Friday, August 6, 2010

The new porch mission style old doug fir

I'm building a porch that has sucked the life out of me as it is mortise and tenon. Who really would be dumb enough to do this by hand.....

It is built with the interior of my former barn, 6x6 posts and 2x6 rails all old growth Douglas Fir. A pain to chisel as it tends to splinter ( it is over 100 yrs old though) but the cream like color is just amazing.

Imperfections allowed to stay, even the 6x's are not really that square, but with the nail holes and all I still like it.

At the left is the flooring, as it goes down as a test. The side rail not complete yet, I just had to see what the redwood I reclaimed over two years ago an milled and stored would look like. I think it is a fine mix, and it was a common mix in N. Cal for many years. The flooring is from the late 70's so it does not have the total chocolate brown that can be found in great old redwood. It is still in progress, I am using an Alaskan mill tomorrow on some oak in the event that I use them for the step in the house and just maybe the steps up to ( just not sure how the weather will treat them)

The fence at Merritt

A long time late, but with everything going on I just have little time to do much and I've been lazy on the Blog. Anyhow, here is a photo of the Merritt Fence on the South side, as we spent most of the day piecing together. We had a few problems...Somehow we had different thickness stringers so when we went to put in them in the mortises that we all the same size... we heard loud cursing.

Thanks to the quickness of a slick and we were back to normal. Notice that the 4x4 on top is set to an angle so that the roof can just be placed upon it and share its angle. Good idea, but a pain to cut mortises in. As van Arsdale says " I did not learn that from a book" so true, and good that we have the ability to both experiment and accept the outcome, and still go with it. The bad part about this section is the garden admin did not like the standard Japanese fence we were making and wanted to "open it up a bit so they could see through it" . We left spaces between the 1x's and I think it does not carry the class the original section holds. Typical admin bad ideas though. But what do we know we are just building it for free......

I only took this picture with my phone. When time allows we hear that there are a ton of photos headed to cjeck it out anyhow if you have yet to.

Monday, January 18, 2010


I finally got around to putting together a shoji screen that I had rough milled months ago. I actually rough milled quite a bit of rails and stiles, as well as kimiko from some 3" thick redwood I bought in bulk ( Some over 15' long and all old growth) from a man in Stockton that hoped to use the wood he bought nearly 30 years ago to make some furniture. He actually only used some for the bottom of his fence around his house - 12" wide boards...

The kimiko into the frame were just a little to loose for my liking. I did not do a "weave" just a simple half lap, but it still should have been tight. I cut on my marking lines this time and I should have left a bit to pare away. The problem is more the kimiko fitting to the shoji paper as the lap joints do not want to sit perfect ( wood and its movement). I wedged the frame with some doug fir wedges I made in bulk a while back. The only glue is on the paper.

I also had some problems with the rice glue I had ( new stuff) that had a ratio of water to powder that was wrong. I had to throw away some paper and try again. After thickening up the mix I used a small paintbrush to wet the frame. I then stretched shoji paper across the screen and taped it down with blue painters tape. After it is dry you then mist it with water and the paper tightens up like a snare drum. It was rainy and cold today and my paper did not tighten though.

I sat it next to my furnace though and it quickly dried out and tight. It is hanging in my window and I wedged it in the frame. I plan to drill holes in the sides and place earth magnets in the frame. It will stay locked in by the magnet.

Jay Van Arsdales class begins (see again this weekend. I thought I needed to get ready for it by doing some work anyhow and I saw how rusty I have become with my hand tools after not using them for the last month - I work for UPS... I was busy.

Ill have to get a camera too these photos are terrible.