Home work

by Chuck January 14, 2010

We did a couple of projects over the holidays that made a big difference around the house. The first was something we planned to do from the first day that we decided to get the house. The second was not something that we planned but it is something that will make another project easier to get into.

Our first project was putting up a wall between the powder room and the laundry room. We wanted the builder to do it, but they don’t do pocket doors. So I did. Turned out pretty well and the downstairs bathroom was handy to have when we hosted the family Christmas party.

The second project was one of those that starts out with “How hard can it be?” and then turns into something that was fairly hard. And more expensive than we thought it would be. But we now have a “custom tiled entry” in our house. Taking out the 40-odd square feet of wood laminate in the entry will make choosing what to put on the floor in the family room easier, we don’t have to worry about matching or clashing with the entry.

Now that the entry is done, it’s time to move on to the family room and figure out what we’re going to do there. It’s probably going to laminate, we just need to figure out what kind of laminate it will be.



Decked out

by Chuck May 24, 2009

We finished the deck, a whole day ahead of schedule. Every day last week I came home and added 3 or 4 new planks to the deck, so by the time I started Saturday morning I only had half of the 20-foot side to finish up.

On Saturday afternoon Ron and Sue came up, and Ron helped me cut all the planks I needed for the 12-foot side. Dana and I put about half of them on before we gave up Saturday evening. 

On Sunday morning Dana and I finished planking the deck, and then while Dana went to visit her grandmother Katie and I put a facia board around the edges to finish it off. Dana and the kids moved the patio furniture onto the deck, and I hauled the barbecue back around, and Sunday night we ate dinner on the new deck.

I have a tendency to stand in the sliding door and look out at the deck and think: "I did that." 

New Deck



More 5/8-minus gravel, please

by Chuck April 19, 2009

This week we started working on our new deck and patio in earnest. We've always planned a deck on the side of the house off the dining room, we just couldn't afford to put one in after building the house. Instead, we put a gravel pad on the side of the house where we wanted the patio to go.

On Wednesday I used the tractor, a rake and a shovel to remove the gravel from the pad. On Saturday we started digging out the dirt to put the gravel base in for the patio section. 

I guess I should explain a little. We're putting in a 20x20 deck, but the 8x8 northwest corner is going to be a flagstone patio instead of a deck. Dana saw something like it on DIY Network, so we're using the idea. After we get the patio section in, we'll put the deck over the top of the inside corner with a step down to the patio. Our firepit will go on the patio so we don't inadvertantly burn the house down.

Anyway, we dug out the corner, piling the dirt up over by the compost bins, then backfilled with the gravel from the rest of the pad. When that ran out we went to Rockman here in town to get a pickup-load of gravel. Everything looked great, we went out and bought sand and edging and even a couple of rubber hammers to pound the stones with to settle them.

On Sunday we found the a stone that we liked at a place in Clearview off Highway 9. It's a stone that they call "Cowboy Coffee," but that's a color name, I'm not sure what the actual stone type is. Probably a Kentucky bluestone, it looks like that to me.  Anyway, we bought jsut over a ton. Then loaded it into the truck and hauled it home. Then unloaded it. That was about it for our Sunday.

And then I realized I wanted to put a curve on the outside edge. 

The edging helped me make a nice fair curve, but it meant we needed to do some more digging.



Pulpit roller

by Chuck February 20, 2006

Today I figured out how to build the bow support/roller for the pulpit.

I changed from using a large piece of 3/4-inch plywood to using two smaller strips. That solved the problem I've been having trying to attach cleats in the right place.

When I went to Coast to Coast to get the bolts I needed I discovered a small cache of boat stuff -- not much but it did include the trailer roller and axel I needed. And since it wasn't West Marine it was half what I thought I'd have to pay.

I only made one -- typical -- mistake: I measured the length of the bolts I needed at 2 1/4-inches, so I bought 2 1/2-inch bolts. Which are, of course, too short.

Oh well, more for the junk box. Not sure what I'll do with three 2 1/2-inch 5/8 bolts. Something will come up, I'm sure.



Frustrated? Who, me?

by Chuck July 22, 2004

Ever have one of those days? I had one yesterday.

First, Ron brought my new rudder out. I'd left it at his house so he could put a few more coats of polyurethane on. It looked great, 'til I tried to put the tiller on. The tiller don't fit. The new rudder is about 1/8 thicker than the old one, and the tiller won't slip over it. I need to sand down the end of the rudder so the tiller will fit, and then refinish that end.

No problems, I thought. I'll just do some of the other little projects I have for Odyssey. So I decided to put the bumper hangers I bought back in January on. I originally planned to put them on the deck, but as I stood and looked I realized they would work better on the cabin side. I should note at this point that I thought about through-bolting the hangers, but then decided just deck mounting them would be fine. Except the cabin side in only half an inch thick, and I had three-quarter inch screws. Which I found out after driving the first one through the side into the cabin. Looks like they're going to be through-bolted after all. I'd just run to the hardware store and pick up some bolts, washers and nuts, except the hardware store closed 10 minutes ago.

Well, what about the new cam cleats for the jib sheets? I marked the location, drilled the holes, put the bolts (carefully measured from the original cam cleats) in, then went below to put the bolts on. What bolts? They just barely reached the bottom of the hole. 'Nother thing to add to the list when I go to the hardware store.

So I didn't really get anything done, but I did get a chance to play with the boat. And how bad is that, really?

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Trailer trashed

by Chuck February 7, 2004

I hauled Odyssey to Marysville today to pick up the trailer that I ordered from Boatland during the boat show. The guy on the phone wouldn't promise anything, but he was fairly sure that he could move Odyssey to the new trailer and send her home the same day.

It was a rainy, dreary day when I went out in the morning to hook the old trailer up to the truck. I spent an unpleasant few minutes in the damp, hooking up the trailer and tying the mast to the boat. On the bright side, the new dock lines (also from the boat show) worked a treat to tie the mast down with. I can't wait to use them to tie up to a dock.

By the time I got out the door about an hour later the sun had come out and the trip to Boatland was pleasant. As I drove to Marysville, I realized that this was the first time that I've pulled the boat trailer by myself, without someone following me in the car or riding shotgun in the truck. Kind of a heady feeling, like I'm a grown up or something.

The drive to Marysville was uneventful, except for the part of I-5 by Dagmar's Landing. I looked down at the the speedometer and realized that 75 mph was probably too fast for the old wreck of a trailer bouncing along behind me. I pulled my foot off the gas and slowed down, letting the other cars around me speed ahead.

Downtown Marysville is under construction, State street is torn up and traffic is nightmarish under the best of circumstances, and pulling a 22-foot boat is not the best of circumstances. Fortunately, Boatland is just off the main drag, so getting there was fairly easy, all things considered. I pulled into the Boatland parking lot, and Matt (or was it Dave) said "Park it over there by that trailer. Your trailer, as a matter of fact."

I left Odyssey the capable hands of the Boatland crew and left to shop for a new clothes dryer (the old one having given up the ghost the weekend before). Lunch, two mochas, and $200 worth of home appliances later Odyssey was on her new trailer and ready to go home.

The old trailer stayed at Boatland. They gave me a minimal amount in trade, and frankly, anything was more than it was worth. Matt (or Dave) said it wasn't the worst trailer he'd ever seen, but it was close. With the old trailer parked in the back lot and the Odyssey nestled snuggly in her professionally fitted new trailer, we headed back to Monroe.

Now we just need to wait for sailing season to start so we can try hauling Odyssey to some new destinations. It looks like a good summer for sailing already.



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