Friday, October 23, 2015

Bruce St. Mailbox 5

Paint Plus Varnish Equals...


The paint dried quickly yesterday and by late afternoon I had applied one coat of varnish to keep things looking fresh for generations to come. Or, at least for a decade.

"My last task related to this task is 'Delivery'"

If you recognize the family, raise your hand.

Link to Bruce St. Mailbox 4

Photos GH

Monday, October 12, 2015

Bruce St. Mailbox 4

Friendly Cartoon-Style Painting

 "About 40 per cent of the way to the finish line"

Good thing I have a good supply of teensy-weensy paint brushes because the idea that finally landed on a slate for a mailbox requires the smallest ones in my arsenal. Slowly but surely a friendly scene is taking shape, and - hopefully - I'll be able to line up four smiles in a row without creating a frown.

"This mailbox will accept deliveries by air, sea and land"

More to follow.

Link to Bruce St. Mailbox 3

Photos GH

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Birdhouse Repair

A Few Easy Fixes

This old model came to me with faded paint, a very small entry hole, missing perch, loose nails and insecure clean-out door. So, I rolled it over in my hands for a moment or two, decided it was worth fixing, and started to spruce it up a bit.

 "Good old lumber just needs a bit of TLC"

 "What's with the red entry hole? Stay tuned"

"Red details for entry hole and perch"

I hammered in a few nails, enlarged the entry hole, secured the clean-out door, added roof-edge trim front and back, fashioned a perch, then grabbed a paint brush.

More to follow after a second coat of paint.

Link to Specialty Birdhouse 3

Photos GH

Specialty Birdhouse 3

The Eagle Has Landed

Mr. Tonka makes good airplanes. And I think they look even better in primary colours.

Now it will sit for awhile... at least until I can come up with a proper design for an airport birdhouse, or something like that.

Link to Specialty Birdhouse 2

Photos GH

Friday, October 9, 2015

Specialty Birdhouse 2

Wanted - One Brain Wave

"How about a house and plane under one roof?"

I do a few sketches on occasion to see what comes out of the end of the pencil. And, with a lovely wooden airplane drying off on my paint table, I hope a good idea and sketch shows up shortly. I could put the airplane atop a birdhouse or a feeder. I could put it under the roof of a long birdhouse-feeder combo. I could do any number of things. But what?!

"Painting bits and pieces is easy. But what to do next?"

Second coats are drying. I'll think of something soon, I'm sure of it.

Stay tuned.

Link to Specialty Birdhouse 1

Photos GH

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Upcoming Project - Specialty Birdhouse 1

What to do with Dusty Tonka?

 Quick sketches. Something will spring to mind.

At some point in my travels I stopped at a yard sale and purchased a lovely, lovely Tonka biplane, similar to the kind Snoopy flew during his battles with the nefarious Red Baron. While paint was drying recently on another project, I had a thought.

Ideas will form while my paint brush is busy

Thot: Mr. Tonka has been sitting on a shelf in the workshop for years! Okay, maybe two or three.Take the dust-covered plane apart. Paint it w bright primary colours. Make an airport-birdhouse of some kind.

More to follow... perhaps a fly over.

Link to Back in Action

Photos GH

Bruce St. Mailbox 3

I Noticed a Blank Slate

Six pieces of grey pine barnboard form the mailbox destined to be secured to a lovely front porch in Old South London. On top of that are numerous pieces of cedar trim. Lovely lovely, I like to say. Then, of course, there was the blank spot under the cedar trim that stared back at me after I assembled all of the pieces.

"I will deliver new news shortly"

I wondered, "What to do with the blank spot?"

Well, I had an idea. I added green spray paint, then blue, over the last two days. Now it's dry.

What to do now?

I already know. Stay tuned.

Link to Bruce St. Mailbox 2

Photos GH

Monday, October 5, 2015

Bruce St. Mailbox 2

From Sketch to Slick Slate

Now that I have created a bit of elbow room inside the workshop (three big projects have been completed recently) I can return to my to-do list until cold weather forces me indoors.

 "Six pieces of lovely pine, grey on both sides... and cedar trim"

 "Easy kap-easy. Now ready for trim"

"Hmmm. Can I use slate to dress things up?"

It is now time for a bit of 'mulling over what to do' with a bit of slate to brighten up the face of the grey mailbox.

Mull. Mull : )

More to follow.

Link to Bruce St. Mailbox

Photos GH

Bats Making a Comeback?

Keep 'Em Comin'

"Two bathouses can be made from one eight-foot-long board"

At my last birdhouse sale, spread over two afternoons, I sold two bathouses the first day - all I had prepared - and received an order for one more. So I ran right home at day's end and made two more for the second afternoon. They both sold as well.

I was happy to hear about peoples' interest in bats and that folks were seeing more in their neighbourhoods at night (I am as well in Old South London), after we had noticed declines in the bat population over the last few years.

 "I cut grooves one inch apart on the surface of the backer board"

 "A scroll saw does a fine, quick job"

"I will paint the wee critters a bright colour asap"

But making a comeback? I sure hope so. Even though there is an 'ick' factor associated w the wee critters from the human point of view, there is a more important 'yikes' factor - as far as bugs are concerned.

Link to Bathouse in Barnboard

Photos GH

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Bruce St. Mailbox

The Drawing Board

"the first sketch"

Now that a custom shelf has been sent on its merry way I have time and room to start a new custom project entitled Bruce St. Mailbox. I've built other mailboxes in the past, with lids to keep out the weather, but this one is for a covered porch so the design is a bit different. Open at the front, gray barnboard construction, western cedar trim, eye-catching highlights... that's what I'm thinking.

"sketch w approx. measurements"

I start today. So, more to follow.

Link to another style - Mailbox 2

Photos GH

Custom Shelf 16

Things Went Swimmingly

"Send in the slates"

The above shelf/cabinet has graced our small living room for about a month's time while I sorted out time to complete the final task. It involved slates and wooden trout and a few other details, and yesterday I added the finishing touches. I drilled four holes through each slate, very carefully, raised a little dust, then attached each slate to a wooden platform on the sides of the shelf.

"Easy does it"

I applied just the right amount of pressure to each screw to hold each slate in place without cracking any varnish or slate. All is well... and finished, except for the sweeping.


Link to Custom Shelf 14

Photos GH

Log Cabins 8

Take 'Em Indoors

Two log cabins constructed from rescued lumber are now ready to leave the workshop and travel to their next destination - a storage/display shelf in my basement. And in 3 weeks they will travel with me to a craft/birdhouse sale not far from my home.

 "I hope the knot doesn't fall out of the roof slat!"

 "I used three slats (instead of the usual two)  to make each side of the roof" 

"In previous photos you will notice the triangle that supports the roof is wider
than the tiers of logs. This provides a gap to allow air flow. The bigger the
triangle, the wider the roof slats become. Thus, the third roof slat : ) "

With winter coming to Canada in the next little while, these cabins might be the last ones I make until 2016. (Not the last BHs, however. Two bat houses are now underway).

"The cabin sits on lumber - already cut - for two bat houses"

Link to Log Cabins 7

Photos GH

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Custom Shelf 15

Trout, Out and About

Link to Custom Shelf 14

Photo GH

Custom Shelf 14

Slick Lookin' Slates

"The shelf looks good where it is but I deliver it in
two days, after I complete a rare fishing adventure"

The shelf/cabinet, for books, LPs and unique display items, is very close to being finished. Last step - four fish-themed slates have to be attached to the four platforms that are already securely fastened to the ends of the shelf.

 "I recently applied coats of varnish to the above painted, fishy-themed slates" 

"The slates look pretty slick now that varnish is dry"

So.... I now need to drill four holes through each slate... very carefully... then put them into place with appropriate fasteners. Carefully. Carefully.

"I'll be sorry to see this project leave the house... carefully"

Link to Custom Shelf 13

Photos GH

Log Cabins 7

A Triple Rescue?

One log cabin of two - constructed from white pine and western cedar leftovers - is almost finished (needs some trim), the second has a first coat of paint and my scrap pile is thinner. Happy days. I like it when different types of leftover bits and pieces can be used together to create a solid, highly fashionable : ) birdhouse.

The white pine could have been used as a base for a duplex but now it gets better use, in my opinion. Leftover slices of rescued western cedar (grungy edges of old deck boards) were one step away from going into a backyard fire when the idea of log cabins sprang to mind. That's a double rescue in my mind.

"And the paint was given to me. More leftovers!"

I think the painted model - now that leftover paint has been applied - is the result of a triple rescue. I'm all for it.

Link to Log Cabins 6

Photos GH