Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Last Projects 2017 (8)

Voila! Fini! It's Time for....

[Photo: Swap Box nears the finish line...]

A few days ago I worked here and there on the last bits and pieces of a neighbour's swap box. And it has been delivered, ready for installation.




A fresh, new look!

So, now what?

I think it's time for the Big Sweep.

After that - maybe a few instalments of The Workshop in Review, 2017.

Please link to Last Projects 2017 (7)

Photos GH

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Last Projects 2017 (7)

Touch Ups and Repairs.

[Photo: Western cedar roof and varnish put on a nice show]

A second cedar bird feeder is finished, ready for delivery. Looks good inside and out, in my opinion.


 Note to self: Make 6 - 8 feeders in 2018, different colour schemes.


Now it's time to re-assemble a swap box, then tidy up the platform and pole. 

Something's missing. Where's the door latch!?

Repair work on a little library is proceeding nicely. Damaged signage is repainted and a hole in the box - made by Mr. Hairy Woodpecker - is about to get plugged.

 Everything looks healthy from this angle.

 Side view reveals Hairy's work. Note damage - top left corner, above.

 The back wall suffered the most damage.

 Once inside the box, Hairy attacked a few books!

 Hairy doesn't like mysteries or thrillers?

What's going on here? I'm knot telling.

The hole will soon be plugged and sealed, inside and out, and the library will very likely survive the winter.

Once the swap box is finished and a little library is back in good shape, I'll begin The Big Sweep.

One last, very clean picture to follow.

Please link to Last Projects 2017 (6)

Photos GH

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Last Projects 2017 (6)

And Then, a Woodpecker Came Along!

[Photo: Finishing touches on two bird feeders]

Final tasks in the workshop are definitely coming along nicely. One bird feeder is finished and out the door (and I forgot to take 'finished' photos!), and the second one (now also sold) will be finished very soon. Trim needs a second coat of red but once it is dry the assembly will fly. Maybe I'll remember to take a final picture!

The swap box is almost finished as well. I just need to cut lumber for a new platform and collar to accommodate a wider metal pole. Everything should be ready to install on an Old South front yard in a few days, and I will be finished projects for 2017.... (Jinxed alert!)

 Red trim for one feeder.

 Most of the trim is attached.

 Plexiglass is inserted, 5/8th inch above the surface of the base.

 Two latches are now required - to keep squirrels at bay.

 Swap Box is ready for assembly. Platform and collar are next up.

Red paint goes a long way in the workshop.

About being finished for 2017. I thought 'Voila!' could be stated very soon.... until a recent email arrived with attached photo.


I believe a pernicious Hairy Woodpecker has been at work on one of my Little Libraries and help is needed to repair significant damage. Though I have not had to deal with this type of repair on a library in the past, I have seen this type of damage one other time this year, and it occurred on the cedar siding on my own house, above the workshop door. So, two wee fixes are in order asap.

Hopefully, by the time I'm finished, all Hairy Woodpeckers will be sipping Pina Coladas somewhere far to the south of London!

Please link to Last Projects 2017 (5).

Photos GH, Y. Tyml.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Last Projects 2017 (5).

One Library, Two Feeders and a Swap Box Repair.

[Photo: In 30 minutes this library will be moved to storage]

The Big Sweep (closure of the workshop) has been delayed.... but not for long. Three projects are approaching the stage that I now call 'last tasks for 2017' and my trusty broom stands at the ready.


The 'Little Library' (above photo) only requires a few pieces of trim before I move it into storage.

Two feeders (one already sold) are moving steadily toward the finish line.

 Slots for plexiglass are in place; small touch ups required w red paint

 Doors and interior frame are also ready for touchups

 Paint dries very slowly when I stand around and watch!

Doors fit nicely. Soon I will add the plexiglass and roof.

I was asked to replace the broken metal pole on a Swap Box recently, and once I took a look at the situation I felt a wee touch up of the entire box was in order too. So, new paint, new pole, new collar and platform are now underway.

Easy kap-easy so far:




More to follow on the 'last tasks' in the workshop (2017 version). 

Please link to Last Projects 2017 (4).

Photos GH

Friday, October 13, 2017

Last Projects 2017 (4).

Two Bird-Feeders Taking Shape.

Link to cedar feeder for more details

Some questions about feeding birds have a straight-forward answer. Q: What is an easy way to feed birds? A: Toss various seeds onto an open tray that - to a bird - feels safe. (See western cedar example above).

Other models of bird feeders can get quite complicated - e.g., with spring-loaded stands - in order to defeat constant harassment from squirrels. The two feeders I am building now are less complicated and will not defeat squirrels entirely, but will frustrate their attempts to get a free and easy meal every time they visit a person's yard.

Photos will share some details about the feeders but readers will still need to imagine others:

Two sides will hold plexiglass that will act as sturdy barriers.
Keep seeds inside. Keep squirrels outside.

 One side of each feeder now has an opening as wide as a seed scoop

 Cutting an opening for a wee door is easy work with a scroll saw

 Hinges and latches will be attached once second coats are dry

 Interior frame prevents the door from getting pushed inward
by a muscular squirrel or raccoon.

I imagine the roofs need paint and trim.

More to follow.

Please link to Last Projects 2017 (3).

Photos GH

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Last Projects 2017 (3).

Use Your Imagination.

[Photo: Work in progress on two bird feeders]

Once the second coat of red paint is dry I will assemble the pieces for two pine bird feeders. At this stage, your imagination is very useful.


Add the slots for plexiglass, then the plexiglass,
and the roofs, hinges, and seeds. See that?

Yes, there is work to be done, all in good time.

Q: How will a person be able to fill the bird feeder with seed?

A: Picture a hinged door, a plastic scoop and lots of bird seed.

If rain holds off, you won't have to use your imagination much past 5 PM on Saturday.

Please link to Last Projects 2017 (2).

Photos GH

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Last Projects 2017 (2).

Bird Feeder Times Two.

[Photo: Early stages of development]

I have constructed several western cedar bird feeders over the years, but when a client requested a certain type recently, with plexiglass sides and a hinged door, I had to travel a different route. However, since I've had good practice working with plexiglass (for the doors of swap boxes and little libraries), I don't think the project will be difficult to complete before the date of The Big Sweep, i.e., this weekend.

 I'll modify and tidy up the sketch after the project is finished.

 Slots for the plexiglass

Why make just one? 

When I found a spare minute or two I dressed up a western cedar rustic to catch somebody's eye during my last birdhouse sale in December. December 2, Wesley Knox United Church. Pop by if you can!



And concerning the bird feeders, I look forward to more good progress on the two pine models this afternoon. Might even be adding first coats of paint by 4 PM.

More to follow.

Please link to Last Projects 2017 (1).

Photos GH