by the rendering truck. so he talked his dad into digging a grave out in the shelter belt. well every grave needs a marker and the kid asked his mom to talk to my wife to ask me if i would make a simple cross to use as a marker... here it is

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Silly projects

i know i should be spending my time in the shop doing more important projects, but what the heck, gottta do some fun stuff once in a while.. this is a little veggie crate for the farmers market. we are going to partner up with some other people for a booth this year and sell veggies in these little boxes. i made this one out of scrap pine and some old cedar shingles

Monday, March 10, 2008

Fun Weekend

i realy need to quit my job and play in the shop for the rest of my life.... on the otherhand if i did my life wouldnt be very long... anyway

i found the cheepest way to color wood... easter egg dye! turns out bright. sometimes i even amaze myself!

Monday, March 03, 2008

March Update

its been kind of slow here at the woodworks, of course the temperature may have something to do with it. but last weekend it was to nice to stay in so we went ice fishing. the typical things happened, everyone around us caught fish, we got nothing. as no good day goes unpunished, the wife and friend decided that if they can spend a day fishing, we can spend a day shopping. as you can tell, it was a good quality family day (yea right). anyway i did enjoy the weekend and finished a couple of projects. i made one of these contraptions for about 10 cents.... im so thrifty i squeak!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Presidents weekend

Oh how i love a three day weekend! however this one was very unproductive, well kindof. Saturday was spent with the niece and nephew. Sunday was a total rest day, couldnt get motovated to do much more than the dishes, but did work on some plans. Monday i did make the trip to pick up the old camper, of course the wind chill was right around the -stupid mark. the old camper is one of those popus built in the seventys, with real metal. its so cute i dont know if i want to restore it or turn it into a atv trailer... oh well, spring is comming!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Ideas are a brewin!

it appears that winter time does leave one to contemplate the leasure activities of warmer weather... im planning on a camping trip this summer with the family to the hills and we want to take a couple of atv's along to cruze the logging trails... the problem is how to load two atv's on a short box truck and pull a camper at the same time.... or do we do the tent thing and pull a trailer with the atv's on that... either one will work but what would be best?

right now im thinking of pulling the atv's and building a box for the truck to handle all of the gear and kitchen stuff... somewhere between a Adventure Trailer and a King Kamper

a friend has given me an old popup trailer, which i plan to strip down to haul the atv's on. Im hopeing the stove and interior stuff can be reshaped to fit the ultimate camp box and have a fold out/slide out kitchen of sorts. perhaps even have drop legs that would allow me to slide the thing out of the truck and position it around a camp site or something.

i already have a yard long list of things i want to include, but you know how the best of intentions usualy turn out....

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Just For Fun

ever see something in a magazine and think what the heck? well the wife likes chickens in the kitchen, no i haven't hung wire from the walls yet. but i thought that this project would be kind of fun to try. its not as easy as it looks but doesn't take that much time. just like any thing else practice and a good light near the scroll saw is the way to go.
whats the theme song from "super chicken"? now you will be singing it all day!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Catching up!

ok, here is a project that really tapped my skill.... its been cold enough to freeze the water in a heated bucket. oh about -15 or so.... the little guy has been making a mess of his hay, doing what little critters do ya know? tough plan and of course as always, general rule of thumb, always build it twice as big as you think you need!
here is the lucky guy... kind of cute in a cow kind of way.

I Love a 3 Day Weekend!

woo! hoo! been gettn er done out in the shop this weekend. besides its to cold to spend a lot of time outside, and its better than cleaning house!

First up is the trash can.... its finally done, its really hard to get polyurethane to dry and cure when the temp is below nothing, however on the plus side, the humidity is so low that the moisture is sucked out.....

As you can see, this is setup to use a 30 gal bag if you wrap it on the outside of the can or you can use a typical kitchen tall bag and hang it on the hooks on the inside. still a little dust on it. ill have to wipe it down with polish before delivery.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

off topic but fun none-the-less

stupid news from south dakota

i know i haven't done one of these in quite awhile, but as this is the first really cold day we have had this winter, it kind of made me wonder why i live here in the first place.

first lets start with our state legislature. this years 35 day session has seen a lot of bills introduced. although the deadline for submitting is still a few days away, there are three of note that i would like to share with you.
hb1210 prohibit recyclers, scrap metal dealers, or scrap yard operators from purchasing certain beer kegs. [edit:huh? what if they are thirsty or tossing a party?]
SB111 extend the prohibition of road hunting of big game to include all firearms. [edit: so what firearms could you use?]
and finely (i cant find the number now) is a bill that the Game Fish and Parks department will have to pay you $200 if you hit a deer with your car. [edit: party on garth!]

now im sure you are sitting there like i was going huh? but if you think about it with a twisted mind like i have you will see an opportunity here..... i am going to go purchase an old pickup, around 1975, and weld on a bumper that looks like an Abrams tank and go for a drive! ill never have to swerve again! im thinking with all the extra money from the GFP i wont have to recycle my beer kegs ever again. is this a great state or what?

anyway this morning arrived with a temperature of -12. as this is the coldest morning we have seen so far i thought i would jot down a couple of safety reminders for those who live in warmer country....

1. do not stick any exposed body part against metal. this is not funny, where do you think politicians get the forked tong? some bully made them stick it to a flag pole...
2. always put your keys in an outside accessible pocket. when you have to take your glove off and dig through 5 layers of jacket, coat, scarf, coveralls, pants. you seem to be standing on the door step doing the jiggy dance. [edit: expecaly if you are dealing with #5 below]
3. never put your keys in your mouth while trying to put your glove back on. see note 1
4. spit will not freeze before it hits the ground until the temp is -22. don't try it, it is disgusting and frozen spit will stay there until june.
5. be prepared to make two trips back into the house. i have noticed as i get older, when going out into Arctic conditions, certain body functions demand attention (please note the 5 layers).

that's all for now... i wouldn't want to live anywhere else

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Winter Notes

Here comes winter again! temps not going to get much over zero this weekend... its going to be tough to keep the shop warm when the wind is howling and the temp is nothing. B-man and i did make some progress last weekend, he is progressing with his intarsia box and i did a little segmentation project. i also got the trash can stained and the first coat of poly on it. ill send in pictures soon. meanwhile the farm show is fast approaching and I'm not sure we will be ready......again

Monday, January 07, 2008


didnt get much done in the shop this weekend... decided to take a break and do some fishing! had great luck and didnt have to clean any fish

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


the good thing about Christmas and new years falling on Tuesdays, is that its like two extra weekends.... the bad thing about the same is that its like getting two extra Mondays! ug!
anyway the B-man and i got some quality shop time. B-man is about halfway through his insartia project and i am about 3/4's of the way through the trash can project.. one more good weekend should wrap both projects up! of course there is always time for ice fishing! if i can remember to take pictures i will post them here....