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Tiny Lighthouse Meets Giant Birdhouse

The problem was, I was reluctant to leave the replica-ish Lion’s Head Lighthouse I recently built outside all winter (although that was kind of the point, to cover the ugly wellhead in the front garden). So I thought I’d build something way easier that I wouldn’t feel so protective about. Hence the big-ass birdhouse. However, I now love them both equally and don’t want to risk either of them outside all winter. But if I had to rebuild one of them because it collapsed from all the snow getting shoveled onto it, the birdhouse would be the quickest to replace, so I guess that’s settled…

IMG_1034 Tiny Lighthouse Meets Giant Birdhouse

IMG_1035 Giant Birdhouse

IMG_1036 Lion's Head Lighthouse on the Front Lawn

IMG_1031 Giant Birdhouse on the Front Lawn

IMG_1033  Lion's Head Lighthouse in the Front Garden

Awl Done

Here’s a scratch awl / ice pick / shiv, made from some local walnut, a section of copper tubing, and a bright shiny nail.

Awl Done

Click to view larger on Flickr.

 

Yarn Buddy

At my wife’s suggestion, I made this yarn buddy. I used some pine I had lying around, thinking it was just going to be a prototype, but it worked out well enough that I may not need to do another one.

Yarn Buddy without yarn

Getting the Lazy Susan bearing perfectly aligned is not a trivial matter, but the two discs are perfectly concentric… in this position… As it rotates, there’s a little tiny bit of an eccentric wobble, but that’s just part of its charm. The centre spindle is friction fit and can be removed for packing the yarn buddy in a suitcase and taking him on a trip.

Yarn Buddy with yarn

Bell’s Final Resting Box

I finally got around to making this simple box for the ashes of our recently departed doggie, Bell.

It’s made mostly of walnut, with two maple curved line details on the lid, and uses box-joints.

It’s not perfect, but these things rarely are. She’ll be fine.

Bell's Final Resting Box

Painted Muskoka Chairs and Footstools

This is the last of the painted outdoor furniture projects for the time being. A third footstool has not aged well, and will need to be replaced (new project!) but the two that match these two chairs were fine, so the set is complete. Again, they were (and still are, under the opaque stain) made of lovely Western Red Cedar, but the years outside take their toll, and they needed a refresh. Finishing outdoor projects is a lively topic of discussion in woodworking circles, with preferences ranging from a bulletproof Epifanes or Marine Spar Varnish finish, to an annual clean, sand, and oil regime, to nothing at all (naturally weathered gray, eventually). The latter has some appeal, until you factor in that you’d probably want to wash and sand them every year or two anyway, so not much extra work to reapply a finish at that point.

Painted Muskoka Chairs and Footstools

Here’s how they looked in their original glory, having been outside for all of five minutes at this point.

Two More Muskoka Chairs

Painted Chairs

Painted Chairs

The smaller outdoor chairs have been painted “Bluenose” blue. The larger Muskoka chairs need a few touchups, but then we’re done painting furniture I think… I would not even consider painting Western Red Cedar right away, it’s a gorgeous wood that should be celebrated (see originals below ) but after seven years outside, they needed serious rehab, and this was a fun way to give them new life. Full credit for the paint job goes to Lynda, I just did the grunt work of power washing and sanding them.

Cedar Chairs + Dog

Before and After Sanding

Cedar Chairs Before and After Sanding

The last time these chairs looked this good (well, the one on the left at least) was in 2009 when I made them. They’ve lived outside for most of the time since then, including some winters. Nothing like a little 80-grit sandpaper to turn back time…

The next time you see these chairs they will have been painted blue. Sorry, purists, sometimes we paint things around here… opaque stain, technically…