more re-purposed hardwood floor fun

I continue to enjoy working with the pickup truck full of oak flooring I salvaged out of Missoula for a hundred bucks or so (as I vaguely remember).

I was lucky as all-get-out that I tripped over a great deal on a plastic imitation-snap-together hardwood flooring closeout before I put two months of tedious, dirty labor into making my studio floor out of the real stuff.

I fabricated a metal bar into a fixture to scrape the tongues and grooves back and forth cleaning them up so they would mate together again. I glue, then clamp them together into […]

storm door

We have been dragging this “brand new” storm door around and storing it ever since I didn’t get around to installing it in our Grangeville home… That’s three moves and seven years ago.

I tried selling it a couple of times, but there is no market for unused storm doors … at least not one that I found.

Our old new door found a real home this week. One we both like a lot. It ought to keep the storms out of our sally port.

My experience framing and hanging doors is limited, to say the least. Nevertheless, it […]

porch project

Last winter the walkway from front door to car door was a river of ice. I have done several things to change that for this winter… retaining walls, ditch work, driveway re-grading, the way I shovel snow…

The biggest change is still ahead. I want to put 3-4 inches of 3/4″ gravel on top of the old beat up gravel of the pathway, raising it well above the surrounding area. Thus the water and ice will know for darn sure exactly where it is to go and not go.

I had to build a porch or the area in […]

last yardwork of fall

Photos with captions of the projects I completed in the last few days before the hard freeze of winter 2014-2015 arrived. It was a sprint-to-the-finish that was a bit wearing on the old man.

allow moisture to go AROUND sally port

get that water (ice) off walkway

replacement for last year’s tarp

Dutch Door for light and to serve as dog-gate

riverside gets a new face


chimney stabalizer

Our new woodstove was not drawing well enough. It was hard to start and the flow inadequate to keep the chimney clean. I had to extend it.

That created its own problem as the chimney was now just a stiff wind from being blown down. The ideal stabilizer setup was not available, so I had to improvise.

Setting the two struts at 90-degrees from each other would be perfect. But punching holes in roofs always adds risk and maintenance issues. So I really wanted side-mounting to the dormer to work, but the spread between the widest mounting points is […]

feeling smug and toasty

Our new woodstove is starting to earn its keep and has me feeling a bit clever with a couple of my installation innovations.

First off, it is definitely warm in my studio. Actually, as predicted, a bit over-warm, truth be told. Sitting a tad over three feet from the cabin’s heat source will do that.

Darn-near everyone is eager to explain to me that noisy fans are the answer.

I’m more inclined to dress for the occasion, rather than adding noise pollution and electrical consumption to my heating system.

Back to my innovations.

I have been dragging a […]

studio wallpaper finished

I finally finished re-doing the insulation in my studio. It was quite uneven and drafty. It is quite even and well sealed now.

I have yet to clean up the ceiling insulation and re-expose the wires for the two work space light fixtures. However, eliminating the incoming cold air should make a great difference in the comfort.

Yeah, someday we will afford the sheetrock. Meanwhile, I choose to appreciate what I have.

I’ve seen worse taste in decor than my “ecobatt wallpaper” … and had to inhabit some of them for at least a little while.


rocket stove

This is an inspirational project that is worth looking in to. I would love to see one working, to work on the construction of one and to have one in my home … if I could only find the space for it … we appear to have downsized ourselves out of this possibility.

Nevertheless, YOU should watch the video. It is a cute family production a bit off center when you first see it, but it grows on you and does a good job of showing how to build a rocket stove.


Here is an excellent website on […]

autumn planting

May work – may not. Winter lettuce and bok choi in little planters now decorate our entry.

Today’s planting project was removing the window boxes still hanging on the sides of our house. Then, what the heck, we have soil, boxes and a crowded patch of seedlings I started in my first three boxes.

We filled a fresh one and transplanted into it. One down, three to go. Gotta let tonight’s freeze go by first.

heat’s on

Once upon a time I had a house built to my specifications… on 7 acres, south facing hill, creek optional. Taking advantage of the southern side with plenty of glass, I heated it with the only choice I had built into it – a wood stove. On cold nights (Sonoma County cold where it actually gets TO freezing) I would drink extra water before retiring for the night and refill the woodstove when I got up to relieve myself in the middle of the night… somewhat a semi-auto thermostat.

In every house since then, heat has been electric or […]

storage unit?

In March we accepted an offer to store our stuff in a hanger 7 some miles away from our new home while we got shop space built and organized ourselves in our new world. The offer ran out and we had to move out.

It has been a bit of a rush all along, but the last week was a serious push. A huge amount of dry storage has been a prize and a great gift. We will forever be grateful to Merl for what he gave us. We certainly owed him the honor of getting the heck […]

CAD trusses

My neighbor’s add-on insulated roof blew off his mobile home. It was badly designed and poorly installed, having nearly flattened out. He knew full well he had to come up with a way to repair it, but had not come to grips with the level of removal / repair that it really needed.

Ma Nature did him a huge service. With one BIG GUST, she lifted the roof off, flipped it onto the ground, placing it neatly between the other trailer, our house, our truck, his shed … it landed in the ONLY clear space large enough to receive […]