Monday, January 30, 2012

Fireplace Beautification

For the last couple of months everyone who stops by to see how the project is going and there is inevitable question about my fireplace. They look at the hose and go, "Hey what are you going to do about that?" I would think to myself, I have no idea. One of the great things about this project is it has allowed me to tap into an unknown creativity that did not existed.

I am not a sketcher when it comes to this type of stuff, I am at a point that I just look at the problem and let a couple of "thought sessions" happen and it comes together in my mind and bang, I got it. The project usually evolves as I start putting piece together and I really have no clue what the final product is going to look like but I have a direction and just start building and see what come out. The ladder project was that way and so here is  my fireplace beautification project.

A open slot to that I can shut off the propane if need be.

I have found some of the spare flooring is kinda fun to work with. Dang hard stuff though.

I also put in a pull down shade for the electrical room closet. There was no room for a door, I did not like the idea of a bi-fold on this door (didn't know how to build one without taking a bunch of time) and wanted a plan clean look as the other two doors are pretty busy. this should work out excellent.

Top Plate for mounting the "select blind"

Nice clean look

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The End Of The Aluminum Ladder!

Okay on the progress scale things have slowed down. I have several things on the "Want To Do" list, this is a long way from the "ToDo" List I have had for the last year. ToDo means that these things must get done! My "want to do list" is far more relaxed and generally take more then one weekend to accomplish. That is both true from a time perspective as a logistic one, paint one weekend, assemble the next. The ladder was one of those projects that took several weekends this was because I had other smaller quicker projects and that I really had an open plan on the ladder as I have never built from scratch anything close to this.

So here is what I wanted, a ladder that had the hand made look, had some pieces and parts made from what I made the cottage with, Beetle Kill Pine, Acacia Flooring, Cedar, Same Fasteners. I wanted really good sturdy hand grips at the top and the bottom so I put large doweling as part of the stability/hand rail. I needed something that would carry my weight and be very stable. Here is what I came up with

Because this lives on my bed in the loft and I muscle it down when I need it, I have these bobsled handles, they work great. Lot's to grab onto when moving up to the loft or down to the floor. So here it is in the cottage.
I notched in the ladder and will put in a lock block and be able to slide the ladder over to the lock block and will be hooked to the cross beam until I slide it off the lock.

I thought the flooring for steps worked out real well. That wood is strong, really strong. Overall I am pleased with the functionality of the ladder and it certainly has a funky look to it.

A couple other projects that I worked on were a picture frame, I used some extra flooring that I have for that, I will wrap it in cedar and post a key picture of the build in it. I also adjusted my rain gauge to be level, pretty hokey but it is accurate. For every inch of rain I get one hundred and fifty one gallons in my catchment tank. Since it is only 205 gallons, I am loosing a lot of water no matter how many showers I take. It has rained 10.57 inches over the last month. Welcome to Portland in the winter. Oh yea...winter just started.

This weekend is painting the bathroom/pantry door and it's various parts. Three weeks from now I will have a real cool post about what it looks like.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Wow, Getting Closer Every Weekend

Don't laugh but this is snow in Dundee

A view out the window of the cottage

Looking for Hot Spots to see if I was leaking heat. Nope!
Okay it was a little cool in the work shop this morning. I was focused on putting together my door and working on some other little projects. The other little projects came together and then I focused on the door.
Kitchen Shelf

Coat Rack
Okay I had the door all cut and laid out. I had painted all the slats and here are all the pieces.

I know it is a little more robust for a door then I had expected but I wanted this look and it really came out looking like I wanted. I was looking for the barn door experience and it meant that expectation. I am eventually going to do the kitchen cabinets the same color scheme, this door will fit in well.

This is the door open, I can use it as a shower door if I have people over and want to have both a shower and access to my closet with a little privacy. It came out like I had hoped and will now work on a similar door to cover the refer and pantry. I will then work on a bi-fold door for the electrical room and dual purpose bathroom door for guests.  
The hasp that I can use on the kitchen counter to keep the door closed while I shower  with plenty of room and access to both the bathroom and my closet
This upcoming weekend is all about the ladder, THE LADDER.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Things Are Pretty Cool In Mini Mobile Cottage Land

I remember buying my trailer on Christmas Day last year and being fully convinced I would be living in my new home by mid summer. What a journey. I am printing several pictures from the build (I owe a bunch of pictures to the Picasa site) going back through all of them to create a Photo Story of the build for the cottage. I can remember standing in the pole barn with the propane heater going full blast and us stacking stuff around it to thaw it out so we can use it. We went through a really cold blast last year. Well it has not really hit this year, I am curious how the cottage will handle extended periods of cold weather. It is really about the systems and not the internal temp of the cottage. The choice of spraying closed cell foam was really a game changer to the livability of the cottage. For the last couple of nights I open the upstairs window to cool it down to sleep. Too Funny.

The pictures above show the work shop I currently have access to. I have been coating all the interior window trim with Daly's Crystalfin, Satin. I like the look and it add's a different demension to the interior wood. Lynne Palmer recommeded it to me and it was a great choice. 

Well here is a before picture of the window
I have tried to stay focused on getting some of the little things done. I was not quite sure how these would turn out but I am pretty satisfied with the result.  I still don't have a clue on how I am going to tackle the kitchen but I am not really worried about it, it will become a February project. I am going to start getting my life back. I have made a commitment to ride the Reach The Beach this May. I missed it last a matter of fact I missed everything last year. You might want to plan on that if you want to build a mini cottage.

So here is some progress shots from over Christmas and New Years.

I don't know if I posted that I got the blinds from Select Blinds and they were excellent to deal with, lots of free samples. The end product was perfect from a measurement and functionality stand point. if you need custom blinds these guys are great to work with.

So from a project perspective, I really need a proper ladder (I am using my aluminum construction ladder) to get into the loft, I would like a bathroom door and will make a dual purpose door for the closet and then when it opens it now would shut the bathroom door. Makes perfect sense to me. Here is a sneak peak at the ladder
As you can see, it has a long way to go. The door and ladder are the priority of the weekend. If I can get both of them done, then I can be free to train for the ride. Really I am going to ride 100 miles on my bike in May, you can bank on it.