Friday, October 24, 2014

How to make a board

Years ago I read a funny article by a failed shop student.  Do they still teach shop in highschools?  You know where the girls took cooking and sewing and the boys took woodworking and mechanics.  If they do, I expect all take all and so they should.  A woman that can't at least check her own oil makes me crazy and every boy should know how to cook in case he gets married...but I digress.

The article was entitled "How to make a board" which was about as good as this person got in shop.  All I remember from it was the tools you needed to paint the board included a brush, a can of paint, a chisel, and a gun. The gun was to protect yourself when the shop teacher caught you opening the paint can with the chisel.

Anyhow I made a board or I should say an official dog house for Volk.  After almost 6 years.  It will not be as warm as the makeshift one that the dogs used for years, a lean to, made from old doors, covered with old carpet, with an old mattress inside.  Oh, and it was inside a room in our outbuilding to boot.  However the room got cleaned out and a new concrete floor this summer and all the material disappeared.

I do like to work with wood but have not done much for years.  When the kids were little, 35 years ago, I made wooden toys.  I started with a set of three Craftsman tools from Sears. A 1/4" drill, a pad sander and a jigsaw, all in a red tin box and did most of my work with them.  I gradually accumulated real tools but never had as much fun though did more precise work.

The train I made for my son out of 1x4 and dowels

No idea how many sets of these I made.
Now proper wood in Ukraine is a rare commodity.  We have a "sawmill" two blocks from our place that brings in a truckload of pine logs periodically and sells rough cut full dimension lumber, much of it not even edged as it is used for strapping on roofs to which metal or otherwise sheeting is attached.

So I ordered 12 meters of 2x4 (actually 50x100 mm) and 35 meters of 1x6 (actually 25x150 mm).  It was delivered on foot, two 4.5 meter boards at a time.  This is GREEN wood.  I cannot emphasize enough the word GREEN; it is wringing wet and heavy.

I had a vague idea of what I wanted to build, having sketched it out on a piece of scrap paper, but mostly made it up as I went along.  My tools consisted of a jig saw, a try square, a tape measure and a carpenters pencil. Oh, and my trusty 20 oz. Estwing leather tang hammer that I've had for 40 years.

Too late I learned that the edges of the boards were not necessarily square and that 150 mm width the full length of the board was a guideline not a specification.  By the time I finished there wasn't enough 1x6 left to make a small fire, only FOUR nails and not a square corner to be found anywhere on the dog house.  I blame it on the metric system.

Anyone who wants to steal it will need a forklift.  It took two strong men (not one of whom was me) to carry it to the dog run and that was with the roof off.  The roof is removable for easy access.  Whether Volk will use it or not remains to be seen.  He did pee on it so at least he knows it exists.  Tomorrow I will put some food inside to coax him into it.

Homesteader's shack or trapper's cabin

There is 2" of Styrofoam under the floor and also under the roof





20 comments:

  1. It is a dog house for the ages. It won't blow away in a windstorm. Instead of throwing your computer out the window when it misbehaves you can go out and kick the dog house. It's a beauty.

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    1. Mick would be so disgusted with the quality of the work, he would disown me as a friend. Kick it? I could likely shoot at it with a tank and not harm it.

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  2. A fine-looking abode, especially considering what you had to work with! I'm sure Volk doesn't care about square corners. Hey, maybe you could use the scraps of 1x6 to build a little cupola with a weathervane... *dodges flying hammer and flees ignominiously*

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    1. I like the idea but there was really nothing left but a handful of little scraps. Tomorrow I am going to line it with old indoor outdoor carpet. That is why the roof comes off. Tanya said I should get in it then she would put the roof on. I would be like the story of Winnie-the-Pooh and the Honey Pot. It would be several days before I could crawl out the dog's door.

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  3. Nice job on the toys and the doghouse looks fine to me considering what you had to work with. I had wood shop in junior high and my first year of high school, then we moved and that school had a auto shop in it for the 11th grade. I made a few pieces of decent furniture in wood shop and burned up a car seat in auto shop trying to weld on it.

    Now I have lots of wood working tools, and mechanic tools, including a metal lathe.

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    1. Thanks, BBC, I loved making wooden toys.
      My next purchase will be a Skill saw and a belt sander. SOMEDAY I want a jointer planer and a table saw!

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  4. I just returned from a trip to Texas, I made a little camper to take on the trip.
    LITTLE CAMPER I MADE...

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    1. That looks awesome. What is it? 1/4" plywood with hardwood framing?

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  5. I made the frame with used cedar decking a lady gave to me, the panels are 1/8' mahogany. It is 5X8 feet (6 feet of head room) and with a camp cot, porta-pottie, and other items in it weights just 1160 pounds. I was plenty comfy in it for the trip.

    I have about everything but a planner but Terry has two so I use his.

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    1. Beautiful work. I understand wood but metal not at all.

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  6. Even being small and light my little truck with a V6 still worked pretty hard at towing it. It just takes a lot of power to push or pull a wall through the air.

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  7. Those trains are great. Trains are a toy for all. My granddaughters love trains and play with the Brio set that their dad loved. I think I might have enjoyed woodworking, but girls did not take shop back in the day. I took a class a few years back, but even now women were not taken seriously in the class. I think your dog will be very warm and comfy in that dog fortress, but he'd probably still prefer your couch.

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    1. Thanks, aitbr, I hear you about women in woodworking. Too bad it is still hanging on. Volk hasn't seen the inside of our house since he was a wee puppy, so I guess he better like the fortress.

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  8. Last dog house I built was also immovable. Working in a lumber yard I can understand what you went through. It might interest you to know that my weapon of choice is also a 20 oz. Estwing that I have had for about 25 years, so it's barely broken in.

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    1. I have two leather tang Estwings. 16 oz and 20 oz. Love them to bits. And I recalculated, mine are only 30 years old, not 40, so yes, barely broke in.

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  9. Well, you do the best you can with the materials you've got, but what are you going to do for a roof? It looks to me like boards that are side by side with cracks inbetween, cracks that are likely to get bigger as the wood dries.

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    1. I worry about the roof also. I may break down a buy a couple sheets of roofing material. And finish it off properly.

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  10. The leather on my old Estwing went to hell so I wrapped a good rope around the handle and it was great again. But a few years ago during a brain fart I left it at a job site and someone took it.

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    1. Best hammers ever made. The rope was a great idea. Too bad you lost it. I don't think they even make the leather tang hammers anymore. Modern poly-something likely.

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