Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Large Triplexes 2

Spring Line Up is Larger

[The centre unit has a higher false bottom]

Triplexes are fairly large as it is because of the three units side by each, but I tried something new this year that made them even larger. The height of each unit is a bit taller, but another modification to the width is the main reason they are bulked up.

[False bottoms are all the rage in this tall crew]

Modification: I made the sides longer and attached them to the outside of the front and back faces, which makes the width of the face, 5 inches, the width of the full interior. (Typically, the butt ends of the sides are not visible, so I added to trim to hide them all.)

With the above modification, there is more trim to catch the eye and the entire unit is roomier and about three inches wider. 

I think it works!

Photos GH 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Black and White Triplexes

Plenty of Room

Link to Black and White Mailbox

Photos GH

Large Triplexes 1

It Was a Long Winter

 [I'll paint a smile on the cat, then say, "Voila!"]

Yes, the months of winter most recently passed were long and bitterly cold, especially bitter in February and inside the workshop. On the 4th of that month I took a few pictures of the beginning stages of a building project that would last at least two weeks, i.e., work on six triplex birdhouses. My fingers didn't warm up until March!

As well, I recall the piles of red and western cedar stock on my side shelf, and the mounds of dust on the floor and other surfaces, grew at about the same pace.

When I get a really nice day - soon, I hope - I'll give the place a good sweeping out.

Final shots to follow.

Link to Funky Birdhouse 3

Photos GH

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Black and White Mailbox

You've Got Mail

Link to Black and White Funky Project

Photo GH

The Mailbox Trio

From Sketch to Sale

One night last winter, while delivering a finished project to a client who happens to work at my favourite pub, a pub patron turned to me and asked if I built mailboxes. I quickly thought: They're made of wood, are box-like, need to open and close, kinda similar to birdhouses, and I've made 1,000 birdhouses, so whaddaya say, Gordie?

I said, "Yes."

And as is usually the habit, once I finished an adequate sketch, I worked on more than one item, hoping to capitalize on my extended efforts. I sold the first one, gave the second as a Christmas gift, and have the last one ready for a Spring sale.

Link to Funky Birdhouse 3

Photos GH

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Funky Birdhouse 3

Ready to Roll

I finished this condo yesterday, and this morning I packed it on board the car, ready to roll out to a morning sale.

It is my first of six funky models with a curved roof, so I may get a few questions answered today about its practicality, function, feasibility. That being said, I think this style could be a winner.

Link to Funky Birdhouse 2

Photos GH

Swap Boxes 4

Ready to Go

 [Cedar pole fits snugly into the support platform and collars]

One Swap Box is ready to be placed on someone's front yard, as long as they have a few bits and bobs to catch the eye of passing pedestrians, especially children.

I am very happy with its dimensions but will continue to modify colours and signage in the future.

Link to Swap Boxes 3

Photos GH

Friday, March 27, 2015

Black and White Funky Project

Curved Roof Works

Building a birdhouse with a curved roof takes time and patience, and occasionally I have both in good supply. Instead of two or four roof slats, I had to cut about a dozen thin, angled slats and hope for the best.

Maybe I will add another funky design or two to my collection from last week's sketches...  but only occasionally, I bet.


Link to Black and White Sketches

Photos GH

Funky Birdhouse 2

Red Curved Roof

I felt I needed to paint quite a few items last night, in preparation for my first Spring Shoe ("It's a really big shoe"), and I had one curved roof on the menu and the red paint tin open... so, one of the funky birdhouses now has a Christmas colour theme. That may have been a mistake, two-tone green might have been a better option. I'll try that with the next one.

["Too much red paint?"]

Another photo will follow, once the trim is added. Two-tone green w red highlights? Likely.

Link to Funky Birdhouse 1

Photos GH

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Funky Birdhouse 1

Curved Roof Condo

A couple of weeks ago I sketched a few birdhouse designs that incorporated a curved roof. The size of the main body* was easy to imagine but I don't know how the curved roof will work out.

["Trim incorporates curves as well"]

["Quite a difference compared to usual designs"]

["I traced a roll of tape to get the curved face"]

Once the paint is dry I will attach narrow roof slats w angled edges. Should be a fussy job w some experimentation. Good thing I have a Happy Hour scheduled at 5 PM! Some re-evaluation will likely be in order by then.

Link to Black and White Sketches

* Faces are approx. 9.5 in. high and 6.5 in. wide; sides are 6.5 in. wide; base is 6.5 by 5 in.

Photos by GH

Swap Boxes 3

All Bits are Painted

Two coats of colourful paint on the first of three swap boxes are now dry and I can take all the bits back to the workshop to continue the assembly process. I have to put together the front door, w plexiglass, then attach all the bits in all the right places.

["Lots of bits and pieces"]

This evening I may get to start the fussy process of painting the signage on Number One, then make room for Number Two and Three. It's a long haul but somebody's got to do it.

: )

Link to Swap Boxes 2

Photos GH

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Swap Boxes 2

Sanded and Assembled

When I add up all the bits of wood in one swap box, i.e., its body (5), face (4), door (4), signage (5), platform, collar, stake and ground anchor (10), I find I have a lot of sanding to do before the assembly process starts.

That being said, my belt sander does quick work, and - during assembly - the nail gun seems to work even faster. Thumbs up to modern tools!

["Have shovel, will travel"]

Now, if I could paint really fast I'd be as happy as a clam.

Link to Swap Boxes 1

Photos GH

Swap Boxes 1

Start with a Pencil

A person ordered a swap box last December and said it didn't have to be ready 'til Spring. Well, Spring has officially sprung and I am well out of the gate.

Last week - once finished three large duplexes - I grabbed a fresh pencil, reviewed 2014 plans and sketched the design for 2015's version of a white pine swap box with plexiglass door. Inside the cozy workshop I measured, cut and stacked numerous pieces of new lumber.

Once sanded and assembled a lengthy painting process begins.

Link to Fancy Duplexes 7

Photos GH

Black and White Sketches

This Side of Funky

I recently finished three lovely duplexed birdhouses. Shortly thereafter my mind started to wander. Is there a castle in my future? At least some small funky creations?

We shall see.

Photos GH

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Black and White Duplex

Searching for a Name

The name for this duplex did not come to me until I looked back at an earlier colour photo. Sunflower Savoy has a nice ring. B & W looks cool too.

Link to more Black and White

Photo GH

Fancy Duplexes (7)

The Sunflower Savoy

Once I put a few more finishing touches on The Sunflower Savoy (e.g., purple seeds in the centre of each flower) I planted a red tree in front of The Red Lion Inn (the two cats look absolutely ferocious) and hung a pot for sunflower seeds. Hopefully a family of wrens will find their way to the front entrances in a matter of days.


Link to Fancy Duplexes 6

Photos GH

Black and White Rietveld Crate Chair

Best Seat in the House

Best seat in the house outside the house

I've made about a dozen Rietveld chairs in the last 6 - 7 years, some from new lumber, most from rescued pine from my house reno. They are very very very comfortable.

Link to Black and White 'Voila'

More links to Rietveld Crate Chairs

Photo GH

Friday, March 20, 2015

Full-On Trim Day

The End is Near

 [Paint table is loaded with trim]

If the trim is dry then the end is near. I'll be able to attach a tableful of bric-a-brac (including perches, cats, pots, wee trees and birdhouses, windows and shutters and sunflowers) to two large duplexes, then say 'Voila'!

I'll open the workshop at 3 PM and be done by six.

[Saucy sunflowers]

[A purple-nurple tree]

You may ask, "Adding trim takes three hours? What are you, related to Doug and The Slugs?"

No. I am also working on three Swap Boxes in the shop. Beauties.

Stay tuned.

Link to Black and White Voila!

Photos GH

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Black and White 'Voila!'

When Something's Done


In the workshop, when something's done it's done. And I say, "Voila!"

Now you know.

Link to Black and White in the Shop

Photo GH

Fancy Duplexes (6)

One Down, Two to Go

 [A finished Du, view from inside the workshop]

The only artificial colour on the first finished duplex - The Rustic - appears on the perch. Three yellow beads. That's it.


[Outside the shop door]

[According to Hoyle, trim will go on during Happy Hour]

The Rustic now goes into storage so it doesn't gather workshop dust before a March 28 sale. And I head to my paint station in the basement to finish trim for the last two DUs. Yellow sunflowers and purple shutters should have second coats by 3 PM and be in place by 5:30. If all goes by plan.

However, if I had a nickel for every time I made a plan and saw it go awry....

Please link to Fancy Duplexes (5)

Photos GH