Archive for the ‘Woodworking’ Category

Playground progress: posts are in the ground

Friday, August 4th, 2006

I’m about halfway done getting concrete into the post holes – this weekend I’ll finish the job then I can take off the temporary framing.

Playground progress

Saturday, July 15th, 2006

Wah! It’s raining today (Saturday) so I can’t work outside. I did pick up some gravel for the post holes. Oddly enough, Home Depot doesn’t have gravel (WTF?), so I had to go to Lowes instead. I picked up 500 pounds of gravel for about $35.

I’ve been digging post holes every evening this week, and I’ve completed eight so far. One more to go, then I can start setting the posts for the main play structure. I’ve never worked with concrete before, so that should be interesting.

I’m fascinated by concrete, I think it belongs up there with other discoveries such as fire, the wheel, and computers.


Playground progress

Sunday, July 9th, 2006

playground layout post hole

This weekend I cleared the area, set up some batter boards and string to lay out the posts for the central tower and get them perfectly square, then dug one of the post holes as an experiment (to see how hard it would be, and to determine if I needed to rent a power auger).

I learned a few things while digging my first 12″ diameter, three-foot-deep post hole:

  • I am really out of shape
  • Digging post holes is great exercise, so hopefully that will help remedy the previous point
  • Three feet doesn’t sound that deep but it is approximately one third of the way to the center of the Earth

I also drove to King of Swings and purchased a ten foot wave slide, and learned the following:

  • A ten foot slide is pretty much as long as you would expect. Why is my visualization of ten feet so accurate while I woefully misjudge three feet?
  • A ten foot slide fits completely inside a Subaru Legacy Outback station wagon, even with the hatchback closed. Impressive. (Although I said the same thing about an 8ft landscape timber in a Toyota Rav4 until it put a crack in the front windshield.)

The following book kicks ass and has all the information you’ll need to build your own: Build a Kid’s Play Yard

New Router Subbases

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006

Sweet, I just got a couple transparent router subbases from Pat Warner. They look great but I haven’t had time to try them out yet.

Pat’s website has a lot of great information, and some excellent photography.

Most profitable blogging topic

Tuesday, March 14th, 2006


Looking at my Amazon reports, I’m always surprised that even though my woodworking pages are relatively sparse, they always generate the best referrals. I guess it pays to blog about big-ticket items.

However, I’m not sure if it’s worth it because of all the cat ladies I have to deal with.

Cat lady

Friday, January 28th, 2005

I got a phone call at an inopportune time (middle of my wife’s ultrasound appointment) and it was a woman who said she got my number from some website (not mine). Since I was busy I blew her off quickly. Later I received an email:

Subject: baby cradle
yes–saw your ad on but tried the phone number and they laughed and said no that is not the right number for you. could you give me the number asap?? Thanks

Since I do have a baby cradle web page, I replied and got back in touch with the woman.

She informed me that she was looking for plans to a baby cradle and when she noticed I was in Atlanta (where she was visiting her daughter) she thought she might be able to pick them up from me before she headed home for Kansas.

Now the weird part: the cradle was not for a baby, it was for her cat. It turns out her cat had gotten used to sleeping in a doll cradle, but now the cat was getting too fat and wouldn’t fit, so she wanted her husband to build a new one.

I helped her out by pointing her in the direction of some plans.

I think I’m going to remove my phone number from my web site.

Safety first

Sunday, January 16th, 2005

This is why from now on I’m wearing a face shield whenever I operate a nail gun:

A dentist found the source of the toothache Patrick Lawler was complaining about on the roof of his mouth: a four-inch nail the construction worker had unknowingly embedded in his skull six days earlier.


Link (w/picture)

Custom Window Seat with Basket Toy Storage

Sunday, November 21st, 2004

I finally posted some pics of my latest woodworking project, click for more: