Posts Tagged With: projects

Trailer Rebuild

On and off over the last few weeks I rebuilt an old utility trailer. The new version carries clippers, gas and other things and can tow behind my lawn mower. It was a fun project – hope you enjoy the video!!

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Categories: General interest, projects | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Fence phase 2

So this past weekend, Manuel and I joined by Josée and Tim finished off the east fence, about 150 metres.  I still have some grading and landscaping to finish off but that will happen over the next little bit.  The fence ended up very straight (thanks to the survey!) and very tight.  We used my come-along attached to Bob’s bucket as a stationary pulling point in order to get the fence taut.  Overall, I think the finished project is pretty good, all things considered.  I now have to finish the front fence (about 50 metres) and then eventually the back-side (another 200 metres).  More to follow!!

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When in Rome…

The Romans really had it figured out – hot and cold baths in which to soothe their conquest-induced aches and pains.  I guess having an army of slaves to boil water and make steam helped as well.  At our previous house, we had a hot-tub installed, mostly to help Josée with her many soccer related injuries.  I must admit that I actually used it a lot more than I figured I would.  Well, after many months of delay, we decided to get another one.  We’ll use it now and then if/when we turn this house into a vacation rental, the tub will be an added attraction.  Stop by sometime for a soak!

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Categories: Farm stories, General interest | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Great Fence Project of 2012 (almost done…)

Short update – got the caps done on the fence posts, most of the gates done and some of the ground re-graded.  Now I need to hang the last gate, get some baskets and planters arranged and then re-landscape everything with the veggie garden ready for next season.  Almost there….Manuel is hanging in there!

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The Great Fence Project of 2012 (phase IV)

Old fences removed, sod (er..) turfed and a rough grade finished, it was time to move to installing the first few fence posts.  Timber was provided by my friends at Dove Creek Lumber; we’ve got the fence posts as 6×6 Western Red Cedar, the windows as 2×4 and the rails – well, I haven’t finalized that decision yet.  The nice thing about our lumber is that it is all non-dimensional, rough and thick; a 2×4 is actually 2×4 and so on.

We started setting our fence lines using some batter boards I’d cut.  Apart from the pets moving the lines about a bit, we got things square which is a major achievement as nothing on this property is square.  We decided to square things off the house mostly, ignoring the side building as they work at slight odds to each other.  We came up with a fence design to keep as much of the view as possible, using lagged bolted 2×4 windows to create a sense of openess – at least, that is the theory on paper.  Manuel recruited another labourer, Jorge, who joined us for a few hours here and there; six hands are better than four.  Next phase – more fence posts and some windows!

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The Great Fence Project of 2012 (phase III)

So, with Manuel helping with Phase II which was removing the old fence posts and the wire deer fence, we quickly were ready to move to Phase III – removing sod, followed by a quick grade with Bob’s boxblade.  You can see the results below; Bob actually outdid himself with the fence posts and wire.  Next phase – fence posts!

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Categories: Farm stories, General interest | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Ch, ch, ch, changes…

For the last, well..forever, we’ve been running multiple businesses and doing computer and office work from the corner of a table in our spare room.  Whilst Josée was in California, I decided enough was enough – time to get some proper office space created.  The challenge was to make it clean and tidy whilst taking up a minimal amount of space.  Some time on the trusty Ikea website helped me find the perfect solution.  The table top desks are not attached so we can move them should we need; they balance on top of the storage towers.  The wall mounted shelves include six blue bins into which we can store a variety of items and the combination cork/whiteboard will be handy for notes and reminder.  I especially like the lights; $8 and they’re solar!  We’ve now got a great little space to work on our many projects!

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Bob’s New Abode – stage 1

As the Raider’s anthem so aptly states, the “autumn wind is a pirate, blustering in from the sea.  With a rollicking song he sweeps along swaggering boisterously.”  The autumn wind is upon us and in the Comox Valley that means one thing:  rain.  Now before I get too carried away, let me remind my readers from parts elsewhere that contrary to popular belief, we don’t get six months of rain here.  In fact, we don’t get three months or two months.  We get a lot of grey, overcast days which sometimes make it feel like it is raining!  Compared to a few other cities, the Comox Valley’s seasonal rainfall is quite reasonable.  Of course, we all know the axiom regarding statistics!

That said, poor ol’ Bob has a house with a leaky roof and I need to solve this problem.  In addition, the trailer Tim, Dad and I just built needs a shelter from the monsoon.  After some careful consideration, I determined that the existing lean-to shelter is pretty much done and needs to be dismantled.  I will salvage all the wood and the metal sheeting and use it in another project in some fashion or another.  I’ve sourced my new lumber locally, from a responsible supplier.  I just have to pick it up, finish the dismantling process and start construction.  It sounds so simple.

My normal M.O. when doing these bigger projects is to think about the end result whilst omitting some of the specifics regarding measurements, calculations or design features.  My childhood dreams of being an architect were probably best left as dreams!!  That said, I’m hoping that I nail this project.  I’ve measured three times not twice and even have my laser level out!  This weekend past, I dismantled the existing framework.  This weekend coming I hope to start the construction phase.

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Categories: Farm stories, General interest | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Monster garage…

Over a recent weekend, Tim, Dad and I opened our version of Monster Garage as we worked on converting Tim’s old tent trailer into a utility trailer.  Our first step was to strip down the old tent trailer structure, right down to the rusted metal frame.  Next, we bolted the deck, made of 2x6s, to the frame.  Despite my best efforts, I managed to screw up the initial bolting stage by using 3″ carriage bolts instead of 2″ – I didn’t have a socket set to tighten the nuts on a 3″ long bolt!  After removing the old bolts, we replaced them with the 2″ version which worked great.  In addition, we used self-drilling screws to attach the uprights to the frame.  The mid-span screws went in like butter but the frame corners, perhaps due to extra thick plates of metal were like, er, iron.  We had to use a metal bit to screw through these sections and went back to the bolts instead of the metal screws.

Once the deck and the vertical stanchions were in place, we added the rail, three courses, and tailgate.  The finished result was solid and square but it wasn’t known how much we could actually load into it; only one way to find out – load it!  We hooked Bob up and towed the trailer to the North 40 where we loaded it about half full of dry firewood which it held just fine.  Bob towed the loaded trailer with no problem, over grass and ruts, all the way back to the woodshed.  We’re probably going to need to make couple more trips to clear up the firewood cut thus far.

This Monster Garage production was a challenge but we ended up with a utility trailer that will serve our three families for years to come!

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Categories: Family & Friends, Farm stories, General interest | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Great Wall of Knight (Phase I)

If you want to cause yourself some frustration, angst and general “I’ve had it with this !&#(%@ project” feelings, just build a wall and try to get it level in three dimensions.  A project I’ve tried to get underway for the last two months finally came to fruition yesterday.  I’m wrapping the front and side of our house with a small retaining wall, behind which I will plant various flowers, shrubs and even banana trees!  I did a bit of reading about retaining walls and the most consistently repeated advice was “make sure the first course is level”.  What I did not know (until I spent several fruitless hours on my knees, cursing like a trooper) is that in order to have a level first course, one assumes that the bricks/blocks being used are of a consistent, exact shape.  This really helps.  Anyway, I set and re-set multiple bricks only to find that they were level horizontally but not front to back; or level front to back but not against the lie of the land ~ very frustrating!

Eventually I came to the realization that I was not going to be able to make a perfect wall and that once it was set, planted and settled with some rain, it would look just fine.  So I began digging a trench lined with gravel, setting the bricks of the first and second courses, filling them with gravel, re-grading the driveway and filling the bed with dirt, ready for planting.  It took quite awhile but after fifteen or twenty bricks, I started to get into the swing of it.  The wall still has a little tilt but overall it is not bad.  Bob and I moved a bunch of gravel to make the driveway look better plus we filled the space behind the retaining wall with dirt, ready for planting.

Now I just have to start the other side of the house!

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Categories: Farm stories, General interest | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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