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Showing posts from 2018

Yet Another Hallway Detail

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This past spring the hallways and stairwell were redone - finally. But, like most projects, there was still a matter of some details that needed to be completed, and in the case of the hallways it's just a matter of decor.   The end of the upstairs hallway has always been a bit of a decorating challenge, at least for me!  

(And no - the cordless drill was not a design element!)  When we first bought 173, there was a full length mirror on that wall with a small fluorescent light above it.  I took both down when we painted it the first time back in about 1999, and when I was re-installing the mirror I tightened one of the wall clips juuust a little too much and - CRACK! - there she went.  It was too bad too, the mirror was an old, heavy model with a nice beveled edge - leave it to me.  Since then, that end of the hallway has essentially been blank.  When the hallway was finished earlier this year, I installed a new sconce...

...which matched the downstairs hall light...

I prattle o…

Ode to the Hemlock at 173

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Thoreau wrote, "The spruce the hemlock and the pine will not countenance despair...surely joy is the condition of life."  Sometimes I'm astounded by the little coincidences that happen around me.  Last week I started reading Faith in a Seed by Henry David Thoreau, which describes his observations of trees and nature around Concord, Massachusetts in the mid-nineteenth century.  If you're a gardener, or just enjoy nature in general, it's a pretty interesting read!  The coincidence here is that this was the weekend that the hemlock tree in the back yard here at 173 was to be removed.  Taking out trees that one planted and watched grow over time is always a very poignant moment - at least for me.  Here's a bit of the back story...

About 12 years ago, the hemlock was planted in the back yard.  The yard needed some evergreens back there because in winter it could get pretty bleak looking out there.  From the very start it was clear that there would come a day when…

A Few Scrap Wood Projects

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In our last post I wrote about a very simple scrap wood project:

Yep - just a little board for honing tools.  But that got me to thinking about some of the other things around 173 that were made from scraps.  It's kind of a fun (and frugal) little challenge to myself to find uses for scrap wood after completion of a larger project.  For instance, as goofy as this is, I made a clamp jig for when I'm sharpening the teeth on my handsaws:

I even labeled it so I'd remember what it is (just writing that makes me question my sanity)!

But there's more useful scrap wood projects too, like a stand for the old table-saw-of-death...

Which is now a stand for the miter saw...

And years ago I made a box for my router bits:

And a shelf for the workshop:

Several years ago I also used scrap wood to make an umbrella stand for the back porch...

...and used old bed slats to make a matching shoe rack for the porch too:

Here's a whimsical little scrap wood toolbox - also on the back por…

Made at 173: Honing Board

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Sometimes I post about some pretty minor stuff, then again - most major things are an accumulation of little things...soooo....  During the course of building the Dining Room Built-In, I accumulated a but of wood scraps, although I have gotten much better about what to keep and what to toss.  I always like making things from scrap materials

...and today I made a board to hold sharpening stones so they don't slide around then sharpening chisels, knives and plane irons.  I got the idea from Paul Sellers, a master cabinet maker.  I didn't make an exact copy of Sellers' board, but we have different requirements and resources.  The first step to making this board was cutting the piece of ceramic tile I bought at Lowes for about $3...

Luckily, I still had my tile cutter from back when we laid tile in the laundry room (I sense a legacy post coming on!).  Because I'm not willing to invest in the sharpening stones Paul Sellers uses, I'll use the tile as a flat surface an…